Sort by multiple tags

Feature description:

Allow sorting albums by multiple selected tags in a custom order, with independent ascending/descending settings for each.

Problem solved:

Inability to sort album according to reasonable specifications for some users.

Brought benefits:

Would allow users to choose a more specific sorting order for their albums, without having to deal with a giant ugly list of tag combinations chosen by the developer (including the one that’s already in the list). This may be more helpful for users who have very large numbers of albums in their libraries.

Other application solutions:

(No example)

Additional description and context:

There’s currently a tag for sorting by “Display artist, Year”, but it only sorts A to Z, then last album first, or Z to A, then first album first.

I want to sort by album artist in ascending order, followed by year (or date) also in ascending order (A to Z, then first album first), so albums would appear in this order, for example:

  1. Artist A (2000-01-01)
  2. Artist A (2000-12-31)
  3. Artist B (1999)
  4. Artist B (2001)

Currently, I don’t think there is a way to do this, which means I cannot replicate my PC album order without setting up some ugly system of automatic tag modification between MusicBee and Symfonium that makes the year appear in all the album titles.

I think it’s also a reasonable expectation that plenty of users may also have their own particular permutations of tags in mind.

Screenshots / Mockup:

Note: I forgot to edit it out, but you don’t need to keep the “Display artist, Year” option in this case, as it would be covered just by choosing those two tags (and setting them to opposite asc/desc orders).
Also, as a side note, I kinda think that the arrows in the app point in the wrong direction, since I read the up arrow as “ascending” and down arrow as “descending”, but I understand the logic behind it being this way. Maybe add a little A and Z beside the alphabetical tags and a little 0 and 9 (maybe 1 and 9) beside the numerical ones, because in my opinion, those icons are confusingly ambiguous as they currently are.

I would not call infinite variations of sorts with 99% of the them useless reasonable :slight_smile:

Anyway next release will have 4 states for that sort, allowing your sort to be chosen.

1 Like

While it may be true that there are an astronomical number of unreasonable ones, that doesn’t make the reasonable ones not currently in the list any less real or small enough in number that this change couldn’t be considered reasonable in itself. From casually browsing forums for this kind of thing, I’ve encountered many of them which I would never imagine, but for which I can still see the rationale. For my music library on my desktop (using MusicBee), I have my albums grouped into broad genre categories, then sorted by (sort) album artist, then sorted by year.

Regardless, good to know that a more preferable sort order for me is on its way! Thanks.

You can browse by genre to have that level of sorting :wink:

For the record my other Yatse is media centric too in Play Store since 12 years and 7 millions downloads, so far no one asked for more than what is present.

When I added the artist + year sort I hesitated in the year sort, so it makes sense to support both.

For the rest if 99% of the combination are not useful this means that the UI and code became incredibly complicated for most of the users and so makes no sense.

I don’t mean to waste your time if you’re really not interested in adding this feature, but I would like to make the point that could be made here.

Just for the sake of example, if artist + year makes sense, then I’d say so does genre + year, artist + rating, genre + rating, genre + artist + year, genre + artist + rating, rating + year, rating + artist, artist + album length, and more, especially for those with libraries even larger than my own. I might even like to switch between some of these sorts depending on my mood.

IMO, all of these can be supported using UI much simpler than that of the smart filter (for example), as all the user would need to do is tap whichever tags they want, in order, then tap the arrow next to any they might want to change the sorting direction of, and it could be displayed in a very simple, easy to understand way, like in my mock-up. Alternatively, you could add a button marked + or … next to whichever sort is selected in case the user wants to sort by a secondary tag, thereby getting the feature out of the way for anyone who doesn’t want it, while still making it very easily accessible for anyone who does.

I don’t believe that any more than a very small fraction of users would find it confusing or too complicated, especially since I always saw this app as being designed for advanced users anyway, which is why there are a million settings that are far more obscure than sorting order. As for the code, I can see ways to keep it simple, but I suppose as the developer, you would know better than me how many more things would need to be changed and added in the background.

For me, the grouping and sorting of albums in the library is a very significant part of personalization. I use MusicBee (which is quite popular) on desktop because it allows me to arrange things however I want (to a degree far deeper than I would even want to ask for on this app) while looking good, and Symfonium is the closest thing to that on Android that I’ve managed to find (mostly in ways other than sorting). I just think it has a few small design gaps (while other apps have massive blind spots).

All the advanced settings are in advanced part no in the default usage of the app, the app is aimed to be simple to use while still allowing advanced things.

There’s navigation systems to cover most of the need, you can navigate by genre by artist by year then sort.

Your solution takes a lot more clicks and you need a remove button to remove the current sort. Then no sort at all and the user is confused or a default sort but then it means the first click replace the first default sort but the next one add a new sort, when in 99% of the app on earth clicking a sort do sort by that sort.

This would be confusing as hell to normal users. So no as I said there’s no plans to build such a complicated solution for a very very rare need.

As I said, there are simple ways to do it. In my previous message, I suggested an alternative solution, which is (to rephrase and elaborate) that you could stick a + button to the right side of whichever sort is currently selected, then when the user taps on that, it would append the next chosen sort onto the current one. If the user selects a different sort after that or exits the menu and comes back, then it just picks a different single-tag sort.

The result of this design is that if the user only looks at the left side of the menu (where the tags are), then it would function exactly the same as it does now. But if a user wants a more advanced sort, it’s right there to use. There could be an option for enabling the advanced/composite/multi-tag sorting button in the advanced options menu. Or just put this kind of sorting in the library settings?

My issue with the navigation systems is that they themselves require extra clicks, and if you pick one genre and then decide you want to look at another one instead, you’d have to back out, find the other genre in the list, and select it, instead of just scrolling (or just looking) down a bit. Anyway, the grouping within the All Albums screen isn’t really part of my suggestion, so I’m not intending to push for that in this thread, just mentioning how it’s related to my use case.

To point it out directly: one of the benefits of my suggestion is fewer clicks.

As you said your need is different sorting is only useful if the information is easily accessible and there’s a fastscroll indicator.

Sorting by genre currently in a large album list would be completely useless, the genre is not visible in the list, you’d have no idea where a genre start when it ends and so would not be able to scroll to that other genre at all unlike with the navigation system.

Your need is a lot more complex than arbitrary tag sort and can’t be fixed with that either.

Yeah, I can see how genre is useless to sort by on its own, but it works with grouping (with headings for each genre). My specific wants are out of scope for your app, I think, because I use a custom tag in MusicBee rather than genre.

Anyway, the four sorts for that one option is good enough without the grouping option, so thanks.