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[resolved] Viewing/Sorting by Album Artist


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#1 zanex

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 03:14 PM

Hello. I just want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong before I submit a feature request. Is there a way to view your music by album artist? I (mistakenly) assumed that this is what the new support for the album artist tag would allow. Currently, choosing to view your music by artist still uses the actual artist tag and not album artist, as opposed to iTunes. Also, is there a way, when viewing by album, to sort albums by album artist? Thanks for the clarification!

#2 elan

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 08:31 PM

Welcome zanex!

Basically the new support was a step at least towards providing full support for Album Artist.

In the Artist directory, you should see both your artists (when album artist tag is not provided) as well as the album artists when they are provided.

If it's not working right, then by all means please submit a bug here. Please be as specific as possible, as I'm not really familiar with that tag, don't use it myself: http://plexapp.light...ven/tickets/new

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#3 zanex

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 04:59 AM

Thanks for the reply! I think I see what is happening: it seems that in the Artist directory, the album artist tag is being recognized but so is the artist tag if both are set. For example, I have Amy Winehouse's Back to Black album which has all but one song with artist "Amy Winehouse" and one song with artist "Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah". All songs have album artist "Amy Winehouse". Ideally then, all songs should only appear under "Amy Winehouse" in the Artist directory. Indeed all songs do appear here, but the song with artist "Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah" also appears under "Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah", even though the album artist tag is set. I was under the impression that the artist tag would be ignored if the album artist tag was set.

I hope this makes sense! If this warrants a full bug report, I can submit one and give more examples if need be. Thanks!

Edit: Just a quick note while I have a few minutes to spare. Here's a possibly better explanation of what is happening. I have some songs with artist tag "Artist1" and some with "Artist1 feat. Artist2", but all with album artist "Artist1". In the Artist directory, all songs appear correctly under Artist1, but "Artist1 feat. Artist2" is also listed as an artist. However, there are no songs that show up when clicking on this. Now, elsewhere I have some songs with artist tag "ArtistA" and some with "ArtistA & ArtistB", but all with album artist "ArtistA". Again, all songs appear correctly under ArtistA in the Artist directory, but "ArtistA & ArtistB" is again listed as a separate artist. This time however, the song with artist tag "ArtistA & ArtistB" _is_ listed under "ArtistA & ArtistB", as opposed to an artist tag of the form "Artist1 feat. Artist2". Again, in both cases, "Artist1 feat. Artist2" and "ArtistA & ArtistB" appear as artists in the Artist directory, but only "ArtistA & ArtistB" has any songs listed. I would expect in both instances to not have either "Artist1 feat. Artist2" nor "ArtistA & ArtistB" listed in the Artist directory, but to only list these songs under Artist1 and ArtistA respectively according to the album artist tag.

#4 elan

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 09:44 AM

Thanks for the reply! I think I see what is happening: it seems that in the Artist directory, the album artist tag is being recognized but so is the artist tag if both are set. For example, I have Amy Winehouse's Back to Black album which has all but one song with artist "Amy Winehouse" and one song with artist "Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah". All songs have album artist "Amy Winehouse". Ideally then, all songs should only appear under "Amy Winehouse" in the Artist directory. Indeed all songs do appear here, but the song with artist "Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah" also appears under "Amy Winehouse feat. Ghostface Killah", even though the album artist tag is set. I was under the impression that the artist tag would be ignored if the album artist tag was set.


Consider this case, and see if you can explain what I'm missing:

I have an album with a bunch of different tracks by a bunch of different artists. The Artist tag is set to each artist (Neil Young, Bob Dylan), and the Album Artist is set to "Various Artists".

In this case, I have an entry in Plex Artists for Various Artists, and also individual entries for each artist which include the tracks they perform on that album (and I do see the tracks show up in Artists/The One Artist/That Various Artists Album/xx - Track). That seems like the right thing, no?

Even in iTunes I see this, where I browse an artist and it shows the one Various Artists album they contributed the track to. I tried to make Plex match iTunes as much as possible.

Can you explain if I'm missing something?

Thanks for your patience!

