"Various Artists" as an entry in the Album Artist lists
#1
In my music collection, some genres e.g. "Children's" have several albums where the Album Artist is "Various Artists" (generally, I also tag the Song Artist in the same way and then use the song name to include the song artist)

When browsing the collection by Album Artist or by Genre, Kodi shows a list of Artists but excludes an entry for "Various Artists", so those albums are "difficult to reach" when browsing the collection (my most common use case is to browse by Genre, so in effect all albums by "Various Artists" become unreachable by browsing)

Is there a configuration option somewhere to tell Kodi to please include "Various Artists" as an entry in all the applicable Artists lists?

I could only find documentation and some discussions on how to tell Kodi to include/exclude "Song Artists" in the Artists lists, but nothing about including "Various Artists" as an entry in the said lists.
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#2
Interesting (which means you have gained my attention, but not that I will have an instant fix) Smile

Historically the music library navigation tries to treat compilation albums (those with many different song artists and no overall album artist, or those tagged as compilations) separately but the implementation has some issues. There will be some that like what Kodi currently does, or have become used to it/work with it, and those that want something different or configureable.

The historic weakness of the implementation is that it tries to treat "Various artists" (or the localised string language equivalent) as a special artist name. While Kodi will assume that as the album artist name if one isn't provided in the tags and the album has a mix or artists, there is nothing stopping users from having tagged that as an album artist or even artist  name, or changing language settings too. Also the places that exclude that "special" artist do so case sensitively. Not the best way to do things (but probably made sense at the time when music tagging was much less advanced).

Perhaps confusingly, the special artist gets excluded from artist lists when "show both song and album artists" setting is enabled, or if the node you are viewing is folder type with not albumartistonly option set (you can override the system setting with specific nodes).

The end result is usually the opposite of your request, users complain that they are seeing "Various Artists" (note the capitals) or other language variants in artist lists when they don't want to. Improving this area - making it consistent and configureable - is something I will add to my infinite task list (actually it should already be on it).

Meanwhile I think there could be a workaround if you are prepared to do some retagging.
Quote:In my music collection, some genres e.g. "Children's" have several albums where the Album Artist is "Various Artists" (generally, I also tag the Song Artist in the same way and then use the song name to include the song artist)
Putting artist in the song name is not a good thing, it puts that information out of reach rather than letting Kodi know that is an artist. Kodi can list just album artists, you don't have to have all the artists cluttering things but still have that data in a way that can be accessed.

If you tag the music files with ALBUMARTIST = "Various" (something other than the localised string used for this special artist) then it won't get excluded from any list.

OTOH fs you disable "show both song and album artists" setting, or use nodes with albumartistonly option I believe you will see "Various artists" listed in Kodi GUI.

Note: Because of a bug any artists with name matching exactly whever the localised entry string is for "Various artists" does not get returned to JSON requests for both song and album artists. This could give issues if using remote apps like Kore or Yatse or Chorus.  I will prepare a fix for this, but in the meanwhile retagging with a different album artist (and song artists not in song title) is the work around.
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#3
@DaveBlake thanks for the detailed explanation and context!

Actually you hit the nail right on the head and I noticed you have already merged a pull request... outstanding as always, thank you!

My music server is a headless kodi instance in an RPi and I control it from either chorus or a smartphone, so the pull request that you submitted:

15657 (PR)

... fixes the issue for my most common use case.

That said, I will consider retagging my collection, this is something I could script easily, since all my collection is in single-file FLAC + cuesheet, i could keep a backup of the current cuesheets etc. - hence low risk.

For the short term I will wait for 18.2 that seems to be already in RC2 status and will make my Various Artists albums much easier to reach via remote controls. I will also disable the kodi config option below so Various Artists will show in the Kodi GUI on my other Kodi instance (a normal non-headless one that shares the music DB via mysql with the RPi)
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"Various Artists" as an entry in the Album Artist lists00