Newbie Ignorance...ARTISTSORT

Have done a search, and I'm sure it's covered, but I haven't found a step by step for a newbie like me. I have my music tagged, but would like to add SORTARTIST to flac files. Can someone please explain exactly what steps to follow to add this so "Eric Clapton" shows as "Clapton, Eric", etc?

Thanks for the help and patience...

Make an action group with these actions:

Action #1:
Action type: Format value
Formatstring: %artist%

Action #2:
Action type: Replace with regular expression
Regular expression: ^(.+)\s(.+)$
Replace matches with: $2, $1

That seems to have worked, thank, but...

When I right click on a file and look at extended tags, the ARTISTSORT shows up, but when I show the list of files in Mp3tag with an ARTISTSORT column, the column is still blank? Should it be?

Did you enter %ARTISTSORT% in the value field?

Nope...guess that's the reason :smiley:

Now one more (newbies always say that). In case my wife decides she wants it back the old way, how would I delete the ARTISTSORT tag? :wacko:


You can delete the tag also at Extended tags

Or make an action type Remove fields and enter ARTISTSORT


Thank you for all the help!

If I have an 'album' by 'Billy Joel & Elton John' how would I make ARTISTSORT read 'Joe, Billy & Elton John'? Right now it converts to 'John, Billy Joel & Elton'

Is this a more detailed script?

How do others handle this? Was it the music choice above that led to no responses? How about 'Eric Clapton & Dr. John' appearing under 'C' for Clapton?

Can it be done?

This should work for both cases:
Action type: Replace with regular expression
Regular expression: ^([^&]+) ([^ ]+)(?= &|$)
Replace matches with: $2, $1

I will give that a shot. Is there a tutorial or 'for idiots' guide for this anywhere I can link to? I truly appreciate the help, but if there's a guide I might not have to ask as much (or maybe more as I'm learning...)

There is no special guide for Mp3tag but you can find lots of information on the web.
A good start is

1 Like

I prefer: 'Joe, Billy & John, Elton
I have tried to understand the regular expressions language, but for me it is like Chinese :slight_smile:.
What is the action for this ?
Maybe "newbie" fphredd knows allready the answer?

Because the ARTISTSORT tag field is dedicated to hold a simple sortable value what's about with "JoeJohnBillyElton" :wink: or is there any standard or convention?


MusicBrainz tried to make a standard for the Artist Sort Name for Artist Names.
"# For artist names that are regular names, the sort name will be "Last Name, First Name".

"Eric Clapton" 's sort name is "Clapton, Eric". 

For artist names that are ficticious names, the sort name is the same as the artist name.

"Franz Ferdinand" 
"Cypress Hill". 

For artist names that start with "The", that word is treated as is it were a first name of a regular name.

"The Beatles" have sort name "Beatles, The". 

Non-english articles like La, El, Los and Le are treated as the English article "The".

"Los Lobos" have sort name "Lobos, Los". 

For artist names that start with a title like "Dr.", "DJ" or "MC", that title is treated as is it were a first name of a regular name.

"DJ Tiësto" has sort name "Tiësto, DJ". 

For artist names that end with a title like "Jr." or "Sr.", that title is always put at the end of the sort name, preceded by ", ".

"Harry Connick, Jr." has sort name "Connick, Harry, Jr.". 

For artist names with a nickname between the first name and last name, the nickname is treated as if it's part of the first name of the artist.

"Jean 'Toots' Thielemans" has sort name "Thielemans, Jean 'Toots'". "

etc. etc. etc.

I agree with you that it is almost impossible to write an automatic action for all these rules.

Yes, this MusicBrainz sort style guide looks very useful, I saw it once before, but I had forgotten this source.


I have no idea what a 'best' or 'most official/accepted' format is, for me it's just personal preference...

I do appreciate all the help!

MusicBrainz does it about as good as possible, but to be honest I personally gave up on doing artistsorts and now my Eric Clapton is under "E" and my Jethro Tull is under "J" and I don't worry about it and just listen to the music...

At least my music player is smart enough to auto-strip out "The"s, but I'm not sure what it would do with the band "The The" :rolleyes:

Me too prefer to listen to music, but while I am listning I can do the Artistsorting as good as possible.:slight_smile:
I have the Artistsort now well, but is was a great job and it need always attention when you rip.
But you are right, you do not have to do it.
And if you don' do it , it saves you a lot of time .............

...and as soon as my wife decides which system works for me :w00t: I'll be able to do the same...