[F] Mp3tag v2.46a - 'Album Artist' Not Correct

There IS a standard for ID3 tags, and the standard is that TPE2=BAND/ORCHESTRA. The standard doesn't define support for Album Artist, which is why there is a problem for apps that want to store it. However, the standard does support custom tags, so apps should use that, rather than abuse tags that have a defined meaning.

There is no difference in the meaning of TPE2 between id3 v2.3 and v2.4. Aligning TPE2=Album Artist is equally wrong with either id3 tag version.

There is no standard in this space for frames or tags. In other words, I distinguish between "proposed standards" and "common practices", of which there are many in this space and "standard(s)", of which there are none in this space. By "standard", I mean something that has been comprehensively developed, reviewed, accepted, implemented, and compliance-tested, maintained, and enforced on an on-going basis. Many have proposed pieces of a solution for the tagging puzzle for some music formats, but to leap from these many proposals to declaring any of them standards just is not credible to anyone who deals with and understands the use of the term "standard" in a technical or practical sense in the engineering or software community.

To put it another way, if there was a standard, we wouldn't be having this discussion here - we'd take it to the standards body and work something out there. Which standards body is managing what standard for tagging? It's clearly not ID3.org - yes, they are a group of highly talented and motivated individuals who have proposed structures over the years, and I would love it if they actually were the accepted standards body to resolve issues like this, but wishing it so or declaring it so does not make it so.

More concisely, "where there are many standards to do the same thing, there is no standard".

www.id3.org is widely regarded as the standard to be followed. Okay, granted it is called an Informal Standard, but if there is anything to be followed for id3, this is it.

There are lots of other things that Mp3Tag does that are not supported by iTunes, WMP, etc. Should those be removed to be "compatible" too? eg. null chars to divide multiple artists in id3 v2.3 is not standard; it was only introduced for v2.4. iTunes doesn't support multiple artists, genres, etc, in any id3 tag version.

Band/Orchestra is actually quite a useful tag to have, esp. for classical music. To throw that away to mis-use for Album Artist is just a bit annoying, when there is actually some software that supports it for it's intended purpose.

ID3.org is a standard? We seem to have a radically different understanding of the term. The need to demand that anyone needs to remove or change anything to be "compatible" seems to only derive from one trying to argue that there is a standard, and if you think I have done so, then I failed to explain my views.

If you believe there is a standard, I will stop trying to persuade you otherwise, and it would seem you have no need to argue against my views. I encourage you to take your views to the folks at ID3.org to define a resolution that they will enforce with Mp3tag, iTunes, and other applications.

While you are over there, I hope they are as impressed as I am in your declarations of anything being a "mis-use" for "it's intended purpose".

Most programs (especially widely used ones as iTunes and WMP) use TPE2 as album artist. So does Mp3tag now to give a better experience for most users.

You can still make TPE2 show as BAND in Mp3tag by adding a mapping in the options:
ID3v2 - albumartist - band

It's because major applications opt not to follow the standard/guidelines that id3 tags are in this mess. Every tagging/ripping app seems to have different quirks.

I've been impressed that up until now, Mp3Tag has not been swayed to follow the poor decisions made by the big companies that have shoe-horned Album Artist over the top of a tag that has nothing to do with Album Artist, ignoring informal standards/guidelines/whatever you want to call them.

Actually, I seem to recall a few years back there was a similar change introduced into Mp3Tag, which was subsequently backed out following objections and confusion.

Anyway, I'll give the new beta version a go to see if it is possible to reconfigure it back. I can always go back to the previous version if it's not possible to tag properly.

So, I gather that I'll be able to reconfigure the tag panel and columns to remap TPE2 back to BAND, and Album Artist to write a custom tag ALBUM ARTIST, but have to remember that the script language won't work the same. Not sure what I'll get in Extended Tags - I think it's going to be confusing.

