Multiple Artist Albums

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Media Center comes with a number of tools to help automatically identify compilation albums that include various artists.

Album Artist (auto)

This is a built-in automatic field. It auto-completes as follows:

  • If something is manually typed in the Album Artist field, that content is included in the Album Artist (auto) field as well.
  • If the Album Artist field is empty, then the Album Artist (auto) field gets completed as follows:
    • Single-artist name in the case of a single-artist album.
    • (Multiple Artists)in the case of a multiple-artist album*. In order for (Multiple Artists) to appear automatically, the album must be in its own exclusive directory (i.e., if there are files from more than one album in a directory, the program will not label it as Multiple Artist).

Here is the logic. A track is a mix if all the files with the same [Album] value in the same directory:

  • have more than one [Artist] value among them
  • have no other [Album] values used by any other file in the same directory
  • are Audio and have a non-empty [Album] value

Automatic Assorted

When you rename files (right click > Library Tools > Rename Files from Properties), the window that appears provides the option to "Use Assorted for [Artist] on multi-artist albums". This is just under the Directories Rule. When selected, the files will be saved in a directory called Assorted if you have included the [Artist] rule in the directory rule.

Example:

Artist: Stackabones, Album: Best of Truck Driving Songs

Directory Rule:
Base path: M:\Music\
Rule: [Artist]\[Album]
"Use Assorted [Artist] on multi-artist albums" is checked.

Result:
M:\Music\Assorted\Best of Truck Driving Songs\Filename rule

Complete Albums

Media Center can automatically display complete and incomplete albums. An album is considered complete if all the files with the same [Album] value in the same directory:

  • are sequentially numbered tracks starting at 1
  • have at least 2 files or 10 minutes of audio
  • are Audio and have a non-empty [Album] value.

View Schemes for Multiple Artist Albums

Create the following scheme to view Multiple Artist Albums:

  1. Right click on Audio in the tree.
  2. Select Add View Scheme.
  3. Click "Add", Standard View Item, and add the following:
    • Album Type (shows multiple vs. single artist albums, and whether they are complete or incomplete). Note: you may have to scroll up the list to get Album Type. Press Ok.
    • Repeat, and add Album
  4. Or display fields for each of the items displayed in #3: Album Type, Album Artist (auto), Complete Album, Album.

You can now quickly view your Multiple Artist albums, and better yet, you can view all of your complete and/or incomplete albums. Complete albums are indicated by a "1", and "0" displays incomplete albums.