Multiple ways to organise artists

When I look through my list of artists, I must confess, it’s not in the best of health. I have, over time, let it become inconsistent which I believe is the antithesis of Beets’ mission. Some examples:

  • The Cars [filed under ‘T’]
  • The Cure [filed under ‘C’ and written as ‘Cure, The’]
    Stevie Wonder [filed under ‘S’ and written as Stevie Wonder)
    PJ Harvey [Harvey, PJ - I’m sorry Harvey, PJ is just not a star of her calibre!]
    Electric Youth [filed under E, written as Electric Youth]

I think those are most of the permutations for two word names which require systematizing. With your help I would like to propose my favored system, get feedback (I understand it’s my choice in the end) and perhaps some pointers as to how to implement.

  1. I would like names to be sorted last name alphabetically but in the slot their assume after this categorisation their name would be written 'First Name, Last Name. From above, The Cure and The Cars categorised in ‘C’ and written as they just were. Stevie Wonder would be under ‘W’ and written as Stevie Wonder. Polly Jane would be filed under ‘H’, but her name would list (depending on the collection) next to Handel. Oh yes, I believe classical composers should be listed by just one name, i.e. their last name. A few relatives share the same name (Bach and Strauss but it’s pretty rare). However, that’s for another time.

I don’t know whether this approach is used and if so, what problems it causes. I’d love to hear that back from the crowd and, as I said, what’s best way to do it.

Of course the next step would be passing it on to my file system folder structure but one step at a time.

Finally: totally different question (sorry sorry sorry): when one instructs Beets to write from the library to the tags, is it an accretive process (one tag on top of another), or does the tab first get wiped before data is written.

Thanks a lot for reading.

Hello! You may be interested to explore the “sort fields,” like $artist_sort and $albumartist_sort. They’re specifically meant for doing things like this, where listings and hierarchies use a different filing from the proper name.

Tags don’t stick around when they’re overwritten.

Great pointer, thank you. I’m going to check it out right now.