Author Topic: List Various Artists releases with known Artists while sorting by Album Artist  (Read 663 times)

mav6771

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Hello everyone! I wanted to first say thank you for making and supporting this program. It fits absolutely perfectly how I setup my music and listening in native ways that took me hours and hours to setup on programs like foobar. I absolutely love the program and this community here!

I have been trying to think of a way to sort Various Artists albums that work with my collection for some time (since starting using the program actually), however it seems I don't have the mind for virtual tag creation and through plenty of searching in settings and layouts, I don't think this is something setup by default.

In Music Explorer, if you are sorting by "Artist", if that artist appears on a compilation album, it will appear as a separate section labeled as "Appears On". In the Music tab it's not a separate section, but those songs show up there as well.  

Is there any way to get these compilation albums tracks appear in any layout when sorting by Album Artist? I have many compilation albums with 1 song by 1 artist that never made anything else, so if I just set my sorting by artist, the list grows 4x and is full of names I don't know or care about with 1 - 2 songs.

The way I tried to lay it out in my head to make the virtual tag is:

for a song where the album artist is various artists, If release count of (count releases by album artist) is more than 1, replace album artist with artist.

I would love to keep sorting by album artist, and have it so that if a compilation album also includes a song with them as the artist, show it as well.  

My current solution to this is copying the individual songs in the same format, folder structure, etc. in the artist folder then just editing the tags to replace the album artist, not elegant, but how I always did it with foobar too.

One thing that may / may not affect this is my collection is a big collection of various sources, so while most of my CD rips have only an artist tagged and album artist blank, most things obtained digitally (through online shops like ototoy or bandcamp) have both artist and album artist the same. I wasn't sure it this would affect anything.

Some screenshots to show it off, these are taken in Music Explorer, but during actual use I use the music tab, sorted by album artist, using the Album and Tracks layout.

Sort by artist:



Sort by album artist:



Thank you all for the help always! I haven't posted here before but I've found plenty of extremely useful resources here

mav6771

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Hello, Somehow while very sleep deprived I found a way to do this that works for me, and it was much simpler than anything I had tried before.

1. Create a custom tag (that doesn't modify the file, just saves to MB database), I called mine VAArtist.
2. Create a virtual tag that if VAArtist is Null, replace VAArtist with Album Artist.

SortVAArtist = $Sort($IsNull(<VAArtist>,<Album Artist>,<VAArtist>))

3. Sort by the above tag. Any songs you want to show up under the album artist's sort, just add the artist name to the custom tag. Works well enough for me!

This is what it looks like!



Thank you!
Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 08:43:19 AM by mav6771

mav6771

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I also just figured out you can do ; in the custom tag to allow sorting in multiple locations! So on that custom tag you can do Artist;Various Artists and it will show up both in the album artist sort, AND in the various artists sort! If anyone knows if it's possible to do the "Ignore words" when sorting by a custom tag, this would be literally perfect for my needs! That's just a nice to have though, this is literally exactly what I've been trying to setup since december 2021 and just 1 manual action! I hope this helps someone in the future!

Edit: Easiest solution, Just wrap the whole thing in $Sort! It moves the word "The" to the end of the tag, but works for me typing like I usually to to get to the artist I'm looking for!

SortVAArtist = $Sort($IsNull(<VAArtist>,<Album Artist>,<VAArtist>))
Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 08:42:55 AM by mav6771

Acoustics

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Hi,

Instead of using a custom tag that you have to fill in with the artist name, maybe you could directly create a virtual tag that would do the work for you.

The formula for the virtual tag would output the artist name, but only if this artist has already an album, or more N tracks in the library (you can use the $Count function for that).

Then you sort by this virtual tag.

mav6771

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Hi,

Instead of using a custom tag that you have to fill in with the artist name, maybe you could directly create a virtual tag that would do the work for you.

The formula for the virtual tag would output the artist name, but only if this artist has already an album, or more N tracks in the library (you can use the $Count function for that).

Then you sort by this virtual tag.


Hello!
I did actually try a few different times originally! But I don't have the knack for virtual tag syntax sadly. Because some compilation albums also feature the same artists (that I don't have any solo releases from), I tried to do it based of the release count of album artist, but for whatever reason couldn't make it work. I ended up with 13 different virtual tags worth of testing (I just counted because I just removed them all) Those last attempts were around 2 months ago at this point before I gave up on it.

With that, I'm pretty sure a virtual tag wouldn't allow the songs to also appear under the "Various Artists" page in the case I wanted to listen to a whole compilation album in a row (without some more fanciness I'm sure is possible). Agreed that a virtual tag (or combination of multiple) should be able to automate it, but unless some extremely generous soul wants to put it together, this manual method works for me!

Thank you!!

Acoustics

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I've just tried too with virtual tags only, with no luck. As now I don't see a better solution than your. But I'm not an expert.

With a virtual tag like this:

Code
$If($Count(<Artist>)>4,<Artist>")",)
we can remove the artists with just a few tracks (here less than 5) from the sorting lists (aka Column Browser or Music Explorer selection column), and the artist albums AND his tracks in compilations ("Appears On") appear as well.

(PS: I did not manage to make a formula that count the number of albums for an artist. That is, the number of albums for which an artist is the album artist. Sadly, in

Code
$Count(<album>, <album artist>)
it seems <album artist> can't be replaced by another field or expression)

But indeed in this case (the first formula) the Various Artists entry doesn't appear anymore in the sorting (filtering) list, because VA is an album artist and not an artist. I don't see how the two can be gathered with virtual tags only.

You have well explained in your post the dilemma than probably many MB users face:
If we sort by Artists, all the artists with only 1 or 2 titles (artists in compilation albums) will appear, making the list far too long and cluttered
If we sort by Album Artists, the tracks of the albums in which the artist appears but is not the album artist are not displayed

I do think that the program should offer a native option to sort by album artists AND display at the same time the "Appears On" tracks. Do-it-yourself solutions with custom and virtual tags are not 100% satisfactory in addition to being hard to find

Quote
this is literally exactly what I've been trying to setup since december 2021

I hope the discussion will continue with advanced MB users on this topic...
Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 03:25:34 PM by Acoustics