Author Topic: Any way to group Album Artists???  (Read 12659 times)

musicmahn

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OK so the issue I currently have as a total newb is that I have all of these variations of a given Artist.
I've got Aphex Twin, his 30 aliases......I've got Bela Fleck, Bela and Abigail, Bela and The Flecktones..... and so on!
What I really prefer is to have all of this stuff grouped under one banner for each.

New to all of this, I first set up Plex to run my NAS.  For various reasons I'm trying to get away from it but there is one feature I do like that is a practical solution to what I ask above.  Plex allows me to put Album Artists into a "collection".  So now I have a collection for Aphex Twin and all of his aliases, I have a collection for Bela Fleck.  Since I want this list to include all of my music, I even have "collections" for artists that have never used a different name at all.  Bon Jovi collection is just Bon Jovi.

So far I've figured one way to achieve what I want in MB but it's not quite as ideal as that Plex feature.  What I did was take some albums and update the "sort artist" to what would be a "collection" in my plex setup.  So now I can have a list to the left that have all of my sort artists and clicking into that gives me all the iterations and aliases - everything grouped up like I prefer.  What makes this a lessor method than Plex however is that this one is linked to the albums themselves, and not the album artist like in Plex.  The effect of this is that with Plex once I set up a given Artist or iteration - I'll never need to link to the "collection" i designated again.  All incoming music with that Album Artist name will appear automatically in the bucket I desire.  With MB the way I am currently attempting, I'll forever need to check and likely update the Sort Artist to achieve this same result.  Much more work over the course of time and volume of music I collect :)

I think the main thing I'm asking here other than general solutions to what I present is....is there any way I can tag or designate an album artist in such a way as I can with Plex?  

Thanks for your time!

psychoadept

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Some screenshots of what you're currently doing would help. There are so many ways to configure MB that it's hard to give advice without seeing what you've got right now.

Off the top of my head, if you use Sort Album Artist instead of Sort Artist (and you have MusicBee's custom sorting enabled), then when you add more tracks with that album artist they should automatically be sorted for you.
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Pingaware

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As psychoadept says, some screenshots would help a lot.

Outside of that, the way I go about this problem is to use the Album Artist tag as the grouping tag and use the Artist track to denote the name as credited on the album. So for instance for Bruce Springsteen, all tracks have the album artist "Bruce Springsteen". But Born to Run has the artist "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band", Nebraska has just "Bruce Springsteen" and the Seeger Sessions has "Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band".
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musicmahn

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OK I will try to provide some images tonight.
That said it seems that both ideas being mentioned here tie back to album/track level which would require regular maintenance even if the music was tagged properly by any other standard.  What I'm getting at is the ability to create a tag/delineation of sorts at the Album Artist level.  This way I would be making the rule only once -->  Any time MB sees Album Artist "Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band" it automatically knows to put it in the "Bruce" bucket....or perhaps I would call it the "NJ Jams" bucket.  With this there wouldn't be an ongoing effort of adding a new tag to every release I am adding

frankz

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OK I will try to provide some images tonight.
That said it seems that both ideas being mentioned here tie back to album/track level which would require regular maintenance even if the music was tagged properly by any other standard.  What I'm getting at is the ability to create a tag/delineation of sorts at the Album Artist level.  This way I would be making the rule only once -->  Any time MB sees Album Artist "Bruce Springsteen with the Sessions Band" it automatically knows to put it in the "Bruce" bucket....or perhaps I would call it the "NJ Jams" bucket.  With this there wouldn't be an ongoing effort of adding a new tag to every release I am adding
Some screenshots of what you're currently doing would help. There are so many ways to configure MB that it's hard to give advice without seeing what you've got right now.

Off the top of my head, if you use Sort Album Artist instead of Sort Artist (and you have MusicBee's custom sorting enabled), then when you add more tracks with that album artist they should automatically be sorted for you.
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musicmahn

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I did catch that line but it seems that what is being suggested is updating the tags for all incoming music which is what I'm trying to avoid if possible.  Incoming music aside I have about 2 TB of music that would need tag updating just to get the existing collection sorted.  All said the music I'm bringing in is tagged to standard and shouldn't need further work.
Or maybe I'm just not understanding what you mean?
I will post my Plex setup tonight but here is what I did with MB:



So just to exaggerate my point i made a "collection" as you would call it in Plex by changing the sort album artist for that Doors album and I named it Sting.  I can put Bon Jovi in that Sting bucket, more Doors, Sting albums etc.  Nice of MB to pickup an artist image for me :)  So that shows me I can ultimately do what I want except it's going to require me to add this "sting" sort album artist tag for each and every Doors (Bon Jovi, Sting etc) track I acquire.  And since I'll need an entry for every Artist bucket I'm creating (in order to have it show on the list to the left) this means I'll be having to mind the sort artist tag on 100% of my incoming music.  Considering the volume I manage it's just a good chunk of work for something that Plex is offering as a one-and-done task for every Album Artist.  Once I tell Plex that Album Artist Doors = "Sting" collection - I'll never have to worry about another incoming Doors release along these lines.

Sorry if I'm adding confusion here - I know exactly what I want and even though it seems so basic in my head I obviously struggle to explain it!
Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 07:37:00 PM by musicmahn

psychoadept

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I did catch that line but it seems that what is being suggested is updating the tags for all incoming music which is what I'm trying to avoid if possible.

We get that. MusicBee's custom sorting algorithm applies the sort value you assign to ALL instances of that Artist/Album Artist/Composer, even new ones. The only issue might be if new files are tagged with sort tags, which could override the values you've set in MusicBee.

However, there is another solution, which is even hackier but might work if you don't care about genres. MusicBee allows you to group genres into genre categories, which you can define in Tags (2). So if you wanted to override those with your artist categories, and copy album artist into genre (which you can do en mass with the Additional Tagging Tools Plugin), then MusicBee will group them in Genre Category for you.
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musicmahn

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Hmmm...so are you saying that what I have already done could work??  Unless sorting tags are already present in the incoming media, that much makes sense.
To be sure I understand - the fact that I edited this "at the album level" will translate into a permanent translation of The Doors Album Artist --> Sting Sort Album Artist?
This is what I currently have:


Is this close to correct? 
I only want the album artist to sort however - as there are times a given Artist may appear on a release from a different album artist (so what I mean is I would want it to stick with the album artist routing in all cases).   What is the deal with the checkmarks and why does the "artist sort by" auto populate itself with what I entered as the "album artist sort by"??  I suppose the latter won't matter much if my main method of browsing will be with album artists lumped into sort artist groups?


The 2nd suggestion you speak of I'm having trouble wrapping my head around.  I definitely don't care about genre tags or grouping at all.
Are you saying that using my example I would have a genre category of "Sting" and would edit the Doors album so that it is the "Sting genre" and thus every Album Artist Doors release will point to this genre (and thus genre category) going forward?  Is there any limit to the number of these genres I could create?  I would need 100s that's for sure.


If my understanding of your first suggestion is correct then I guess I'm accomplishing the same feat in both instances?  After some initial work of getting the album artists properly linked - from that point i'll be able to navigate the buckets I wish to see at the left and all new incoming releases will automatically hit the right buckets.....unless it's a new album artist that has never been linked to a defined sort artist in the past.  If they both accomplish the same result I think I would rather stick with "sort album artist" this way in most cases I can get a relevant picture in that list to the left.  I won't be keeping The Doors in a Sting bucket but I would have something like Sting albums sitting in the "The Police" bucket....and then I would have a pretty picture of the band for that line.



Thanks so much for taking the time to help me - I can't say how much all of this affects my emotions and being :)



psychoadept

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There's a lot going on in your post and I'm not sure if I've caught so if it, but I think basically yes.

Actually, i realized that using Sort Artist or Sort Album Artist makes no difference. MusicBee sees them the same. And composers, unless you've specified a separate Composer sure value.

Just be aware this could have unintended consequences, because it will affect sorting just about everywhere, such as the column browser. Play with it and see. Because all instances of an artist are affected, it's easy to undo by clearing all your sort tags at once.

You might ultimately be better off with the genre solution, which is more limited in scope. You'd have to set something up with the plug-in to automatically, or at least quickly, copy all your Album Artist values into Genre. But then in the genre categories you could just enter something like Sting: The Doors and the rest happens automatically. Just to be clear, your GENRE would be the same as your album artist. The category is set in preferences.
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musicmahn

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Ok for posterity sake here is what i have in plex:


On the top image you can see my FSOL bucket which includes Future Sound of London and a bunch of random remixes they've done.  I would never want to see those artists anywhere else, as the driving factor for owning them is precisely FSOL :)  Humanoid is an alias of FSOL they are in there.  Any time I add another Humanoid release it will automatically go to this bucket.  The 2nd image shows how i can pull up my "collections".  Less than ideal that it's a drop down and even worse the way it's handled on Android.  Just cumbersome and clunky.


So I played around more last night and the Sort Artist route seems like it could work out.  What kind of pitfalls can you fathom?  I'm trying to think as far ahead as possible and why this or the genre route might cause a real problem at some point.

I suppose it would be nice to tweak my 2nd pane in such a way that I can see the actual album artists under a given sort artist category. So like you see in plex under the FSOL heading there are a bunch of album artists - some of which have more than one album.  I can click into Humanoid and see the various releases under that Album Artist.
Here is my Steve Roach bucket with a bunch of stuff mapped weird as a test:

This is good - I see the true album artist names.  Would be nice though if instead of each album I could see each Album Artist (which could be clicked into to see the albums).  When I change that 2nd field to "Artist"....all I'm getting is Steve Roach and the albums below appear as if he is the true Album Artist (which as we saw in the last screen isn't the case):

Ok so as I'm creating this post I guess I do see a potential problem.  As you stated earlier it seems that for the most part Album Artist/Artist follow the same sorting rules once set?  Like I don't seem able to make "Album Artist Marshmello = Steve Roach" AND "Artist Marshmello = Marshmello"

Maybe genre is the way to go afterall. How do I go about creating a custom genre in Tags2??  Also is there a limited number of these I can create??  I would need 100s.  And this genre route would essentially say "any time you see incoming album artist Bon Jovi - put this into the "Bon Jovi genre"?
Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 07:55:07 PM by musicmahn

psychoadept

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Maybe genre is the way to go afterall. How do I go about creating a custom genre in Tags2??  Also is there a limited number of these I can create??  I would need 100s.  And this genre route would essentially say "any time you see incoming album artist Bon Jovi - put this into the "Bon Jovi genre"?

Look at the group genres settings in preferences to see how it works. There's no limit to how many you can have. Just clear out what's there and make your own.
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musicmahn

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took a look there and saw were i could delete/create all new genres.  i don't see how there would be a permanent link between album artist and genre though?
I created a genre "ok then" and linked one of the marshmello releases to it - yet the other marshmello release didn't move with it and i didn't see a chance to click "update" to get it to move per the new rule i set.



that said maybe it's not a problem for me where artists are mapped, as long as the album artists are.  still trying to coax the sort album artist to my liking i have something close (and better) to what plex was doing:


Now when I go into each bucket (steve roach and sting) I can see the included albums broken out by their true album artists. 
Question is how does this play out when I add another 800 gigs :)

side questions as i continue to dig -
-Where can I change the font for the album artists in the middle panel?  that bright bold blue has to go!
-That said I would like to explore other skins/themes etc. - to keep the panels set as i have them I can only use other variations of dark fine tuned eh?
-Would I be able to transfer settings info easily from PC to Tablet in the future?  Like I would much prefer to do the maintenance work at my desk with full screen etc but ultimately i need to see all those results on the tablet where I'll actually be enjoying all of this.  Are there certain files I could copy/paste over?  Does having the "portable" version solve this in that I could just copy this whole folder over to the tablet and that's that?  Perhaps another copy/paste/overwrite any time I wanted to update the tablet from the PC setup?
-I believe all the messing around I've been doing is only affecting the MB database correct?  Is there more than one checkbox I need to worry about in terms of MB editing the actual tags in the files?


Thanks for keeping with me I extend to you a digital hug!
Really means so much to me all of this - playing with my music collection is like playing with my emotions  :)




psychoadept

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It's hard to tell everything that' going on from your screenshots, but I don't see that you have Genre CATEGORY displayed anywhere. That will be your "buckets", not genre. For this to work, you have to copy your album artist to genre. Changing the genre will certainly affect your files, but the genre category will not.

Can you post your genre category window so we can see if you're linking them correctly?


Regarding skins, changing skins will not change your layout.

Regarding transferring settings, see the Library Backup function, and the Backup & Restore page on the wiki.
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musicmahn

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Genre category i need to look at closer - what I did last week was only messing with the genres.  Hard to understand what the difference between the two is really.

So I added a little more music to see how MB would react and I'm scratching my head as to why these Steve Roach albums are not being grouped together.
Middle panel is album art > grouped by Album Artist.  Both the one at the bottom and the two at the top both show Steve Roach Album Artist and Artist.
Any clue as to why this is happening??




deraudrl

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So I added a little more music to see how MB would react and I'm scratching my head as to why these Steve Roach albums are not being grouped together.
Middle panel is album art > grouped by Album Artist.  Both the one at the bottom and the two at the top both show Steve Roach Album Artist and Artist.
Any clue as to why this is happening??
It looks like it may be doing what you wanted, i.e. all the "Steve Roach-ish" artists grouped together. The question then becomes, how does it sort that group? IIRC it defaults to album title...I use year to get them in what I think is the "correct" order, don't recall offhand what the other options are. With some artists, you may get some odd sequences, especially for people (e.g. Phil Collins) who alternate solo and group albums.