When listening to music, you may listen to individual songs from an album, but may have never heard the album all the way through. This guide will show you how to identify those unplayed albums, and also how to create a way to easily listen to one of those albums at random.
-If you don't already have it installed, you will need to download boroda74's Additional Tagging and Reporting Tools plugin from here
(installation information is given on the same page). You should also make sure that you are running the latest patch
-You'll now have to make sure that your files are tagged correctly. There are two different methods you can use for this. Both will work, but one uses an inbuilt MusicBee tag that can save you from using a custom tag unnecessarily. These different methods are covered in steps 3 and 4.
-The first method is to make sure that the Track Count (and if you're using Disc Number, also the Disc Count) tags are correctly filled in for all of your tracks. These are the "of [Tag]" tags that appear after the Track and Disc Numbers in the tag editor. Although it may seem tedious to fill these in for your tracks initially if they're not already present, using these can allow you to do other more complex things with your library later on. Good sources for these numbers include Wikipedia, MusicBrainz and Discogs. When these are filled in correctly, the <Album Complete?> tag becomes usable, and returns results as explained here
. You then need to create a virtual tag, named "Album Complete (V)", and define it simply as <Album Complete?>.
-The alternative to this is to define a custom tag, called something appropriate like <Complete Album>, and mark all of your complete albums with the same tag value. For this guide, I'll be using <Complete Album> with the value "Yes" for all tracks in a complete album.
-When your albums are tagged to your satisfaction, you will need to create a new custom tag called <Album Play Count (Sum)>. This is where the report's results are going to be saved.
-Now open the Auto Library Report dialogue. Depending on your settings, this will be located under Tools, Tools>Tagging Tools, or Tools>Tagging Tools>Advanced. In the dialogue, click "New preset". Ensuring that the "Function for new fields" is "Grouping", tick in this order
<Album Artist>, <Album> and either <Album Complete (V)> or <Complete Album>.
-Now change the "Function for new fields" to "Sum" and tick <Play Count>. Change the "Save field" drop down boxes so that they read "Save field Sum(Play Count) to tag: Album Play Count (Sum)". Tick the box by "Save only if tag", and change the drop down boxes on that line so that they read "Save only if tag Album Complete (V)/Complete Album" (depending on your choice) "is Y/Yes" (again, depending on your choice).
-Press the preview button to make sure that the report will calculate correctly. Then, make sure that the box by the preset name is ticked before closing the dialogue.
-Now you have an auto-report that will calculate the total play count of each complete album on start up. Next, we'll define a virtual tag to tell us whether or not the album has been played.
-Name a virtual tag as "Played Yet?" and define it with the following function: $If(<Album Play Count (Sum)><<Album Track Count>,No,Yes)
. This returns yes if the album play count is lower than the album track count, no if otherwise.
-For the final step, create a new playlist mixer. For the track selection criteria, match all the following rules: <Track#> is 1, <Played Yet?> is No, <Album Complete (V)>/<Complete Album> is Y/Yes. Change the "Select by" criterion to "Album" and the "Shuffle by" criterion to "Random". Close the track selection criteria box and ensure that the "Track count" is set to 1.
You should now have a playlist mixer that, when you play it, will play a single unplayed album, and when that finishes, will play a different unplayed album.
There is one thing to note - if you play enough tracks from a single album enough times, the summed play count can exceed the <Album Track Count> whilst there are still unplayed tracks on that album. These albums are easy to find however - if you search for <Played Yet?> is Yes, and <Play Count> is 0, you will find any such tracks and can modify the play counts of other tracks in the album until you get below the <Album Track Count> value.