Req Different versions/releases of albums
I would like to tackle the subject of having different versions of specific albums in Kodi. You might call me an audiophile, although I don't really like that word, but I am certainly a collector. In my mancave I have a multi-channel speaker setup. I love listening to surround mixes of albums and my collection comprises a fair deal of those as well as hi-res versions or special pressing like MFSL, black triangle or German target. This means, in my library there are often several different versions of my favorite albums.

However, currently KODI is only able to use Artist/Album as sorting criteria. This leads to diferent versions of an album being sorted together in one long list.

I haven't really come up with a solution how to adapt tagging for KODI. Some of my albums have the special version in brackets in the "album title" field but that is not a good solution as it makes scraping difficult when no Musicbrainz tags are present. But even with Musicbrainz tags present, all different versions are sorted together.

The only thing that I have adapted throughout all versions is to write the mix after the song title because Musicbrainz does this as well in many cases.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds (5.1 mix)

I have to admit I'm pretty spoiled by foobar2000 where this can be completely customized, along with advanced filters in real time. On the other hand, Kodi aims to be a centralized media center and has several advantages in using a remote on any device in the house. So I would like to pick your brain for some suggestions how to achieve a more fine-grained presentation of albums.
I've been thinking about this a bit more. One possible solution would be to allow a descriptive text in brackets in the album title field. Round or square brackets would have to be agreed upon. This desciption in brackets would be trimmed when scraping but used when sorting. What do you think?
Separate album.nfo files for each album type fixes this type of issue. Of course you need a Music Manager to accomplish this (I use MediaElch, the donation version, which fixes the Music scraping issues). Or you could create your own album.nfo files with just the different title...example

Normal Album...
    <title>New York, London, Paris, Munich</title>

Same album, but Hi-Res...
    <title>New York, London, Paris, Munich (Hi-Res)</title>

In Kodi, these would show up as two different Albums.
Musicbrainz supports the concept of releases within release group.  MB ha an attribute of "format" which could be used, but Kodi doesn't currently scan or save format in the music database.  As you note MB also has disambiguation comment and IIUC in Kodi 18 scrapers can query this (maybe just for artist?) but I haven't seen this in action so not sure how it works. At any rate Kodi doesn't store the disambiguation comment for albums so no good for sorting / filtering.  The "album type" is probably the best place to store this with the current database and could be set in the song tags and used for sort / filter (type).  You might need to unset "Prefer Online Information" in your settings to prevent overwriting your customized tag value with MB's.

scott s.
maintainer of skin  Aeon MQ5 mods for post-Gotham Kodi releases:
Matrix see: Aeon MQ5 Mod Martix release thread
Leia see: Aeon MQ5 Mod Leia release thread
So firstly, Kodi can have different releases of an album in the library - artist and title can be same as long as they have different Musicbrainz (Release) Album ID.

What is missing, for anyone that has lots of versions of an album, is the facilities to:
  • Distinguish different versions at a glance.
  • Use the distiguishing feature(s) in sort criteria.
  • Use the distiguishing feature(s) in filter rules in smartplaylists, custom nodes and the side blade filter.

What can be done now
Something in the album title to distinguish releases is an obvious approach. Yes it does upset scraping if you don't also have MBID tags, but if you are into multiple releases then using Musicbrainz ID tags is a no-brainer anyway. I'm not in favour of parsing the album title to help scraping as whatever system you use there will be an non-standard album title that will break it. Use MBIDs, release missing from Musicbrainz then do the community minded thing and add it.

Scotts suggestion of using album type - adding RELEASETYPE/TXXX:MUSICBRAINZ ALBUM TYPE tags to the music files and disabling "Prefer online info", or using and album.nfo with <type></type> value - is a good one. It is up to the skin to then show this value in useful places. Also album type is already supported a filter criteria.

What is coming soon
I intend to add audio properties – bitrate, channels – as both library data, smartplaylist and filter rules, info labels so skins can display as part of songs node, and expose via JSON API. I am guessing that those properties could sometimes be what distinguishes one release from another.

The current sorting of songs by Artist-Album-Track Number just leaves multiple versions of an album horribly mixed together. I have a longstanding item on my todo to refactor sorting. The way multiple field sorts are implementsed (concatenating the fields) is flawed, we don't sort in the DB (would be faster), and I also want to extend flexibility and user choice.
(2018-04-08, 19:25)HeresJohnny Wrote: I have to admit I'm pretty spoiled by foobar2000 where this can be completely customized, along with advanced filters in real time.
Yeap, I'm with you. Kodi being limited to a fixed list of sort combinations is a shame, but it is fundamental to the design so will take a fair bit of work to do. I hope I get to it.

My dream is for all the artist, album and song properties to be available to the GUI, flexibly and dynamically combined as filter rules (for filter, smartplaylist and custom nodes) and flexibly combined as sort order. The Db can do it, just need to design everything around it!
Hi Dave,

thanks for this extensive explanation. Adding as much metadata into the database sound like a great plan. I've also read your statement concerning this on github, where you started to tackle this with mbarnes. Unfortuantely, that seems to be on hold for the moment.

Anyway, I can certainly see the appeal of using Musicbrainz metadata. Until I read your plans for Kodi I had used foobar2000's implementation of the musicbrainz tagger which seems to be far less complete than Picard. Also, there are quite a few albums which foobar2000 cannot match to Musicbrainz, even though I manually verified that the MBID exists. In that case I tagged with my second go-to source, Discogs. Discogs has almost any album known to man. It has no fingerprinting, but still has release IDs and the tagger complains when tracks do not match.

I my case, I also have some albums which are untaggable because they are parts of original releases, like transcoded 5.1 flac files from my Blu-Ray. In foobar2000, even ISOs are taggable if they are DVD-A or SACD, and also directly playable. This is not possible in Kodi (yet), because an ISO parser is missing, although the specific audio containers MLP and DST can already be decoded (I think).

What I want to say is that although I agree that Musicbrainz is certainly a good way to uniformly prepare audio files for cataloguing by Kodi, it is not a universal remedy. I had a look at <MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMTYPE> and the info stored there doesn't seem helpful (at least in the foobar2000 tagged version): For some releases I simply find a value of "Album".

If the suggestion was meant to "repurpose" that tag, that would be a possibility. But for repurposing I would suggest another tag, that Musicbrainz knows, although it is used inconsistently: <DISCSUBTITLE>. This is mostly used for multi-disc releases to distinguish by content - which in my opinion is very close that what we want to achieve.

I would also like to request to recognize some Discogs tags, as fallback for missing Musicbrainz tags. The following tags come to mind (with examples):

<DISCOGS_RELEASED> (The release of the version - not the original release, which should be in <DATE>)

Thanks again for considering!

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