Author Topic: Compilation albums are being inconsistently split into multiple albums  (Read 271 times)


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Hi there, I've been reading through the forum posts, the Wiki, the FAQs on this particular issue and double checking that I'm doing what folks have been suggesting to address this issue, but I'm still seeing this occur in about 10 compilation albums in my library.

As you can see here in the screenshot, I am using the "Various artists" as my album artist tag value to group all of my compilations. So this does get them in the right area for the vast majority of my compilations (and I have many). In this example, a single track appears on its own. I have other examples where it's multiple tracks.


My grouping/sorting options are as follows:
Grouping - Albums and Tracks
Sorting - Album Artist / Year / Album

One common way that albums appear to get split from reading other forum posts is that there is a slight difference in the tags between the tracks, resulting in the split.

When I look at the tags in mp3Tag, the main ones that seem to be the culprits are consistent between the offending track and others, namely the album, album artist, disc number are all consistent.

In the MusicBee view, it does have a different genre value between the two entries, but there's a mixture of genres when you look on the grouped tracks and their tags, so that doesn't seem to be what's still splitting them.

Just so it's there, this is what I have in my Sorting/grouping preferences for MusicBee. I'm keeping it simple, just using Album Artist to group and just in case, detecting iTunes compilations... but I am consistently using the Album Artist field, so that shouldn't make a difference.

Any ideas of what I might try next?


  • Sr. Member
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Hi black_rider88,

As you are sorting by Album Artist / Year / Album, my guess is that there is a difference in the <Year> data which is causing your albums to split. The <Album Artist> and <Album> fields look identical but the displayed value for <Year> can be a little more complex due to the ways different file formats store the data in their tags.

Right click on the stray track and select Edit - check the data stored in the <Year> field
Repeat with one (or more) of the tracks that are grouped and compare.


  • Newbie
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I would have thought it was something to do with the <Year> tag too, some sources include the month and day so it ends up as 2024-05-14 instead of just 2024. Also might be worth checking the <Original Year> tag, I don't think MB does but I'm sure there are some players that override the standard 'year' if that has a value.

Otherwise, if you select all that albums' tracks in MB and open the track editor, any fields that have more than one value will have a dropdown box instead of the name displayed. Hopefully one stands out where you know they should all be identical (and do check the Tags (2) tab for some less used).


  • Full Member
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Sometimes all it takes is a leading or trailing space in the year. Or it could be the month/day/time info is just slightly different.

If you highlight all tracks and update the year to the exact same 4-digits this will likely fix the issue.

While many editors will allow extended use of the Year field, the id3 spec is only the 4-digit year.


  • Newbie
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Thank you so much!

Although in mp3tag, the years seemed to be consistent... when I went into MusicBee's tags directly, there was a mixture of tracks that have "YYYY" for their year tag, and ones that had "YYY-MM-DD"... which was the culprit for splitting those albums.

So once I rescanned all files, closed MusicBee and reopened it... the tracks grouped as expected.


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Side note for future posters...

This is how you ask a question.
A clear, considered description of the issue being experienced, with screenshots of all the relevant settings dialogs that help to immediately rule out the most common causes.  8)

Result: Three concise and accurate (and polite) descriptions of the cause and solution with a few hours.

Anyone who thinks they will get the same satisfaction after posting "MusicBee sucks ballz and destroyed all of my music after I clicked a thing and it warned me not to and I told it to do it anyway then it did something wrong that I didn't really pay attention to and can't describe now and I won't post a screenshot because too hard and the billion developers working at MusicBee Inc. should all be fired."...

Think again.
Bee excellent to each other...