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.