We have debated dropping the artist field back to a non-multi value field, i.e. without the bubbles. But we loose a number of features, such as proper statistics counting and multi-edit on multi values and gain only a fix for a handful of artists: 10,000 Maniacs; Harry Connick, Jr; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Earth, Wind & Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Of course this is not a complete list of artists that use a comma but those are the only ones we have found so far.
Using only semi-colon or other separators is another solution but breaks a number of import sites and as mentioned what users are used to due to the fact that the comma is the default separator in most cases. Having to use a special character workaround for 10 artists is a lot easier than the alternatives such as copying the following: "10‚000 Maniacs". We are keeping a close eye on it and would consider going back should it become a problem, but so far it's been easy to fix on a manual basis.
If comma is Apple's default way of splitting multi-value entries how come iTunes can manage 10,000 Maniacs perfectly adequately?
iTunes makes no distinction between multiple artists and does not use the token field (the blue bubbles). Just as in CDpedia version 4.6.8 "Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger" and "Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart" would be counted as two different sets of artists instead of being counted as two separate artists the way they are now thanks to the token field.
I'll ponder downgrading but does that I get my upgrade fee back?
Of course you would get a full refund on the upgrade if you're not going to use it.