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An Accurate ID3 Tag Database? 139

Posted by Cliff
from the battle-of-the-genres dept.
Andy Le Couteur Bisson asks: "Can anyone suggest an ID3 tag database that doesn't label everything from Gabber to Ambient as Electronica & Dance, or worse? I am currently ripping more of my CD collection and it is annoying to have to review and edit almost all of the tags after every session. The odd error or difference of opinion is understandable, but I struggle to comprehend the logic that categorizes The Liberators and Luke Slater as R&B (for the uninitiated they are Techno). I guess I'm looking for a more UK centric database but Googling hasn't helped much, thus far."
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An Accurate ID3 Tag Database?

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  • Tag & Rename (Score:5, Informative)

    by panic911 (224370) * on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:48PM (#14544905) Homepage
    Unfortunately Tag & Rename is shareware, but it's a GREAT application. You can select a whole list of mp3s and have it search for the albums on Amazon.com and automatically generate ID3 tags. I've done my entire collection of 150 albums in a couple of hours (I believe you have to do one album at a time). The link is http://www.softpointer.com/tr.htm [softpointer.com]

    By the way, there is another program that IS freeware that does the same thing with amazon.com, but I can't remember the name :/
    • Re:Tag & Rename (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rytis (907427) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:57PM (#14544988)
      By the way, there is another program that IS freeware that does the same thing with amazon.com, but I can't remember the name :/

      Mp3tag? http://www.mp3tag.de/en/index.html [mp3tag.de]
      That's a diamond, IMHO.
    • By the way, there is another program that IS freeware that does the same thing with amazon.com, but I can't remember the name :/ Yep. iTunes [apple.com] does the trick.
      • Unless I'm just blind, iTunes only does that when you rip a CD. If your songs are already MP3s, etc., then you can only rename them manually. YOu can't cull artist info, etc., from Amazon or anywhere else.
      • iTunes is still somewhat on my shitlist because it has a tendency to truncate my tags. If you have the automatic directory organization, it will also truncate the filename as well. Suddenly your "Leonard Philman - You Stole My Heart, You Stole My Life, But You Ain't Stealing My Pickup Truck.mp3" file becomes "Leonard Philman - You Stole My He.mp3" and the tag is changed correspondingly. If you manually set the tag in iTunes, it keeps the full name, but if you're importing, they get truncated. And then there
    • Re:Tag & Rename (Score:5, Informative)

      by Klaruz (734) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:57PM (#14545630)
      The GodFather [otenet.gr] is one of the best windows taggers, and it's free.
    • Re:Tag & Rename (Score:2, Interesting)

      by frosgate (609341)
      I have to say that this is IMHO the best application out there for tagging serious amounts of mp3s. I've done over 1,200 full albums with it now, and can't say that I've ever found anything better. For the record, I have no affiliation what so ever with the company who produces this software

      In regards to having to do one album at a time, this isn't true. You can change the view to list the contents of all subfolders. Then, you can select which songs from which albums you wish to label as what.

      Unfortunat
    • Re:Tag & Rename (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shadow0_0 (59720)
      Does anyone know an applicatioin that handles songs that are not in English? e.g. Chinese or Japanese.
    • When I was ripping my database, I decided to tag "styles" manually for the reason the original poster is exposing. CDDB is just a messy try at an attempt to that. Nothing I could find did match my expectations, by far.

      The problem you will soon encounter is that even you will not be able to clearly categorize some of your music. There is always stuff in between styles, and depending on your mood-of-the-day you will categorize some of your music more in one or the other style.

      It is a weird subjective problem,
      • My solution, in iTunes anyway, is just to use multiple Genres in the tag.

        So if I'm not sure if a song is (for example) Metal or Alternative, I just tag it "Alternative Metal". That way searching for either "Alternative" or "Metal" in iTunes will bring up the song.

        I'm not sure what the character limit is for the Genre field, but it's been enough for me to get several tags in there at once, on my more eclectic songs.

        The obvious shortfall of this method is that if you SORT by Genre, as opposed to Filtering/Sea
  • Limited Suggestion (Score:5, Informative)

    by Saige (53303) <evil DOT angela AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:52PM (#14544942) Journal
    For tagging music files with properly spelled artist names and song names and the like, I find the MusicBrainz [musicbrainz.org] tagger to be quite useful. It's also got the advantage of being editable by the users, and easier to clean up than other places.

