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Saturday, 8 April 2017

MinimServer with SongKong: Part 5: The Artist Index

Go forward to Part 6: Classical Track Artist
Go back to     Part 4: Groups and Works


The Artist Index

Standard audio file metadata has two artist fields, artist and albumArtist. The albumArtist should be the same for all tracks on the release, the artist relates to the track and can therefore be different for each track.

By default MinimServer configures an All Artist index that indexes the (track) artist field, and a Artist index that contains just the albumArtist unless that is missing in which case the (track) artist is used instead.

Multiple Artists

Often a release or track is credited to multiple artists Because many applications such as iTunes do not understand multiple values in these fields SongKong stores multiple people as one value in the artist and albumArtist field. But then stores the individual people in corresponding multi value fields artists and albumArtists

MinimServer does understand multiple values so its best to configure it to use these fields rather than the default.

We do this by mapping artists to artist and albumArtists to albumArtist. We use the - syntax for two reasons, it means we do not end up with duplication since we never want to add the artists and the artist value to the index. It also means that for songs without an artists field but with an artist field that the data in the artist field will be added. This is important since although SongKong will add both fields for every song matched there are likely to be some songs that SongKong could not identify, and these many have a standard artist field but not an artists field.

i.e aliasTags:artists:-artist,album_artists:-albumartist

We probably want to sort artists by their sort names as well. SongKong provides special sort fields that work with the multiple value artist fields called artists_sort and album_artists_sort so lets add these in as well using the same method we used for composer and conductor sort 

 itemTags:artist_sort, album_artists_sort

This gives us:

Now when we browse All Artists index we go from


Notice that in the first screenshot we have Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Edwardo Mata but in the second screenshot we have Dallas Symphony Orchestra on its own, Eduardo Mata is also listed alone (under M).

The advantage of this is you can now easily browse all the releases that Dallas Symphony Orchestra are involved in regardless of other artists involved.

What is a Classical Artist ?

We have seen how to deal with multiple artist credits, but what should the artist and album artist actually include: soloists, performers, orchestras, conductors or composers ? 

We discuss this more in the next post.

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