Still smarter handling of Tidal metadata

First, I want to applaud how this has been improved over the years, I have raised these issues before. Great work! However, the labor is never done.

  1. I have noticed very frequently on Tidal that the album artist and only credit is “Alice Smith & Bob Jones & Charlie Wang” as one string. (It May be extra frequent for me because I am doing a lot of ACT Music and their stuff is particularly poorly annotated.) This is troubling because if I don’t notice it immediately when adding to the library, I have an album artist that is visibly wrong only because the ampersands are blue; when I edit the metadata and add Alice and Bob and Charlie individually, I get white ampersands. But it obviously causes serious malfunctions: this album doesn’t show up under those artists, and when looking at the album there is nothing under By This Artist. And the database is generally messed up. The system now recognizes ampersands and lots of other dividers when I enter the artists explicitly. But it would be very helpful if the system could automatically parse the string and take it apart, when it recognizes known artists and such dividers. I understand automatic processing is risky, but this seems fairly safe.

  2. Several times when I have edited the album, removing that compound string and adding the artists explicitly, I still see the compound string in the “now playing” area. This is because lots of albums have redundant track-level credits. Once I started looking for this, I see redundant track credits everywhere. It would be good if those could be removed when the album is added, so that later metadata editing like what I mentioned above and fixed spelling are not undermined by the bad entry remaining at the track level. And it isn’t just redundancy: yesterday I saw “All tracks were composed by Dave Holland”, which is because Dave Holland had album level bass credits but the composer credits were track level, on every track! Ok, this is a rare case. But given the poor quality of metadata in general, not just missing stuff but silly stuff like this, it would be helpful if we could have some clean-up rules.

These complaints are almost exclusively from Tidal, dBPoweramp does a better job. I don’t know why some Tidal albums are so bad, given that Roon identifies the albums against metadata sources…

How would Roon know, for example, that “Larkin Poe & Blair Dunlop” are two artists and “Stephen Malkmus & the Kicks” is one artist? I guess this would be a challenge.

Do you mean you edit Primary Artist not Album Artist to get the desired result?

I agree that the Meta data for some TIDAL album is poorly implemented, but I have put this right by editing the album and each track. Occasionally, a featured artist isn’t available and I have to create a new artist. So I tend to bring in an album with that artist and then link to the correct artist with bio etc.

We have plans to tackle this, but I can’t give any timescales.

1 Like

Would need som intelligence, not just parsing, sure.
As a start, if Poe and Dunlop are known in my database as individual artists, and “Stephen Malkmus & the Kicks” is too, but “the Kicks” is not, that settles that. If they are new to the library, then it becomes a matter of checking metadata databases. And it isn’t trivial: maybe “Stephen Malkmus and the Kicks” is one band, but Malkmus has also done some solo albums, and there is another unrelated band called The Kicks — sure it is tricky.

I think something that works right some of the time but fails to recognize some cases would be ok, but if it sometimes does damage, that would be less attractive. False negatives vs. false positives. (My friends in the anti-malware business are very aware of this challenge: somewhat non-obvious, it is much better to let through a virus, a false negative, than to block legitimate software, a false positive.)