Reconstructing albums

First: thanks for this brilliant piece of software, which I am gradually finding my way around - I wish it’d been available to me 15 years ago!
Back then I used to rip CDs to my hard disc (with a variety of programs) without any particular care, and thus I have screeds of what beets refers to as ‘singletons’ which have no album tags in one big folder along with many other tracks which are genuine singletons.
Is is possible to reconstruct these albums (without knowing the album names) from this great big random pile?
Thanks in advance…

In my opinion a visual program like Musicbrainz Picard would be better for this kind of task.

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I shall investigate Picard. Thanks for the suggestion.

Hi! You’ll also want to try out the group_albums config option to the importer, which tries to use metadata to reorganize individual files into albums.

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Thanks - I had noted the existence of group_albums, but was unsure how effective it would be in this case. It’s definitely something I’m going to explore though.

From the docs:

Group tracks in this directory by album artist and album and import groups as albums. If the album artist for a track is not set then the artist is used to group that track.

As I understand this, if no album information is available then it will simply group all the tracks by the same artist in one folder - which in itself would be useful, but not exactly what I’m looking for. Is that correct?
And would that folder be the same one that may already exist for $albumartist?

Indeed; I did initially miss that your music doesn’t have album tags, which will make this really hard. We don’t have something specifically geared toward this, but one option might be to do a first import pass where you import everything as singletons. This should help recover MBIDs for the tracks. Then you could consider doing a second import pass on this data with group_albums enabled.

Grouping just by artist is worth a shot, though!