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

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ZvezdanD
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Post by ZvezdanD » Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:46 am

jiri wrote:1. User could enter any text in Artist field,
This could lead to confusion. Users don't need to know for any kind of separators - this is not very user friendly. You should modify Properties dialog in such way that user could enter multi-item values without typing any separator. Please take a look on competitive products:

Image

In the second column of this Artist table you could enter Vs, Feat, Pres. or whatever you want. If you don't enter anything, then by default program should put "/" into ID3 tag between multiple artists.

spacefish
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Post by spacefish » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:36 am

ZvezdanD wrote:
jiri wrote:1. User could enter any text in Artist field,
This could lead to confusion. Users don't need to know for any kind of separators - this is not very user friendly. You should modify Properties dialog in such way that user could enter multi-item values without typing any separator. Please take a look on competitive products:

Image

In the second column of this Artist table you could enter Vs, Feat, Pres. or whatever you want. If you don't enter anything, then by default program should put "/" into ID3 tag between multiple artists.
I completely forgot about this thread but this is the person who shares my sentiments exactly! There are some good ideas here but what we really need are separate fields for each artist. That way MM doesn't have to guess how many artists there are when we have one field with a value of 'Jam & Spoon'. It's in one field: it's one artist.

I should clarify further that using the fields this way, MM should display the artists with a default value (user configurable) and continue to use the indicated separators until it reaches the end.

Image
Image

Screenshots of more than two artists with a configured value inbetween. This is from one track but the area only displays the first 3 artists whereafter you need to scroll. The second pic is from the same track just showing the 4th artist. This would parse out to Coldcut feat. Salina Saliva, Jimpster & Bernard Purdie

An ampersand is used by default between two artists when only two are present. When there are three or more and no separator is indicated, the program uses a comma until the last artist is reached, where it sets an ampersand between it and the previous. I hope I made that clear. It's pretty easy to understand when you see how it displays. Further, that displayed value is what needs to be sent to programs like last.fm. We don't want MM sending Coldcut/Salina Saliva/Jimpster/Bernard Purdie because that's just wrong and we know last.fm couldn't parse it itself.

MM really needs this functionality to be done correctly or all the work will be for nothing. To extend that, some other functionality like sort names and relationships (for artist tracking between bands and name changes) would be a plus but if this thread is only focused on how best to handle multiple artists, ZvesdanD just gave you the answer. ;)
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judas
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Post by judas » Wed Apr 09, 2008 6:58 pm

I think spacefish's and ZvezdanD pretty much translate what everyone has said...it would be easy to edit, the separator would appear easy to the user (and MM could easily interpret it).
Cheers, judas

MoDementia
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Post by MoDementia » Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:34 pm

";"
Last edited by MoDementia on Fri May 16, 2008 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jiri
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Post by jiri » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:16 am

I'll try to be a little more clearer in my proposal:

1. The single edit line would be there because most users don't care about rather complex details of multiple Artists handling and such a multiline UI would be way to complicated. However, it has advantages even for advanced users - you can easily (e.g. using clipboard) set the whole artist string to look _exactly_ as you wish.

2. By 'intelligently parse' I meant that user wouldn't have to know specific separators, MM would understand that either '&', '/', ';', '|', 'feat.' or others can separate mutliple artist (a small DB of exceptions like AC/DC would be useful here).

3. By pop-up window I meant something like in mask controls - you can e.g. enter directly '<Artist>\<Album>\<Title>' or using a button build the mask in another dialog. In this case, if you clicked the button next to Artist edit line containing 'Artist1 & Artist2 feat. Artist3', the advanced multiline edit control (something like shown on screenshots above) could be used to further specify artists associated with this track, by default all Artist1-3 would be shown there, but others could be added. This could be for example used to keep Artist field 'Iron Maiden', but show it also under artist 'Bruce Dickinson'.

5. I also got an idea for improvement here: Instead of tagging to some special fields, 'Involved people' field could be used for this purpose. I.e. for the example above, it would be like:
Artist: Artist1 & Artist2 feat. Artist3
Involved people: Artist1 (as Artist), Artist2 (as Artist), Artist3 (as Artist), Artist4 (as Artist).

Jiri

Mizery_Made
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Post by Mizery_Made » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:29 am

Sounds like you've got a good grasp on things jiri. Sounds like you've got a method in mind that would leave things "Business As Usual" for people who are fine with the general way that Multiple Artists works while possibly allowing a more in depth approach for us who go anal about it.

However I'm not to sure about using the Involved People field. I can understand wanting to use a field that's already there in the specs of ID3, however there might be other people who use that field for other things and wouldn't want that information mixing in with what might be added due to multiple artists.