TPE2=Album Artist shouldn't affect me (I don't add an Album Artist tag unless it's necessary for albums with guests, and I rip all new albums to FLAC). But I am bothered that I won't be able to add Band tags, because this will be interpretted as setting an Album Artist tag and mess up my other software that reads TPE2=BAND and TXXX ALBUM ARTIST or Vorbis Album Artist tag.

Is it still possible to write a TXXX ALBUM ARTIST tag? I gather that if I have a field called %ALBUM ARTIST%, it will now write to TPE2 instead, so it won't be possible to tag things to work in Foobar and other software that expects TPE2=BAND and TXXX ALBUM ARTIST.

Is it possible to write to a custom tag called BAND? i.e. a TXXX frame called BAND?

I'm not totally against Mp3Tag being configurable to allow it to follow the (bad) example set by WMP/iTunes, but isn't it better to continue to label TPE2 as BAND (as that is the official name), and map id3v2 - BAND - Album Artist, for compatibility with apps if people want it (could be the default for new installs).

Then it is still possible to write a custom Album Artist tag, rather than it writing to TPE2.

Be careful your saying ALBUM ARTIST although the new mapping for TPE2 is ALBUMARTIST
This means you can still write TXXX:ALBUM ARTIST but not TXXX:ALBUMARTIST

I actually use TXXX ALBUM ARTIST, because that is what Foobar2000 expects, and Squeezebox Server also understands that tag.

However, there are people who use TXXX ALBUMARTIST (Squeezebox Server used to only understand that tag). Those people may now be disappointed to find that Mp3Tag will not work for them any more.

just to make sure i understand this right:

ID3v2.3 Frame................ Mp3Tag v 2.46............... Mp3Tag v 2.46d

TPE2................................. BAND .............................. ALBUMARTIST
TXXX:ALBUMARTIST........... ALBUMARTIST.................. - not supported -
TXXX:BAND....................... - not supported - ............ BAND

is this correct?

and can anybody show me how this Mp3Tag-field-names are mapped with m4a, ogg, flac & wma files?

It's correct.
Look in your local help file for other mappings.
flac/ogg tags are not mapped unless there's a mapping at Options > Tags > Mapping

These changes are rather complicated for most people who don't have insights in the structure of ID3 Frames. At least I never cared about frames before, so i was very confused what i have to change now.

There should be a information message at the start of the Mp3Tag after the update which informs the user that they have to change the placeholders in:

  • converter commands
  • actions comands
  • export
  • playlists
  • filter
  • web scripts
    to get the same tags as before!

The message shoul also explain the relation between ID3 frames and tag field names. My first thougt was Mp3Tag writes now a different Tag called ALBUMARTIST instead of BAND. Basically I thought the Tag Field name is actually written inside the mp3, I had no idea about the existence of mapped frames behind the field names (although i read about mapped frames at some places here in the forum and at hydrogenaudio, but I didn't care because I never needed).
Reading a few questions here in the frorum, I think I'm not the only one.

Thanks, the BAND bit always messed with my flac/foobar2000 system.

And even better...

I customized 2.45a in options to use "ALBUM ARTIST" instead of "BAND" and installing 2.46e over it respected my change.

Sorry to bring this thread up again, but I'm really struggling to use Mp3Tag with this change.

Having stuck with a previous release because I didn't want to mess up my tags, I finally gave in and thought I'd try the latest version with this tag mapping/naming change for TPE2.

I was thinking that I'd be able to change the mapping to achieve the equivalent of what the software used to do.

But so far I haven't, and I'm confused.

I used to use TPE2(BAND) for holding Band information, and TXXX ALBUM ARTIST for Album Artist information. i.e. a field called BAND in Mp3Tag would write to TPE2, and a field called Album Artist would write to TXXX ALBUM ARTIST.

This ties in with how I have always tagged, and what SqueezeBox and Foobar expect.

For Vorbis tags, it would also use BAND for Band and ALBUM ARTIST for Album Artist.

