Author Topic: Multiple album artists & publishers  (Read 5631 times)

Boll Weevil

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Hi!
I understand this thread is nearly 10 years old, but I think it is still actual.
I'm a newbie here. I began to use Musicbee about half a year ago as a part of my many years search for the best audio catalogizer. At first it scared me with its "customize it everywhere" and I nearly forgot about it for a while, checking it from time to time in thoughts of how I can use all these customizations to get closer to what I want my media library look like.
And then I discovered that I can teach this program to work with such barely used by regular music lovers tag fields as "Label" (aka "Publisher") and even much rare "Catalog Number" (aka "Cat. #", "Label number", "Release #" etc.). As for me these fields matter not less than "Album" or "Album Artist" for organizing my media library. And I'll try to explain why multiple Labels could and pretty often do exist for certain releases (or albums).
First of all, what to consider an Album? Generally, this is a bunch of grooves on a vinyl, or tracks on CD, or even a folder with files which you buy online and download. All these things have some in common: they all united under same title, issued simultaneously by certain company (Label or Publisher), and almost always have a picture that is called cover art or whatever. But at real it is more complex and in the same time very simple.
Let's see it on an example of legendary Johnny Cash album "At Folsom Prison" (1968)
https://www.discogs.com/Johnny-Cash-At-Folsom-Prison/master/27795
It came out in 1968 on Columbia label (which was official Johnny Cash label at the time) with catalog number CS 9639. And the same time it came out all around the world, but on different labels (eg, CBS 63308 in England). Was it another album? No, it still was Johnny Cash - "At Folsom Prison" (1968), just different release. But the official and what everyone consider "original" release of the album is the Columbia (US) 1968 release:
https://www.discogs.com/Johnny-Cash-At-Folsom-Prison/release/1287354
But there are more complicated situations. Today Columbia is a part of Sony Music Entertainment, but still operates under its own name, it keeps releasing and rereleasing albums under Columbia name. And this album in my example was rereleased several times, for example in 1999:
https://www.discogs.com/Johnny-Cash-At-Folsom-Prison/release/6528294
And if you look at the "Label" section, you'll see there two publishers. The one is Columbia, the second is Legacy - the latter is also a part of Sony Music Entertainment. And this certain release is a part of its catalog like it is a part of Columbia catalog either.
Exactly same way of categorization is used not only by Discogs, but also by another indisputable online music database MusicBrainz:
https://musicbrainz.org/release/09ef6117-9339-4bcf-b627-79a40d36255a - note two different publishers and same release number.
And there are plenty such albums and releases, some have 3 or even more publishers - usually these are labels that are famous divisions on their own in big music groups.
Popular audio tagging software such as Tag&Rename or TagScanner which I used to use for years save the label to "Publisher" field, and I think it would be great if we (OK, at least me))) could have an option to handle the multiple publishers.

hiccup

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Boll Weevil

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Yes, I use custom tags to get Catalog numbers. Musicbee don't handle it as a standart tag.
But I have no idea how custom tags can help me to split multiple Publishers like MB does with multiple Artists
Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 07:36:27 PM by Boll Weevil

hiccup

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But I have no idea how custom tags can help me to split multiple Publishers like MB does with multiple Artists

Create a custom tag Publishers ?

Boll Weevil

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Create a custom tag Publishers ?
Thank you, but that workaround is inacceptable. My media library includes 200000+ files and about 10000 albums. One thought that I have go through entire library and retag it gets me depressed. And the question is not how to do that, because I already know how. 10 years ago Steven said that it's no problem to implement handling of standard separator ";" in the "Publisher" field, he just didn't see the sense of that. But it is, and I tried to explain why it's critical for me and maybe useful for those music lovers who have several different releases of the albums. Some music managers handle multiple publishers, but they are not a half as flexible and useful as MB.
It handles multiple Artists, multiple Genres... So why not Publishers?

hiccup

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Create a custom tag Publishers ?
Thank you, but that workaround is inacceptable.

Contrary to MusicBee having Album Artist as a multiple tag, for Publisher I don't forsee problems if it was multiple.
Maybe others do though?

