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Custom TAGS for ARTIST (and probably others) are not being separated

Started by Steve Crook, April 29, 2023, 05:23:47 PM

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Steve Crook

On Windows 11 output to FLAC

I've got a custom tag set at the album level.

tagname is ARTIST and the contents are a semi-colon separated list of artist names. It used to be that they'd end up as separate tag fields if the output supported it. But there seems to have been a reversion and now they're ending up as a single field.

So if I look at them in MP3Tag I get "name; name; name; name" instead of name\\name\\name\\name (\\ being MP3Tag's equivalent of ; )

I've been and checked a number of FLAC files and it's consistently wrong. There's the correct behaviour from the fields in the Edit Track Details dialog, so Composer still gets output as separate tag fields.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

Hi Steve,

I'm *pretty* sure we haven't changed the behaviour since V12.5 here.  I just saved a FLAC file with V12.5 and this is what I got in MP3Tag (you will notice that MP3Tag has split the GENRE tag correctly, and we treat that in the same way):

You cannot view this attachment.

I'd be surprised if MP3Tag were to treat ARTIST as a multi-valued field, TBH.  Seems to me a semi-colon is a legitimate thing to appear in there.

Steve Crook

I don't know. I went back and had a look at a conversation we had about the custom tags dialog back in May 2021 where you said:

Quote from: Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) on May 10, 2021, 09:17:59 PMThanks for this.  With regard to tag separators, these will be written out to the saved tracks as separate tags, if that's wat the file format dictates.

As for your other point, I think I agree, I will see what can be done.

Which is why I was expecting separate tags.

Having had a look at some of the files for albums who's tracks I've saved I can see that some have the ARTIST tag separated into fields and others don't. The problem is, I don't know which version of VS produced which files. I can see "VinylStudio" in the CONTACT field but sadly there's no version number with it...

I've got saved tracks from several albums saved on 03-02-2023 that have ARTIST as separate fields and others that don't. So I have no clue. I've not been in the habit of hand editing tags in saved albums so for the moment I'm assuming they came from VS in that state. Let me look around some more and see if there's a pattern to it.

I'll get back to you.

Steve Crook

OK. I've gone round in ever decreasing circles on this :) I can't account for the fact that some albums have the tags separated into fields and some don't. By the same measure I appear to have some albums where the ALBUM_ARTIST is prepended to the ARTIST, and a separate tag so in MP3 tag I see album_artist\\track_artist; track_artist; track_artist

I've tried a test album with a few very short tracks and different combinations of tag settings and am no wiser.

Eventually ended up looking at the help file to read up on custom tags to see what was said there and if I'd missed anything on configuration. The help says:

QuoteHere is a list of tags that VinylStudio normally generates automatically; you can also select these from the dropdown list. You can override these here. For a full list, please refer to the ID3 specification.

From our discussion on TAG handling in 2019 see:

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

OK, I think I've figure this out.  VinylStudio doesn't split custom tags - only values entered in (for example) the Track Artist field of the Edit Track Details dialog.  Sorry I didn't say this yesterday - I'd forgotten.  V13 behaves the same way as previous versions in this regard.

I'm not sure we particularly need to change this, but I'm open to suggestions.  In any event, it should be documented, so once a decision has been made I'll update the help file.

Steve Crook

I think the only change I'd like would be to have VS split custom tags into fields when they're the *same* tag names as those it currently splits when they're elsewhere.

It's no coincidence that this is what I thought it was doing in the first place :)

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)


OK, we'll do it in the next release, due out soon.  I'll admit it escaped my attention, first time round.  Nothing else really makes sense.

Steve Crook


I already have some software written that I can use to go through and rewrite the tags, so I won't need to re-save anything. But you should have seen the look on my face when I saw the tags in Mp3Tag.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

And mine, when I realised what the software has been doing all this time!

Steve Crook

I started looking at this because of problems with some Android software of mine using the Android MediaStore and getting non album artists as the album artist in query results. It appears there's a MediaScanner bug where, if there are multiple ARTIST tag fields, the mediascanner completely ignores the ALBUM_ARTIST and uses the value of the last ARTIST tag field.

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

How odd.  Anyway, as a result, you have uncovered what I would call a bug.

I've just finished work on it now in fact, more or less, and the changes will be in the next release, due out soon.  Thanks for raising it.