Correcting misspelled artists

salt dough and alphabet cutters

I often choose music to play based on the artist. I might feel a strong reason to queue up some albums from a particular artist, or I may want to play music from a particular era or genre and representative artists come to mind. Either way, having your artists spelled correctly is important because that way music by the artist becomes easier to find and add to your playlist.

Artists in your music player will generally be presented in alphabetical order. This means minor differences in the way artist names are spelled are very easy to spot. Sometimes the reason for incorrect artist names can be one of canonicalisation. Sometimes, also, it may be down to simpler typos.

Incorrect case

This one is easy to spot, but doesn't affect everyone. If your music player is case sensitive, variations in the case will mean artists are split in your music collection and you'll have to dive into each entry to find all of their albums.

Added 'the'

What's the proper name, Rolling Stones or The Rolling Stones? This is a form of canonicalisation. Other variations include 'The' added to the end of the artist name. In many cases, music players automatically recognise 'The' and use the rest of the name to sort the artists, but remember there's also the artist sort tag that can have an effect.

International variations

In this example we have Chopin with both his French and Polish names, respectively. You need to consider the language you wish to adopt. Some might say that the artist's mother tongue should be used, but in the case of Russian composers with cyrillic names this can become quite difficult to decipher!

What you need are canonical, correctly spelled music artists to make browsing easier. bliss's artist canonicalisation rule can help with this. bliss scours online databases, which record common aliases and misspellings of music artists. It then returns the canonical form of the artist name.

Using bliss's artist canonicalisation rule

Using the rule is a two step process:

  1. Enable the artist rule and allow the rule to assess your music
  2. Confirm the fixes bliss has offered

To enable the artist rule, click settings in any of the overview pages. Now click Fill in missing information. If the Music information panel wasn't already displayed, it will be now:

Under Artist names choose Enforce canonical names instead of aliases. Now click Apply rules at the bottom of the settings panel. bliss will begin assessing your artists for canonicalisation!

When it finds non-canonical names, and a canonical equivalent, bliss will show these in the album overview and the Inbox. bliss presents a one-click fix which re-tags your artists in your music files with the correct name. Here's an example from the album overview:

Clicking Set to Belle and Sebastian corrects the artist name. This means all of your Belle and Sebastian albums will now be collected together!

Thanks to jimmiehomeschoolmom for the image above.
tags: artist tagging
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The Music Library Management blog

Dan Gravell

I'm Dan, the founder and programmer of bliss. I write bliss to solve my own problems with my digital music collection.