Author Topic: Any way to group Album Artists???  (Read 12714 times)

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Since the original poster seems to have gotten his layout and structure how he wanted, I'm going to jump into this thread with a couple of my own desires with regards to getting some little artist sorting issues resolved. I don't really like making new threads on forums if I can help it, and the discussion in this topic is close enough to what I'm trying to do that a brand new thread is unnecessary.

To begin, the structure of every track in my library is that the <Sort Artist> value is usually filled with the same value as the <Album Artist> tag. For example...
Nate Dogg <Album Artist>
Nate Dogg <Sort Artist>
G-Funk Classics, Volume 1 <Album>

For the entire album, the <Artist> tag is also entirely filled by Nate Dogg, so this is a perfect case scenario. I do not use the <Sort Artist> tag for "Last name, First name" information. (Yet - I haven't begun to move my entire classical library into MusicBee, so this might change.) Waaaay back in the day, when I first started seriously tagging my music collection, I put the soundtrack or score title in <Artist>, then moved them to <Album Artist> a little less back in the day, but still long ago. I moved the titles to <Sort Artist> and opened up <Album Artist> for me to associate my tags better with Last.fm for the future scrobbles.

Anyway, other than using <Sort Artist> "incorrectly," for what I'm doing, the tag works great except in one case - multiple artists. For example, my artist tags for the album "Together" from Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells are...
Marvin Gaye <Artist>
Mary Wells <Artist>
Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells <Album Artist>
Marvin Gaye <Sort Artist>
Mary Wells <Sort Artist>

The way this works for the most part is great, 'cause when I click "Mary Wells" on the main panel, I can see all her albums... plus the one she shares with Gaye, and this also works vice versa. However, this also has the unfortunate little side effect of each track in the album "Together" displaying twice whenever the entire library or "M" artists are displayed on the main panel (which, by the way is sorted by "Sort Artist.") When just "Mary Wells" or "Marvin Gaye" alone are selected, however, the number of tracks in all albums displays just fine. I've played around with different settings for about a week now to remedy this and so far... nothing.

The second little issue I'm trying to work around is on my "Soundtracks" panel, which I currently have sorted by Virtual Tag $Sort("("<Year>)) <Album> and grouped by "Sort Artist." What this displays is the following...
Marvel Cinematic Universe
(2008) Iron Man
(2008) The Incredible Hulk
(2010) Iron Man 2
...
...

What I want it to look like is this...
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Iron Man
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
...
...

Any thoughts or suggestions on achieving this? (EDIT: I'm trying to get this look in the Thumbnail Browser, where I don't have the option to use a Custom sorting method.)
Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 05:01:47 AM by The Incredible Boom Boom

boroda

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maybe you could use some invisible unicode characters (eg invisible multiplication, number of this char will define sorting) at the beginning of virtual tag instead of year?

Zak

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The second little issue I'm trying to work around is on my "Soundtracks" panel, which I currently have sorted by Virtual Tag $Sort("("<Year>)) <Album> and grouped by "Sort Artist." What this displays is the following...
Not sure I follow, but you don't have to display the tag you're sorting by. So you could sort by the virtual tag, but just show the normal <Album> value.

I've created a custom soundtrack view that does just this - with separate groups for Marvel, Star Wars, James Bond etc.
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The Incredible Boom Boom

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maybe you could use some invisible unicode characters (eg invisible multiplication, number of this char will define sorting) at the beginning of virtual tag instead of year?

🤔 This is something that could work. I've been reading a little bit about multiplying within regex and it doesn't appear feasible with MusicBee's flavor. It may be possible to implement this idea using mp3tag, however. Ideally, I could multiply the year by a zero-width unicode character and then $RxReplace the year with the result, but for now, what I'm thinking is (in MusicBee) $RxReplace "19" from 19xx with one zero-width character and "20" from 20xx with two zero-width characters. That's the easy part.

Next, I'd like to "multiply" the zero-width character by the first and second digits of the leftover number. So, for '98, I'd get nine zero-width characters attached to eight zero-width characters, for a total of eighteen zero-width characters if the century were the 1900s (19 == one zero-width char, 9 == ten zero-width chars, 8 = nine zero-width chars) which would likely sort out exactly how I envision.

If multiplication won't work in either MusicBee or mp3tag, I'll just have to manually add ten (the number zero in the tens place of the shortened year would need one zero-width char) conditional statements.

Quote
Not sure I follow, but you don't have to display the tag you're sorting by. So you could sort by the virtual tag, but just show the normal <Album> value.

Correct, however, that method is alphabetical and the release years of many albums contained within a group wouldn't follow the release year pattern. For example...
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
..
..
The Avengers (2012)
..

Those are the first three choices under the normal <Album> value.

Is there a way that you have yours sorted by album release year, or do you not mind them alphabetical?
Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 07:24:26 PM by The Incredible Boom Boom

boroda

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you can group tracks by album ('album and tracks' view) and sort tracks within album by *any* tag (eg. 'year').

Zak

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Is there a way that you have yours sorted by album release year, or do you not mind them alphabetical?
I've ended up using a custom tag because I want my grouped soundtracks (e.g. MCU, James Bond) to be chronological, but everything else to be alphabetical. So it sorts on that tag first, then album title. Found custom tag easier than virtual because you can put any value in it you like to get complete control over the ordering. (I use the same custom tag to sort classical music by opus/work number)

My reply was a suggestion for still sorting by year, but without displaying it in the title.
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The Incredible Boom Boom

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you can group tracks by album ('album and tracks' view) and sort tracks within album by *any* tag (eg. 'year').

I worked out a formula for months and years and added zero-width spaces to the front of the album title and it worked! I didn't play any tracks from them, however, until yesterday, when I discovered an album that had those spaces added wasn't scrobbling at all. I chalked it up to a bug and then tried again to play the same album today and then a different one from the same group, only to realize what was happening - the spaces are interfering with both MusicBee's ability to add them to the "Recently Played" playlist, as well as Last.fm's ability to read them.

I'm aware of the grouping options for the different main panel views, however, none of these apply to the Thumbnail Browser, which is where I'm trying to sort albums chronologically. In the Thumbnail Browser, I can list tracks by <Album>, but I'm only given one option between "Sort By" or "Group By," rather than the ability to use both.

Anyway, because the zero-width space blocks scrobbles...

Quote from: Zak
I've ended up using a custom tag because I want my grouped soundtracks (e.g. MCU, James Bond) to be chronological, but everything else to be alphabetical. So it sorts on that tag first, then album title.

Again, as above, sorting in the Thumbnail Browser is either "Sort By" "Count"/"Name"/"Year" or "Group By" all available tags. I can't figure out a way to apply both, if it is possible. If your custom tag doesn't display year or the sort method in front of the title, would you mind sharing the pattern?