Artist and Album Artist

I want to re-tag classical music tracks which are currently incorrectly tagged.
The album is all performed by a single artist (lets say A) with different composers, X, Y, and Z.
Right now the tags are as follows:

Track   Artist    Album Artist
   1       X
   2       Y
   3       Z

But what it really should be is:

Track   Artist    Album Artist
   1        A            X
   2        A            Y
   3        A            Z

So I'd like to pick the current Artist name and copy to Album Artist. Then a second pass, make the Artist "A" for all tracks. The second is easy, how to do the first?

You can use a quick action [ "Actions (Quick)" ]:

Action type: Format value
Format string: %artist%

Yep that worked. Why Format, and not Replace?

A Replace action replaces some specific string in a field with another string. A Format Value action is simpler, since it doesn't care what is there currently - you're replacing the value entirely, not modifying the existing value. Use a Replace action for tasks such as changing 'Bob' to 'Robert' within an ARTIST field, or changing ', ' to ' - '.

A word of warning:
albumartist is the superior sorting criterium to artist (and to composer).
So if you use one of these fancy pod-thingys (or other mp3 players) then you will get the same album for albumartist x, y and z while artist does not really matter.
If you tag classical music then I think it would be a good idea to fill the composer tag really with the composer's name e.g. Beethoven. The albumartist would either be the orchestra, the conductor or the solo artist, depending on who is more famous.
The artist tag then could be filled with the varying co-artists.
For pop music and samplers/compilations it is a widely agreed way to tag the albumartist as "Various" and specify the real artist in the tag artist.
For individual artists/groups albumartist and artist tags show usually the same data (unless you have Eric Clapton as Derek and the Dominoes).

I'd like to add, that many people tag sampler as
ALBUM ARTIST=Various Artists
(note the space in the field name, as in the first post in this thread).

In the case of individual albums one would not set the ALBUM ARTIST field at all; only in rare cases like above.

And, yes, the composer is useually stored into the field COMPOSER.

This is not true for at least the iPods.
Esp. with albums of the same name like "Greatest Hits", "Gold" and the like leaving the album artist empty leads to strange displays.
Several users complained about this behaviour but found a solution in filling the album artist.

I also have an issue with Artist and Album Artist tags with I wondered if anyone could help with or shred some light on:

I have a Squeezebox touch, with Squeezebox server installed on a NAS, and I have the following happening:

Example 1 (Flac):
Artist: Prince & The New Power Generation
Album Artist: Prince
Album: Diamonds & Pearls
Under artists on my Squeezebox touch this comes up just as Prince no reference to Prince & The New Power Generation - brilliant exactly as I want

Example 2 (Flac)::
Artist: Prince & The Revolutions
Album Artist: Prince
Album: Purple Rain
Under artists on my Squeezebox touch this comes up under Prince plus there is a entry for Prince & The Revolutions - I want it to be as above, seems to be set up exactly the same way so why the difference?

Example 3 (mp3):
Artist: Estelle/John Legend
Album Artist: Estelle
Album: Shine
Under artists on my squeezebox touch this comes up under Estelle and Estelle/John Legend. I only want it to come up under Estelle.

I like to keep all my lists as clean as possible hence why I want all the variation of Prince albums just under prince. I use Mp3tag for my music tagging and have cleared out all the unnecessary tags under extended tags, which has made no difference. I have through about using Mp3tidy on these problems albums and starting from scratch.

I think this is likely to be a tagging issue rather than a squeezebox touch/server issue.

Am I tagging incorrectly for what I want to achieve, using perhaps artistsort or albumartistsort?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated on this.

You should check whether your Squeezebox expects al field "albumartist" (without blank) or "album artist" (with blank).
I think that the standard is more the one without blank.
You could try to create one by copying the contents of the filed with blank in the name to the one without.
This action is described in the FAQs.

Hi ohrenkino
All my tags for album artists are "albumartist" (without blank) so doesn't make sense why some work and some don't.

I think there is an issue with flac where flac wants the albumartist as album artist. (Not quite sure as I don't use flac).
so: if the album artist (with blank) in the flac files is always empty it could be that the player treats all albums as those of a single album artist with a very short name.

So: what if you added at least for two flacs an "album artist" to see whether the grouping is ok.
If this was my error then you could easily delete the new fields with mp3tag.

Hi ohrenkino
Thanks again for the post. It is now behaving how I wish it too, not exactly sure what the problem was. On some there was a compilation tag which was confusing things, I think if compilation was set to 0 it didn't read the albumartist tag. I deleted the compilation tag and rescaned on the server and it had corrected itself. On a few I emptied all tags and re-tagged then, again all was fine. So this was definitely a tagging issue.

Hopefully this will help others.
I am very happy happy happy, now all Prince is listed under Prince but when it is playing the Touch says Prince & The Revolutions etc.

Also just for reference my flac's are reading the albumartist (without blank) perfectly fine.

You came across an odd bug in Squeezebox Server where having COMPILATION=0 is not the same as having no COMPILATION tag. It affects how artist roles are assigned for the album. My advice is to add COMPILATION=1 to all files in compilation albums, but leave the COMPILATION tag out of any non-compilations. Never use COMPILATION=0.

See this (very long) bug report for Squeezebox Server: . In particular, comments #21, 39, 44, and a couple of others that discuss what happens when COMPILATION=0 is set.

Interpretation of tags is application dependent.

Squeezebox Server recognizes both ALBUMARTIST and ALBUM ARTIST in Flac/Ogg/Ape files. For Mp3 files with ID3v2 tags, TPE2 (when the option "Treat TPE2 MP3 tag as Album Artist" is set), TXXX/ALBUMARTIST, and TXXX/ALBUM ARTIST are all recognized as album artist.

Thanks JJ Johnson
That explains it perfectly. So please I got this sorted. Can happily start adding more music now making sure all my tagging is correct