As far as I can make out in the new version of Mp3Tag, I cannot reconfigure Mp3Tag such that the old behaviour can be achieved.

I'm going back to 2.46c, which was the last version before the change. However, if anyone can work out what can be done to restore normality in the new version, I'd be happy to try again.

i.e. I want consistency in the grid column names, TagPanel fields and Extended Tags dialog, for all types of tag format, such that I can write to BAND and write to ALBUM ARTIST, so Foobar will still work properly.

It is possible.

Add this mapping in Options > Tags > Mapping:
ID3v2 | albumartist | band

In scripts, tag panel or columns use %album artist% for Album artist and %band% for Band

If you also tag mp4 or wma files add these mappings:
MP4 | albumartist | album artist
WMA | albumartist | album artist

Thanks dano.

I think I tried that, and thought it wasn't working. However, I've just tried again, and it seems to be working fine.

I think I thought it wasn't working, because my tag panel config changed after the upgrade. I had a field called Band that was bound to %band%, but it seems that after upgrade it had been bound to %albumartist%, so I had to change it back to %band%.

That's what was confusing me.

I thought I'd also have a problem with files where I'd previously written TXXX ALBUMARTIST tags, but these do appear to at least be read in and assumed to be BAND (i.e. if I load such a file and Ctrl-S, the custom tag ALBUMARTIST gets written back out as another TPE2 value instead).

Now I have to work out the damage to SORT tags, and what different apps are capable of reading :wink:

Thanks once again.

For the past month I have been fighting my squeezebox database because of corrupted ALBUMARTIST tags that I thought were due to a logitech bug only to find out today that they are a result of MP3Tag's upgrade and the fact that I can nolonger write to a "TXXX AlbumArtist" frame.

I can handle renaming the TPE2 frame but I heavily relied on the TXXX frame above and it has broken my dB and my own organization scheme. At the very least it seems that MP3Tag should allow one to map to a TXXX AlbumArtist tag if desired, or maybe I can and I just can't figure it out.

In the meantime, it looks like I will rolling back my version of MP3Tag and hope that somehow I can choose what custom TXXX tag I want to write to.

See dano's replay from Dec 5, above.

what a confusing topic.

the basic issue is that most apps, and now devices, have improperly hijacked the TPE2 frame to mean something [albumartist] that wasn't even in the standard. this has been the case however, for YEARS.

here are some data points, starting with apps that use TPE2 to perform the function of albumartist:

SBS (now by default, but can be switched in settings to mean band, which is proper by id3 standard)

i believe media monkey and foobar and many other small apps either do so as well by default, or can be configured to do so, but regardless the above represents well over 90% of the marketshare of apps.

TCMP is a made up frame by apple, but i believe is also a de facto standard for mp3s/id3, however egregious the arrogance of apple to do so, one may find it to be.

so, in short:

i support mp3tag changing itself to recognize these changes in the marketplace, that represent the new de facto standard and reality, however offensive one may find that to be.

but while i support mp3tag switching to "this way" so you have a default config "out of the box" that will work for the most amount of people with least amount of fuss, i do believe that mp3tag should offer people the ability to fully configure mp3tag to whatever their situation may call for, which might mean fully reversing these changes.

so, while TPE2 should be AA by default...

TXXX ALBUM ARTIST and TXXX ALBUMARTIST should both be supported. maybe a user wants to use one or the other or both. maybe they want to use both AND TPE2 as 'AA' as well, or maybe TPE2 will be BAND. let them be able to configure this easily, via preconfigured options/mappings in the settings. make it a radial button set of choices.

(TXXX BAND should be available optionally if TPE2=AA btw)

so, TCMP should mean compilations by default, (for id3 files)...

but again, let the user decide via preconfigured settings/mappings in the options if they should also add TXXX COMPILATIONS or only use TXXX COMPILATIONS or whatever.

i think if some common usage cases were available via a single click in options b/c they are pre-configured and mapped, i think all users, including the important existing users, would be happy and satisfied.

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