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Tagging classical music
08-02-2012, 18:24
Post: #1
Tagging classical music
MinimServer is designed to give you the ability to browse your collection by any combination of tags in any order. This means that your collection needs to be tagged with all the information you might want to look at while you're browsing. Classical music generally has a lot of information associated with it, and it's important to have a consistent scheme for recording all this information in your tags.

There's no right or wrong way to tag your music. I'm still experimenting with different approaches for my small but growing classical collection. I have a combination of downloads and CD rips, and for both of these I generally find the original tagging needs a bit (or a lot) of improvement. It's amazing how much variation there is in the standard of tagging between different record companies!

It would be great if people could share the schemes that they're using to tag classical music, so that we can learn from each other's experience. This thread is a place to do this and chat about different approaches. To start things off, here's the scheme that I'm currently using to tag my tracks.

1. Set the Album tag to the full official name of the album.
2. Use a separate Artist tag for each artist who's performing on the track. The order of these tags is significant, as it affects the order in which multiple artists appear on the control point display. I generally use the order in which the artists appear in the record company's descriptive material. I don't include the conductor (if there is one), but use a separate Conductor tag for that.
3. Use a Conductor tag for the conductor (if there is one).
4. Use a Composer tag (or multiple tags) for the composer. Don't include the composer name in the list of artists or in the track title.
5. Set the Date tag to the year of the recording / issue.
6. Set the TrackNumber tag to the track number (not including "/ totaltracks").
7. Use one or more Genre tags as appropriate. Each Genre is a separate tag.
8. Use the Group tag to group together any musical works with multiple movements that appear as consecutive tracks on the album. For example, I would tag each of the four movements of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 as Group=Symphony No. 5 and Composer=Beethoven. For some large musical works, I've used multiple groups rather than a single group.
9. Use the Composition tag for all multi-movement musical works, whether or not they're grouped. (They won't be grouped if they're not consecutive tracks.) Don't include the composer in the composition name.
10. Don't include the composer, conductor, artists or track number in the Title tag.

This is an evolving work in progress. I know it's not fully consistent at the moment. For example, I haven't currently got Composition tags on musical works that only consist of a single movement/track.

If you've read this far, you're probably interested in classical music and have a scheme of your own. Please share it so that we can all learn from each other's experience!
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19-02-2012, 11:43
Post: #2
RE: Tagging classical music
Here's my approach:

First of all, I dropped the concept of CD/album. When looking for some piece of music to play, I'm not interested in the CD it happened to be on. So, if a CD contains symphonies 39 and 40 by Mozart, the tracks of symphony #39 get the Album tag "KV543 Symphony no.39", and the tracks of symphony #40 get Album tag "KV550 Symphony no.40".

As I was using Twonky until recently, I added the composer and the artist to the Album tag: otherwise all different recordings of "KV543 Symphony no.39" would end up together. I.e. if I happen to have to recordings, under "KV543 ..." Twonky would show two first movements, two second movements, ...
I assume that MinimServer handles this case properly, but haven't had the time to check it. If so I can get back to proper tags for the work (Album).

The tracks are similarly "enriched", for the same purpose of disambiguation. I know, it looks horrible, especially in control points with limited screen real estate, but it was the only way I could figure out to remain sane while using Twonky.

I don't bother changing the track numbers, as their only function to me is to provide a sort order. I don't care if KV550 happens to have track numbers 5-8 Blush
If a work happens to be split across multiple CDs I prepend the disc number to the track number, which gives something live 101, 102, ..., 201, 202, ...
If the slightly weird track numbers start bugging me, it wouldn't take much time to normalise them using MP3tag, but I haven't seen the need for that yet Tongue

So, if I'm reading things right I don't need to use the Composition tag, because for me a Composition is a single Album. Right?

Of course, with the introduction of MinimServer the world has become a much better place, and I've now started adding Orchestra and Conductor tags.

