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Messages - Acoustics

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Hi Mayibongwe,

Thanks for the idea but I don't think we can achieve that with virtual tags. When sorted in ascending order the entries with the tag empty can indeed be sorted at the bottom of the list by using a virtual tag, but then if we change the sort to descending order the entries will be back to the top of the list.

What is desired here is an option to always keep the entries with empty tag at the bottom of the list, whatever the sort order.

See the example here:

The desired behavior is implemented for example in the tables in In this page:
Sort the table by the Year column. There are many compilations without year indicated in this table, and they remain at the bottom of the list. The other behavior would just be painful.

PS: I've just changed the topic title to make it more accurate.

For you to say "...from a user standpoint it is more useful..." is incorrect.

It seems I did not myself clear enough with the distinction I've made on this topic on user VS 'MB administrator'. A MB user in my terminology here is someone who doesn't configure / manage Musicbee , its content and the tags at all. Just a simple user, so eg. a friend, my mum... that I let use MB. Or just me, when I want to leave aside the part of my brain that manages MB and the tags.

So yes, I maintain that from the standpoint of a simple MB user who doesn't manage the content / tags it is more logical and useful.

I'd rather have them at the top of the list so they can be seen easily and corrected.

This is the conception that an empty tag is necessarily a "mistake" that should be fixed. But this is not always the case, in fact for a given tag, especially a custom tag, we don't always have something to put in it for all the tracks. But we may want to sort by this tag without having the empty entries displayed in first position...

And, you are arguing from the point of view of the "Musicbee administrator", the "tag manager". From a user standpoint it is (always I think) more useful, ergonomic and neat to leave the empty entries at the bottom when he decides to sort by something.

The request is to add an option, not to replace the current behaviour. So we could choose what we prefer.

Questions / Re: eveyrthing but one artists shown in music explorer
« on: January 21, 2023, 05:55:55 PM »
Probably Metallica is not properly tagged to be listed as 'Album Artist'. To confirm, at the top of the column if you change Album 'Album Artist' to 'Artist' do you see it?

when one of the tracks has a differencing artist for a track, all the tracks will get empty lines displayed beneath them.
Which isn't necessary since virtual tag #2 returned blank for all of them.

Description of the problem also here:

Glad this has already been pointed out.


Not really a bug, but I think an inconsistency.

In the Albums view, I use two virtual tags (V_SinglesTitle and V_SinglesComment) to change the layout of a specific custom compilation album where I put all the 'orphans' singles. This album has as album artist = 'Various Artists' and as album name = '(Singles)'.

My goal is to not change the default layout for the regular albums, and for the regular compilation albums (where Album Artist = 'Various Artists' but Album name is NOT '(Singles)').

So here are the formula for the two tags:

$If(<Album Artist>="Various Artists",$If(<Album>="(Singles)",[<Artist>"]   "{font: Segoe UI Semibold;Regular;10}<Title>,<Title>),<Title>)

$If(<Album Artist>="Various Artists",$If(<Album>="(Singles)"," ("<Original Album>" - "<Original Year>"),),)
So, for this specific album only, V_SinglesComment adds a second line below the track title to display the album and the year from which the track comes. Otherwise it returns an empty value.

The result is as expected for the regular not Various Artists albums , the layout is not changed by the virtual tags. Because the result of the V_SinglesComment formula is empty the second line is not displayed:

But the result is not exactly as expected for the regular compilation albums where Album Artist = 'Various Artists' but Album name is NOT 'Singles'. Again, my wish is to keep the default layout.

The default layout:

The result:

So even if the result of the V_SinglesComment formula is empty as well, the second line is here displayed. So this is the problem, this is not consistent with the regular - not Various Artists - albums.

(as a side effect, when a second line is added in a 'Various Artists' album MB removes [Artist] on the right of the title to put it in the second line. I understand this behavior, as it permits to customize the layout. But here, I want to point out that the second line should not be displayed at all (and consequently the layout should not be changed) when the virtual tag formula returns an empty value).

I understand, I guess this would be complicated to manage from a development standpoint.

Anyway, I've solved the problem! In the Views Configuration dialog the size of the Segoe UI regular font was 9,75 pt (10 pt selected but the program reduces it to 9,75), but in the virtual tag I'd put a Segoe UI bold font of 10pt. By changing this size to 9,75 in the formula (I thought a so precise font size wouldn't be accepted) regular and bold fonts now match perfectly and the bold font is no longer truncated! Great!

I post here a comment that I found below a YouTube video. I am not the author of it. I found it very relevant to explain the break-in period that many audiophiles consider as a reality...

Guys, there’s no such thing as a break-in period for the speakers. That’s just a period our brain needs to adjust to the sound of any given pair of speakers (or headphones, receivers, preamps, etc.) It’s our brain’s ability (reflex) to adjust to the environment. That’s the purpose of the central nervous system, to interact with the world outside.

