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Retagging collection, need some advice.., DISCNUMBER, ALBUMARTIST, etc..
BelleAndZEK
post Jun 4 2012, 21:12
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So I finally decided to retag my FLAC library because I want to get rid of the mp3 transcodes and only use FLAC instead. Will do with XBMC.
Now before I start, I'd like some advice on a few things..
EVERYTHING is tagged the same way right now:
- ARTIST
- TITLE
- TRACKNUMBER
- ALBUM
- DATE
- ENSEMBLE (for Album Artist, Tag&Rename used that.)

Here's what I'm going to do, what I want to do:
- Remove the ENSEMBLE tag and use ALBUMARTIST instead
- Use TOTALTRACKS
- Use TOTALDISCS
- Use DISCNUMBER

Now I'm wondering what's best.. Should I use a leading 0 for TOTALTRACKS, TOTALDISCS and DISCNUMBER or not?
For albums that have only 1 disc, should I use the TOTALDISCS tag or leave it blank? Same for DISCNUMBER..

For multi-disc albums, TOTALTRACKS is for each disc or the total of all discs? I'm guessing it's per disc...

Also, let say I have an album called 'Hello' and a CD-Single also called 'Hello' by the same artist. What's the best way to get the tracks of both releases not mixed together if I want ALBUM to just be "Hello" and not "Hello (CDS)" for CD-Single for instance? Is there a 'CDS' 'EP' 'Album' tag that most softwares recognize for that?

For albums with a bonus disc, is there a field I should be using for the name of the bonus disc? A field where I can add 'Live in ...' for the bonus disc for instance..

Any other tags I should take in consideration apart from GENRE? That one's too subjective.

I have thousands of albums to do, I just want to make sure I get things right before I start. Thanks!

This post has been edited by BelleAndZEK: Jun 4 2012, 21:15
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Ouroboros
post Jun 4 2012, 22:13
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I suspect that there are no definitive answers to your questions, but I'm happy to share what I decided for my tagging after a bit of thought.

- Leading 0 for TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS - no
- Leading 0 for DISCNUMBER - yes if there are more than 9 discs in the set
- TOTALDISCS and DISCNUMBER for single disc albums - no
- TOTALTRACKS per disc or per album - per disc
- Albums and singles with the same title - I append [CDS] to the name of the single in the ALBUM tag, so that it appears separately in album lists in all players, even the most basic ones
- Bonus discs - again, I change the ALBUM tag (adding e.g. " - Bonus Disc", or " - Bonus Disc - Live In XXXX") so that the second disc always appears separately in album lists in all players. If appropriate I put more details in the COMMENT tag
- For live tracks I also append [Live] to the TITLE tag, so that the track is easily distinguishable from the studio version in all players
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db1989
post Jun 4 2012, 22:33
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Like Ouroboros, I can only report my personal preferences/tendencies, albeit not based on any substantial consideration or research. tongue.gif And as Ouroboros said, a lot of the questions that you’ve asked probably have no standards-based, or I suspect even majority-based, answers. Anyway, hopefully you’ll find others’ experiences/opinions useful and get some ideas on how to put together a scheme that ticks all the boxes for you. That’s the most important thing!

QUOTE (BelleAndZEK @ Jun 4 2012, 21:12) *
Now I'm wondering what's best.. Should I use a leading 0 for TOTALTRACKS, TOTALDISCS and DISCNUMBER or not?
I don’t; I could add one in software during tag parsing if I needed it for filesystem-based sorting and the like.

QUOTE
For albums that have only 1 disc, should I use the TOTALDISCS tag or leave it blank? Same for DISCNUMBER.
I don’t include either unless they are relevant.

QUOTE
For multi-disc albums, TOTALTRACKS is for each disc or the total of all discs? I'm guessing it's per disc...
Yes, per-disc. That’s the only option that makes sense alongside TRACKNUMBER!

