Album vs Album Artist
An audio file can have a lot of properties embedded into it. Some of the information is related to the file itself while some is related to what the file contains, where it is from, who made it, and the like. This information is used for sorting the music files into categories and for searching for specific albums or artists. Album and album artist are only two of the said properties, along with the title, which is the most important property that should be included in the file. Album is simply the name of the album where the song is from while album artist is the name of the band or artist that released the said album.
These two are the most used properties as these are the only ones you can extract off of a CD. The name of the album is rather straightforward as each release would have a proper name. The album artist can either be simple or difficult. In certain music albums, there may be more than one artist or group involved. Other artists like to have other artists as guests for duets on different tracks. In these cases, each track in an album does not have the same artists.
To solve the problem above, the artist property was split into two, artist and album artist. The album artist is usually the artist that released the album and is common to all the tracks in the album. The artist property would contain the list of artists that performed on that track. It can be the same as the album artist for an album with only one artist or can be varied for albums with multiple artists.
Following these guidelines and properly inputting the album and album artist’s names for each track should result in a more organized music collection where you can easily search for songs based on the album name, the main artist on the album, or any of the collaborators. The properties or tags follow a specific format and can be read by players as long as they recognize the encoding used. So even if you store your files on your computer and play it on your iPod or other music player, the properties would still be retained and you would not have to enter them again.
Album is the name of the album while album artist is the name of the artist or group
Album is easy to determine while album artist can be difficult to establish