I already had a Genre tag and a Composer tag, and used the Artist tag for the soloist/main performer.

The Album Artist tag is left empty to separate classical from non-classical stuff.

The Date tag is left empty, as it clashes with the sort order for non-classical music. When looking at non-classical music I prefer to sort Albums by AlbumArtist and then by Date. I used albumSortTags = AlbumArtist,Artist,Composer,Date.
However, for classical music I prefer to see the Albums in alphabetical order, regardless of the Date.
I wonder if there's a way to accomplish this without running separate servers with distinct albumSortTags properties? Huh

Ideally I'd like to use a proper Date for the classical music too, but it's not a major thing for me.

JW
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20-02-2012, 00:35
Post: #3
RE: Tagging classical music
Thanks very much for sharing this! It's interesting to talk about the solutions that different people have found for this.

(19-02-2012 11:43)rb73 Wrote:  Here's my approach:

First of all, I dropped the concept of CD/album. When looking for some piece of music to play, I'm not interested in the CD it happened to be on. So, if a CD contains symphonies 39 and 40 by Mozart, the tracks of symphony #39 get the Album tag "KV543 Symphony no.39", and the tracks of symphony #40 get Album tag "KV550 Symphony no.40".

I understand why you would do this with Twonky. I prefer not to lose the album information (though I can imagine that over time I won't use it so much), so I added the Group concept to MinimServer as a way of capturing this information without losing the Album information.

Quote:As I was using Twonky until recently, I added the composer and the artist to the Album tag: otherwise all different recordings of "KV543 Symphony no.39" would end up together. I.e. if I happen to have to recordings, under "KV543 ..." Twonky would show two first movements, two second movements, ...
I assume that MinimServer handles this case properly, but haven't had the time to check it. If so I can get back to proper tags for the work (Album).

This should work OK in MinimServer for both Albums and Groups. I solved this problem by limiting an Album or a Group to a single directory, so if two Albums or Groups have the same names but are in different directories, they won't be merged together. This could be a problem for multi-disc Albums or Groups, and I'm working on a solution for that.

Quote:The tracks are similarly "enriched", for the same purpose of disambiguation. I know, it looks horrible, especially in control points with limited screen real estate, but it was the only way I could figure out to remain sane while using Twonky.

I understand why you needed to do that. I'm actually going in the other direction now, by removing some composer/artist information that was added to tracks by ripper software or in purchased downloads.

Quote:
I don't bother changing the track numbers, as their only function to me is to provide a sort order. I don't care if KV550 happens to have track numbers 5-8 Blush

MinimServer does the same thing for Groups. Like you, I don't see it as a problem. It's a shame that the DS insists on starting the numbering at 1 though, even though the control point is showing the first track as number 5.

Quote:If a work happens to be split across multiple CDs I prepend the disc number to the track number, which gives something live 101, 102, ..., 201, 202, ...
If the slightly weird track numbers start bugging me, it wouldn't take much time to normalise them using MP3tag, but I haven't seen the need for that yet Tongue

I'm still thinking about how best to handle that when I add support for merging multiple discs into a single album.

Quote:So, if I'm reading things right I don't need to use the Composition tag, because for me a Composition is a single Album. Right?

I think you would find the Composition tag useful, because you can do a tag search by Composition but you can't do a tag search by Album. So you could do something like Composer->Beethoven->Composition->Symphony No. 5->Conductor->Karajan->Orchestra->Philharmonia. You can't do that with Album because after doing Composer->Beethoven->Album you'll just get a flat list of all albums (works) by Beethoven.

Quote:Of course, with the introduction of MinimServer the world has become a much better place, and I've now started adding Orchestra and Conductor tags.

I already had a Genre tag and a Composer tag, and used the Artist tag for the soloist/main performer.

That makes sense. I'm tagging the orchestra under Artist at the moment, but I might change that.

