album artist is not album artist???


Forgive me if my question is too basic, but I am not (yet?) an expert with ID tag...

Short summary of my question:
the "album artist" field is not recognised as such by DBPowerAmp or by Sonos, Why?

If you need more details, gere is the long story!
I am usingDBPoweramp (DBPA) to add music to my Sonos Zone Player. They talk quite well together regarding tags. However in some cases (when using DBPA to convert FLAC to MP3), DBPA does not allow me to add artwork to all songs.
There I decided to use MP3Tag to make all changes (add artwork, but also edit tag info).
And I noticed one strange problem: for albums with multiple artists (compliations), I need to set the "Album Artist" value to make sure it will be classified properly by Sonos (and will not ceate one entry per artist. I usually put the title of the album, but this is a personal choice).
The problem is that when I do this, the value is not recognised by Sonos, nor by DBPA. Actually when I edit the modified tag with DBPA, it shows that the "album artist" field is actually called "Band".
I don't what is wrong and how to change this!

Thanks for your suggestions

Some programs read %albumartist% rather than %album artist%. Use mp3tag action to automatically copy the value you have in %album artist% and %band% to %albumartist%. This should cover you with all software. Works for me in dbpoweramp, itunes, foobar, and squeezeboxes. EDIT: I don't know if this is your issue, but some programs will also need the compilations tag. Even here there may be two different fields used depending on program. Try to have a "1" in the compilation tag and use both %compilation% and %itunescompilation% as fields with a "1" for compilation.

Hi Garym

You also answered my other post on DBPoweramp forum, I'm impressed you seem to be everywhere!
So basically you are saying the only way to get it right 100% is to use MP3Tag to make corrections afterwards, but there is no safe way to get it right in the first place for sure (I am just interested in DBPowerAmp and SOnos).
If it is so, I think I'm better off making the changes manually in DBPoweramp (using the edit tag info from the right click button).
The idea was to make all edits at once, without having to go back and make other changes.
I just need this for new entries in my library, as I have already taken care of my current collection (600 cds).

but thanks a lot for your help Garym


Actually, I think you can do everything you want in dbpoweramp too. Just use the field mapping options when ripping to map %albumartist% to %album artist% to %band% (program not in front of me at the moment but I recall it would be in the ID TAG dsp that you can run at the time of either ripping or conversion (and again, the term DSP doesn't mean it is modifying the music....just that all the dbpa stuff is called DSP). I use dbpa as well, but there are a number of things I do with mp3tag anyhow, so I've set up several actions in mp3tag to do all this automatically so I just build in the album artist stuff as part of my work flow.

EDIT: We're really in the wrong forum now (this should be over at dbpa), but what you want to do is use the ID TAG PROCESSING DSP effect when ripping and within that the "mapping" option to map the value of one tag field to another. I vaguely recall that dbpa will show only album artist or albumartist if it has both values. experiment a little, but I promise you'll eventually get things to work right on all your players...just a matter of getting the tags right.

Get Mp3tag v2.45 and go to Options > Tags > Mapping
Add a column with these values:
VorbisComment - ALBUMARTIST - BAND

Now the tag panel edit field "Album Artist" will save to ALBUMARTIST for flac/vorbis files.

This is great because I've been tagging Album Artist in mp3tag, but it keeps disappearing in iTunes so I'm thinking this would fix this problem for me.

However, I can't determine which "action" in the available list to use to build this from?

If you could spell out a little more how to do this, I would greatly appreciate it.


  1. Higlight a file or files. Select CONVERT, then ACTION
  2. click on the upper right icon to create a new action and then give it a name (e.g., map album artist)
  3. click on upper right icon and from dropdown box, select FORMAT VALUE
    Format string: %album artist%

(what's happening here is that mp3tag is assigning the field ALBUMARTIST the value it already has in ALBUM ARTIST)
then save this action. Now go back highlight a file or files and run the action

Do the same thing again but create another action so that step 4 is Field: BAND, format string %album artist%

if your album artist is actually in %albumartist" and you're trying to create ALBUM ARTIST then modify as needed. Essentially, you're trying to get all the same info into BAND, ALBUMARTIST, and ALBUM ARTIST. Once you do this, ITUNES will see this as well. I can't remember, but I"m thinking that ITUNES uses the BAND tag as ALBUM ARTIST.

It was this piece that I was missing as I just didn't know which to select from the dropdown box.

But the rest of your message also helped make the entire method that much more clear.

Thanks so much, garym!