QUOTE
Also, let say I have an album called 'Hello' and a CD-Single also called 'Hello' by the same artist. What's the best way to get the tracks of both releases not mixed together if I want ALBUM to just be "Hello" and not "Hello (CDS) for CD-Single for instance? Is there a 'CDS' 'EP' 'Album' tag that most softwares recognize for that?
I don’t believe there’s a widely supported tag for release type or whatever you’d like to call it. Personally, in the tiny number of cases in which I’ve catalogued a single, I’ve just appended “[single]” to the title. I also do this with EPs. Albums are my default, so they get no suffix. I can see the benefit of having a field (of whatever name) that is always filled out, of course, but I confess that I’m just too much of a simpleton for such a level of organisation. wink.gif

QUOTE
For albums with a bonus disc, is there a field I should be using for the name of the bonus disc? A field where I can add 'Live in ...' for the bonus disc for instance..
Hmmm… See, the closest I ever got to this was Stadium Arcadium having two discs, each with its own title. I think I abandoned it and just used DISCNUMBER, but this is something you could accomplish with a dedicated field for disc subtitle, or simply including it within ALBUM, if you wished.

As for subtitles of the album as a whole, that depends: if it’s a genuine subtitle, I use Album Title: Subtitle Here; if it’s an identifier of an edition thereof, I go with Album Title [10th Anniversary Special Edition].

Individual tracks have information about versions, etc. appended within square brackets: “Title of Song [live]”, “Song Name (Genuine Subtitle) [demo]”, and so on.
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Ouroboros
post Jun 4 2012, 23:24
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 4 2012, 22:33) *
Individual tracks have information about versions, etc. appended within square brackets: “Title of Song [live]”, “Song Name (Genuine Subtitle) [demo]”, and so on.

That's exactly what I do. Exactly. Genuine subtitles in parentheses, with title metadata ([Live], [Demo], [Rerecorded], [Remastered], etc.) in square brackets appended to the track title. I thought I was being slightly eccentric/obsessive, obviously not .... smile.gif
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db1989
post Jun 5 2012, 00:44
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But I use different types of case within the different types of brackets – title case for the regular title, regular case to mark editions – so does that make me even worse? wink.gif

Nice to see that it’s not just me, then! That definitely confirms that we’re not crazy, right? tongue.gif
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Ron Jones
post Jun 5 2012, 01:14
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QUOTE
Any other tags I should take in consideration apart from GENRE? That one's too subjective.

GENRE can be a useful tag assuming you don't obsess over specificity and accuracy. I think I use about eight genres in total: everything I have invariably fits into one or more of those eight genres, so they're quite broad.

You might wish to include the BAND tag as well, which would be a duplicate of ALBUMARTIST. Useful if you ever intend to use an Apple product and end up converting your library to one of its supported formats. You could always do that automatically at the time of transcoding, however.
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JJZolx
post Jun 5 2012, 03:14
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QUOTE (BelleAndZEK @ Jun 4 2012, 14:12) *
Now I'm wondering what's best.. Should I use a leading 0 for TOTALTRACKS, TOTALDISCS and DISCNUMBER or not?


You shouldn't have to. Same with TRACKNUMBER. In the filename it's a different story, and you do usually need leading zeroes there to have files sorted correctly by the OS.

I've never used TOTALTRACKS. I do add TOTALDISCS to multi-disc sets, but I don't believe it's ever been used by any application I've used. Both of these fields can be difficult for some tagging programs to compute, so you might have to add them by hand. For TOTALDISCS, if added only to multi-disc sets, that's not unthinkable, but I'd hate to go back and manually add TOTALTRACKS to my entire collection.

QUOTE
For albums that have only 1 disc, should I use the TOTALDISCS tag or leave it blank? Same for DISCNUMBER..


For albums with only one disc, I leave out both DISCNUMBER and TOTALDISCS. Part of the reason is that the application I use most - Squeezebox Server - will often preface the track number with a '1-', which I find to be clutter.

QUOTE
For multi-disc albums, TOTALTRACKS is for each disc or the total of all discs? I'm guessing it's per disc...


Keeping in mind that very few applications will use this for anything, it depends on how you number your tracks. Most people number TRACKNUMBER per disc, but others number the whole set across all of the discs.

QUOTE
Also, let say I have an album called 'Hello' and a CD-Single also called 'Hello' by the same artist. What's the best way to get the tracks of both releases not mixed together if I want ALBUM to just be "Hello" and not "Hello (CDS)" for CD-Single for instance? Is there a 'CDS' 'EP' 'Album' tag that most softwares recognize for that?


None that I'm aware of, although there might be application-specific fields. The only way to really distinguish the two albums is to make the ALBUM tag values different. I usually add a suffix in square brackets to differentiate albums that could be mixed up, such as 'Hello [EP]' or 'Revolver [MFSL]' or 'Flowers [2005 Remaster]'.

QUOTE
For albums with a bonus disc, is there a field I should be using for the name of the bonus disc? A field where I can add 'Live in ...' for the bonus disc for instance..


