Compilation or “various artist” albums can frustratingly glut up the music library of many mp3 players, and even many jukebox programs with media library capacity.
When browsing the music library by artist, each individual artist from a compilation album can show up as its own artist. So if, for example, I load the soundtrack from Pulp Fiction onto my Clip, I’ve added 18 artists to my music library, when I would likely only access the album as a unit. This is exacerbated with the Clip because of its small screen, and because it is a relatively small-capacity player anyway and so a couple of compilation albums would notably increase the number of total artists on the player, making browsing more difficult.
There are different methods for dealing with this issue:
- iTunes has a “compilation” tag field that is basically just a 0/1 switch
- Windows Media Player and a number of other programs use a tag field called “BAND” to indicate album artist, and the album artist for a compilation album would read be “various artists.” foobar2000 uses a tag field simply called “album artist” to do the same thing.
Windows Media Player stupidly uses the information from the “BAND” field to totally override the normal “artist” tag, so you can’t view the actual track artist (normal “artist” tag) except by opening up the advanced tag editor.
But it’s easily possible to program a player or media jukebox program to use the “album artist” or “BAND” field (or iTunes’ “compilation” switch) for browsing the music library, and to use the normal “artist” field to display track info while a song is playing. This way the albums would show up in the music library under “various artists” or “compilation” but when playing songs from such an album, you’d still see the info about the actual performing artist.
Anyway, I’m just wondering if the Clip recognizes any way of differentiating compilation/various albums, aside from just changing the actual “artist” tag.