Author Topic: REQUEST: 'Virtual Albums' within MB from Albums/Boxsets in Album Covers View  (Read 2407 times)


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In my prior Questions post, I had some shared interest in this. I will flesh out the details below.

I (as many others have) have Boxsets in our libraries. A very large amount of these Boxsets contain tracks of complete Albums/LPs that were released as such in their time of original release.

As fantastic and as marvelous the conception of the Boxset is, one outstanding caveat is the lack of ability to separate the tracks into their respective Albums/LPs and relish in the euphoria derived from procuring the most shinyiest, pristine, Highest dpi Jpeg image google images has to offer and embedding those beautiful pixels into symphonic files while wishing the cat writing this post will put down his thesaurus- which for the sake of my fellow members- I will now do so.

ID3 tags- although for %artist% do not allow ; separators to tag multiple albums- and I'm assuming most lossless formats don't include that either.

My solution: Virtual Albums

To put in laments terms,
to have a Virtual tag within MB when upon used, creates something similar to a playlist that looks exactly like an album, displays the tracks with all their details and Sub-Headers (minus %album%- or with an option to do so if you want to be able to keep track of the source album(s) of the Virtual albums)

You would be then able to Paste Artwork into the virtual album without embedding it into the actual files.

Or.. vice versa, create virtual albums of each Record Label or group- or whatever your 'boxset' consists of.

I , on a side note are am trying to choose a Id3 tag to designate as 'Record Label'- combine that with custom sorting- and the possibilities are endless.

Creating Virtual Albums:

Add a 'Virtual Album' window in Tags/(2) for inputting a virtual album name thus creating a Album Cover of that name with Virtual Album name and a blank thumbnail of which you can paste artwork into without embedding into the files.

-Way to drag/reorder tracks (still include subheader features)

Possible Caveats I'm aware of:

> Numbering

Pulling tracks from multiple albums will show oddly mixed track numbers, apart from that aesthetic disadvantage- songs added to virtual   albums will need to be added in your album preferred order manually similar to creating playlists

In a previous Post I have expressed my passionate wish for the ability to hide track numbers displayed down the left hand side and possibly display another tag in it's place as in my linked post above (while still being able maintain my love affair with "Display Columns as single list')

-virtual album tags for like Year that are treated just like actual tags etc so sorting groups can sort them together with the same manner as saved id3/other tags

>File Alterations

Would editing tags/file name contained in the music files break the ability for the Virtual album to locate the file- I assume filename/path and not tag changes would cause those issues.

>Backup And Restore

All Virtual Album configurations will need to be included if moving your config to another PC etc

> Distinguish Virtual Albums from Actual Albums

Some form of optional symbol/markers to help keep track of which Albums are virtual and those that are genuine %album%(s).

Please feel free to add to this in the comments- I may edit this with other additions aswell
Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 11:14:24 AM by johnmillsjr


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I stuffed around with .asx files for a while to achieve this before giving up and resorting to duplicate files for compilation albums etc.
So +1 to the general request for the reasons given, but not implemented as described.

Using special tags is a bit limiting:

* tracks on "virtual" albums could only have different values for tags that MusicBee knows to support. Supporting different years and track numbers is obvious, but what if I want a different mood tag for my compilation album? What if I have a custom tag that I want to use? This is likely, as people already use custom tags to differentiate between studio albums, live albums, compilations etc.
* uising separate tags implies that each real track can only appear on one virtual album at most. What if I want to create multiple compilation albums that have the same track on each? e.g. for different "Best of the 80s" type compilation albums.

Having albums defined only within the MusicBee database would work, but that would make it hard to maintain and backup and artwork still needs to live somewhere.

Using .asx files - a separate file that has its own tags but also contains a reference to the original file for playback - was actually not a bad way to do it, but it just wasn't reliable enough. Perhaps adding more robust support for those so they function identically to real tracks for tagging etc. would be a better all-round solution.

Bee excellent to each other...


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I'd even settle to be able to create playlist thumbnails, embed a cover to them, add a virtual year tag to them, and me able to combine them with Album Covers in a custom view.


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