Not that I'm aware of. You might consider making the bonus disc an entirely different album. I like playing full albums and find that glomming in questionable bonus discs containing outtakes, demo tapes and interviews just ruins the album or else it forces me to cut the album short.

QUOTE
Any other tags I should take in consideration apart from GENRE? That one's too subjective.


Yes, GENRE is subjective, but that doesn't make it any less useful. I use a relatively small number of genres (maybe 20) and find them very useful sometimes. You can always go back and change one or more if you change the way you think of things. One thing I find helpful is to tag files with multiple GENREs. Christmas + Jazz, for instance, or Instrumental + Bluegrass.

Other fields that might be helpful. Again, all very application-specific. Some applications may not recognize the fields at all.

  • COMPILATION

    Set =1 on compilation albums by multiple artists. Leave it out of non-compilations. This is how iTunes uses it and some applications have adopted the same convention. Don't use it for "compilation" album by the same artist, such as 'Best of' CDs.

  • ARTISTSORT
    ALBUMARTISTSORT

    These are used to alter the sort order of artist names. Most commonly it's used to effect last/first name sorting.

    ARTIST=Frank Sinatra
    ARTISTSORT=Sinatra, Frank

    But I also use it to set the sort string for proper names with leading articles, just in case some application down the road doesn't automatically do it for me.

    ARTIST=The Felice Brothers
    ARTISTSORT=Felice Brothers, The

  • ALBUMSORT

    Same as above.

    ALBUM=The Language of Life
    ALBUMSORT=Language of Life, The

  • COMMENT

    I use comments sparingly, and always the same comment across all tracks on an album. It might be used for things like noting the dates of live recordings, listing accompanying artists, where bonus tracks came from, or information about a remastering.


This post has been edited by JJZolx: Jun 5 2012, 03:51
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rohangc
post Jun 5 2012, 03:54
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QUOTE (JJZolx @ Jun 4 2012, 21:14) *
  • COMPILATION

    Set =1 on compilation albums by multiple artists. Leave it out of non-compilations. This is how iTunes uses it and some applications have adopted the same convention. Don't use it for "compilation" album by the same artist, such as 'Best of' CDs.


I use the Foobar2000 encouraged tagging standards for compilation albums.
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BelleAndZEK
post Jun 5 2012, 04:00
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Yeah forgot to mention COMPILATION. I never used that one and was planning to do so. Well actually I think I used it with foo_dop, but it was added only when syncing.

I was hoping to find a solution for the release type (CDS, EP, ...) other than in ALBUM directly but maybe I'll create my own field for that and leave it like that until it's implemented. Then I'll just rename the field or something like that. I'm surprised it hasn't been yet, I consider it quite important. Having releases sorted by type would be nice. I'd really like to have anthologies and albums separated, with albums first wich is... more important, and logical that way. An artist's discography can look real messed up as it is now.

I started retagging my music tonight and it's really not as time-consuming as I thought it would be, thanks to Mp3tag and its scripting functions. Started using it for the first time tonight and it's just perfect.

For GENRE, I'll have to think about it but might add it after all. I never used it for browsing my music collection, but it might be handy for when friends and family come over and want to take control of XBMC, for music.

JJZolx, adding TOTALTRACKS turned out to be not that bad after all. At first I tried by hand with foobar2000 but the process was quite painful. Tried Mp3tag and, thanks to my long gone mIRC years, I could remember the basics of scripting and came with a rather easy solution: $ifgreater($len(%_total_files%),1,%_total_files%,0%_total_files%)
Not that bad after all; 1 album = one shortcut, 1 album = one keyboard shortcut, 1 album = one keyboard shortcut, etc..
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JJZolx
post Jun 5 2012, 05:38
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QUOTE (BelleAndZEK @ Jun 4 2012, 21:00) *
easy solution: $ifgreater($len(%_total_files%),1,%_total_files%,0%_total_files%)


Solution to what? That's just adding a leading zero. A simpler way to do this in Mp3tag is to use $num(%_total_files%,2).

But there's no reason that I can think of to do this with TOTALTRACKS. Maybe for TRACKNUMBER, although I've never personally seen an application that requires it to sort tracks correctly.

Still seems very tedious to me to go through a library having to manually select the tracks from each album in order to add a tag that no application is going to use.

