Should beets assume multi-artist albums are Various Artists?

#1

Right now I’m importing a lot of albums that aren’t on MusicBrainz. Often they are compilations - nobody wants to add a 30+ artist box set to MB. They are tagged with the track artist as the artist, and there is no album artist tagged.

My config uses album artist for folder paths. Normally this works fine but it falls apart on these sets. The paths will end up like:

Artist 1 - The Same Compilation
Artist 2 - The Same Compilation

You can’t rely on these albums being tagged as Compilations, either. (Is there a way for an as-is import to end up as a compilation?)

I wrote a snippet for inline.py that seems to handle these cases. Right now it just treats any album with {no album artist}, and {2+ track artists} as Various Artists, consolidating the paths.

Should this functionality be added to beets, or is it too unexpected? I think 2 may be too trigger-happy, but if there are 5+ artists on a 10-track album, to me that’s Various Artists territory.

#2

The importer actually does something like that already! If you’re curious about exactly what’s going on, the key parameter is SINGLE_ARTIST_THRESH:

The way this works is that an album is considered “single-artist” if at least 25% of the tracks share the same, primary artist:

You can see that this triggers the comp flag and uses the name “Various Artists.” You might try doing some debugging around that to see why it’s not being triggered for the album you mentioned.