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Storing album metadata
blargblarg
post Jan 9 2010, 09:53
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It seems to me that the only tags relevant to the track specifically are track artist, title and number. The rest of the information is usually about the album and copied into every track with the same value.

Most of my music folders have an nfo, a cue and a log all with different information about the album, and I hate having to open windows explorer to go find something.

One solution would be to write large amounts of metadata into each track in the album. This seems to have a high redundancy, especially considering that most of the information is not very useful if the tracks are separated from each other.

How should we deal with this problem? Are there any strategies designed to store album information separately? Will a new metadata system in the future solve this problem?
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Ouroboros
post Jan 9 2010, 12:33
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QUOTE (blargblarg @ Jan 9 2010, 08:53) *
It seems to me that the only tags relevant to the track specifically are track artist, title and number. The rest of the information is usually about the album and copied into every track with the same value.
Not necessarily - there are loads of other track-specific tags. What about composer, and genre/mood/style, and BPM, and original artist, and track replay gain, and track ratings, and play count statistics, and (for singles included as tracks on albums) the single catalogue number, and highest chart position, and release year? For greatest hits and VA compilation CDs it's often only the album name and album artist that are consistent for all tracks, and everything else is track specific, and hence better left in the track tag. It all depends on what sort of CDs you collect, and how detailed you want your tagging to be.

Putting the metadata in the track tag makes it easy to read on multiple players (all of which support some form of tag reading). In your example of the tracks being separated from each other, putting the metadata in track tags is also by far the simplest and most portable solution. If you had the metadata in cue or log files, or some similar new external "per album" tag repository, then you'd lose that information as soon as you separated the files from their tag source (or you'd need to create a whole new set of tools for extracting the metadata from the external tag source so that it could be moved with the track.....).

Even where the bulk of the information is common between tracks, the size of this "redundant" information is negligible in comparison to the size of the file. A 3 minute 128k MP3 file is typically around 3MB in size, and if you don't embed the album art the tags will typically take up around 1-2 KB - that's 0.066% of the total file size, and likely to be smaller than the cluster size on most storage devices.....

Consequently it seems to me that the current system of putting the information in per-track tags is by far the most flexible (it allows coexistence of lots of different personal tagging strategies using one relatively simple scheme) and portable (the tags move with the track with no extra work required), and that the "redundant information" overhead is negligible.
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db1989
post Jan 9 2010, 13:42
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QUOTE
Most of my music folders have an nfo

That's probably not the type of thing to publicise here.

Anyway, Ouroboros covered it. Using another hundred or so bytes per track makes a lot more sense than fragmenting the metadata and thus risking loss, confusion, etc.
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collector
post Jan 9 2010, 16:50
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QUOTE (dv1989 @ Jan 9 2010, 04:42) *
QUOTE
Most of my music folders have an nfo

That's probably not the type of thing to publicise here.

Most if not all of my folders have an info file too. (nfo). Either with my downloaded or my selfripped cd images. I'm a listing-, report-, info- type of person.

If that's what the OP means, that is.
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