For as far as my solution being 'inacceptable' for you, it can be setup in only a couple of minutes:
Create a Publishers custom tag, and then copy the Publisher tag values to the Publishers tag.
Only your harddisk will be busy, not you…

And as an added benefit, the name of the new tag will cover it's content better.
Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 09:05:54 PM by hiccup

Boll Weevil

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Create a Publishers custom tag, and then copy the Publisher tag values to the Publishers tag.
And it would be just another useless tag that don't support multi values :) If you only knew how many hours I've spent in getting rid of completely nonsense tags (usually they start with iTunes_)

It seems that you don't understand exactly what I want handling multiple publishers for. That's my fault that I can't explain it clearly, but I'll try.
Forget about that Johnny Cash example.
Imagine that you have a plenty of albums with multiple genres, for example
Country;Rock & Roll (3)
Country;Ballad (3)
Ballad;Rock & Roll (3)
Ballad;Country (3)

Since MB handles multi genre tag, your Library Explorer will show you a tree with such branches:
Ballad (9)
Country (9)
Rock & Roll (6)

You agree, it's nice and tidy. And then imagine, what would be if MB didn't handle multi genre tag and your albums tagged by 3-5 genres in different combinations. It would be a total mess instead.
Exactly for these purposes I ask for multiple Publisher tag (call it publisher, label, imprint... whatever).

And back to the Johnny Cash Columbia/Legacy example.
I have a plenty albums in my library issued on Columbia;Legacy. There are some albums with Sony Mysic involved in addition to these two and thus the tag says "Columbia;Legacy;Sony Music" or "Sony Music;Columbia;Legacy".
Also, "Legacy Recordings" is often involved in reissuing of Elvis records, and then tag says "RCA;Legacy" or "Legacy;BMG" or something in various combinations.
And now imagine, what should I do when I want to explore my library for let's say Legacy releases. If MB could split multi publisher tag in the way it does to "Genre", it'd took a couple of mouseclicks. Now it reqiures a complex search through entire library. Or as workaround I should keep another program that I hate, but that can handle that certain tag in a way I need.

hiccup

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Create a Publishers custom tag, and then copy the Publisher tag values to the Publishers tag.
And it would be just another useless tag that don't support multi values :)

It seems that you don't understand exactly what I want handling multiple publishers for.

And it seems you haven't even tried my suggestion.

Boll Weevil

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Why are you so certain? I did on a test album. It even worked out after full rescan. But I said that this workaround is inacceptable. And it is not only because that it would take a lot of time. It would affect every file in the library, even those that shouldn't be treated in any way.
And btw, this is a "Wishlist" section, not "How to?" one. I appreciate your participation nevertheless. Thanks.
I just ask for a basic function. It is essential. It shouldn't demand such workaround efforts of user. At least, this function may be switched off by default in settings and those who REALLY need it and understand it and aware of misuse of it (if there is even possible to misuse such an unpopular tag) - could tick it and get what they want.

hiccup

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Why are you so certain? I did on a test album. It even worked out after full rescan. But I said that this workaround is inacceptable. And it is not only because that it would take a lot of time. It would affect every file in the library, even those that shouldn't be treated in any way.
And btw, this is a "Wishlist" section, not "How to?" one. I appreciate your participation nevertheless. Thanks.
I just ask for a basic function. It is essential. It shouldn't demand such workaround efforts of user. At least, this function may be switched off by default in settings and those who REALLY need it and understand it and aware of misuse of it (if there is even possible to misuse such an unpopular tag) - could tick it and get what they want.

One post earlier just said my solution wouldn't work.
And that I didn't understand.
Now you admit that it does work.
So I did understand?

You said the solution was unacceptable because of the amount of files in your library.
I explained it would take you only 1 or 2 minutes to setup.
MusicBee and your harddisk will do the rest.
And you will have a tag named <Publishers>  (note the plural?)

I am done trying to help here.

There is only one thing I can agree on with you: this is a wishlist thread.
Good luck.
Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 08:36:07 PM by hiccup

Boll Weevil

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Translation problems. English is not my native. I still hope Steven reads this section and can find some time to say "yes" or "no" or "maybe"

hiccup

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Translation problems. English is not my native.
It ain't mine either.
But "you don't seem to understand" and "your solution won't work" hardly seems problematic or ambiguous in translation.

Boll Weevil

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I don't want any whinging. By the way your hint about custom tag was pretty useful for a temporary solution WITHOUT retagging, although it slowed down performance and still is a workaround for a basic function

hiccup

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If no valid arguments against making it a multi-value tag come up I have no reasons to oppose the request.

How do you experience this performance slow down exactly?
Both 'known' and 'custom' tags will have to be read from the file.
I can't imagine how they would perform differently.

(there might be a difference if you have the custom tag set to 'save to MusicBee library', but then I am guessing it would be even faster)

Boll Weevil

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It's as simple as a pie. I implemented a virtual tag "Publishers" and further operate it as a standard. It seems working in my test library (yes, I'm still testing MB before I decide to acquire it to handle my entire library), it is about 30000 tracks. I noticed slight freezing while switching Library explorer to custom "Publishers" view. There's no such freezes when I switch to any standard Library Explorer view. Maybe it is because the tag is virtual and MB should calculate comething each time I switch to this certain custom mode. And I'm afraid that there could be some troubles handling by entire 200000+ and ever growing library