On Metadata and Albums

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On Metadata and Albums

Post by SpinCycle » Tue May 01, 2018 3:00 pm

I have been DJing with MP3s since 2002 (MixMeister!), so I am pretty anal about tags and metadata. My tag editor of choice is Mp3tag (very nice tool). But I have learned over the years that the ID3 tag standard involves a lot of flexibility, including the ability to add your own custom tags, etc. So, moving music between products involves some unpredictability. Moreover, even if you use the standard tags, e.g., album, artist, album artist, title, etc., you cannot always predict how a music player will behave.

I have found this unpredictability even between the same product on different platforms, i.e., MediaMonkey on Windows v. MediaMonkey on Android. I use MM Gold on Windows, and MM Pro on Android


I have learned that many players will treat songs in the same album as being in different albums if the “album artist” in all the tracks is not identical--even though the “album” tag is identical. For example, if you have a compilation album, the artists can all be different in the “artist” tag, but you must make the “album artist” tag identical, such as “Various Artists” - OR you will wind up having a different album listed (each with the same name!) So, I’m careful to avoid this problem.

Nevertheless, in MMA, I will occasionally get multiple listings for a single album. When I do, I check the files and make sure (and often re-write) all the album, and album artist tags are identical. I even make sure the album art is identical. For some albums, the problem corrects after a few hours (is there some kind of caching of the database?), for others, it persists. And yes, I use “Check for new/changed media” under Options to force a library refresh.

Note: the albums that should list as one album do so properly in MM on Windows -- yet do NOT on MMA.

So, this is probably a question for the developers or someone really in the weeds on the details of how MMA handles tags in its database. Here are the questions:

1. What tags are used to determine whether n files are in the same album or not? Are any timestamp or other non-obvious tags used?
2. Is there a better way to force a complete scrub of the library?
3. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?


Jim (SpinCycle)
Jim Sowers

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Re: On Metadata and Albums

Post by Lowlander » Tue May 01, 2018 7:19 pm

Did you sync from MMW to MMA when you see this (you shouldn't) or did the files end up on the device using a different method? in that case you'd be relying on the Android Media Scanner which is probably why you see the discrepancies. For now direct MMW to MMA sync is recommended as MMW directly updates the MMA database with the correct information.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

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