The Tag Formatting

Ambient uses a rather simple tag formatting mechanism, with several simple rules.

Simple formatting

To replace tag values in the formatting string, just use the %tag_name notation. For example, the formatting string:

Artist: %artist; Album: %album

will produce

Artist: The Future Sound of London; Album: Expander

The following tags are supported (a subset of the Amarok tags):

  • %title - the track title
  • %album - the album name
  • %artist - the artist
  • %genre - track genres
  • %bitrate - track bitrate
  • %year - the year the track/album was released
  • %length - track length in the h:mm:ss format
  • %track - the track number


Groups are portions of the formatting string enclosed in the curly braces. If all groups and/or tags in a group resolves to an empty string then the entire group resolves to an empty string. The groups can be nested.

Let's assume that the album in the previous example is empty. Without the use of groups, the formatting string would resolve to

Artist: The Future Sound of London; Album: 

However, when we employ groups:

{Artist: %artist;}{Album: %album}

The following is produced.

Artist: The Future Sound of London;

Still not perfect. Let's use ...


Delimiter is a special group acting as a ... well, delimiter :-) Delimiters are placed between some non-empty content. Thus, if at least one side of a delimiter (in the parent group context) resolves to an empty content, the delimiter will not be displayed.

In the previous example, note that there is a semicolon line following the Artist: line. To get rid of this semicolon we can employ delimiters:

{Artist: %artist}{;}{Album: %album}

And the result:

Artist: The Future Sound of London

For more complex examples please feel free to check and experiment the format strings in Ambient's configuration screen.