Author Topic: Album Covers view: Improved handling for multiple releases, box sets, and series  (Read 7387 times)

CritterMan

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I keep multiple releases of the same album in my library. I currently have them sorted so they appear in chronological order of release per artist, each with its own cover art displayed in the main panel, but I got an itch to have them treated as multiple discs of the same album. I ran into some problems with this and I think it's not possible to do this with the current version without many hours of restructuring my library and manually editing tags.

I currently keep each release in a separate folder. My tagging is straight MusicBrainz with some tags copied for better compatibility with MB. This of course means that all of my tracks have unique album IDs and release IDs.

Here are the problems I ran into:

1) An album must be defined by the album name and then it can be further broken down after that. Without shuffling files into the same folder, one cannot define an album in a completely custom manner like with a custom tag like a MusicBrainz release group ID.

2) In the expanded panel, tracks are sorted by disc and then track number. There is no way to change that to release date then ID# then disc then track.


Ideally, I would click on the sole entry for an album in the album covers view and see an expanded panel that could be scrolled through to see each disc of each release laid out in chronological order with the cover art for each release displayed on the right of the expanded panel as well.
Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 09:09:37 PM by CritterMan
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vzell

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redwing

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This idea can be expanded to support creating custom "album sets".

This would also be useful handling box sets in addition to multiple releases of the same album.

Currently if you want to create a box set with MB, you have to tag them as if it's a multi-disc album. But it's not always the same and has many limitations. Many box sets (e.g. Singles Collection) use different album cover for each disc and different release year for each disc with its own (box set) release year, but currently MB can't handle them properly.

I would suggest the following functionality:

- The user selects multiple albums in the main panel (from all views except tracks view)> right click> select "create an album set with selected albums" command
- Then you get an configuration dialog for the set where you can type a value (then they will be saved in MB database only) or a formula using existing tags for each field: Album Set Name, Album Set Artist, Album Set Genre, Album Set Release Year, Album Set Artwork
- You can collapse or expand each set in the main panel. When collapsed it's displayed as a single album with its own tag values (but with a set indicator like + sign) and when expanded whole albums inside it get displayed under it.
Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 05:21:49 AM by redwing

CritterMan

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That makes sense, redwing. Additionally, the ability to use custom sorting of the individual albums/discs would be very useful as well. It would allow multiple releases to be sorted by release date or other tag, and box sets with whatever distinguishing tag the user prefers.
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CritterMan

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This idea can be expanded to support creating custom "album sets".

This would also be useful handling box sets in addition to multiple releases of the same album.

Currently if you want to create a box set with MB, you have to tag them as if it's a multi-disc album. But it's not always the same and has many limitations. Many box sets (e.g. Singles Collection) use different album cover for each disc and different release year for each disc with its own (box set) release year, but currently MB can't handle them properly.

I would suggest the following functionality:

- The user selects multiple albums in the main panel (from all views except tracks view)> right click> select "create an album set with selected albums" command
- Then you get an configuration dialog for the set where you can type a value (then they will be saved in MB database only) or a formula using existing tags for each field: Album Set Name, Album Set Artist, Album Set Genre, Album Set Release Year, Album Set Artwork
- You can collapse or expand each set in the main panel. When collapsed it's displayed as a single album with its own tag values (but with a set indicator like + sign) and when expanded whole albums inside it get displayed under it.

I put a lot of thought into how these situations could be handled by loosening restrictions on how tracks are grouped into albums and completely reworking sub-grouping in the expanded panel, but then I thought that redwing's solution is so much simpler and would work for multiple releases, box sets, and series if you add just one detail:

Display all of the expanded panels for the albums in each album group, each below the previous one. The expanded panel settings dialog could be expanded to include settings for how the individual albums in each album group should be sorted, and that could just be a few drop-down selections to select tag fields to sort by. Default sorting could be done by date which would work for multiple releases of the same album, box sets that contain multiple albums, and series in which annual volumes are released.

Since this type of album grouping would only work inside MB anyway, there is no need to store anything in the metadata. It could all be stored in the library file. It wouldn't matter if users tagged using MusicBrainz, Discogs, or if they don't even edit tags at all after they download their purchases.

Here is how it would look:

Home Desk ~ MB 3.3 Portable • Questyle CMA400i (ASIO) • Sennheiser HD 660S (balanced) / Audeze EL-8 Closed Back / Fostex TR-X00 Ebony • Teac AI-101DA • Jamo C93 + Dayton Audio SUB-1000
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wobbly

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Rannoch

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This functionality would address a number of storage/display requirements for different album formats. would be a tremendous help in grouping albums for display and de-clutter the Albums Covers view.

vzell

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I put a lot of thought into how these situations could be handled by loosening restrictions on how tracks are grouped into albums and completely reworking sub-grouping in the expanded panel, but then I thought that redwing's solution is so much simpler and would work for multiple releases, box sets, and series if you add just one detail:

Display all of the expanded panels for the albums in each album group, each below the previous one. The expanded panel settings dialog could be expanded to include settings for how the individual albums in each album group should be sorted, and that could just be a few drop-down selections to select tag fields to sort by. Default sorting could be done by date which would work for multiple releases of the same album, box sets that contain multiple albums, and series in which annual volumes are released.

