In some of my albums, there are multiples artists and I've decided to properly tag them. I have two issues about this and I'm creating two separate threads.
This is what I'm doing so far:
On the Extended Tags window, I add separate Artist tags.
When I'm done with all my tagging, I run an action group that, among other actions, includes this: Format value "ALBUMARTIST":%artist%.
My problem is that only one ALBUMARTIST tag is created, and its value corresponds to the content of my first ARTIST tag. It'd be great if as many ALBUMARTIST tags could be created as ARTIST tags there are.
Please note that even players that can deal with multi-value fields usually ignore the extra data if that is found in other fields than GENRE, ARTIST and COMPOSER. The idea is that there can be only 1 ALBUMARTIST, 1 TITLE and 1 ALBUM.
But that depends a lot on the features of the player.
I'm aware of the fact that not every music player deals with multiple artists properly, but I'm gonna give a try anyway. So far, it works in Musicbee, but not in Dopamine (I plan to open an issue in Github).
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the ALBUMARTIST tag, but at some point, I decided to use it probably for compatibility reasons. It just contains the same information as the ARTIST tag.
It might not be the best way to handle this, but I prefer to attribute a whole album to an artist in particular (or several artists at the same time), rather than to set an artist for each track. If an artist makes an album, but there's a track made by a different artist, I just write it on the TITLE tag.
I just wanted to avoid a disappointment if the multiple ALBUMARTIST fields lead to the same result as copying the first ARTIST to ALBUMARTIST.
The hierarchy is pretty straightforward IMHO: an ALBUM can only be released by 1 ALBUMARTIST (group, single person, publisher) but on the ALBUM several ARTISTs may deliver a track.
Also, I would structure the data as much as possible. Players usually handle data in separate fields better than in unstructured strings in a single field.
You will find what is best for your player.
The Albumartist field is an essential tag to ensure albums with the same name get properly sorted. An obviously common one of course would “Greatest Hits” that would be a huge mess in most players without the Albumartist tag.
Compilation albums can have a different Artist for every track, the Albumartist in this case is usually “Various Artists” or “Compilations” or some other similar name that you may prefer for your library.
In almost all cases, the Albumartist is as important as the Artist tag. For the minimal amount of file space it occupies in the header, it is well worth making sure it is maintained.