Compilations Feature Idea

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    I played a lot with firefly and I realy love it. I have a Roku and tried lot of test with compilation flags and different config mode.

    At this day I use the compdir and concat_compilation in my config, it works great like it should but not like I’d like to be πŸ™‚

    In fact, I don’t really like having my artists in compilations to by filled with “Various Artist” name in database for 2 reasons
    – Don’t like the display on my roku
    – Can’t search by artist

    But anyway I don’t want to see artists of compilation under browse by artists.

    So no way ? Not sure !!!
    I looked to the source code (may be too quickly) and my idea will be to have the possibility to add some config flags info .conf file that can change query on database.
    Let my say for example :
    BrowseArtistsDontShowCompilation = 1
    BrowseAlbumsDontShowCompilation = 1

    What can theese flags do ? just addind a clause on SQLite Query for excluding files with compilation flags set (or another field, as you want) when requesting query for BrowseByArtists (or also BrowseByAlbum).

    What do you think of this idea ? Each user decide or not to show compilation content in his browsing (album, artists,…).

    Like this, database if filled correctly with artist and search by artist fonctionnalitie if okay. Display on Roku is cool, and most of all, I’m happy.
    Also it will be cool because I have a folder with current radio hits and there is no albums, just 50/60 mp3. And I could tags theese mp3 as compilation so thay don’t appears when I Browse by artists

    But may be someone has a better idea. Just tell us.

    Of course, I don’t know if it’s possible to do that.

    Thank’s for your great job


    Hm, sounds cool!

    When you say compilations, you mean songs marked as being “part of a compilation” in iTunes, right ?
    So, what ID3 tag exactly does iTunes set/change then ?

    Not all of us use iTunes.

    I like the idea. I have like 50% of my tunes from compilations, so browsing by artist is madness through my soundbridge.


    Hi Fizze,

    I don’t use itunes, but I think yes, when I tag my compilations (with MP3 Tag & Rename) files I use the ID3 Tag “Part of a compilation”. I Think i-tunes use the same tag.


    I have been struggling with this issue and your suggestion sounds great to me. Solutions that let a user decide via a configuration option are always the best. Hope it can be easily added.


    Apple invented a new tag for MP3 ID3… TCMP for ID3v2.3. (It’s not in the standard.) For M4A, it’s the cpil atom. You can tell Firefly which directories you want to mark as Compilations when scanning, so you don’t need to depend on the tagging.

    iTunes clients can group Compilations and hide the extra Artists (UI option), but Roku does not support this… for reasons I don’t fully understand.

    Anyway, “Album Artist” metadata is how I solve grouping/browsing issues on the PC. I hope Roku and Firefly can come up with some workable solution soon… Apple’s “compilation” is far too limiting.


    I think we all agree that we need to use the compilation TAG. In fact, we’d like to have all of us different way to handle display on client side.
    What I’m sure is that setting Artist to “Various Artists” in the database is “A solution” that on my side seems to be a “patch solution”

    Why we do that, beause we (or some of us) don’t want artists of a compilation displayed when we’re browsing by artists. Also this solution has some unwanted effect because the search function is altered because we need to know if artist is part of a compilation or not to setup search based on artist name or title (concat_compilation).

    So what make sense to me, is to have the database fully filled with correct tag (artist name and not “various artist”) and change the query that return results to client. That’s the use of the compilation tag and flag in the database.

    Also, I already wrote this, firefly is the best server version I tested. But as we have a forum to discuss about it, I just put on it some ideas. I think open source has this possibility, so I may ask and dream for an ultimate compilation solution.

    Have a nice day, and thank’s for your great job Ron.


    @Charly86 wrote:

    Why we do that, beause we (or some of us) don’t want artists of a compilation displayed when we’re browsing by artists. Also this solution has some unwanted effect because the search function is altered because we need to know if artist is part of a compilation or not to setup search based on artist name or title (concat_compilation).

    I posted to the roku forum this:

    There are several things coming post-1.0 that I’m anxious to start work on, one of them is related to this. Everyone has different theories of what the “perfect” tagging system is, or wants to have methods of hacking tags to be able to display them in the manner they most want. I’m going to work on a plugin infrastructure to allow userspace tag management — before an item is posted into the database, it will get handed off to a plugin to be potentially modified. I’m going to make a s-lang plugin so you can write your own retagging scripts in s-lang so you can tag stuff the way you want to tag it. That way I don’t have to have a million different flags for mangling tags a million different ways.

    As far as the browsing, the rsp stuff should allow browsing by *any* field. I want to work with the roku guys to allow browses on any field, not just on the 5 they do now. So if you want to browse on “genre”, then you can. In any case, with those two features implemented, I think that would satisfy everyones desires about the perfect tagging/browsing system.

    Now, I just have to do it. Lol. πŸ™‚


    wow, great idea. πŸ™‚

    Yeah, just doing “it” is always the most fun part. heh. πŸ˜‰


    Ron, while you are having conversations with Roku, try to convince them to implement the equivalent of iTunes’ “Group compilations when browsing” via Firefly/RSP… with a UI toggle on the SoundBridge perferences. This really makes the most sense to an average iPod/iTunes client user… aka “The Masses.” (Compilation albums shows up under a client generated “Compilations” artist, but the correct Artist metadata is still on the tracks.)

    Since Roku controls RSP, DAAP can’t be blamed for this one. 8)



    Plugins is a really good idea. that’s fine and cool.

    But in this specific case (don’t browse artist that are part of a compilation when browsing by artists) the tags are correct and the fields in my database also (until I add concat_compilation that set “Various Artist”)

    It’s not possible to have the option to add “where … and (compilation = 0)” to the query that do “browse by artists” ?

    Sure I can do it myself but I use an NSLU2 and don’t have dev environnement for this platform πŸ™

    Have a nice day

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