Since this type of album grouping would only work inside MB anyway, there is no need to store anything in the metadata. It could all be stored in the library file. It wouldn't matter if users tagged using MusicBrainz, Discogs, or if they don't even edit tags at all after they download their purchases.

Here is how it would look:


I really like this idea and +1 it, as long as the MusicBrainz concept of ReleaseGroups via their "release group id"-Tag is taken into account (or for Discogs, their "Master" concept)

What I mean is, if MB would support the MusicBrainz "TXXX/MusicBrainz Release Group Id" tag then if it is present it could be used as a default grouping for this new album grouping feature.

Right now I'm struggling how to achieve the same output in MB for my different bootlegs which show up nicely in MusicBrainz via the ReleaseGroup concept, see for example https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/ff5df644-962d-32b4-ab56-e86554a1552a


Zak

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has anything been added yet  to help with boxsets ? 
Not the way it's been requested in this old thread, but you might find some useful ideas here:

https://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=29674.0
Bee excellent to each other...

Cerberus1972

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I know this is a dead topic at this point, but I didn't know if I should create a new wishlist request when my idea is just a variation on this one. The image that CritterMan created to illustrate his idea is something I've been wanting for a long time, and given how many requests and complaints I've come across here over the years that would be solved by this feature, I can't believe this didn't gain more +1s at the time. What I would like to propose is a much simpler method for achieving the same result. Theoretically it should be far easier for Steven to implement, which hopefully means a better chance of him finding it worth the effort. Unfortunately, it will also mean far more effort for Musicbee users to take advantage of it, and so less likely for anyone to +1 the idea. Oh well.

My idea is this. Instead of basing the multiple expanded panels on album sets or release groups, a concept which is currently not supported in Musicbee so far as I know, perhaps it could be based solely on disc numbers. The previous ideas here would be far more elegant and user friendly, but I'm guessing they would also require a lot more time and effort for Steven to implement. In this case, albums with no disc numbers or tagged as disc one would not change. Tracks tagged as disc 2 would appear in the second expanded panel, tracks tagged as disc 3 would be in the third panel, etc. Obviously, this would have to be an optional feature, turned off by default.

Hopefully it wouldn't be too difficult to allow each panel to display different cover art, album titles, years, etc. I imagine the only way to realistically do that would be having tracks grouped to an album by folder in the Sorting/Grouping screen of Preferences and having all tracks you want grouped together in the same folder. If I'm right, then anyone who has different releases of the same album in separate folders, or the discs of a box set organized in sub folders, would have to completely reorganize their files. I know that would be a deal breaker for many people, but I for one think the result would be worth the many, many hours I would need to devote to making the necessary changes.

Anyway, assuming anyone even reads this post, I'm sure someone smarter than me will reveal the fatal flaw I've overlooked with this idea, but for now I can dream. If no one was interested in the far better ideas mentioned above, I know the chances of this one catching on are between slim and none, leaning heavily toward none, but I thought I would try. Thanks.

hiccup

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I know this is a dead topic at this point, but I didn't know if I should create a new wishlist request when my idea is just a variation on this one. The image that CritterMan created to illustrate his idea is something I've been wanting for a long time, ...

Welcome to the forum Cerberus1972
This is the same mockup again, but now in relation to MusicBee in fullscreen on a full-hd monitor:



In words: this doesn't seem a realistic idea to me.
 

Cerberus1972

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Hi hiccup, and thanks for the welcome. Thank you very much for all of your work on the enhanced genre hierarchy, by the way. I was always reluctant to go down the genre rabbit hole, but after finding your enhanced hierarchy I decided to take the plunge. Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Based on your image I would have to agree with you, but I've created some images that put it in a slightly more realistic perspective, I think. I hope, anyway.

This one shows my entire MusicBee screen in 1080p with a two disc album as it normally looks:


This second image shows what I think it will look like with CritterMan's stackable expanded panels:


In this case, the difference in size between the single panel and the double panel is fairly minimal, only cutting off the last couple of tracks in each column. The more panels you add, especially if you have panels with only one or two tracks as in the previous example, the bigger the difference in size and the more scrolling you have to do to see all of the tracks. With large box sets with large quantities of discs, you already have to do some scrolling, and while this will make it worse, I don't think the difference will be big enough to completely dismiss the idea based on that alone. Maybe there are other flaws in this idea that I'm not seeing yet, but I still really like it.

I don't expect to change your mind, and even if I did it won't change the fact that this request is unlikely to ever be implemented. I know that, and I am at peace with that. I just love the idea and thought I would put it out there for the one in a million chance it has of succeeding.