What's wrong with using a custom frame? You already use them for Custom Fields 1-5 and a few other fields I can't remember at the moment (Mood or Tempo maybe?) so what's one more?

I'm just glad this is being discussed, honestly. I find myself a "Feat Navi" if you will. Meaning, I prefer to preserve information that indicates who the main artist is and who it is that's making a guest appearance (not much of a problem with albums as the Album Artist would probably be the main artist, but there are those odd cases as well as Sountracks, Compilations, etc.).

EDIT -- Whether you got with a Involved People route or another Custom Field, it would be great if the string is saved in a way that could be duplicated easily in other tagging programs and scanned into MediaMonkey without problem. (i.e., if a new custom frame is used to store advanced settings, it could look something like "|Artist 1| feat. |Artist 2|" or "Artist1:Linkin Park;Artist2: Jay-Z;Band Member1: Mike Shindo;Band Member 2: Chester Bennington..." or something) *Shrugs*
Last edited by Mizery_Made on Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

spacefish
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Post by spacefish » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:38 am

MoDementia wrote:Although I think the example from catraxx is the correct way to enter multiple entries into 1 field (user needs no knowledge of the seperator) and allows the lookup function to operate on all artists, not just the first one, the ease with which you can currently copy/paste and edit a single line is not something many users would like to sacrifice?
This is not something I'd miss much, personally, as I don't use the program that way. The only copy/pasting I do tends to be from Album Title to Track Title as I listen to a lot of mixes where there is only one track (more or less), so the track gets the same name as the album. I use auto-complete for people. How do you use copy/paste in this example?
If the option for both single line and structured multi line editing were available everyone would be happy :)
Perhaps there could be an extra field below the area where one enters artists that shows what the parsed multiple values will look like. You'd still have your copy/paste area readily accessible (assuming you don't want to paste it into another artist type field) and we'd forgo the pop-up box (not a fan of that; it's another level I need to access before I can start editing). This display field might not need to be editable but the text should definitely be selectable. I'm afraid that the program might have a difficult time discerning multiple artists if you edit the parsed, single-line field but then I'm no programmer so maybe it's possible. Of course, if that line were editable, the program will have to translate the entered text correctly to the multi-field area. We don't want to edit stuff twice nor constantly double-check that the program "gets it right" in both places. Ultimately, I think having MM try to guess what each individual artist is, is a bad idea. But who knows? Maybe there's more magic in the monkey than we dreamed. :)

Edit: jiri posted while I was composing. I guess if it works the way I am comfortable with, and the option is there to enter one artist per field with configurable indicators (, (comma), &, feat., vs., presents, with, etc.), I'm fine with that. However, using Involved People for that sounds a little cumbersome. Ideally, I want to edit the artist(s) in one place and once only. I don't want to use different methods in different places. Probably I'm just not understanding what you're describing (I'm easily confused!) but I have faith that you'll come up with an acceptable solution!
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jiri
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Post by jiri » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:34 am

However, using Involved People for that sounds a little cumbersome. Ideally, I want to edit the artist(s) in one place and once only. I don't want to use different methods in different places.
What I meant here wasn't to somehow force user to edit Involved People field in order to edit Artists. UI would remain as simple as I described above, I was talking about tagging only - i.e. instead of using of some custom tag fields we would use a standard field. It would probably have to be optional, but to me it sounds like the best default choice.

Jiri

spacefish
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Post by spacefish » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:58 am

jiri wrote:
However, using Involved People for that sounds a little cumbersome. Ideally, I want to edit the artist(s) in one place and once only. I don't want to use different methods in different places.
What I meant here wasn't to somehow force user to edit Involved People field in order to edit Artists. UI would remain as simple as I described above, I was talking about tagging only - i.e. instead of using of some custom tag fields we would use a standard field. It would probably have to be optional, but to me it sounds like the best default choice.

Jiri
Ah, okay. I got ya now. Thanks! :)
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ZvezdanD
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Post by ZvezdanD » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:32 am

Involved people is not a field intended for tagging Artist. For example, U2 is the Artist, and involved people could be: vocal:Bono;guitar:The Edge;bass:Adam Clayton;drums:Larry Mullen, Jr. This two kind of information are not related: The Edge is not the Artist (well... not exactly) and U2 is not the Involved people. Instead of trying to find a way to enable entering such information in the database (about involved people), you want to limit and degrade the purpose of this field.

Please take a look on the CATraxx example with Production, Band Memeber and Guest Musician. When we would have a possibility to enter something like this into MediaMonkey? This is just one reason why CATraxx is a way much better solution for album's database and MM only for audio-file's database.

