Idea: list candidates in relation to path formats

Beets is built around finding the exact release a user has. But is that always necessary? My path format is pretty minimalist. An album might look like this:

Broke For Free - 2012 - Gold Can Stay

Currently, I have some additional descriptors at the end. But I haven’t thought about it lately. Right now it looks like:

Michael Jackson - 1982 - Thriller (1999 SACD)

But if I only have one release of Thriller, I might not care that my one and only release was 1999 or that it was SACD.

If the importer choices were aware of my path formats, it could cut 10 choices down to 5. In cases where hyper-popular bands like The Beatles have 100+ releases, it might cut down to 10-20. Beets could store this list of potential choices (i.e., 5ish MBids) and untangle it later if the user imports a dupe and has to resolve how one relates to the other.

I further discuss reworking the import flow here.

That’s an interesting idea! To clarify, there are actually two things going on here:

  1. Simplifying the display of candidates, perhaps using templates.
  2. Actually trimming the list of release candidates by “de-duplicating” ones that match on certain metadata.

The latter would be somewhat complicated to implement, because it requires thinking carefully about how the configuration should work and finding the right place to drop duplicates, but it’s feasible.