    However, you'll get no genre info there. That's something that's just really, really hard to do well. Especially because of the overlap that some artists have between genres, and how specific someone wants to be. Is VNV Nation EBM? Futurepop? Or just Electronica? How about Dead Can Dance? I think they've hit a dozen different genres over the years, how do you pick one?

    For the most part, I've tried to just give up on genre entirely. It rarely says anything of value anyway.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Not to mention the fact that cddb only defined 11 genres originally way back when all of this ripping stuff was a new fad, and everything became either "rock", "soundtrack" or "misc".
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      The real problems lay in the limitations of the ID3 tag format. Sure, you can put anything you want into some fields (like genre) but the fields have insanely short length limits. How many times have you tried to ID3v1-tag your MP3s only to find out that you have to use ID3v2 because the name of the song or album is too long? Happens to me all the damn time, anyway. But regardless, the tag needed an entirely different format. In particular it should have allowed selection of multiple genres...
      • Why on earth would you want to use id3v1? id3v1 has the goofy single-byte genres. id3v2 supports strings of arbitrary length. Some software (like Slimserver) lets you have multiple genres per track, using the delimiter of choice.

        The real catch is defining your genre set, but that gets very tricky to do in a way that you'll be satisfied with.

        • Why on earth would you want to use id3v1?

          Because I was an "early adapter" (don't you love buzz-words?) and my hardware (the MP3 player in my truck) only supports 1d3v1.

      • ID3 is definitely way too limited, in all its forms.

        If I have music, I'd like to be able to associate lyrics, cover art, performer names, composers, etc. So if I want a playlist of music with Vanessa Carlton, Counting Crows' "Big Yellow Taxi" will show, for Bono, "Children of the Revolution" off the Moulin Rouge soundtrack will appear, etc.

        Perhaps the genre classification is best done with multiple adjectives describing tempo, etc. But soundtrack definitely should not be a genre for music by itself.
        • by snarlydwarf (532865) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @12:00AM (#14546228) Homepage
          id3v2 supports lyrics (even synced) [the USLT tag for unsynced lyrics], cover art [APIC], performer names [TIPL, TMCL, TPE1-4], composers [TCOM for composer, TEXT for lyricsist]...

          The problem is that very little software supports most of that other than cover art.

          Perhaps you should look at id3.org: see the id3v2.4 specs.

          The problem isn't the tagging methods, it's the lack of software support.

          (That said: obligatory plug -- slimserver supports lyrics, cover art, performer names and composers.... perhaps you need a Squeezebox.)

          • Point well taken, it looks like there's a lot of good design in the actual tagging format.
          • Indeed I have used pretty much all of the features of ID3v2 (incl. lyrics, art, blah blah) but it's still missing a standard format for multiple genres. Sure, you could use a delimiter, but it won't be a standard unless everyone miraculously uses it.
            • it's still missing a standard format for multiple genres

              Untrue. Both V2.3 and V2.4 allow for multiple genres -- the V2.3 standard is a bit ambiguous here -- if you don't include the parenthesized V1 genre number identifier then it's unclear how to list multiple genres (I favor the iTunes method of space delimiting them; others prefer NULL delimiting). The V2.4 standard is explicit -- NULLs between genres (which, of course, iTunes doesn't follow; but their V2.4 implementation is horribly broken anyway).

              I'm n
        • I'll admit I don't know anything about Counting Crows, but if Vanessa makes an appearance on their version, it's often normal form to have "Big Yellow Taxi (with Vanessa Carlton)" or similar, so that a search for the name will bring up both.

          And I totally disagree: anything that's from a soundtrack is tagged in my collection as Soundtrack. Just makes it easier to sort albums.

          Personally, I edit the hell out of my Genre tags, trying to keep the list to the minimum, since I never use them for anything, but want
          • I don't mind having a soundtrack tag, I just don't think it's the genre of music. Also, it's a tag for the album, not the particular piece; "Build Me Up Buttercup" appearing in "There's Something about Mary" doesn't change its genre. (You might want a separation between albums and songs, when nigh-identical versions appear in multiple places.)

