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v16 Artists Artwork Questions - Printable Version

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--- Thread: v16 Artists Artwork Questions (/showthread.php?tid=285306)



Artists Artwork Questions - 1marc1 - 2016-08-03

Hi team,

I have some questions about artist artwork. I am running Jarvis on Ubuntu and am busy setting up my music library. I have been reading a large number of threads on this subject and have picked up a few best practices along the way from others.

My environment consists of the Ubuntu machine and an RPi3. The RPi3 has a USB disk attached, which holds all music. Both Ubuntu and RPi3 are running version 16.1 with the Aeon-Nox skin. I have setup a MySQL database and Kodi (exact same version on RPi3 and Ubuntu) uses this database. The source for my music is setup to use the smb:// path. The idea is that I will use Kodi on Ubuntu to update the library and Kodi on the RPi3 as a "read-only" device as it will not be connected to the internet.

I use the following configuration of Kodi on Ubuntu:
* Include artists who appear only on compilations = Yes
* Fetch additional information during updates = Yes
* Default provider for album information = Universal Album Scaper
* Default provider for artist information = Universal Artist Scraper
* Prefer online information = No
* Show "All items" entry = Yes
* Update library on startup = No

I use the following configuration of Kodi on the RPi3:
* Include artists who appear only on compilations = Yes
* Fetch additional information during updates = No
* Default provider for album information = Local information only
* Default provider for artist information = Local information only
* Prefer online information = No
* Show "All items" entry = Yes
* Update library on startup = No

I use the following configuration for Picard:
* Picard version 1.3.2
* ID3v2 version 2.4
* Clear existing tags
* Remove ID3 tags from FLAC files
* Remove APEv2 tags from MP3 files

The process I am following to "import" my music into the library is as follows:
* copy an album to the Kodi source directory
* tag the album with Picard
* in Kodi, goto MUSIC, FILES
* scan the music source to the library

This typically works fine. After the scan, I go to MUSIC, ALBUMS and I can see the new album, including the artwork for the album (embedded in the music files). When I go to MUSIC, ARTISTS, I typically get good results: I may need to manually set the artist thumb and fanart.

So, now to my questions:
QUESTION1:
I have an album where all songs are by an artist with the same featured artist. So, every song is tagged as "artist1 feat. artist2". In the artists view, I would initially get the correct fanart and artist thumb. After a while I found that the I was getting the fanart for artist2 with the thumb for artist1. I fixed this up manually, but this seems to come back once in a while. Why is this? Am I doing something wrong?

QUESTION2:
I have another album with multiple artists. The names of the artists will show in the ARTISTS view and most of them do not have a thumb, fanart or info. However, I am getting the same thumb, fanart and info on two different people. For example, when looking at artist3 in my list, you will see the same thumb, fanart, info as for artist4. Despite this, their names are distinctly different.

QUESTION3:
After I have updated the library on Ubuntu, I then export the Music Library to separate files and I copy of the following files/directories from Ubuntu to the appropriate directories in the RPi3:
* .kodi/userdata/Database/ViewModes6.db
* .kodi/userdata/Database/Addons20.db
* .kodi/userdata/Database/Textures13.db
* .kodi/userdata/Thumbnails/
* .kodi/userdata/addon-data/script.skin.helper.service/

The question here is: when I look at the .NFO files that were created, I may find the .NFO file for "artist1" in the artist directory of "artist2". This does not sound right.

QUESTION4:
From reading the forums, I understand that relying on the .NFO files is not all that reliable, due to - for example - artists from compilation albums not showing. Is this something that is to be addressed in a future release?

QUESTION 5:
Is there a better way of doing things? I.e. without using the .NFO files?

QUESTION 6:
I noticed there is a setting for the path to artwork. I am not sure if this is Aeon-Nox specific. I created a directory called "smb://usbdisk/Music_Artwork", in the hope that this directory would be used for all music artwork. For example, that when I do an export of the music library, everything would be dumped there. Unfortunately, this is no the case. I have done extensive searches on the internet to try to find out what this setting is for and how it is used, but I haven't been able to find anything. Is there anyone who can shed some light onto this?

Thanks in advance for providing some further insights.

Marc.


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - bsoriano - 2016-08-03

Hey Marc,

While I do not have the answers to your artist artwork questions, I can tell you how I am managing some of the scenarios you mention, in the hope that could be useful to you.

First off, i am not using Picard or MusicBrainz IDs, so perhaps what follows might not be of interest. In any case, I have a huge music library (around 170,000 tracks) and for the most part, things look good in Kodi for music.

As for your scenarios:

First of all, all of my tracks have an AlbumArtist tag set, since my music is organized as AbumArtist\Album\Tracks.

