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flipik
post Nov 6 2012, 20:29
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hello everyone,

sorry for asking n00b question, but did a search and havent found satisfying up-to-date answer.

I have a large music collection, build around LAME, MPC and FLAC files. Because long time ago I wanted to stick to as few tag types as possible I decided to use:
MP3: IDEv3 & APEv2 tags (storing metadata & replagain info)
MPC: APEv2 tags (storing metadata & replaygain info)
FLAC: none (just filename scheme), I used it only for archive purpose

From that time a lot has changed. MPC is obsolate, FLAC is more widely used (big storages in PCs and portable players) and there was a lot of improvement to LAME. Compatibility issues with some tag types are solved. I also bought more quality equipment (portable player and earphone are top quality with lot of storage and now I am buying new HiFi equipment for my living room).
As I have a lot of free time now, I decided to consolidate my music collection, what means:
- get rid of any other formats than MP3 and FLAC (compatibility)
- reencode any poor quality files (low bitrate, poor quality encoder) to make it more suitable for my equipment

Priorities:
I want to stick to standards and compatibility as much as possible, so I won't have to reencode or retag my collection with future's SW and HW.
Replaygain is MUST for me.
I want to tag and replaygain FLAC files as I use them more and more (cheap storage, better quality).
I also want to store album art for my music (for use with Media Centre software), but want to store it separately from my music folders.
Taking all this into account, I want to keep as much simplicity as possible.

Questions:
1. what tag types to use (and not use) with MP3? (need metadata and RG)
2. what tag types to use (and not use) with FLAC? (need at least add replaygain info, but preferably also metadata)
3. what principles do you consider as 'best practice' regarding album art storage?
Bonus question:
Those who owns HiFi equipment: what LAME setting do you use (this is more poll than proper question)

thank you very much for answers, and again sorry for n00b questions,

regards,
f.

Few info:
I use mostly foobar, amarok and banchee players. Will also start using media centre softwares very soon.
I prefer open and free platforms (so wont definitely buy any apple hardware in near future and dont need support it).


This post has been edited by flipik: Nov 6 2012, 20:58
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rohangc
post Nov 7 2012, 03:19
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The common answer to your first two questions is that you should adhere to the Foobar2000 encouraged tagging standards which should standardize your tags.

Now, to answer the questions themselves:

QUOTE
1. what tag types to use (and not use) with MP3? (need metadata and RG)

Use ID3v2.3 tags. You can enable these in Foobar2000->preferences->Advanced->Tagging->MP3->"Write ID3v2.3 tags (more compatible)."
Also enable "Map TPE2 to Album Artist (More compatible).

QUOTE
2. what tag types to use (and not use) with FLAC? (need at least add replaygain info, but preferably also metadata)

Use native FLAC tags and use FB2K for tagging. This should automatically ensure compatibility.

QUOTE
3. what principles do you consider as 'best practice' regarding album art storage?

Personally speaking, I embed the best quality album art (large sized files) in my FLAC files, but resize them to a smaller resolution before embedding them into my lossy files after transcoding.
You can store any image as album art in the metadata. The exact size of the images to embed in your lossy and lossless files is really up to you.

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flipik
post Nov 7 2012, 14:50
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QUOTE
Use ID3v2.3 tags. You can enable these in Foobar2000->preferences->Advanced->Tagging->MP3->"Write ID3v2.3 tags (more compatible)."
Also enable "Map TPE2 to Album Artist (More compatible).

I use mp3tag for tagging, but as far as I know, it is mapping AA to TPE2 already, so that should be fine I guess.
Is there any point of using ID3v1 tags anymore?

QUOTE
Use native FLAC tags and use FB2K for tagging. This should automatically ensure compatibility.

mp3tag stands to write 'vorbis comments' to FLAC files. according to FLAC FAQ, those schould be identical to FLAC tags. Is that safe way to go or sticking with f2k makes any difference?

QUOTE
You can store any image as album art in the metadata. The exact size of the images to embed in your lossy and lossless files is really up to you.

Well, I would like to store album art outside music folders (and files). I was thinking about dedicated folder for album art, using some filenaming scheme like: %artist% - %album%.jpg , so programs can load those pictures and show them with music. Does it make any sense, or there is better way to go ?

f.

This post has been edited by flipik: Nov 7 2012, 14:52
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garym
post Nov 7 2012, 15:32
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Yes, mp3tag does everything correctly. I use this myself for my large collection of mostly FLAC and mp3 files. No need anymore for ID3v1 tags (just a few older auto CD players that read mp3 files off disks...but who uses this any more!). Native FLAC tags are in fact Vorbis Comments (which is what both Foobar2000 and mp3tag use). For mp3 I use ID3v2.3 UTF16 as the most compatible across everything I've come across as a player.

For artwork, I put a single file within the folder containing the album. These are always named "cover.jpg" All applications that I'm aware of handle this or "folder.jpg" as a name. Some players can work with your scheme (the file is actually named the name of the album.jpg). But this is not universal.

I use dbpoweramp for ripping and try to use 1000x1000 artwork (all jpgs). For a mirror of my FLAC files created as mp3 files (for my portable devices), I use dbpoweramp to create the mp3 files and at the same time embed the artwork into the mp3files themselves, at the same time converting the artwork to 300x300 in the mp3 files.
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skamp
post Nov 7 2012, 15:35
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QUOTE (flipik @ Nov 7 2012, 14:50) *
Is there any point of using ID3v1 tags anymore?

None that I can think of.

QUOTE (flipik @ Nov 7 2012, 14:50) *
mp3tag stands to write 'vorbis comments' to FLAC files. according to FLAC FAQ, those schould be identical to FLAC tags. Is that safe way to go or sticking with f2k makes any difference?

Yes it's safe, and no it doesn't make a difference (fb2k write vorbis comments, which it is supposed to).

QUOTE (flipik @ Nov 7 2012, 14:50) *
Well, I would like to store album art outside music folders (and files).


The "standard" is a file in the same directory as the tracks from the album, named either 'cover.jpg' or 'folder.jpg'. You're gonna have a hard time getting players to display album art that is in a different directory (not sure about fb2k though).


--------------------
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.
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Apesbrain
post Nov 7 2012, 17:15
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So long as your artwork files are consistently named and your music files properly tagged, foobar2000 can be set (Preferences> Display> Album art) to fetch album art from a folder such as this: C:\ALBUMART\%ARTIST% - %ALBUM%.JPG

You may run into problems, however, if your tags include special characters (such as "/") which can't be used in Windows filenames.
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flipik
post Nov 8 2012, 00:56
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Thanks for answers. Its exactly what I was looking for. Ragarding covers, it seems that my approach leads to complications, so maybe it would be wise to follow cover.jpg standard, and save myself from wasting too much time later. Can you please point me to some good utilities for fetching cover arts?

Another question (little bit more practical):
How can I delete ID3v1 and APEv2 tags and write ID3v2.3 at the same time, containing previous metadata and replaygain info? It would be nice if I can also apply it to whole mp3 collection tongue.gif Any ideas?

This post has been edited by flipik: Nov 8 2012, 00:56
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garym
post Nov 8 2012, 01:08
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QUOTE (flipik @ Nov 7 2012, 17:56) *
Thanks for answers. Its exactly what I was looking for. Ragarding covers, it seems that my approach leads to complications, so maybe it would be wise to follow cover.jpg standard, and save myself from wasting too much time later. Can you please point me to some good utilities for fetching cover arts?

Another question (little bit more practical):
How can I delete ID3v1 and APEv2 tags and write ID3v2.3 at the same time, containing previous metadata and replaygain info? It would be nice if I can also apply it to whole mp3 collection tongue.gif Any ideas?


mp3tag can (in a batch way) delete ID3v1 and APE and keep only ID3v2.3 in an automatic way. Very useful program. See its forum for info on the commands. Basically, in options, tagging, mp3, you set it to read all 3 types but only write ID3v2.3. Then you select all the files and hit the big red X in the menu. This deletes the unwanted tags and keeps the wanted tags with all your info. Seems a bit scary to hit delete. Just test it on a few files until you understand how it works. But I removed ID3v1 tags from over 50,000 mp3 files in one batch. Easy.

Regarding album art sources. Searchable, hiqh quality art found here:

http://www.albumartexchange.com/

This post has been edited by garym: Nov 8 2012, 01:10
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mobyduck
post Nov 8 2012, 09:58
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QUOTE (garym @ Nov 7 2012, 17:08) *
Regarding album art sources. Searchable, hiqh quality art found here:

http://www.albumartexchange.com/
And, in case what you're looking for is not there, http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=57392

HTH.

Alessandro
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leo-bogert
post Nov 8 2012, 11:02
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Tags to use: http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/MusicBrainz_Picard/Tags/Mapping
For doing the actual tagging, you should use Picard instead of doing it manually: http://musicbrainz.org/doc/MusicBrainz_Picard
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southisup
post Nov 10 2012, 15:26
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QUOTE (flipik @ Nov 8 2012, 00:50) *
Is there any point of using ID3v1 tags anymore?

I thought not, and stripped all mine off with foobar2000 a few years back. Having come across a few hardware players which only read v1, such as car and DVD players, and budget mobile phones, I've since rewritten them.
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derty2
post Nov 10 2012, 23:42
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Peter Pawlowski (developer of foobar2000) has also made a free software for fetching music coverart from the internet:

AutoFolderPic
  An automated folder.jpg picture downloader based on Google images search
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flipik
post Nov 12 2012, 16:34
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QUOTE (derty2 @ Nov 10 2012, 23:42) *
Peter Pawlowski (developer of foobar2000) has also made a free software for fetching music coverart from the internet:

AutoFolderPic
  An automated folder.jpg picture downloader based on Google images search


thanks, very simple, very useful smile.gif
just have to run a script renaming folder.* to cover.* afterwards..
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