            Note that in your example (and in the version in my iTunes), Vanessa shows up in the song name, not the performer. And if I wanted all Sammy Hagar's stuff, his work
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Dead Can Dance? Easy. Just make a 4AD label and you're covered. : p
    • I use Genre in Itunes to facilitate smart lists and auto updading. So if you have an idea what music goes together well with pther music. use it simply as a sort label how does MusicBrainz integrate with iTunes?
    • Is VNV Nation EBM? Futurepop? Or just Electronica? How about Dead Can Dance? I think they've hit a dozen different genres over the years, how do you pick one?

      Well, you don't HAVE to tag every single song the same way just because it's the same artist...

    • For the most part, I've tried to just give up on genre entirely. It rarely says anything of value anyway.

      At first I thought this way, but the predefined genres are the things that are not helpful. It sounds kind of stupid, but before I started ripping my CDs I came up with a schema for genre before hand that made sense to me. Ok, please hear me out on this.

      In my collection there are some varying degrees of Electronica/Techno what have you. Because it one of the biggest parts of my collection and I listen to

      • by NoStrings (622372)
        This brings to my mind a very interesting point. In my mind, genre is not something that should be assinged by artist. There are many artists in my collection that play many different types of music. I'm in the process of re-tagging all my music so that each song is assessed on its own merits. eg. "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is a lot different than "Give It Away", and I don't think that they should be classified the same. This makes it a lot easier to create playlists that have similar m
        • Actually, RHCP has one of the best examples of multi-genre I can think of: Love Rollercoaster. I've always loved that song, but it was quite some time before I found out it was RHCP. At first I just didn't believe it, but when I listened to it the next time, Kiedis' voice was quite clear. I just never expected that song out of them.
        • As I suggested in an earlier post, one possible route you can take (and perhaps you've already thought of this) is just to use multiple words in the Genre field. So essentially, use it like a Keywords field rather than a specific Genre.

          It's not quite as convenient as a iPhoto-style keywords selector would be, but if you've used the particular combination of keywords that you want to enter on another song before, iTunes will auto-complete it. (So if you've typed "Alternative Goth Metal" on another song, iTun
  • by GWSuperfan (939629) <crwilson@COUGARgwu.edu minus cat> on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:52PM (#14544949)
    Everyone's musical tastes are different, and this extends to how we classify the music we listen to. Would you classify US3 as Jazz? Acid Jazz? some variation of Rap? It depends on how YOU percieve it. No online databse is gonna be perfect. Just suck it up and label everything how you think it should be labelled as you are ripping your CDs. Even then you will have to deal with crossover bands that blend elements of different musical styles. I've alost completely done away with this kind of classification for some of my music, as once my collection gained any depth, classifying some songs/artists/albums became next to impossible.
    • Gotta agree that YOU are the only one who's going to classify genres the way you want them. I used to either ignore or strip out genre info from mp3s because I found it generally useless [most of my stuff was tagged rock, rock/pop, indie, indierock, indiepop, etc]. Since I got my iPod, however, I went back through my entire collection and tagged things by the general record store categories [rock, jazz, classical, country, electronic]. This makes it a lot easier to browse/sort stuff depending on what I'm in
      • If that works for you, lucky you. I have so many tracks needing genre info that sorting by genre isn't really useful yet, but someday it will be as I slowly make my way through them.

        When I'm done though I won't always want Johnny Cash lumped in with Guns & Roses, so I've got lots more genres separating Classic Rock, Rock, and Alternative. For when I want calmer sounds there's Slow Rock for Stone Temple Pilots' Creep. Also got a catch-call genre of Smooth for Sting, Norah Jones, and stuff I'd like to
    • There is a difference of opinion, then there's a blatant miscategorization in the posted example.
    • Would you classify US3 as Jazz? Acid Jazz? some variation of Rap? It depends on how YOU percieve it.
      Why not all of the above? If only ID3 could do tagging...
    • I find trying to pick exactly what a genre a song belongs to ends up with you making up really weird genres that only bloggers reference (and that's because they got it from verbose music critics). Case in point, today's featured Pitchfork review is summarized as "indie-yuppie soul/country" whatever that means. Are you going to have a folder for indie-yuppie soul? Then one for indie-yuppie country? Then one for them mixed? At what point does the madness end?

      I do divide by genre, but very broadly, and only w
    • Just suck it up and label everything how you think it should be labelled as you are ripping your CDs.

      But I'm lazy!

      Although I do agree that classifying music by genre [qntm.org] is a pointless exercise.