We listen to the music through our brains, our ears are just the receptors. Brain does interpretation of the information which comes in from these receptors. It’s been a complex way the musical image has been created. So, with any new pair of speakers, since they have different sonics from speakers that brain has used to listen, it needs time to adjust the way that music should sound (ignoring any unnecessary information in order to assemble the musical image). Literally, our brain learns how to listen to these particular pair of speakers.

An example of what I’m trying to say: Maybe you have friend who listens to his music on a laptop through cheap plastic speakers. Probably he has listened to them for a couple of months. That ‘breaking-in’ has already happened. If you have a decent stereo system at your home, then the first time you hear your friend’s speakers will be awful experience. They will sound like crap, because cheap speakers can’t reproduce the same way your system can. In other words you don’t get the same sonic experience out of these speakers that you’ve been used to with your own stereo. But wait for a while, sit down and listen for a couple of hours, hear some of your favourite albums. At some point you will notice these plastic boxes sound better than in the first minutes you’ve heard them. I’m sure most of you have had such experience with some speakers or headphones. That was an example I’ve experienced on my own. And I gave it because cheap speakers would always sound worse than any good stereo set. With expensive speakers it depends. Initially, some may sound bad, some may sound good. But after some time, they will definitely sound better in our mind. And that’s due to the brain adjustment, not because of breaking-in.

There is interesting episode about breaking-in from Andrew Robinson’s channel here on Youtube. He thinks break-in doesn’t exist, too. How he came to this conclusion? One day a friend of him just asked, ‘Why after some period of time speakers always sound better? Why they never sound worse?’ Watch the episode, it suggests the idea of taking notes during initial and subsecuent listening sessions to justify is there really any difference in presentation.

In Preferences > Now Playing > 'Action when adding tracks using double-click' > Queue Next

But maybe you mean by adding tracks to the queue by drag and drop?

In the Albums view, I use two virtual tags (named V_SinglesTitle and V_SinglesComment) to change specifically the layout of my custom compilation albums (named "Singles"). The tags don't change the default layout for the standard albums.

The tag V_SinglesTitle:

$If(<Album Artist>="Various Artists",$If(<Album>="(Singles)",[<Artist>"]   "{font: Segoe UI Semibold;Regular;10}<Title>,<Title>),<Title>)

The result:

Unfortunately the font Segoe UI Semibold is slightly truncated (see the "g" letters). The problem is that, in the Albums view, the lines are not adjusted depending on the font size specified in the virtual tag. Because the semibold font is slightly fatter than the regular font defined in the Views Configuration (and although they have here the same size in pt), it is truncated.

It's obvious with a bigger font (Segoe UI Semibold;Regular;14):

I can use a smaller font size than 10 for the bold but then it will not be uniform / harmonious with the regular font.

This is a significant limitation of the configuration of the layout with virtual tags because this means that any font bigger or fatter than the (regular) font set in the Views configurations dialog will be truncated.

I've just tried too with virtual tags only, with no luck. As now I don't see a better solution than your. But I'm not an expert.

With a virtual tag like this:

we can remove the artists with just a few tracks (here less than 5) from the sorting lists (aka Column Browser or Music Explorer selection column), and the artist albums AND his tracks in compilations ("Appears On") appear as well.

(PS: I did not manage to make a formula that count the number of albums for an artist. That is, the number of albums for which an artist is the album artist. Sadly, in

$Count(<album>, <album artist>)
it seems <album artist> can't be replaced by another field or expression)

But indeed in this case (the first formula) the Various Artists entry doesn't appear anymore in the sorting (filtering) list, because VA is an album artist and not an artist. I don't see how the two can be gathered with virtual tags only.

You have well explained in your post the dilemma than probably many MB users face:
If we sort by Artists, all the artists with only 1 or 2 titles (artists in compilation albums) will appear, making the list far too long and cluttered
If we sort by Album Artists, the tracks of the albums in which the artist appears but is not the album artist are not displayed

I do think that the program should offer a native option to sort by album artists AND display at the same time the "Appears On" tracks. Do-it-yourself solutions with custom and virtual tags are not 100% satisfactory in addition to being hard to find

this is literally exactly what I've been trying to setup since december 2021

I hope the discussion will continue with advanced MB users on this topic...

MusicBee Wishlist / Reopen the Preferences at the tab it was closed
« on: January 15, 2023, 10:53:15 AM »
It would be handy if the Preferences dialog could reopen at the same tab it was previously closed (e.g. Layout (1), or Library, or Tags(1)...)

Of course this would be applicable only for the time of the current MB session (reset to the General tab after a MB restart).


Instead of using a custom tag that you have to fill in with the artist name, maybe you could directly create a virtual tag that would do the work for you.

The formula for the virtual tag would output the artist name, but only if this artist has already an album, or more N tracks in the library (you can use the $Count function for that).

Then you sort by this virtual tag.

Questions / Re: Albums view: Sort titles inside albums
« on: January 14, 2023, 09:11:07 PM »
It seems not possible, so finally I will number the tracks. So problem solved.

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