Quote:The Album Artist tag is left empty to separate classical from non-classical stuff.

I've seen that mentioned on the forums. I'm still thinking about whether I can put AlbumArtist to any good use.

Quote:The Date tag is left empty, as it clashes with the sort order for non-classical music. When looking at non-classical music I prefer to sort Albums by AlbumArtist and then by Date. I used albumSortTags = AlbumArtist,Artist,Composer,Date.
However, for classical music I prefer to see the Albums in alphabetical order, regardless of the Date.
I wonder if there's a way to accomplish this without running separate servers with distinct albumSortTags properties? Huh

If you have Composer and Artist in the Album tag, an alphabetical sort for classical albums is effectively a sort by Composer first and Artist second. That's still different from your sort order for non-classical albums, though.

I've tried to think of some way for MinimServer to support multiple album sort orders, but none of these works if there's any possibility of having a list of albums that includes a mixture of albums with different sort orders. Running two servers with disjoint content directories is an effective way of eliminating that possibility.

Quote:Ideally I'd like to use a proper Date for the classical music too, but it's not a major thing for me.

JW

I suppose if someone has a lot of historic classical recordings, it might be important for them to be able to sort by recording date.

Thanks very much for starting the discussion! I hope we'll see more thoughts on this from a few others.

Simon
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22-02-2012, 15:51
Post: #4
RE: Tagging classical music
(20-02-2012 00:35)simoncn Wrote:  Thanks very much for sharing this! It's interesting to talk about the solutions that different people have found for this.
One thing I've learned in the past few years that you need quite a bit of flexibility to arrive at a good solution. Flexibility in the tags you use, and how you use them, flexibility in deserting one tagging scheme in favour of a new one, but most importantly flexibility in how a control point can use the information in the tags. I must confess that I'm completely hooked on MinimServer. It's so much better than the traditional approaches Big Grin

Simon Wrote:
JW Wrote:First of all, I dropped the concept of CD/album.
I understand why you would do this with Twonky. I prefer not to lose the album information (though I can imagine that over time I won't use it so much), so I added the Group concept to MinimServer as a way of capturing this information without losing the Album information.
I ran through the majority of my classical music today while a bunch of solar panels were installed, and I found some CDs where I might want to use different values for Album and Composition. Mostly these are compilation-like CDs. I only have a handful of those, but as I'm making the switch to using Composition instead Album to find a work for the reasons you outlined below, I may have a play with using Composition tags that differ from the Album tags.

Simon Wrote:
JW Wrote:As I was using Twonky until recently, I added the composer and the artist to the Album tag: otherwise all different recordings of "KV543 Symphony no.39" would end up together. I.e. if I happen to have to recordings, under "KV543 ..." Twonky would show two first movements, two second movements, ...
I assume that MinimServer handles this case properly, but haven't had the time to check it. If so I can get back to proper tags for the work (Album).
This should work OK in MinimServer for both Albums and Groups. I solved this problem by limiting an Album or a Group to a single directory, so if two Albums or Groups have the same names but are in different directories, they won't be merged together.
With MP3tag and some clever regular expressions I removed all the composer and performer junk from the Title and the Album. Works perfectly.
I have each work in a separate directory already. Each CD has its own subdirectory, and within that directory I have one directory for each work. That way even if I screw up the tags I can usually find which CD it was, and using the track name determine what the proper tags should be. It's a last resort kind of thing, but it's proven useful a few times in the last few years.

Simon Wrote:This could be a problem for multi-disc Albums or Groups, and I'm working on a solution for that.
Haven't thought about that, as I treat multi-CDs as a rather large CD myself Big Grin

Simon Wrote:I think you would find the Composition tag useful, because you can do a tag search by Composition but you can't do a tag search by Album. So you could do something like Composer->Beethoven->Composition->Symphony No. 5->Conductor->Karajan->Orchestra->Philharmonia. You can't do that with Album because after doing Composer->Beethoven->Album you'll just get a flat list of all albums (works) by Beethoven.
Thanks for pointing that out. It hadn't really sunk in that I couldn't refine the Albums list. I now have the Composition tag populated, and it's made the browsing experience even better. Smile

Simon Wrote:If you have Composer and Artist in the Album tag, an alphabetical sort for classical albums is effectively a sort by Composer first and Artist second. That's still different from your sort order for non-classical albums, though.
Ah, but the Title of a track is (or rather, was) formatted as "Work - Movement - Composer - Performer" for composers that don't have a proper catalog of their work, and "Work - Movement - Performer" for those that do. As it's for disambiguation only, it's safe to infer that any Work that starts with a KVxxx or BWVxxxx is by W.A. Mozart and J.S. Bach respectively.
Album tags are formatted as "Work - Composer - Performer", or "Work - Performer". So, if I see a list of Albums using the non-classical sort order I'd have to drop the Date tag to get them in the order I want (alphabetically by Work).
Anyway, that's a thing from the past now Cool

Simon Wrote:I've tried to think of some way for MinimServer to support multiple album sort orders, but none of these works if there's any possibility of having a list of albums that includes a mixture of albums with different sort orders. Running two servers with disjoint content directories is an effective way of eliminating that possibility.
Yup. I assume that running two servers isn't much of a problem for those of us who install manually. It might be a bit more of a challenge if you want to wrap it all up in a QPKG, but I wouldn't know about that.

Still, I guess most people would be happy to run a single MinimServer.

Simon Wrote:I suppose if someone has a lot of historic classical recordings, it might be important for them to be able to sort by recording date.

I ran into one such situation today: I have several recordings of Beethoven's 5th piano concerto, including 2 by Kovacevich. To keep them apart I gave one a Composition tag with the year in it, and the other a plain Composition tag without the year added to it.
Reading your comment about subdirectories makes me wonder how MinimServer would have handled things if I hadn't distinguished both recordings by adding the year to one Composition Huh
Didn't have the time to change the tags and restart the server to check it out Wink

JW
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22-02-2012, 22:36
Post: #5
RE: Tagging classical music
(22-02-2012 15:51)rb73 Wrote:  One thing I've learned in the past few years that you need quite a bit of flexibility to arrive at a good solution. Flexibility in the tags you use, and how you use them, flexibility in deserting one tagging scheme in favour of a new one, but most importantly flexibility in how a control point can use the information in the tags. I must confess that I'm completely hooked on MinimServer. It's so much better than the traditional approaches Big Grin

Glad to hear that! I've responded to a few of your comments below.

JW Wrote:Ah, but the Title of a track is (or rather, was) formatted as "Work - Movement - Composer - Performer" for composers that don't have a proper catalog of their work, and "Work - Movement - Performer" for those that do. As it's for disambiguation only, it's safe to infer that any Work that starts with a KVxxx or BWVxxxx is by W.A. Mozart and J.S. Bach respectively.
Album tags are formatted as "Work - Composer - Performer", or "Work - Performer". So, if I see a list of Albums using the non-classical sort order I'd have to drop the Date tag to get them in the order I want (alphabetically by Work).
Anyway, that's a thing from the past now Cool

My earlier comment was based on the incorrect assumption that you had placed Composer and Artist at the start of the Album tag.

JW Wrote:Yup. I assume that running two servers isn't much of a problem for those of us who install manually. It might be a bit more of a challenge if you want to wrap it all up in a QPKG, but I wouldn't know about that.

Still, I guess most people would be happy to run a single MinimServer.

The QPKG installation will assume a single server. However, it would be possible for me to provide an option for a single MinimServer installation to start two independent server instances with different property settings. If there's significant demand for running multiple server instances, I'll pursue this further.

