Album vs item modification mistakes

I’ve noticed that album vs item is a common source of confusion, so I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be of use to create a plugin, or enhance the core, to catch certain obvious mistakes when importing/modifying. I’m just not sure how common this sort of thing is, hence this post.

Personally, so far, I’ve incorrectly set album fields on items (they propagate down from album to item, but not the other way around, leading to a mismatch), and I’ve incorrectly set item-only media fields like title on the album as flexible fields, all it takes is having -a where you shouldn’t, or not having it when you should.

Admittedly, the modify command prompts when you don’t pass -y, but it’s easy to skim over and miss, particularly when you only have one item in the album. Thoughts?

On a related note, I’ve regularly screwed up creating an album inline field when it should have been item, or vice versa, or used an item inline field in album context and had it stay unexpanded, but I don’t think there’s much to be done about that, really.

On a slightly related note, in the whole ‘sources of confusion’ thing, albumtotal vs tracktotal is initially confusing before you realize that the former is album-only because in the case of per_disc_numbering, the tracktotal in the tag isn’t actually the total number of tracks in the album. It makes sense, but at first I was going ‘why the hell do these both exist’? and I incorrectly and regularly screwed up both queries and formats trying to use the wrong one in the wrong context. Don’t set tracktotal on the album, don’t set albumtotal at all, don’t query tracktotal with -a, etc.

Some excellent points! I assume you’ve probably seen it before, but it’s worth linking to again because it’s so relevant—we’ve discussed the specific case of modify in this thread: