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Indexing with ArtistSort
10-03-2018, 15:15
Post: #1
Indexing with ArtistSort
I’m a newbie to the sophisticated arts of tagging and to MinimServer and am most impressed by its possibilities, the User Guides and this Forum. But my searches have not found an answer to my particular problem.

I’ve been steadily ripping to flac my extensive library with dbPoweramp for some years, following my own logic and using ‘ArtistSort’ (with a reversed name format) as my primary index for all tracks, amending it as necessary with mp3Tag, and anticipating that this would act as the index on my control points – currently Naim, Lightning DS (for Auralic Aries) and Bubble. It was consequently a shock to discover that MinimServer reads ‘AlbumArtist’ rather than ‘Artist’ to compile the ‘indexFormat’.

I’ve looked at various ways, with different labour intensities, of correcting this but each one seems to have a downside given that I don’t want to:

(a) lose or overwrite the AlbumArtist field;
(b) modify the Artist and ArtistSort tags in my server library (as indexFormat would threaten to do, as well as possibly impose some delay in control point processing).

What I wish to achieve on my control points (but recognising that Lighting DS will probably not allow this owing to its (irritating) pre-loading system) is:

(1) An indexed list of artists in ArtistSort order. (I’ve tried in aliasTags <All Artists:ArtistSort> but it has no effect in Bubble and unfortunately I’m remote from my Naim renderers. Likewise in tagValue <Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}, Artist.value.display={ArtistSort})>.
(2) Preservation of the AlbumArtist data (though this could be re-assigned to a new field – e.g. Performer) as a means of managing multi-artist Compilations. I generally wish to avoid having each compilation track artist appear in the Artist index though there would be exceptions to that rule, but I would want the track artist to appear against the title of individual tracks within albums. So, for example, a Smithsonian Folkways compilation would show Smithsonian Folkways in the Artist index while the tracks would display the title and individual artist.

Presently my configuration reads:
aliasTags - All Artists:ArtistSort
indexTags - Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, Rating, AlbumArtist
itemTags – ArtistSort
tagOptions - Album.sortTags={Album, +Date}
tagValue - Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}, Artist.value.display={ArtistSort}

I’d be most grateful for any advice on how I can achieve my basic aims. Equally if my underpinning ArtistSort index is fundamentally flawed, how might I best revisit it? Until I get this right I can’t proceed to the other refinements I have in mind - and it's driving me nuts!

Many thanks.
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10-03-2018, 16:43
Post: #2
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
MinimServer does not read ‘AlbumArtist’ rather than ‘Artist’ to compile the ‘indexFormat’. I don't know why you think this is the case.

Also, indexFormat doesn't overwrite the tags in your server library. It only affects what appears in the MinimServer index. However, from your stated requirements, I am not sure that you need to use indexFormat to achieve what you want.

You should remove All Artists:ArtistSort from aliasTags as this serves no useful purpose.

You can show an ArtistSort index containing ArtistSort values by adding ArtistSort to indexTags and removing it from itemTags.

If you want to show an Artist index that is sorted in ArtistSort order and doesn't include track artists from compilation items, you need to allow for the fact that the MinimServer Artist index includes both AlbumArtist tag values (where present in the tags) and Artist tag values otherwise. Is this what you want or do you want this index to contain only AlbumArtist values?
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10-03-2018, 21:33
Post: #3
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
Thank you so much, Simon. I’ve clearly misunderstood certain points around indexFormat. What threw me was the last sentence, and in particular the meaning of the word ‘limitation’, in the following para from the Index tag formatting section of the User Guide. It made me wonder via a double negative if the limitation also implied replacement of existing Artist tags:

“The indexFormat option doesn't replace any existing tags in the item. For example, the option WorkByTitle.indexFormat={$title$tonality$opusnumber$subtitle}
would add a WorkByTitle tag if it doesn't exist in this item. No tag would be added if the item already has a WorkByTitle tag. This limitation doesn't apply to the Artist tag.”