1. Whenever I have tracks that have multiple artists in them (artist 1 feat. artist2), when I tag my files I place "artist1 / artist2" on the Artist tag for the file. I have " / " as the artist separator in the advancedsettings.xml in Kodi. I always select artist1 as the Album Artist.

2. For compilation albums I use "(Multiple Artists)" as the Album Artist, (each track is tagged with whatever artist(s) appear on it) and that way there is always one album artist associated with muti-artist albums, and also that allows me to place all compilation albums under one folder without breaking my music files structure.

I am not using NFO files.

Hope you find this useful.

Regards,

Bart


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - 1marc1 - 2016-08-03

Hi Bart,

Thanks for your reply and some insights into how you manage your library.

(2016-08-03, 15:28)bsoriano Wrote: First of all, all of my tracks have an AlbumArtist tag set, since my music is organized as AbumArtist\Album\Tracks.

Same here: every track has an AlbumArtist tag. My music is organised in a similar way, with perhaps a small exception:
/Music/<Artist>/<Album>/<Tracks>
/Music/Various Artists/<Album>/<Tracks>

(2016-08-03, 15:28)bsoriano Wrote: 1. Whenever I have tracks that have multiple artists in them (artist 1 feat. artist2), when I tag my files I place "artist1 / artist2" on the Artist tag for the file. I have " / " as the artist separator in the advancedsettings.xml in Kodi. I always select artist1 as the Album Artist.

In my example of QUESTION1, I have "artist1 feat. artist2" in the Artist tag (similar to yourself). However, I also have "artist1 feat. artist2" in the Album Artist tag. So, that is perhaps something I can change to see if it makes a difference. For that particular album, every song is by "artist1 feat. artist2". I guess as a result the Album Artist tag also reflects that.

(2016-08-03, 15:28)bsoriano Wrote: 2. For compilation albums I use "(Multiple Artists)" as the Album Artist, (each track is tagged with whatever artist(s) appear on it) and that way there is always one album artist associated with muti-artist albums, and also that allows me to place all compilation albums under one folder without breaking my music files structure.

My compilation albums are tagged with "Various Artists" as the Album Artist. Each track also has the Artist tagged with the name of the artist(s) that perform on the track. Again, very similar to your situation.

(2016-08-03, 15:28)bsoriano Wrote: I am not using NFO files.
Hope you find this useful.

I am also starting to doubt the usefulness of the NFO files in their current form. I was hoping that the NFO files could assist me getting the RPi3 up to date (as it is not connected to the internet). Perhaps if all source artist data was directly stored in the MySQL database - or - if you could create and nominate a directory to store all artwork and associated data, that could be an improvement.

For example, if you could create a directory structure like:
/Music_Artwork/Artists/<Artist Name>
/Music_Artwork/Albums/<Album Name>
/Music_Artwork/Songs/<Song Name>

OR even:

/Music_Artwork/<Artist>/<Album>/<Tracks>

We could then store metadata for artists, albums and songs in this directory structure. Metadata for songs would include lyrics. Using such a directory structure, we can then also ensure that metadata (biography, thumbs, fanart, etc) for artists that are - say - featured, is also stored in a fashion that is easily re-scrapable, without having to go back to the internet. Given the amount of internet traffic generated by Kodi to sites such as fanart.tv, musicbrainz.org, etc, this may be a very welcome feature not only for Kodi users.

My thoughts are drifting...

Your reply was very useful. Thank you.

Marc.


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - DaveBlake - 2016-08-03

That's a long list! Smile

1) I would need to dig further to know exactly what is going on here. Fundamentally Kodi artwork (and NFO loading) was implemented to work well for a single artist per song or album. The library can handle multiple artists per song and album, but the art work may not do so well (yet).

You have tagged with Picard so have Musicbrainz ID tags, and even v16 should be separating artist1 from artist2 (assuming Picard added an ARTISTS tag to related the 2 mbids to artist names). But I wonder what happened with albumartist for that album? But I can't really comment more without testing etc.

2) You have a mix of things happening here I think. The scraper is less likely to have collected art for artists that do not have albums but just songs. I also think v16 has got confused over matching the album artist mbids and the artist names, probably because Picard (by default) does not add ALBUMARTISTS (note the s) tags. Check the tags for those song files and ensure that you have ARTISTS and ALBUMSARTISTS tags to match the mbids.

Picard will add them with the appropriate line of script.
Code:
$setmulti(albumartists,%_albumartists%)

Would be interesting to know if v17 has any problem with files 1 or 2 as they are. I believe it won't.