  • MusicBrainz (Score:5, Informative)

    by deezilmsu (769007) <danielaaronwilliams AT gmail DOT com> on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:54PM (#14544968) Homepage
    http://www.musicbrainz.org [musicbrainz.org] Haven't used the new picard looker-upper, but I know the original works wonders. Check that out.
    • It's important to note though that the original poster was having a problem with the genre classification of his tagger. MusicBrainz has explicitly stated that they despise the notion of genre and do not go out of their way to support it. I use MusicBrainz to tag all my mp3s and ogg files but I've noticed oftentimes the genre just contains a bunch of junk and sometimes isn't populated at all. Just a caveat.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    this service [musicbrainz.org] already exists by musicbrainz [musicbrainz.org], and if you use amarok [kde.org] then you have already witnessed it in action.

    seriously, do people google before they ask slashdot?
  • I finished ripping my 300+ CD collection and I manually checked every CD. CDDB and other databases usually have different spellings of bands like "Smashing Pumpkins" vs "The Smashing Pumpkins", even song names are spelled differently across albums. On the live album you got a song spelled one way, on the studio version another way and so on. There is also the 3-4 versions of the same album, all spelled different way. Of course different spelling spells doom for library programs who think that 2 albums from
    • If they don't show up on MusicBrainz, then import them from FreeDB if they are there, and then add the record to MusicBrainz. This is how their database grows and gets more accurate.

      Certainly MusicBrainz isn't perfect: I periodically find duplicates, but it is editable, and there are procedures for combining duplicates into one record.

  • CDDB Not ID3 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mendy (468439) on Monday January 23, 2006 @07:57PM (#14544986)
    What (I think) you're asking for is an alternative CDDB source for track information when ripping your CDs? If this is the case then, to my knowledge there are only two CDDB (now Gracenote and commercial) and FreeDB. Both of these accept submissions from the general public so you can't guarantee that what they choose to clasify the artists as will be in line with your own opinion.

    You can always edit the tracks afterwards, I use the already recommended Tag&Rename myself however there are a number of open source utilities which are just as good especially if you're not using Windows.

    Another alternative might be to try Musicbrainz [musicbrainz.org] which identifies individual tracks using some kind of hash of the song itself and might have "better" genres assigned to artists.
    • Both of these accept submissions from the general public so you can't guarantee that what they choose to clasify the artists as will be in line with your own opinion.

      Are there any guidelines on either regarding keeping the basic album information consistant? By that I mean, some compilatons are listed under "Various", others "Various Artists". Multi CD sets are sometimes "CD1 of 2", sometimes (CD one) - sometimes these happen within the same album! Bands aren't consistant either, some albums return "The Be

    • MusicBrainz doesn't assign any genres to anything, since it's just too complicated an issue, and something that people would argue over until the heat death of the universe. However, for consistent and accurate artist, album, track, release date, and other info it's easily the best resource out there, especially for less obscure stuff.
  • http://xdev.narod.ru/tagscan_e.htm [narod.ru] Tag Scanner is a great full-featured T&R application.
  • Alternative & Punk (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone dislike the genre "Alternative & Punk"? Why join them? Anyway, I think it would be more convenient if multiple genres or tags were allowed, eg. "Rock", "Instrumental", and "soundtrack" for one song.
    • You can have multiple values for a single tag, but sadly most programs and databases don't support this.

      (Quod Libet [sacredchao.net] does.)
    • by NoMaster (142776)
      I dislike genres in general - what is it, 200+ different genres in some implementations of ID3v2 (not counting free-form)? It seems that the industry has to create a new genre for every new band, just so they can market them as "different".

      Or maybe it's a fan problem - after all, the Industrial you listen to is better than the Industrial everybody else listens to, so it *has* to have a new genre, right? ;-)

      Personally, I think there should just be 3 different genres - "sucks", "doesn't suck", and "I'm not su
      • My solution is three genres:
        1) Music I like
        2) Music I like that I don't want anyone to know about
        3) Music I don't like
        That classification works quite well for me.
    • I HATE the term "alternative". Originally, it was called "alternative" because it was an alternative to the music the was dominating the airwaves at the time. Once "alternative" became mainstream, it was no longer an "alternative" to anything (besides the now non-dominant rock/metal groups.

      So everytime CDDB tries to label something "Alternative" I stop it. Originally, I was going to just label music into four categories: rock, rap, jazz, and classical. But in use, that system sucks, because the "rock" genre

  • genres itself are wide and varied on its own, and depending on which site u r basing on, you will get alot of different types for the same artist. Ive seen so many different sites [Yahoo Launch, Amazon, HMV, etc] rating Madonna from R&B to pop to dance to rock. As long as the artist has released a track in that genre, it screws everything up. Paul Van Dyk the pop king? Libertines the R&B boyband? My advice, find 1 single site [Launch is nice] and stick to their genre recommendations. Sourcing from m
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the algorithm used to derive the cddb id is crap, so it leads to loads of collisions - just download the db and find all the files which have the same name (named after the id). the algorithm used to derive the musicbrainz style id (cdindex id in cdda2wav, i think) is much better and vastly less likely to collide.

    also, musicbrainz has a community moderated thing going on, so mistakes get corrected :)
  • AllMusic (Score:3, Informative)

    by Atario (673917) on Monday January 23, 2006 @08:05PM (#14545053) Homepage
    I don't know if you're familiar with it, but a good source of music data is AllMusic.com [allmusic.com]. They have fairly good genre/style info. You'll probably have to roll your own screen-scaper around it, though, if you intend to automate at all. This guy [krkeegan.com] seems to have taken a stab at it. (Of course, I understand Tag&Rename can pull from there as well...)
    • Oh yeah, *great*.
      As a previous person asked: "Is VNV Nation EBM? Futurepop? Or just Electronica? "
      Well, according to allmusic.com's *great* genre info, they belong in the "rock" genre...
      And so does every other EBM and electronica band I looked up.
      • by Atario (673917)
        Well, Sarcastro, you might wish also to consult the styles listed right in front of your fat face:

        * Industrial Dance
        * Electro-Industrial
        * Dark Ambient

        They even have a bunch of moods listed:

        * Provocative
        * Reflective
        * Confrontational
        * Confident
        * Energetic
    • Re:AllMusic (Score:3, Informative)

      by jb.hl.com (782137)
      IIRC Windows Media Player uses AllMusic to look up album information. Works quite nicely (along with WMP being one of the least worst CD rippers available).
  • I would try www.DbPoweramp.com for their music converter. Freeware and you can select genre etc before ripping and change any titles as you wish. When you start it checks on freedb to see if it reckonizes the cd and so far I have found it very good. Also if you have a cd that is not on their database you can submit it thus helping to keep it up to date. Or for editing mp3 you already have I use Moosic. Basic straight forward and can do batch converts, extracting from filename, freedb intergration as well a
  • I think the real problem is the ease of fixing problems in these databases when you find them. Most of the software I use either doesn't fix the originating database when you make a correction, or it makes it hard to update it, or you can't even tell if the database was updated or not (thus discouraging updating). Then who the heck knows if the database accepts the changes, or accepts the wrong changes? Somebody needs to re-think the whole system.
    • The program in my reply (above|below, depending on your page layout) does allow for changes to it's database. In the top half of the program you have the files you are working with, in the bottom you have the web database, and if something isn't right, you have the ability to "moderate" the listing for consistency (just like we have the meta-moderate function on here)
  • As others have pointed out, defining a tune by a single genre is at best useless and worse incorrect. It takes no account of mood, tunes that straddle >1 genre and doesn't help with the context a song was made in. Is 'britpop' a genre? Are Spearhead 'hip-hop', 'rap', or 'funk'?

    No service offers this - the nearest is AMG who provie multiple styles, genres, moods and instrumentation per artist. As far as I know there is no official automated tool which rips this information.

    You'll be better off with your o
    • I've got to agree that APE is waaaaay better than ID3. Unlimited meta data makes tagging things super easy.

      I can have something tagged as genre: punk rock, genre2: american hardcore, genre3: So-Cal first gen, genre4: OC, genre5: Oxnard, etc...

      Any tag I want to add to a file I can, and as mentioned, there's no size limit. I've found this to actually be really beneficial by tagging songs by my bands with an email address to contact if people want demos, or want to know anything about us. Although I suppos

  • Although they appear to be more dedicated to mixing your music based on the mood of a song, MoodLogic also has a huge database of user identified songs. You have to pay to use the feature, but you can download it for free and see how it would tag them before you pay. http://www.moodlogic.com/ [moodlogic.com]
    • The newest versions of Winamp contain a limited version of Moodlogic technology. They will mix a 20 song playlist given one song you know you want. It works pretty well and has a slider in the settings for diversity. It isn't nearly as functional as the real Moodlogic program but it's free and it does what it's supposed to. I just hate using Winamp's library because it's so slow and often gets stuff wrong.
    • I've been using Moodlogic for years. It works well for mainstream music. Some of the more rare items it does not recognize. Also it's got way of classifying music by tempo, year and feel (happy, sad, etc.) which should overcome some mislabeling of music.
  • Godfather [otenet.gr] would be your best choice. Rip, then tag with this. It can get its data from allmusic.com, which is way better than the ID3 tag databases.
  • MusicMatch has a supertagging thing that works so incredibly awesome...it has album art and everything....its the best of all. even iTunes.
  • Hey, Ingrid D.J. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jimekai (938123) on Monday January 23, 2006 @10:26PM (#14545769)
    I've been working on this problem for a long time now and the last thing I want to do is to edit individual songs. The best solution I've come up with is to create a folder called "genre" under which I created individual genre folders. I then moved my artists and loose mp3s into those folders. The freeware I used to inspect the artists/paths in my collection is called "Mp3 Explorer". I should point out that I am only interested in the 148 genres of the ID3v1 tag because my BPM based player software uses this to select drum sets and grooves. Of those genres the major headache is the Blues (0), Other (12), Unknown (255 - hex(FF)), and Classical (32 - i.e. ASCII space). During the last year my Winamp front-end has been speaking the track details before and after the song plays to aid me in cleaning up my folders. I've also been using Allmusic.com to check up on artists and my collection is pretty stable now. I am now ready to code a routine to reset these main problem genres to their folder name. When that task is done I'll be able to use a tagger to work through individual folders, looking for anomalies. The freeware Winamp front-end that I wrote, called Ingrid, is a quantum computer emulator that is capable of detecting vary diverse musical signatures. When my collection is clean enough I intend to overlay mood shapes onto those signatures to generate accompaniment using more than just drums, e.g., guitars and piano rolls. http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~income/ingridx/ [ihug.co.nz]
    • > is a quantum computer emulator that is capable of detecting vary diverse musical signatures

      You can write a quantum computer emulator but you can't be bothered to spellcheck or self-check your typing?
      • I beg your pardon for my poor eyesight. I did a spell check and ran it twice through my TTS proof reader. In both cases "vary" and "very" passed my test. That doesn't happen often, but in any case, why can't Slashdot provide post editing?
  • Shell scripts. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is what I used to do back when I cared about ID3 tags:
    1. Find a command line ID3 tag editor. There are several out there.
    2. Put each album in its own directory. Name the files appropriately (put track titles, track numbers, etc) so that a shell script can extract the relevant fields and set the appropriate ID3 fields.
    3. for i in /path/to/album/*.mp3; do id3_tag_edtior [args]; done
    • This is what I used to do back when I cared about ID3 tags...
      Find a command line ID3 tag editor. There are several out there.
      Put each album in its own directory.
      Name the files appropriately (put track titles, track numbers, etc) so that a shell script can extract the relevant fields and set the appropriate ID3 fields.
      for i in /path/to/album/*.mp3; do id3_tag_edtior [args]; done
      No wonder you no longer care about ID3 tags.
  • Yeah, I could google for it.

    But I guess I'm just an old fart, because while I've at least *heard* of "Ambient", I don't know WTF "Gabber" is...
  • Genre is overrated (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402@mac.EINSTEINcom minus physicist> on Monday January 23, 2006 @11:45PM (#14546156) Journal
    Genre, in my (very large) collection, only serves one function: to distinguish "classical" (which in fact encompasses probably 20 genres) from "nonclassical" (even more). Even then it fails with a few borderline cases (think Edgar Meyer/Bela Fleck collaboration). Genre is too imprecise a tool to use for searching, so why bother?

    Don't bother with ID3 databases, either. Even if one were "accurate," it would not be right for most individual listeners. Here's a small list of the problems I encounter when trying to use tags pulled from a database, even when there are no obvious typos or fuckups...

    For non-classical music:
    - Genres are wacked (duh)
    - Both artist and album names often differ from what the album cover says: shortened or on the other hand made "more informative"
    - Year is wrong. I don't give a fuck when the album (or even worse, the greatest hits collection) was first sold. I care when the song was put in its final form (if I can find out)
    - Song titles may be shortened, and almost always have gratuitous Caps At The Start Of Each Word whether or not the artist put them there
    - Due to changes in the database over the years fields may be switched or missing

    For classical music and opera the situation is far worse. I have my own tagging system refined during years of keeping digital music and figuring out how best to shoehorn orchestra/chorus/conductor/soloist(s)/ensembles/mo vement titles/opus numbers/acts/scenes into "Artist," "Song," "Album" and "Grouping" fields. I would hazard the guess that for any serious classical music listener there is no point in a database -- different information is important to all of us and we will all perform the field-consolidation shuffle differently. We can whine about the need for entirely new tagging systems but we are enough of a minority that no one listens, so in the meantime, we have to Optimize Very Highly.

    In short, just type the damn information in yourself if you want it to be accurate. There is no other way.

  • media monkey (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    www.mediamonkey.com it does ripping and tagging to your specs, you can then do a lookup on amazon for the album (amazon uk as well) and add the album art etc.

    i've been using it for a while. it's also the only thing that can handle my mp3 collection. everything else crashes.
  • MusicBrainz [musicbrainz.org] is a free (libre) CCDB-like database of audio CDs.

  • mp3dings (Score:2, Informative)

    by pffffffff (885984)
    The best ID3-Tag-Editor: - Can edit ID3 v1, v2 and Filenames - Table Layout: You see all your files at the same time - Open Source and written in Java, works on every operatin system http://mp3dings.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
  • Who cares about musical genre anyway ? Who needs these useless categories, they are just boxes for the mind when real music is just about the opposite ...

    Are Black Flag Punk or Hardcore ? Is Ministry Industrial, Punk or ... New Wave ? Are these genre tags including a "Progressive Punk Jazz Mayhem" category for John Zorg ? I say just drop those lame classifications :)

  • Is pretty simple: I make dynamic views, or playlists if you like which are based on the genre, and group them
    Goes like that in pseudo sql:
    metal : genre ilike '%trash %' or genre ilike '%metal %' or genre ilike '%hard %'
    rock: (genre ilike '%rock%' and genre not ilike 'hard%'), etc etc
    classical: genre ilike '%classic%' and genre not ilike '%trash%' and genre not ilike '%rock', etc etc

    So 'classical trash' will be listed in metal, classical rock in rock, but classical music in classical... Of courses th
  • Classical Music (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Triv (181010) on Tuesday January 24, 2006 @08:25AM (#14547668) Journal

    The major place user submitted id3 databases fall flat on their faces is in the cataloging of classical music - some of the schema people use for that stuff is quite simply insane - movement names in the author fields, a lack of comprehensive composition names in the track field (ie, naming the first movement correctly and naming the second movement ii. allegro and that's IT), a total disregard for performers, no standard for capitalization, disparity of composer name formats. There's nothing even approaching a standard for such things and you end up doing it ALL by hand.

    Just saying, if all you're worrying about is changing a genre field for every album you rip, will, it could be a helluva lot worse.

    I actually wrote a basic guide to get through this particular minefield; it's over here [everything2.com] on E2.

    • What a great idea. I'm not a hardcore classical music fan, but I have been listening to more of it these days. I've been futzing around with naming schemes, but I've never been satisfied. This looks more feasable than anything I've come up with.
  • MP3Bookhelper (mp3bookhelper.sourceforge.net) is great for mass tagging files. It won't lookup information for you, but it makes batch tag editing a breeze.

    CDex is another fantastic piece of software. It's an open source CD ripper that can automatically check the FreeDB.org database to add tags to your ripped music. http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdexos [sourceforge.net]

    Album Cover Art Downloader will, surprise!, download and insert album cover art from Amazon,Walmart, and Yahoo into your mp3s. Did you know you could insert
  • For those of you who are more interesting in accurately naming your MP3s, I strongly recommend Jim Willsher's Bulk Rename Utility [bulkrenameutility.co.uk]. It's amazingly powerful. Good for all kinds of files, not just MP3s.
  • What do you use to tag files in Linux? I usually use the powerful EasyTag [sourceforge.net], but it doesn't use other forms of info, like amazon.com data. The gentoo default version also is an older one, that doesn't have some nice features. Any suggestions?

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