How do I keep beets from using standardized artist names?


I prefer to see releases in my collection listed as released. I want albums release as by artist John Cougar or John Cougar Mellencamp not to be edited to by John Mellencamp but to be imported as tagged.

In the Metadata options for Picard there is a “Use standardized artist names” checkbox which make Picard only use standard Artist names, rather than Artist Credits which may differ slightly across tracks and releases. I choose not to use this option. I want to use the actual albumartist field as entered in the database rather than an alias.

I have searched the beets documentation but have yet to figure out how to do the same when tagging my files with beets. Is there an easy way to configure this ability?

Mellencamp is just one example. There are many more. I just want them to be imported as listed in the Musicbrainz database without standardized aliases.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Hmm… sounds like an interesting issue. Is there any chance you can point to the place where the “correct” and “incorrect” names appear in the MB web service for a specific album? Then we can carefully check where we’re discarding one in favor of the other.


Listed as Release by M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy but beets changes it to Real McCoy when imported.

Picard will tag the albumartist as M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy if the box is unchecked but as Real McCoy if checked.

After tagging as M.C. Sar & The Real McCoy you can see the release is changed to just Real McCoy when imported.

My config.yaml is as follows:

Windows PowerShell
Copyright © 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

PS C:\Users\kccourier> beet config
asciify_paths: no
cautious: yes
cover_names: front back
auto: yes
minwidth: 0
- filesystem
- coverart
- itunes
- amazon
- albumart
google_engine: 001442825323518660753:hrh5ch1gjzm
enforce_ratio: no
maxwidth: 0
store_source: no
google_key: REDACTED
fanarttv_key: REDACTED
library: ~W:\data\musiclibrary.blb

plugins: fetchart embedart bucket the inline mbcollection lastgenre

user: kccourier
auto: yes
per_disc_numbering: yes

albumtype:EP: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/EPs/[$original_year] $album%if{$reissue,
($year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubtitle,~$disctitle}/}
$track $title’
albumtype:single: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/Singles/[$original_year] $album%if{$
reissue, ($year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubtitle,~$disc
title}/}$track $title’
albumtype:compilation: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/Compilations/[$original_year] $
album%if{$reissue, ($year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubti
tle,~$disctitle}/}$track $title’
albumtype:album: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/Albums/[$original_year] $album%if{$re
issue, ($year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubtitle,~$discti
tle}/}$track $title’
albumtype:live: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/Lives/[$original_year] $album%if{$reis
sue, ($year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubtitle,~$disctitl
e}/}$track $title’
albumtype:soundtrack: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/Soundtracks/[$original_year] $al
bum%if{$reissue, ($year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubtitl
e,~$disctitle}/}$track $title’
default: '[%bucket{%upper{%left{%the{$albumartist },1}}}]/$albumartist/Albums/[$original_year] $album%if{$reissue, (
$year %if{$releasecountry,$country }%if{$mediainfo,$media})}/%if{$multidisc,Disc $disc%if{$discsubtitle,~$disctitle}/}$t
rack $title’
threaded: yes
multidisc: 1 if disctotal > 1 else 0
discsubtitle: 1 if disctitle else 0
mediainfo: 1 if media else 0
releasecountry: 1 if country else 0
reissue: 1 if year > original_year and original_year > 1 else 0
art_filename: cover
id3v23: yes
- ~#~
- ~A~
- ~B~
- ~C~
- ~D~
- ~E~
- ~F~
- ~G~
- ~H~
- ~I~
- ~J~
- ~K~
- ~L~
- ~M~
- ~N~
- ~O~
- ~P~
- ~Q~
- ~R~
- ~S~
- ~T~
- ~U~
- ~V~
- ~W~
- ~X~
- ~Y~
- ~Z~
~#~: ^[^A-Z]
bucket_year: []
extrapolate: no
auto: yes
count: 2
force: no
separator: ', '
source: album
prefer_specific: no
min_weight: 10
whitelist: yes
canonical: no
directory: ~W:\music

move: yes
copy: no

strong_rec_thresh: 0.2
ignored: missing_tracks unmatched_tracks
compare_threshold: 0
auto: yes
ifempty: no
remove_art_file: no
maxwidth: 0
auto: no
pathfields: {}
album_fields: {}
a: yes
patterns: []
the: yes
strip: no
format: ‘{0}, {1}’

PS C:\Users\kccourier>


You can see all the various aliases for the artist “Real McCoy” here:


Aha; thanks! That helps. It sounds like we need a config option to fetch artist names from the credit, rather from the artist that the credit points to. Would you mind filing a feature request on GitHub?


I guess the artist credit and album artist credit are not currently available in beets. I’ll create a feature request when I get a chance probably later today.


This issue comes to mind too: