Songs from compilation albums appear as separate albums

  • 24 December 2018
  • 23 replies
  • 540 views

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I use Windows Media Player to Rip music from CD to my Windows PC as a .flac lossless file. I upload each album to My Cloud Home NAS drive. I use the Sonos app to view and play music that is saved on the NAS drive. For single artist albums it works fine. But for compilation albums like "Now! This is Christmas" which has 3 CDs and 70 tracks by different artists the tracks show as individual albums - 70 individual albums! The album is complete on PC and complete on My Cloud, it only gets separated in Sonos. Any solutions gratefully received.

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23 replies

Configure Sonos to group compilations using the ALBUMARTIST tag (where present). You will obviously need to write a suitable value to ALBUMARTIST on the relevant tracks, such as "Various".

There are umpteen ways to modify tags, the gold standard IMO being the free Mp3tag software.
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Thank you Ratty. It is already configured to group using 'Album Artist'. The same problem occurs with an album that has a couple of songs that feature other artists. For example, Robin Thicke's album gets split into 3 separate albums because most of his songs feature him but 2 of them feature other artists and Sonos recognises this as 3 different albums. But the album appears as one album on Windows Media player and on MyCloud.
By default most tracks don't carry the ALBUMARTIST tag. You'll need to populate it yourself. Where it's present Sonos will use it instead of ARTIST. (If the Contributing Artists view is enabled in your controller you'll also be able to select -- not search -- using the original ARTIST tag.)
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Ok, thanks, it's way over my head. How do i do this myself? I have another 200 cds to do and this is so much more difficult and time consuming than I was expecting. I thought Sonos would just play it all properly.
Sonos can't invent data, so it's unable to aggregate all the tracks by disparate artists unless someone or something tells it how. As I say, conventionally this is by adding a suitable ALBUMARTIST tag to the tracks in a compilation album.

Check out https://www.mp3tag.de/en/

If this is all too hard you can always play by selecting the physical folder containing the tracks, using the Folders view.
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Thank you Ratty. I have downloaded mp3tag and can see all my music. But I still can't see the problem. Sticking with my earlier example, Robin Thicke's album Blurred Lines, the 'albumartist' for all tracks is 'Robin Thicke'. The artist is 'Robin Thicke Feat. XYZ' the album is 'Blurred Lines'. Which means the AlbumArtist is correct?
If what you're seeing in the Sonos index is 'Robin Thicke' for that album (not 'Robin Thicke Feat. XYZ' which I assume is an ARTIST tag value) then it sounds like it's reading the ALBUMARTIST tag correctly. For the tracks which don't feature 'Robin Thicke' can you see from Mp3tag which tag is being interpreted by Sonos?
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No, in Sonos it shows 'Robin Thicke Feat. XYZ'. In mp3tag it shows 'albumartist' Robin Thicke.
Is Sonos configured to group compilations using AlbumArtist?
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Yes
Check that the tag being displayed in Mp3tag is "ALBUMARTIST" (no spaces). I have a vague recollection that the default panel shows "ALBUM ARTIST" (two words) which is different.
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Yes you are correct, mp3tag shows 'album artist' 2 separate words.
In that case I think you should create a new tag for your 'Robin Thicke' album that's ALBUMARTIST, containing the correct name. Apologies, it's a long time since I last used Mp3tag, and the memory of this little quirk had faded.

Also, make sure Mp3tag is configured not to preserve the timestamp after a tag edit. (I believe the option should be in Tools/Options/Tags.)

After making the changes you'll obviously need to ask Sonos to do an update scan of your library.
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Ok, I don't know how to create a new tag. The options are Convert:
Tag - Filename
Filename - Tag
Filename - Filename
Text file - Tag
Tag - Tag
I suggest you simply customise the Tag Panel at Tools/Options/Tag Panel.
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Ok, I've got Tools/Options/Tag panel...
Currently all are ticked:
Tit&le
Art&ist
&Album
&Year
T&rack
&Genre
Co&mment
Album Artist
Composer
Discnumber
&Directory
You want AlbumArtist, not 'Album Artist'.
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There isn't that option, all the above are ticked and there's no more to choose from.
Isn't there an 'Add field...' button, or some such? I no longer have Mp3tag installed so I'm going by the help (e.g. http://help.mp3tag.de/options_tagpanel.html) and the user community.
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Ah yes, it's called 'edit field', there's a drop down menu of about 50 options (none of which are 'artist album' with a space), then an empty box for 'Name', and another for 'Default value', and another for 'Size of field'. I have no idea what any of this means?
Sorry, as I say I no longer have Mp3tag on this computer so I can't give precise instructions. Perhaps someone else can step in.
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Perhaps someone from Sonos will reply?
Thank you for your help.
On a tag editor? Unlikely. There is however a pretty copious resource -- user guide, community, etc -- on the Mp3tag website.