Author Topic: Playing Tracks Panel - Display Problem with Various Artist Albums  (Read 623 times)

therealjoeblow

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I have my "Playing Tracks" panel configured to show "Artists and Tracks".  For albums with a single artist, the panel correctly displays a header with the album art and album information, and then the tracks below it, as expected:



However, when adding a "Various Artists" compilation type album, it now puts every single song in its own container with the album art and album/artist information, separated by artists and no longer groups the tracks by "Ablum and Tracks" as expected from the setting:



As I said, despite the setting being "Albums and Tracks" which I would expect to still group under the album despite there being various artists, as the setting "Album and Tracks" has literally nothing to do with "Artists":



Is there a setting that I am missing after having combed through them and trying to change dozens of them off and on etc to try and fix this?  Or is this a programming error not respecting the "Album and Tracks" grouping setting?

Thanks
TRJB

phred

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Make sure that in the Album Artist tag (in the Tag Editor) has a value. Use something like "Various Artists." MB treats the artist as the album artist if the album artist tag is empty. Which is why you're seeing each artist as their own album.
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therealjoeblow

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Make sure that in the Album Artist tag (in the Tag Editor) has a value. Use something like "Various Artists." MB treats the artist as the album artist if the album artist tag is empty. Which is why you're seeing each artist as their own album.
Ok, well I tried and that does work, however it's a bit misleading and "clunky" as the option is "Album and Tracks" not "Album Artist and Tracks"; and I have never used "Album Artist" in any of my 10's of thousands of tags.  It's always just Artist. And Album.. Independently.

So instead of having to go and retag this plethora of files, would it not be better if MusicBee offered an option to ignore the Album Artist and just properly group the "Playing Tracks" by "Album and Track" as the name of the option implies?  Seems like an error in the programming and backwards to require the user to retag the music just for the option to work correctly.  I mean maybe there are some cases where you might want to have the list show 30 or 40 tracks independently in a grouped list with huge duplicate copies of the album art for each one, but I can't really see where or why.  There is the "Track with Thumbnail" option that already accomplishes that.  It would seem the real purpose of the "Album and Track" option is to properly group by album with only one copy of the artwork and album info.  And it isn't doing that consistently.

Thanks
TRJB
Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 10:32:50 PM by therealjoeblow

phred

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Ok, well I tried and that does work, however it's a bit misleading and "clunky" as the option is "Album and Tracks" not "Album Artist and Tracks"; and I have never used "Album Artist" in any of my 10's of thousands of tags.  It's always just Artist. And Album.. Independently.
It's not at all clunky. It's by design. Understand that MB is a music manager first and a music player second. In order to properly manage a user's music library, Album Artist is a necessary tag.  

How many of your tens of thousands of tags are compilation albums? If you don't use Album Artist with compilations, you'll experience exactly what you're seeing - each artist is considered it's own album.

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So instead of having to go and retag this plethora of files, would it not be better if MusicBee offered an option to ignore the Album Artist and just properly group the "Playing Tracks" by "Album and Track" as the name of the option implies?  
"Albums and Tracks" is a view. MB does not know that sixteen different artists are part of one album unless there is an Album Artist (such as Various Artists.)

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Seems like an error in the programming and backwards to require the user to retag the music just for the option to work correctly.
It is not an error is programming and nothing is requiring you to retag if you don't want to. But if you want MB to work correctly, then yes, you need to retag. You can do many albums at once. Select your compilation albums, open the tag editor, and type "Various Artists' in the Album Artist field and you're done. I do suggest that you test it with a few albums first.  But you already have tried it and said that it works.

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It would seem the real purpose of the "Album and Track" option is to properly group by album with only one copy of the artwork and album info.  And it isn't doing that consistently.
It certainly does it consistently if you tag it properly. Which you don't seem to want to do.

You should take a look at the Sorting/Grouping preferences and play around with the option  for "the following fields define an album." You'll notice that Album Artist is fixed as the first field.
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hiccup

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Ok, well I tried and that does work, however it's a bit misleading and "clunky" as the option is "Album and Tracks" not "Album Artist and Tracks"; and I have never used "Album Artist" in any of my 10's of thousands of tags.  It's always just Artist. And Album.. Independently.
In the non-physical digital domain, the concept of what constitutes an album will need to be specified, and the most common and sensible way to do that is to group tracks that have the same 'album artist' and the same 'album' title.
There is nothing misleading here.
Only using album title and artist doesn't make much sense for that.

You can check and edit: Preferences > Sorting/Grouping > Grouping if you have some personal and non-standard preferences about the concept of 'album'.
Perhaps you prefer to use the option to not use tags but the folder instead.

edit:
and what phred said, which if I had read before me pressing 'post' I wouldn't have pressed 'post' ;-)
Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 11:08:41 PM by hiccup

The Incredible Boom Boom

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If you check "detect iTunes compilations" at the bottom of the Sorting/Grouping panel in Preferences, all you'll have to do is Select All your compilation albums, go to the Tag Editor -> Settings and change the "iTunes compilation" dropdown to "Yes."

Your <Album Artist> tags will be left blank (or whatever you have it), but MB will see these albums as a whole internally.

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It would seem the real purpose of the "Album and Track" option is to properly group by album with only one copy of the artwork and album info.  And it isn't doing that consistently.

How is MusicBee, or any program for that matter, supposed to know what you consider an "album?"
If the developer were to change the program to accommodate your and only your perspective of what an album should be, does that mean I have to stay stuck on a previous version, because your insistence on your way of thinking would break how I have albums grouped?

By definition, a musical "album" consists of tracks by either one or several performing artists. Would you care to explain how a series of 1s and 0s is supposed to auto-detect which of several tracks distinguish album from another without the assistance of some way of associating them together?
Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 11:57:56 PM by The Incredible Boom Boom