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CD to WAV to Apple Lossless: Tags?
the.true.samiam
post Apr 15 2011, 15:04
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I need help. I decided to put all of our CD's on the computer and transfer them to our iPod. I have a good system in the van and it's cumbersome to constantly lug around chunks of our CD collection to keep the sounds fresh. However, this job is nowhere near as simple as I hoped it would be. If it's not obvious by now, I know next to nothing about computers and digital music, so keep this in mind please when giving me advice.

If I have posted this in the wrong section, feel free to move it.

Okay, so first I will try to explain what I have done so far, and then I will explain the current impasse in which I find myself. Any help or at least direction to something helpful (and readable to a digital n00b like me) would be greatly appreciated. BTW, my hardware, if it matters: Gateway NV7905h laptop, Intel Core i7 processor 620M, 1000GB HDD, 8GB Memory.

At first, I tried just sticking the CD's into the disc drive and letting the computer do things automatically (it used Power2Go), however it seemed very slow, and some of the CD's wouldn't rip (maybe due to scratches etc.). So I went hunting for a third-party ripper, and settled on AudioGrabber due it's (percieved, based on my limited knowledge at the time) simplicity. It seemed like a good choice, as only about 10 songs out of the whole collection wouldn't rip. However once I imported all the WAV files to iTunes to convert them to ALAC, I noticed none of them had any info (album, artist, etc.) to sort by! So after doing a bit of research, I learned about tags. It seems that AudioGrabber doesn't tag the WAV files at all, only the MP3 files it created from them, which I got rid of (I want to use ALAC, I have plenty of space). I think that AudioGrabber was not a good choice, not because it's not good at what it does (rip CD's to MP3 format), but because that's not what I used it for (as I immediately discarded the MP3's). So, when I import the WAV's to iTunes, there is no info beyond the filename, which the programs do not recognize besides alphabetical sorting.

So after a bit more research, I downloaded the program Tag&Rename. This program seemed perfect, as it has the ability to use the information in the filename to tag the file. My files, as named by AudioGrabber, are in the format "<Track #> - <Title> - <Artist> - <Album> - <Disc #>.wav", so I went to work. However, after tagging them, the tags are still not being recognised by Windows Explorer (the original MP3's had recognisable tags in Windows Explorer before I deleted them, so I know SOME tags work here) or in iTunes. And some songs won't hold tags that even Tag&Rename can show! After tagging an entire album, the songs are listed, with tags, in alternating background colours (green, white, green, white). But when I reload the same file (to refresh it, just to confirm the tags are still there), some songs keep the tags, but others (and always the same ones) do not, and their background is now red. So, for some reason, some songs won't hold the tags so that the program that makes them can see it, while others will, but none of the songs show tags in Windows Explorer or in iTunes.

I also tried just converting the WAV's to ALAC's in iTunes, without tags, hoping iTunes would be able to auto-tag them, or Tag&Rename would have more luck with ALAC's than it did with the WAV's. Well iTunes couldn't tag them (unless I was just doing it wrong). While Tag&Rename seemed able to tag them based on the name (like the WAV's), and hold the tags after refreshing (unlike the WAV's), iTunes has truncated the filenames during the conversion, robbing them of the vital info Tag&Rename uses to tag them, and even the tags that do get through (track #, track title) are still not recognisable tags in Windows Explorer or iTunes (in other words, the tags created by Tag&Rename are only recognisable by Tag&Rename).

I hope that's everything, if I've missed anything just ask. I know that if I just re-rip all the CD's in iTunes, it should work fine, with tags (please confirm). However, assuming this is a viable solution, it is a last resort. I have all the WAV files on my computer now, and I am hoping to avoid having to re-rip hundreds (3 or 4 hundred, at a guess) CD's. If there is something else I can do, please give me simple instructions. Maybe I'm just not using Tag&Rename properly? Why won't the tags it creates show in iTunes?
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pdq
post Apr 15 2011, 15:35
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The problem is that you are trying to tag wav files, which have very poor tag support.

If you want to use the wav files that you have instead of reripping, and if the tag information is presnt in your file naming scheme, then what you should do is first convert to a lossless codec, which will provide you with proper tagging support, then add tags based on the file names. Then you can import them into iTunes.
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the.true.samiam
post Apr 15 2011, 16:14
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Thanks for your reply. Well, I did try converting to Apple Lossless with iTunes, which worked, but all the file names (which contain the information used by Tag&Rename) have been severely truncated from about 110 characters to 36 characters, robbing the filenames of the information. Is there another (safe) third-party program I can use to convert to ALAC (or even another lossless?) that won't truncate the filenames so I can still use Tag&Rename to tag them?
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PigsOnTheWing
post Apr 17 2011, 23:20
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Time is money. I'd purchase a copy of dBpoweramp and have it tag (comparing AMG, freedb, GD3, Musicbrainz, and SontaDB), rip, and convert directly to ALAC for you.

Apple Lossless Codec for dBpoweramp


--------------------
Watching for pigs on the wing...
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saratoga
post Apr 17 2011, 23:44
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QUOTE (the.true.samiam @ Apr 15 2011, 11:14) *
Thanks for your reply. Well, I did try converting to Apple Lossless with iTunes, which worked, but all the file names (which contain the information used by Tag&Rename) have been severely truncated from about 110 characters to 36 characters, robbing the filenames of the information. Is there another (safe) third-party program I can use to convert to ALAC (or even another lossless?) that won't truncate the filenames so I can still use Tag&Rename to tag them?


Use tag&rename to pull the tags from freedb then readd to itunes. Works quite well in my experience.
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