The second thing that confused me arose when I indeed added ArtistSort to indexTags which was forbidden – presumably because I had not deleted ArtistSort from itemTags. I hadn’t realised that the categories were mutually exclusive.

As to the handling of Artist and AlbumArtist for the Artist index and then managing the incidental compilation artists, my aim is to avoid polluting the ArtistSort index with artists who provide very few tracks (but I would want these incidental artists to appear in lists of album contents and in 'now playing'). AlbumArtist is not an important part of my structure, so it seems best generally to void its contents (moving the entries to a new field 'Performer') except where I wish to retain a generic heading for the compilation artists (“Smithsonian Folkways” in my earlier example). However, I’d like to be sure that this would work in practice: for example, will my control point Artist index read and display in alphabetical order, say, “Smith, Jimmy Trio” (derived from ArtistSort) above “Smithsonian Folkways” (derived from AlbumArtist) and omit from the index the individual Smithsonian track Artist entries (whose ArtistSort entries will be void) ?

Assuming that is feasible, I thought the following tag entries might do the job:

aliasTags – void
indexTags - Artist, ArtistSort, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, Rating, AlbumArtist
itemTags – Performer (may not be required)
tagValue - Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}, Artist.value.display={Artist} (this latter display value may be superfluous)

But am I right to assume that <Artist.value.sort={ArtistSort}> is sufficient to capture by default the entries coming from AlbumArtist (which I would have to ensure were compiled in a sorted form) ? Alternatively should/could the sort value be written as either <Artist.value.sort={AlbumArtist, ArtistSort}> or <Artist.value.sort={AlbumArtistSort, ArtistSort}> ? Of course any suggestions for resolving my conundrum by other means will be welcome.

My thanks again and I look forward to making a donation.
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10-03-2018, 22:40
Post: #4
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
Please describe exactly what tag values you have at present for Artist, ArtistSort and AlbumArtist (give specific examples) for:

1) two or three tracks from normal albums
2) two or three tracks from compilation albums

Please also describe how you want the Artist, ArtistSort and AlbumArtist index entries to appear for these examples.
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11-03-2018, 19:49
Post: #5
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
(10-03-2018 22:40)simoncn Wrote:  Please describe exactly what tag values you have at present for Artist, ArtistSort and AlbumArtist (give specific examples) for:

1) two or three tracks from normal albums
2) two or three tracks from compilation albums

Please also describe how you want the Artist, ArtistSort and AlbumArtist index entries to appear for these examples.

*****

The list below shows in the first line the current data, and in the 2nd line the desired result if I go down the road described in my last post. In the current data, I have not systematised the AlbumArtist entries.

Regular albums (Artist, ArtistSort, AlbumArtist)

Keith Jarrett Trio; Jarrett, Keith Trio; Keith Jarrett Trio
Keith Jarrett Trio; Jarrett, Keith Trio; blank

Beethoven; Beethoven; Paul Lewis
Beethoven; Beethoven; blank (Paul Lewis would have to be moved to Soloists in new setup and a global format string created)

Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders; Garcia, Jerry & Merl Saunders; Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders; Garcia, Jerry & Merl Saunders; blank

Desired result: Control point Artist index displays ArtistSort; Album and Now Playing display Artist

Compilation albums

Genoa Keawe; Keawe, Genoa; blank
Genoa Keawe; Keawe, Genoa [or blank]; Legends of Falsetto Compilation

African Fiesta; African Fiesta; blank
African Fiesta; blank; African Pearls – Congo

Otis Redding; blank; Various Artists
Otis Redding; blank; 100 Soul Hits

Desired result: Control point Artist index displays AlbumArtist; Now Playing displays Artist. (I presume the content of the ArtistSort field is unimportant for indexing as it will be over-ridden by the AlbumArtist value.)