This post has been edited by JJZolx: Jun 5 2012, 05:39
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Porcus
post Jun 5 2012, 09:30
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A few personal two-centers on both tagging and naming:

- For filenames, I use characters that don't show up so often. Like {1970} for year, since () appears in titles. If you are not afraid of unicode, you could even look up e.g. ≤≥. Rather than using the hyphen as separator, you could use ¨ or ~, which rarely are part of any artist's name or title.

- I use two-figure padding for TRACK and TOTALTRACKS, though not for DISC and TOTALDISCS – tracknumber is <100, but I have one 160 CD box anyway. But that is not necessary, as you can bad for the purposes of naming.

- I use one folder per physical disc, and TRACK / TOTALTRACKS are reset for CD#2 etc. in a boxed set. Beware though, that if you use Discogs as source (which I do, using foobar2000 to tag), it will treat multi-CD releases as a single batch, and you will have to fix manually.

- I use the sign § for discnumber in naming, and sometimes also in album title (I am a bit sloppy there). § because it is a section sign, and not much used elsewhere (you could consider the pilcrow ¶, which is often used as paragraph sign). So you would get Bitches Brew §1 and Bitches Brew §2. If there is a bonus disc for a limited edition, I sometimes throw §BONUS in the album title. (A bonus DVD ends in a folder with §DVD.) But: if you use 'Bitches Brew §1' and 'Bitches Brew §2' as titles, then e.g. foobar2000's Quicksearch for same album, will think they are different. Also, ReplayGain'ing by tags will tell they are different. For CD sets with distinct content for each disc, you might consider e.g. Cypress Hill: 'Skull & Bones §1; Skull' and 'Skull & Bones §2; Bones'.

- I use [reissue] and [remaster] and [CDS] and [EP] etc. in album names too, with brackets, as parentheses are more likely to be part of the actual name given by the artist. Again, that ruins the search for same. Tip: throw in year.
Led Zeppelin {1973} ¨ Houses of the Holy
Led Zeppelin {1973} ¨ Houses of the Holy [1993 TCSR]
Led Zeppelin {1973} ¨ Houses of the Holy [2008 Definitive Collection]
['TCSR'= The Complete Studio Recordings' box]
will get them ordered by the alphabet, if you use [1993 reissue] and [1980 remaster] rather than [reissue 1993] and [remaster 1980].

- The above is not foolproof to avoid overwriting and multiple versions in the same folders. If you have stored CDDB ID tags, then use that to the end of the naming. You may still have a remaster with the same ID, so this isn't 100% sure either. (As dBpoweramp user, I use the AccurateRip identifier, which has more precision)



If I were to do it all over again, I would have thrown in a few nonstandard tags though. Although I frown at artists who pollute the metadata with nonstandard tags for their downloads. (Hey, I don't intend to share these files all over the internet.)


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Porcus
post Jun 5 2012, 09:32
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And, if you have classical music: You cannot count on any consistence in external metadata, when it comes to ARTIST. Some will use performer, some will use composer. Problem is, you don't really want an 'artist' tag, you want a 'primary-search-string' tag ...


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skamp
post Jun 5 2012, 09:49
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Xiph.org proposes TRACKTOTAL and DISCTOTAL, not TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS. No leading 0 required (or even desired).
VERSION can also be of use, when you can get your player to display it.


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db1989
post Jun 5 2012, 10:20
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QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 5 2012, 09:49) *
Xiph.org proposes TRACKTOTAL and DISCTOTAL, not TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS.
Yes, and foobar2000 since v1.1.8 beta has adopted the recommended field names, though with an option in advanced preferences to use the previous ones.
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Porcus
post Jun 5 2012, 12:35
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 5 2012, 11:20) *
QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 5 2012, 09:49) *
Xiph.org proposes TRACKTOTAL and DISCTOTAL, not TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS.
Yes, and foobar2000 since v1.1.8 beta has adopted the recommended field names, though with an option in advanced preferences to use the previous ones.


Which pair is de facto most compatible, anyone?


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skamp
post Jun 5 2012, 13:51
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foobar2000 (1.1.12a) uses whichever comes first, caudec (svn) uses whichever comes last, DeaDBeeF (0.5.4) uses both (track numbers only), Rockbox (3.11.2) uses neither :-/

This post has been edited by skamp: Jun 5 2012, 14:01


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rohangc
post Jun 6 2012, 04:43
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 5 2012, 04:20) *
QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 5 2012, 09:49) *
Xiph.org proposes TRACKTOTAL and DISCTOTAL, not TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS.
Yes, and foobar2000 since v1.1.8 beta has adopted the recommended field names, though with an option in advanced preferences to use the previous ones.