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#5 zanex

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 05:23 PM

Aha! Here's maybe where the confusion is coming from. In iTunes (iTunes 8 to be exact), I don't see the same behavior that I am seeing in Plex. Viewing by artist in fact _only_ uses the album artist tag. If I have an album with possibly different artists (one main artist plus someone else) but all the same album artist tag (the main artist), they only show up under the main artist when viewing by artist. I've attached a small screenshot showing the view I am using in iTunes.

Something else I just noticed: albums that are set as compilations have album artist "Various Artists" and show up under "Various Artists" in iTunes. However, they only show up in Plex when viewing by compilations -- i.e. they don't show up at all when viewing by Artist as there is no "Various Artists" listed in that case. Again, this is a place where Plex and iTunes differ.

To sum up, for me, iTunes definitely seems to only be using the album artist tag even when both album artist and artist are present -- artist is ignored in that case. Many thanks for taking the time to look into this!

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#6 elan

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:16 PM

I made some fixes, and hopefully version 0.7.5 (out later today) will behave more to your liking :)

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#7 zanex

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 12:39 AM

Awesome. It looks perfect now. Thanks for the attention!

#8 elan

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 07:10 AM

Glad to hear, thanks for the explanations :)

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#9 zanex

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:56 AM

Hi again. After testing this throughout the day, I still find two (very) minor annoyances. I hope you don't take this as a knock against what you've done so far, which has been awesome :) I just want to make sure that, as you said, the behavior models iTunes as closely as possible.

1. Songs with a certain artist but album artist "Various Artists" still show up under the listing for that certain artist. For example, I have some Green Day albums, and I also have a Green Day song on the soundtrack to the movie Angus, which has artist "Green Day" and album artist "Various Artists". Under Plex, this one song still shows up under the listing for Green Day even though the album artist is not Green Day. In iTunes, this song _only_ shows up under the listing for "Various Artists" and not under the listing for Green Day (since the album artist is not Green Day).

2. Under the Artists directory in Plex, I now see a listing for "Various Artists". Yet, clicking on this has no effect -- no albums nor songs are listed and the screen just kind of flickers but nothing happens. In iTunes, clicking "Various Artists" lists all the albums with album artist "Various Artists".

Perhaps these two issues are related. If you have time, this might be something still worth looking into, but this probably shouldn't be a high priority :) Thanks again!

Edit: Also, I just noticed that everything works as it should if I just add my music folder to the library and don't use the plex media server.

#10 Roland

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:53 AM

Hi again. After testing this throughout the day, I still find two (very) minor annoyances. I hope you don't take this as a knock against what you've done so far, which has been awesome :) I just want to make sure that, as you said, the behavior models iTunes as closely as possible.

1. Songs with a certain artist but album artist "Various Artists" still show up under the listing for that certain artist. For example, I have some Green Day albums, and I also have a Green Day song on the soundtrack to the movie Angus, which has artist "Green Day" and album artist "Various Artists". Under Plex, this one song still shows up under the listing for Green Day even though the album artist is not Green Day. In iTunes, this song _only_ shows up under the listing for "Various Artists" and not under the listing for Green Day (since the album artist is not Green Day).

2. Under the Artists directory in Plex, I now see a listing for "Various Artists". Yet, clicking on this has no effect -- no albums nor songs are listed and the screen just kind of flickers but nothing happens. In iTunes, clicking "Various Artists" lists all the albums with album artist "Various Artists".

Perhaps these two issues are related. If you have time, this might be something still worth looking into, but this probably shouldn't be a high priority :) Thanks again!

Edit: Also, I just noticed that everything works as it should if I just add my music folder to the library and don't use the plex media server.

I would also like to add a future request that you might want to take along, fixing the items above.
In Itunes I always use the album mode, sorted on artist name. The only option within Plex is currently a sort on album title. This means that to find a specific item, I have to know the real name of the album, which I often don't. Would this be an easy fix?

#11 elan

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 03:44 AM

I would also like to add a future request that you might want to take along, fixing the items above.
In Itunes I always use the album mode, sorted on artist name. The only option within Plex is currently a sort on album title. This means that to find a specific item, I have to know the real name of the album, which I often don't. Would this be an easy fix?


From a usability standpoint, I think sorting by album names is better, no? If you know what artist you want, you can go through the artists directory, and if you know the specific album you want to hear (e.g. "Dark Side of the Moon") you go through the albums directory.

What is the use case for going into the albums directory without knowing what album you're looking for?

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