3) NFO implementation is overly simplistic. It works for artists that have a unique folder common to all music files by that artist, so multiple artists on album, or featuring on tracks by another artist completely confuse it. I have posted in detail about this elsewhere. It has put the NFO in the common folder for all the songs that artist has connection with. It needs redesigning.

4) Yes. I was hoping to fix in v17, but time has escaped me. Yet to see if it is a fix that can be added at Beta, or will have to wait for v18.

5) I would try copying more userdata - but not the cache files (*.fi). You may get better advise by opening a single thread about how to manage the setup you want with the current design.

6) There is? I would guess Aeon-Nox specific, no idea what it was for. Export to separate files gets splattered all over, opt for a single file. But it does need improvement.


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - meowmoo - 2016-08-05

Quote:QUESTION 6:
I noticed there is a setting for the path to artwork. I am not sure if this is Aeon-Nox specific. I created a directory called "smb://usbdisk/Music_Artwork", in the hope that this directory would be used for all music artwork. For example, that when I do an export of the music library, everything would be dumped there. Unfortunately, this is no the case. I have done extensive searches on the internet to try to find out what this setting is for and how it is used, but I haven't been able to find anything. Is there anyone who can shed some light onto this?

you can point the skin to a Folder where all the Artwork for your music is Stored

CdArtManager 256958 (thread) can Download lots of Artwork for Your Music, like Banner, Logo, Extrafanart, Artist Thumb, and store it in a Folder, you can than point the skin to that folder to use the files stored in there. You can also point Artistslideshow 124880 (thread) and Skinhelper 235676 (thread) to the Folder, both will make use and Store new Images in that Folder.

@q3 have you tried Path_substitution (wiki)

@q5 if your music have proper tags, I dont see any Reason to use NFO's, kodi and addons like Artistslideshow will pull all the info you can get in the web, but that is just my opinion


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - AnalogKid - 2016-08-06

Kodi used to have a situation as follows:

It scanned your library and found a track with mixed artists, so it attempted to get artwork for those artists.
Later on in scanning (or in some later rescan) it found a dedicated album in a dedication folder for one of those artists but ignored any local artwork for them, because it had already scraped artwork for them.

I 'think' this is still the case and it can be quite frustrating.
Personally I believe that any dedicated artwork in an artist folder should always take priority - and critically, if that dedicated artwork is found AFTER already downloading artwork, it should still take priority.


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - AnalogKid - 2016-08-06

(2016-08-05, 01:23)meowmoo Wrote: @q5 if your music have proper tags, I dont see any Reason to use NFO's, kodi and addons like Artistslideshow will pull all the info you can get in the web, but that is just my opinion


Some of the reasons to use NFOs:

1) If you rescrape a very large library (over 200,000 songs), then downloading artist information can seriously slow things down. A local NFO is very fast
2) Not every artist / album has online information, so sometimes, an NFO is a great way to manually provide that information
3) By using a local NFO you can scape the info once, and once only from whichever provider offers the best info for each artist / album. Sometimes, that can vary depending on the artist / album, where as with 'live' scraping in Kodi, you're only going to get the results from one specific provider across all your music.
4) They don't need the internet - so work perfectly in offline mode too!

The downside to NFOs is that they are static (fine for old albums where the info doesn't change), less fine for current artists etc.


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - 1marc1 - 2016-08-07

Thanks for all the replies. I agree that local .NFO files make a lot of sense for the reasons outlined. However, it appears that the implementation only works well as long as you only have albums by single artists. In my (and probably the majority of users) situation this is not the case.

I need to have a good think about how to progress with importing my albums.

One more question: when we are talking about "caching artwork in Kodi", is this a permanent cache? In my world, a cache is a limited amount of space used by frequently accessed data. As a result, data that is not accessed frequently will drop out of the cache. This was also one of my reasons to use the local .NFO files, as to assist my non-internet connected RPi3 with having access to all artwork (and metadata).

Marc.


RE: Artists Artwork Questions - DaveBlake - 2016-08-07

Once metadata is scraped into the library, from NFO or online, then it will stay there until you remove or in some way change the music files or their physical location. But NFO are the means to get local info into the library, and useful to keep in case you start from scratch for some reason. All I am saying is the NFO are not used everytime Kodi is running.

For local artwork it is a matter of putting it where Kodi expects to find it (or you will have to load manually for every artist and album) or embedding at least the album art in the music files.

Kodi generally "caches" for speed of access. Although not permanent in theory, there are plenty of times people have issues with images in cache that they can't get rid of. There are changes in v17 to get Kodi to clear some of its cache more often to fix some problems it causes, but not images AFAIK. Images don't drop out of cache because of infrequent use.

The limitations of NFO are frustrating, have been like that a long time and I do hope to fix. But I'm one guy and progress is slow.