Multiple Artists, ';' separator, etc. - discussion

Discussion about anything that might be of interest to MediaMonkey users.

Moderator: Gurus

jiri
Posts: 5395
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Czech Republic
Contact:

Multiple Artists, ';' separator, etc. - discussion

Post by jiri » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:01 am

There have recently been several posts regarding how MM handles multiple artists. I rather started a new thread, so that all the relevant information is present here.

Storage in tags:
There was really a bug in MM, these fields weren't stored according to ID3v2.3 standard. It specifies that '/' should be used as a separator and so it will be in the next release of MM. No matter how silly this is, it's a standard and so we will use it. Btw, 'AC/DC' will be handled as an exception, so that it isn't separated to 'AC; DC'. WMP does apparently the same.

As far as I know, there isn't any other problem in MM in other formats (WMA, OGG, etc.)

Presentation in MM:
Currently these fields are separated by '; ', which I think isn't a bad choice. Note that '/' from ID3v2.3 specification is meant for data storage purpose, there isn't anything specifying that it should be used also for presentation.

Besides ';' usage, there's probably still a place for improvements, e.g. accepting also other characters, like '&' or '/', maybe also parse 'vs.' and 'feat.'. Feel free to discuss these here.

Jiri

spacefish
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:21 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Multiple Artists, ';' separator, etc. - discussion

Post by spacefish » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:19 am

jiri wrote:There was really a bug in MM, these fields weren't stored according to ID3v2.3 standard. It specifies that '/' should be used as a separator and so it will be in the next release of MM. No matter how silly this is, it's a standard and so we will use it. Btw, 'AC/DC' will be handled as an exception, so that it isn't separated to 'AC; DC'. WMP does apparently the same.
Great news indeed!
Presentation in MM:
Currently these fields are separated by '; ', which I think isn't a bad choice. Note that '/' from ID3v2.3 specification is meant for data storage purpose, there isn't anything specifying that it should be used also for presentation.

Besides ';' usage, there's probably still a place for improvements, e.g. accepting also other characters, like '&' or '/', maybe also parse 'vs.' and 'feat.'. Feel free to discuss these here.
Ooooh. I'll get back to this one. :o :D
Image
MM Gold 3.0.3.1183 : Vista HP SP1 (x86) : Zen Stone (2GB)
Zekton: An original MM3 skin by Eyal.
Scripts in Use: Add/Remove PlayStat | Auto Album DJ | AutoRateAccurate | Backup
Case & Leading Zero Fixer | Classification & Genre Changer | Clean Scripts.ini | Clear
Field | Custom Report | Discogs Auto-Tag Web Search | Forget Crossfade | Invert
Selection/Select None | Last 100... | Lyricator | Lyrics to Instrumental | MonkeyRok
MusicBrainz Tagger | My Custom Nodes | Now Playing Art Node | Play History & Stats
Right Click for Reports | Right Click for Scripts | Right Click for Web | Stop After Current
WebNodes

Bex
Posts: 6316
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 5:44 am
Location: Sweden

Post by Bex » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:23 pm

Besides ';' usage, there's probably still a place for improvements, e.g. accepting also other characters, like '&' or '/', maybe also parse 'vs.' and 'feat.'. Feel free to discuss these here.
Yes this is the only reason I don't use the multiple Artist feature in MM.
To me it's very important that all: and, &, pres. vs. feat. etc.. remains exactly as it is on the medium it comes from. I would love to see a change here so that dividers can be configurable. But there must be room for making exceptions. See the artist: à;GRUMH
Advanced Duplicate Find & Fix Find More From Same - Custom Search. | Transfer PlayStat & Copy-Paste Tags/AlbumArt between any tracks.
Tagging Inconsistencies Do you think you have your tags in order? Think again...
Play History & Stats Node Like having your Last-FM account stored locally, but more advanced.
Case & Leading Zero Fixer Works on filenames too!

All My Scripts

Teknojnky
Posts: 5533
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:01 pm
Contact:

Post by Teknojnky » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:07 pm

I would suggest that the 'presentation' separater be user configurable.

If you do not want to make it too easy, make it an INI setting.

Personally, I would use | the 'pipe' character to be my visual separator.

There is also the secondary issue, which I was mentioned in a previous thread:

Adding of a space character inbetween the multi-artists.

While I can somewhat agree it reads better with a space after the semi-colon, it also messes up the display of the aforementioned à;GRUMH... artist.

What to do about that? I don't really know.

If the separator was user configurable, I could simply choose a different separator.

