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About Tagging Music Files

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I don't know where else to put this. Chris, if you want to move it elsewhere, go ahead.


I just think that tagging is very important. When you have 40 CDs on a computer it's no big deal. When you have hundreds it gets to be a problem finding stuff if the tags aren't consistent. And when you get into thousands... heaven help you if the tags are off.


No database is completely accurate. I think we need a place here to share tagging notes and ideas.


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I'm going to keep it here for now. When it becomes larger and contains many threads I'll figure out what to do with it.


I agree tags are very important. What good is an easily accessible library if the stuff you want can be found. It sounds like we have both been in that situation. Lesson learned however.


- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems AudiophileStyleStickerWhite2.0.png AudiophileStyleStickerWhite7.1.4.png

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I hope everyone will contribute what they know about this, and how best to load things into the library.


Just playing with Front Row today I realized that I have too many artists to count, and that despite the fact that I can view the contents of my library in a myriad of ways, the lists are very long. Just guessing, it might take me 5 minutes to scroll the entire contents. I found also that if I scrolled through a list of album titles then selected one that way, the playback of the tunes was in alphabetical order instead of the order in which they originally appeared. But, if I scrolled through a list of artists then selected the album from there, the music played in proper order. I thought that was very strange.


More to the point, is it possible to create a hierarchy where pop/rock albums are kept in a different "directory" than jazz or classical? And how do you ensure that anything archived will always play back in the proper order regardless of how you got there? Does every single album need its own playlist?


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I don't know anything about Front Row. Waiting that long for things to scroll would make it impossible for me to use it.


I don't use Itunes' "Cover Flow" feature for just that reason. All I need is the name.


I use my library two different ways: one is through the Squeezebox, the other through Itunes when I'm at my desk. If I want to play something specific I'll just look by album title or artist, depending on which I remember. Click in the column, start typing the name and it comes up. I have 1500 albums and it only takes a second.


The Squeezebox is a little harder to deal with. For one thing it reads tags differently from Itunes, so searching by artist is sometimes thrown off. It also sometimes loses things from the artist list, but I can always find it by album title. I can't figure that one out.


When I started doing this, on a PC with Windows Media Player, I was just coming from collecting the occasional song on a Mac with Itunes. I'd had to enter the song titles manually. The PC magically went to some database and filled in the info. Like most magic I figured it was inerrant. Wrong-O, Buzzard Breath! The first time I overwrote the first disc of a two-disc set I realized all was not perfect in Tagland. I finally figured out what was causing that.


Then I learned that classical music was rarely tagged correctly. Try manual tagging of a two-CD set of a Bach cantata and you'll soon wish for something better.


And then I learned that corrections made through WMP caused all kinds of strange things on the hard disk: empty folders, tracks in odd places.


So, I re-ripped the library in Itunes. Itunes uses a better database but it still isn't perfect. So, the first thing I do after inserting a disc is to select all the tracks and get info. Sometimes the "compilation" tag is set incorrectly. There can be other problems but they're rare. Still good to check, especially disc names in multi-disc sets.


Of course I made mistakes. This is when I learned that Itunes, if you just go with its way of doing things, keeps a much cleaner library than WMP. If I make a change, the disk files are changed too. No empty folders, no stray songs.


The gotcha is that phrase "Let Itunes do things its way." I have some friends who have the own ideas for organizing their libraries, and they're always arguing with Itunes. Yes, it's different. The "compilation" thing is still confusing to me, but I can't think of any better way.


Like it or not we've all become database managers now.


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