I think you are wrong because of your insisting on ID3 and other tagging standards. Users need a database program with a possibility to store as many information about albums as possible - we don't care if same information are entered into audio files or not. For example, I need to know when I bought some album, how much it was priced, to whom I loaned it...

I am just wondering why is such a big problem to add one new field into Songs table or even some new table to support multi-item fields. Last time when I checked this, CATraxx 6.15 had 27 custom and 58 general editable fields and MediaMonkey (2.2.2) had only 3 custom and 23 general (directly editable) fields. Even now MM is not much better. I'll tell you why - this is because it is limited with tagging standards.

spacefish
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Post by spacefish » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:42 am

ZvezdanD wrote:Please take a look on the CATraxx example with Production, Band Memeber and Guest Musician. When we would have a possibility to enter something like this into MediaMonkey? This is just one reason why CATraxx is a way much better solution for album's database and MM only for audio-file's database.

I think you are wrong because of your insisting on ID3 and other tagging standards. Users need a database program with a possibility to store as many information about albums as possible - we don't care if same information are entered into audio files or not. For example, I need to know when I bought some album, how much it was priced, to whom I loaned it...

I am just wondering why is such a big problem to add one new field into Songs table or even some new table to support multi-item fields. Last time when I checked this, CATraxx 6.15 had 27 custom and 58 general editable fields and MediaMonkey (2.2.2) had only 3 custom and 23 general (directly editable) fields. Even now MM is not much better. I'll tell you why - this is because it is limited with tagging standards.
Well said.
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MoDementia
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Post by MoDementia » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:37 pm

";"
Last edited by MoDementia on Fri May 16, 2008 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ZvezdanD
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Post by ZvezdanD » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:03 am

MoDementia wrote:I believe you are out of line. Maybe you should be complaining to CATraxx Devs not MM Devs.
Maybe I am off topic but I am not out of line. Take a look on many threads and posts from MM forums and you will see that there exist many people who want such information with their collections of audio-files. We need one musical database application, not two. Those are all related information, why we need to enter them with two programs? MM already has Album table and Artist table - MM developers just needed to add some more fields to those tables and to extend their usage.

My complain about album information in MM was initiated with developer's suggestion to degrade the Involved people field. MM already have a lack of fields, especially those for musicians, producers and other involved people. Why to limit this field even further?

spacefish
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Post by spacefish » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:07 am

MoDementia wrote:Someone replied somewhere to the effect that
MM is a music tagger/player etc with a database
NOT a database that tags music (or whatever else CATraxx does)
and I doubt (hope) it ever (never) will be.
That's not exactly what I said. Since it was my comment, I'll repost it here:
MM is a tagger/media player with some database functionality while CATraxx is a database with some media player/tagging functionality. Merging the two programs would make one sweet app.
I still believe this and after giving it some more thought, ZvezdanD has a quite a point about using the Involved People field for something other than it was intended. I would hate for MM to make itself less useful by trying to mickey mouse something (through the use of existing but unrelated fields) that simply needs to be done correctly the first time.

Really, while it would be nice to be able to keep track of how much I paid for an album, unlike ZvesdanD, I'm not looking to add that functionality to MM. I use CATraxx for that. Right now, I'm looking for better multi-value handling and sort name options. Those are my biggest issues with MM and they really seem to be essential for any "Music Manager for Serious Collectors". I'm actually surprised the latter isn't already included in the program but hopefully it will come in time.

I'll refrain from dragging this discussion even further off topic. I'll just add that I see a lot of potential for MM as a database, not just a music tagger/player. If I didn't, I wouldn't use it. :)
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jiri
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Post by jiri » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:35 am

I'm not saying that storing of separated artists from mutliple artists fields into Involved People must be the best idea, but I believe it has a lot of sense:

- We always try to store as many fields as possible into tags - in case we don't, they are then MM-specific, which not everyone necessarily likes.
- The same goes for custom MM fields in tags.
- As I wrote above, from UI point of view, there wouldn't be any connection between artists and involved people. It's just that for storing in tags, it might be useful to store (optionally!) individual artists to IPLS, TIPL or TMCL ID3 fields.

Just to clarify UI:

Artist: Artist1 & Artist2 feat. Artist3

Involved People: (Not implemented this way in MM 3.0, but is planned)
Person1 Guitar
Person2 Bass
...

And it would be in tag:

Artist (TPE1): Artist1 & Artist2 feat. Artist3
Inv.People(TIPL or other): Person1/Guitar/Person2/Bass/Artist1/Artist/Artist2/Artist/Artist3/Artist

I'm certainly open to any other suggestion, this is far from final specification, it's just an idea. But try to keep in mind some requirements, mainly that we want to keep MM easy to use and respect standards as much as possible.

Jiri

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