Another thought is, perhaps there should be some type of 'escape' code to tell MM not to split this character, it is a literal character part of the artist name.

IE

à;;GRUMH...

would be stored and displayed as à;GRUMH... but in the edit field it would show the double semi-colons.

A final idea, and I don't know if this acceptable according to the tag specifications, but instead of combining multiple fields in to a single tag, you have multiple instances of a tag and then display them as one.

In other words,

artist tag: à;GRUMH...
artist tag: AC/DC

would display as
à;GRUMH.../ AC/DC or à;GRUMH...; AC/DC

Having a single artist in each field instance would obliviate tag problems (assuming other applications also supported it) and then the only issue is how to display both artists (perferably with a user configurable separator).

grommet
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:01 pm

Post by grommet » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:27 pm

Teknojnky wrote: A final idea, and I don't know if this acceptable according to the tag specifications, but instead of combining multiple fields in to a single tag, you have multiple instances of a tag and then display them as one.
Not acceptable for ID3v2 MP3. It would be a violation and nothing would work with it. Even with the dead on arrival ID3v2.4 spec, the names are still in a single frame.

Other containers, like WMA, store them individually. Free-form tagging formats like used in FLAC are fine, too.

DazB
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:09 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Post by DazB » Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:05 pm

Hi,

If the character isn't user definable then I would go with Teknojnky for the | character.

However I am with Bex on requiring the preservation of the text as on the label.

Daz

Mizery_Made
Posts: 2283
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Re: Multiple Artists, ';' separator, etc. - discussion

Post by Mizery_Made » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:42 pm

jiri wrote:Besides ';' usage, there's probably still a place for improvements, e.g. accepting also other characters, like '&' or '/', maybe also parse 'vs.' and 'feat.'. Feel free to discuss these here.
I would LOVE to see something like this make it's way into MediaMonkey. I too have refrained from going all out with the "Multiple Artists" and have kept my "Featuring" information in the titles as I was doing with MM2. I would love to be able to get something like "Skatterman & Snug Brum feat. Kutt Calhoun & Tech N9ne" in the artist field and have it displayed as such yet still parce the artists so it shows up correctly for each artist.

This is one of the few things I loved about Helium when I messed with it a year or two back. They have a system which allows such entries. I once contemplated moving in their direction simply because of this feature but quickly came running back to MediaMonkey in favor of it's speed, performance and configurability (Scripting and such).

Please at least look into this further, I may be the only one that would literally jump out of my chair in happiness if it made it's way into MediaMonkey, but hey... that would be one more ecstatic fan of the software, right? :)

MoDementia
Posts: 1321
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:26 pm
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Re: Multiple Artists, ';' separator, etc. - discussion

Post by MoDementia » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:42 am

";"
Last edited by MoDementia on Fri May 16, 2008 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mizery_Made
Posts: 2283
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Post by Mizery_Made » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:08 am

They'd all be wrong sorta based on my own flub, it's actually Snug Brim. Ha.

However, it would kind of depend on your view of it. You could view it as being two solo artists (Tech N9ne and Kutt Calhoun) being featured on a group's song ("Skatterman & Snug Brim") or view it as being four artists since "Skatterman & Snug Brim" consists of artists Skatterman and Snug Brim.

In this case, I think it would make the most sense for it to be parsed as four artists, seeing as they don't have a 'custom name' (or whatever term you might want to put on it) such as Krazyie Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone & Flesh-N-Bone making up Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

That also raises a bit of an issue, BTNH that is. What could possibly be done in situations like that. There are five men that make up that group, not all of them performing on each song, also four of them have done solo work. Another case that springs in mind is something like Linkin Park. You have Mike Shinoda that is a member of that band but also does things with his side project Fort Minor.

It would be interesting to see some kind of advanced system that could take into account Groups/Bands. To where the work would show up under "Linkin Park" but could also show up under "Mike Shinoda" so that you can easily get a collection of work done in several projects by the same person.

However, it couldn't be as simple as configuring Groups, something as simple as creating a grouping of Linkin Park that would list all of the band members and then suddenly all of their work shows up under the individuals aswell since not everyone works on every song.

Then again, this could be a little too advanced or nit-picky of a feature for the broad collective of users and would only be used by someone who is a little more die hard about their music and would love to be able to get all the work done by a certain bassist easily even if they have worked for four separate bands.

Also, something like that could really make a mess of the Artist Tree, since a single song by Linkin Park would no longer be taking up one node as Linkin Park but rather many as Linkin Park, Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington, Joe Hahn, etc.

