How do you deal with artists with alot of name variations?


How do you deal whit them, do you have a lot of almost identical ARTIST tags or do you select a way of writing it? Or somthing else?

For my part I have the release-name-variant in the filename and one "standrd" in ARTIST tag, except if the artist name is not completely different, then I treat it like a new artist.
Like aliases here:

I would say that you have to be able to find an artist and his tracks in your collection. If you know that a certain track can be found under one of the variations, then use that as search criterion (and keep the data that way).

If you want to have a reference to the artist's name, the I would not use the filename as information storage as a decent player would not look at the filename and if you have to use the filename as data reference, then you would not know that the name in the filename is one of the variations.

You may find INVOLVEDPEOPLE an interesting field where you can store the real name of performers or, not quite accurate, use COMPOSER to get a reference to between artist name and performer.

IMHO this problem is only (if at all) a problem for single artists. As soon as you refer to groups and you want to keep track of the different members then you would have to think of a link between the real name of an artist and the current name as performer.
(see e.g. Sting in the band Police and as soloist or Robbie Williams as soloist or in Take That (and some more) or e.g. Eric Clapton who you see in Blind Faith (2), Carl Perkins & Friends, Casey Jones And His Engineers, Cream (2), Derek & The Dominos, Ensemble (6), Eric Clapton & Friends, Eric Clapton & His All Star Band, Eric Clapton And His Band, Eric Clapton And The Powerhouse, George's Band, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Ravi's Orchestra, S. Splurge, T.D.F., The Crickets & Their Buddies, The Dirty Mac, The Louisiana Gator Boys, The Secret Police, The Singing Rebel's Band, The Yardbirds, Vivian Stanshall Sean Head Showband or as King Cool (2), Sir Cedric Clayton, X-Sample (2) - acc. to discogs).
See what is best for your collection.

I accept the artist intent. If he or she want to be called "Brian" on one track and "Brian M vs McBunn" on another, I take it as two complete different artists.

IMHO it is impossible to get a complete list of all songs for "Brian" or "Brian Mohamed" (his legal name). Just think about examples where artists get credits with complete different names like "Cat Stevens" and "Yusuf Islam" (born "Steven Demetre Georgiou"). Such a list would be endless and never complete. In this example the artist even changed his musical style completely.

I would never try to adjust filenames with such informations. Filenames have too much limitations. If you really want to save such metadata, I suggest to use existing official or new private Tags for this additional data.

Personally, I generally leave the Artist as indicated by the actual release. This applies to both the track Artist(s) and Album Artist(s). But as always, there are exceptions where I have taken some liberties when it comes to artists that have changed their name through their careers, such as John Cougar adding Mellencamp later, or Alanis adding her last name Morrissette. I've used their complete names since it is pretty likely one would find what they were looking for either way.

Ask yourself, If you were to have somebody else look through your collection, where would they expect to find it? But it's your data, so ultimately it is up to you to decide.

1 Like

I see.
Well, this is what I meant:
DJ Mad Dog has 3 variations, Dj Mad Dog, Mad Dog and Maddog.

Then I will do it like his:
Filename: Maddog - A Night Of Madness.mp3
ARTIST (tag): DJ Mad Dog

Filename: Dj Mad Dog - Hey Yoo.mp3
ARTIST (tag): DJ Mad Dog

Filename: Mad Dog, Noize Suppressor - Fire.mp3
ARTIST (tag): DJ Mad Dog\\Noize Suppressor

But for his alias Pastamatik i will do:
Filename: Pastamatik ‎– Everchangin' Cycles.mp3
ARTIST (tag): Pastamatik


Any special-purpose, static display name goes into %artist% or %albumartist%, but the commonly known name, which is unique in my library and may change over time, goes into %artistsort% and %albumartistsort%.


After initial years of tagging everything as accordingly as possible to the CD booklet - I switched to using a rather elastic approach with unification as as goal. [And I also add info that can be absent from the official materials]

Thus I do not care if The Prodigy on something like 2 of their releases became Prodigy - all over my files this band is still The Prodigy. If they had changed the name to something completely different and started playing somewhat different music - then I would have them under that new name for that new stuff

Beware though: this can get tricky when a Vocalist Plus Band goes solo and as Vocalist performs songs from the repertoire of Vocalist Plus Band. Plus various re-mixes can [try to] further mess things up. But I always have this goal in mind: unification / simplicity

And so in both of the cases you presented I would just pick one variant of the name and stick to it. But if you want to [in my opinion] waste time and / or have a fail-safe then

seems to be a perfect sollution