This may not be ideal, and as you realise I’m trying to recover from having relied on ArtistSort as my primary index in the database. What I’m seeking to avoid is over-populating an already very long index list within the control point’s Artist index, and also a problem I have with Lightning DS and Bubble where they makes separate album index entries for each artist on a compilation album. Not only does that over-populate the album list, it also makes it very difficult to play a compilation album. This problem may be specific to the Lightning / Auralic Aries pre-loading system but I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try it out the data on the Naim app. I would like to re-structure the data and MinimServer settings and then try it out with Naim.
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11-03-2018, 22:27
Post: #6
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
Thanks for this. It should be quite simple to achieve what you want. All you need to do is set the following properties:

indexTags - Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, Rating, AlbumArtist
itemTags – ArtistSort
tagOptions - Album.sortTags={Album, +Date}
tagValue - Artist.value.index.sort={ArtistSort}

and make the tag changes you described as "desired result".
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11-03-2018, 23:23
Post: #7
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
(11-03-2018 22:27)simoncn Wrote:  Thanks for this. It should be quite simple to achieve what you want. All you need to do is set the following properties:

indexTags - Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, Rating, AlbumArtist
itemTags – ArtistSort
tagOptions - Album.sortTags={Album, +Date}
tagValue - Artist.value.index.sort={ArtistSort}

and make the tag changes you described as "desired result".

Thank you, Simon, for your help and rapidity. I will implement the changes and try them out on both systems. Unfortunately I have to travel to get to the Naim setup and am not sure when that will be. Meanwhile I will start modifying the tags to fit the new scheme and see if it improves Lightning DS responsiveness.
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17-03-2018, 20:18
Post: #8
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
(11-03-2018 23:23)bganthem Wrote:  
(11-03-2018 22:27)simoncn Wrote:  Thanks for this. It should be quite simple to achieve what you want. All you need to do is set the following properties:

indexTags - Artist, Date, Genre, All Artists, Composer, Rating, AlbumArtist
itemTags – ArtistSort
tagOptions - Album.sortTags={Album, +Date}
tagValue - Artist.value.index.sort={ArtistSort}

and make the tag changes you described as "desired result".

Thank you, Simon, for your help and rapidity. I will implement the changes and try them out on both systems. Unfortunately I have to travel to get to the Naim setup and am not sure when that will be. Meanwhile I will start modifying the tags to fit the new scheme and see if it improves Lightning DS responsiveness.

I'm delighted to say that your recommended settings work perfectly (of course), though not before I'd ironed out a discrepancy in my 'ArtistSort' tags which it appears dbPoweramp wrote a 'Artist Sort'.

I now have a second query about the handling of compilation albums in the Album index display. They show up with multiple entries, one for each Artist. So, for example, the index for the album 'American Roots Collection' displays the AlbumArtist 'Smithsonian Folkways' in 20 instances. Opening an instance identifies the Artist and the track(s) they perform, which is fine. But what I would like to see in the Album index is a single instance of the album, coupled with AlbumArtist where present or ArtistSort in other cases. I've tried various possible fixes, somewhat stymied by tagValue apparently being unavailable for 'Album' index tags (even though I have added Album to either indexTag or itemTag when trialling) and 'merge' not achieving the desired result. I'd be very grateful if you can suggest a way through this.

Desired result: Album index shows AlbumArtist if present; ArtistSort if not. Album display and Now Playing can continue to show Artist.
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17-03-2018, 22:57
Post: #9
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
Have you added Album to indexTags? It is usually better not to do this but instead to use the "n abums" menu selection to view the list of albums.
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18-03-2018, 10:36
Post: #10
RE: Indexing with ArtistSort
I tried adding Album to indexTags and, separately, to itemTags (where it now resides) and then entering tagValue strings for Album.value.index.display, but any string commencing with 'Album' is disallowed, and I'm not sure that my strings (eg. ={Album, AlbumArtist, ArtistSort}) would have worked. I also looked at trying to modify AlbumArtist behaviour with AlbumArtist.value.sort.display={AlbumArtist, ArtistSort}, but that does not affect the Album index display.
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