I do think it would be great for the 'Multiple Artist' feature to be looked into at least a bit more. Maybe not something as complex as my previous 'Band Involvement' type bit, but something such as previously mentioned (the parsing of '&' and 'feat.' and so forth) could be something to bridge the gap between people who love just having "Artist A; Artist B" and those who wouldn't mind seeing something a little more in depth that would allow them to keep "feat" type information visible and still have their songs show up under all the artists.

benzo8
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:31 am

Post by benzo8 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:53 am

First off, I'm glad to see MM working to make itself more standards compliant.

What I'd love to see, a million miles down the line, is some hefty pre-processing going on with artist tags to compare then to a user-defined lookup table.

For instance, I'd love "Sharpe + Numan" to appear in the "Sharpe + Numan", "Gary Numan" and "Bill Sharp" artist nodes, without the incredibly ungainly (and unattractive) Artist Field setting of "Sharpe + Numan; Gary Numan; Bill Sharpe". And I then want only "Sharpe + Numan" displayed, and only "Sharpe + Numan" submitted to LastFM...

Or, for instance, I'd love Genesis albums to appear under Peter Gabriel's artist tree.

Or another example. "Debbie Gibson" and "Deborah Gibson" are the same artist, and whilst I'd like to be able to remain true to the album cover, I'd like to see all her albums in one, user-defined node, whatever the actual Album Artist says...

Now, maybe this is a job for the "Involved People" field, but that's not currently supported. But personally, I'd prefer to see a lookup table whereby MM could say "Sharpe + Numan" translates internally to "Sharpe + Numan; Gary Numan; Bill Sharpe", or whatever...

This lookup table could then be used also to make sure that artists like the above mentioned "Skatterman & Snug Brim" don't get broken up into "Skatterman" and "Snug Brim" if that's not what you want to happen...

MoDementia
Posts: 1321
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:26 pm
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Post by MoDementia » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:45 am

";"
Last edited by MoDementia on Fri May 16, 2008 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Teknojnky
Posts: 5533
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:01 pm
Contact:

Post by Teknojnky » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:45 am

You could actually use the album artist field, or possibly even the <grouping> filed to group together debbie and deborah gibson.

I use this, for example, on aphex twin releases, and all other name variations and side projects (AFX, Polygon Window, etc).

By doing this, they all have their individual artist names, but they are grouped under the aphex twin album artist (excepting of course if they belong to a compilation of some sort, they would be under that various or whatever).

benzo8
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:31 am

Post by benzo8 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:19 am

Can you explain a little further, Teknojnky? I don't want the Album Artist to be incorrect, so are you suggesting putting "Debbie Gibson" in the Deborah albums? Or something else.

I did try putting Debbie Gibson into the Grouping field on all the albums, but that didn't appear to do much at all...

Teknojnky
Posts: 5533
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:01 pm
Contact:

Post by Teknojnky » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:12 pm

benzo8 wrote: I don't want the Album Artist to be incorrect, so are you suggesting putting "Debbie Gibson" in the Deborah albums?
Yes I am suggesting exactly that.

Yes it might mean the album artist is 'incorrect', but I view usability as more important than perfect exactness (which is a never ending goal anyway). Besides the fact, that the artist field is still correct, and that is what is used for last.fm etc.

What you use for the album artist is entirely irrelevant. What is relevant is, is your music grouped in the manner that is logical/sensible for you to use.

jiri
Posts: 5395
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Czech Republic
Contact:

Post by jiri » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:57 am

Thanks for all the feedback here. Based on all the requirements, I'd think about something like this:

1. User could enter any text in Artist field, a wild example would be:
Artist1 & Artist2 / Artist3 ; Artist4 | Artist5 feat. Artist6

2. MM would try to intelligently parse it, so that it would know that this track should be shown under all of these artists (i.e. Artist1-6).

3. There would be some kind of a pop-up window with a special editor available where user could further specify which artists this track belongs to (e.g. that it shouldn't be shown under Artist5, but should be under another Artist7, even though the full Artist string would remain as is - see 1. above).

4. This should be enough for the internal handling in MM, but then there remains a question of how to tag such a track in various tagging formats - none of them is ready for such a complex thing.

5. I'd say that each track could be tagged as having just a single artist (see the string in 1.), so that Artist string looks good in other applications/devices/etc., further details about multliple artists the track belongs to would be stored in special fields - so far not defined by any standard.

It's a little complex proposal, but it should handle all the requirements.

Jiri

Post Reply