How do I add a BAND or ALBUMARTIST column?

I need help adding a BAND or ALBUMARTIST column.

All of my files are mp3. I'm ripping them in dBpoweramp and setting the Band tag only so that I can refer to it when naming the files. I'm intentionally leaving Album Artist blank so that individual track Artists are displayed. I'm testing my rules by playing albums on my various players to see what is being displayed for a song's title or artist or on a list of albums in my truck, on my phone, on my Sansa player or even in WMP. To that end, I'd like to see what's in the Band field which I understand MP3Tag identifies as AlbumArtist but I can't figure out how to get that column in MP3Tag. If I right-click any track and look at Extended Tags, I can see Band that way but I'd like to see it as one of the columns.

When I try to add a new column and give it a unique name like BandABC and the value %albumartist%, I get a blank column. If I try to add a new column AlbumArtist and give it the value %albumartist%, I get a blank column. %band% is not an available value. I've tried mapping Band and AlbumArtist to new targets of BAND1 and BAND2 respectively, but those new tags don't appear anywhere for me to add them to the columns.

I've got to be over thinking this. I couldn't even find where this has been discussed or asked before so maybe what I want to do can't be done?

The general procedure you described, is correct.
You should also add %albumartist% to "Field".

If there is no data but you see something in the extended tags dialogue, then check if you really have the field ALBUMARTIST or ALBUM ARTIST (or BAND or any other spelling) instead.

Column Definition Name : AlbumArtist Value : $if2(%ALBUMARTIST%,$if2(%ALBUM ARTIST%,'? '$if2(%ARTIST%,%_filename_ext%))) Field : %ALBUMARTIST% SortBy : $if2(%ALBUMARTIST%,$if2(%ALBUM ARTIST%,'? '$if2(%ARTIST%,%_filename_ext%))) Numeric: no

... or ...

Column Definition Name : AlbumArtist Value : $if2(%ALBUMARTIST%,$if2(%ALBUM ARTIST%,$if2('? '%BAND%,$if2('?? '%ARTIST%,'??? '%_filename_ext%)))) Field : %ALBUMARTIST% SortBy : $if2(%ALBUMARTIST%,$if2(%ALBUM ARTIST%,$if2('? '%BAND%,$if2('?? '%ARTIST%,'??? '%_filename_ext%)))) Numeric: no

... or ...

Column Definition Name : Band Value : %BAND% Field : %BAND% SortBy : %BAND% Numeric: no

DD.20160314.1245.CET, DD.20160314.1825.CET

Thank you for the reply, ohrenkino. Here's an example. I can see BAND in the extended tags window.

This is what I've done to try to create the BANDABC column:

You can see, there is no %band% field to choose but that %albumartist% is on the list of available basic fields as well as on the list of extended fields. Does it matter which %albumartist% I use for this? Either way, I still get blanks in the new BANDABC column.

That worked, kind of. It did add the column AlbumArtist but the contents are "? Loggins & Messina". It looks like it's getting the "? " value and appending "Loggins & Messina" to it but I'm not quite following the IF logic you used. Is that documented somewhere?

Is "Loggins & Messina" coming from albumartist, album artist or artist? I'm wanting to see what's in albumartist (or band).

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

For the value to be displayed the highest priority is given at the left side of the formatstring and the lowest at the right side.
If you see a question mark, then it could be the value from the ARTIST tagfield, otherwise the filename with extension will be displayed.
The question mark should give visual alarm that the value is rather questionable.
You can define the formatstring as you need it.


The lists are a convenience, not a restriction.
Try typing %band% as the value and field when defining the column.

I think I understand now. %ALBUMARTIST% and %ALBUM ARTIST% are both empty tags so "? " was used because %ARTIST% DOES have a value, it was appended.

I thought that in MP3Tag, the BAND tag was changed to ALBUMARTIST. But your formatstring shows that %ALBUMARTIST% is empty and we do see data in %BAND%.

Living and learning.

THAT was the answer. I should have tried that. :blush: Now I can see what's in the %BAND% tag for each track.

Thank you!

Well, for best compatibility, you should move the data from the (user-defined) field BAND to ALBUMARTIST as only the ALBUMARTIST is stored as the TPE2 field.
Use an action of the type "Format value" for ALBUMARTIST
Format string: %band%
Afterwards, you can delete the field BAND.

Really the only reason I use %band% at all is to control what gets used in path\filename when I rip a CD. My file structure is %band%(%year%) %album%\%band% - (%year%) %album% - %track% - %artist% - %title%.mp3. I manually type the album artist's name into %band% and delete %album artist% in most cases.

In the case of a soundtrack, I set %band% to "_Soundtracks". For compilations, I set %band% to "_Various Artists". That puts appropriate CDs under those top-level folders and the next level folders are the album. There are other ways to do that, I know. I could use a soundtracks profile for soundtracks that would include the literal "_Soundtracks" rather that putting it in %band%.

I don't want to see the contents of %band% anywhere else which is why, for my testing purposes, I want to see what's in each of the tags and confirm that what I have put in %band% doesn't show up in some player where I expect to see something else. It appears to be working in my players so far.

Once the rip is complete, I could use MP3Tag to remove the %band% field but as long as it's not causing harm, it's easier to leave it as is. Although I am open to suggestions for improvements.

This is exactly the purpose of the field ALBUMARTIST (one word). It is not necessary to introduce an extra field for that.
Widespread players like iTunes, WMP or foobar use the field ALBUMARTIST to group files even if the track artist varies. Otherwise you may get each track of a compilation as an individual album.
So instead of using the detour with BAND, you may go for ALBUMARTIST straight away.

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