This worries me. I have a lot of FLAC files that were tagged using foobar2000 0.9.x and I use both these fields in my files.

Is there a way to automatically 'update' the field names to the newer, official, Xiph proposed ones without having to manually sift through my files and re-tag them?
Will the latest FB2K help me do this?

If so, please tell me how to go about doing this.

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rohangc
post Jun 6 2012, 05:30
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Now that I think of it, please tell me whether this is the right way to update the field names:
  • Load all FLAC files into Foobar2000 1.1.12a - including those tagged with 0.9.x
  • Select all of them.
  • Right-click, select 'Properties'.
  • Click 'Apply'.


Will this automatically remove fields 'TOTALTRACKS', 'TOTALDISCS' from files that contain them and replace them with 'TRACKTOTAL' and 'DISCTOTAL'?

Please let me know.
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EagleScout1998
post Jun 6 2012, 06:35
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QUOTE (rohangc @ Jun 5 2012, 23:30) *
Will this automatically remove fields 'TOTALTRACKS', 'TOTALDISCS' from files that contain them and replace them with 'TRACKTOTAL' and 'DISCTOTAL'?


For tasks like these, I use the Masstagger component.
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JJZolx
post Jun 6 2012, 22:40
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QUOTE (rohangc @ Jun 5 2012, 21:43) *
QUOTE (db1989 @ Jun 5 2012, 04:20) *
QUOTE (skamp @ Jun 5 2012, 09:49) *
Xiph.org proposes TRACKTOTAL and DISCTOTAL, not TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS.

Yes, and foobar2000 since v1.1.8 beta has adopted the recommended field names, though with an option in advanced preferences to use the previous ones.

This worries me. I have a lot of FLAC files that were tagged using foobar2000 0.9.x and I use both these fields in my files.


Don't worry about it until you run into an application where it matters. First, these TOTAL fields are seldom used for anything. Second, I doubt that many software publishers are busting their humps to implement proposed xiph.org recommendations.

Does dbpoweramp still write TOTALTRACKS and TOTALDISCS?

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godrick
post Jun 6 2012, 23:26
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I generally recommend you do not pad your tags, because you can choose padding separately for display purposes using title formatting within foobar2000. For example, you can use [$num(%tracknumber%,1)] to display only one character in foobar2000, or use [$num(%tracknumber%,2)] to add a leading zero in foobar2000 for track numbers between 1 and 9. Assuming foobar2000 is your primary playback application, I find it easier to change title formatting than the actual tag value when I have the choice.

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db1989
post Jun 7 2012, 16:24
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QUOTE (rohangc @ Jun 6 2012, 05:30) *
Now that I think of it, please tell me whether this is the right way to update the field names:
  • Load all FLAC files into Foobar2000 1.1.12a - including those tagged with 0.9.x
  • Select all of them.
  • Right-click, select 'Properties'.
  • Click 'Apply'.
Will this automatically remove fields 'TOTALTRACKS', 'TOTALDISCS' from files that contain them and replace them with 'TRACKTOTAL' and 'DISCTOTAL'?

Please let me know.
As I always ask people in cases like this, what’s stopping you from trying it yourself? I don’t know, anyway.

QUOTE (godrick @ Jun 6 2012, 23:26) *
I generally recommend you do not pad your tags, because you can choose padding separately for display purposes using title formatting within foobar2000. […] I find it easier to change title formatting than the actual tag value when I have the choice.
This was what I meant earlier when I said “I don’t[ use a leading 0]; I could add one in software during tag parsing if I needed it”, but this is probably a clearer way of saying the same thing! biggrin.gif
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rohangc
post Jun 10 2012, 11:32
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QUOTE (EagleScout1998 @ Jun 6 2012, 00:35) *
QUOTE (rohangc @ Jun 5 2012, 23:30) *
Will this automatically remove fields 'TOTALTRACKS', 'TOTALDISCS' from files that contain them and replace them with 'TRACKTOTAL' and 'DISCTOTAL'?

For tasks like these, I use the Masstagger component.


Thanks for this @EagleScout1998.

I used the Masstagger component to copy tags from the old to new field names and MP3Tag to remove zero-padding from the 'tracktotal', 'disctotal' and 'discnumber' fields.
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