JW Wrote:I ran into one such situation today: I have several recordings of Beethoven's 5th piano concerto, including 2 by Kovacevich. To keep them apart I gave one a Composition tag with the year in it, and the other a plain Composition tag without the year added to it.
Reading your comment about subdirectories makes me wonder how MinimServer would have handled things if I hadn't distinguished both recordings by adding the year to one Composition Huh
Didn't have the time to change the tags and restart the server to check it out Wink

JW

In my view of the world, these would be the same Composition because the Composition is the musical work rather than a specific recording of that work. So if you selected Composer->Beethoven->Composition->Piano Concerto no. 5->Artist->Kovacevich you would end up with a selection showing 2 albums and the Date tag. You could then choose between these albums by selecting Date->year1 or Date->year2.

However, if you were looking at a flat album list of everything recorded by Kovacevich, you would need some way to distinguish these two recordings in that list. You could do this by putting the recording years in the album names. This would be a situation where it makes sense for the Album tag and Composition tag to have different values.

Simon
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24-03-2012, 19:13
Post: #6
RE: Tagging classical music
(08-02-2012 18:24)simoncn Wrote:  MinimServer is designed to give you the ability to browse your collection by any combination of tags in any order. This means that your collection needs to be tagged with all the information you might want to look at while you're browsing. Classical music generally has a lot of information associated with it, and it's important to have a consistent scheme for recording all this information in your tags.

There's no right or wrong way to tag your music. I'm still experimenting with different approaches for my small but growing classical collection. I have a combination of downloads and CD rips, and for both of these I generally find the original tagging needs a bit (or a lot) of improvement. It's amazing how much variation there is in the standard of tagging between different record companies!

It would be great if people could share the schemes that they're using to tag classical music, so that we can learn from each other's experience. This thread is a place to do this and chat about different approaches. To start things off, here's the scheme that I'm currently using to tag my tracks.

1. Set the Album tag to the full official name of the album.
2. Use a separate Artist tag for each artist who's performing on the track. The order of these tags is significant, as it affects the order in which multiple artists appear on the control point display. I generally use the order in which the artists appear in the record company's descriptive material. I don't include the conductor (if there is one), but use a separate Conductor tag for that.
3. Use a Conductor tag for the conductor (if there is one).
4. Use a Composer tag (or multiple tags) for the composer. Don't include the composer name in the list of artists or in the track title.
5. Set the Date tag to the year of the recording / issue.
6. Set the TrackNumber tag to the track number (not including "/ totaltracks").
7. Use one or more Genre tags as appropriate. Each Genre is a separate tag.
8. Use the Group tag to group together any musical works with multiple movements that appear as consecutive tracks on the album. For example, I would tag each of the four movements of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 as Group=Symphony No. 5 and Composer=Beethoven. For some large musical works, I've used multiple groups rather than a single group.
9. Use the Composition tag for all multi-movement musical works, whether or not they're grouped. (They won't be grouped if they're not consecutive tracks.) Don't include the composer in the composition name.
10. Don't include the composer, conductor, artists or track number in the Title tag.

This is an evolving work in progress. I know it's not fully consistent at the moment. For example, I haven't currently got Composition tags on musical works that only consist of a single movement/track.

If you've read this far, you're probably interested in classical music and have a scheme of your own. Please share it so that we can all learn from each other's experience!

I have just started using MinimServer after using Twonky for the last few years, and just signed up for this Forum. Of my 1400 or so albums more than 75% are classical music, most of then ripped from CDs. The tagging has evolved in a haphazard way, and the flexibility offered by MinimServer compared to Twonky has prompted me to seriously consider retagging my entire collection - a major task given the number of albums involved, so it requires careful thought rather than just plunging in.

My initial thinking on the subject resulted in a scheme very similar to the one Simon has set out above. My search pattern usually starts with Genre (Concerto, Symphony, Chamber, Orchestral, Opera, etc.) then Composer, and then I manually scroll through the albums to find the one I want - although i may wish to further refine the search by conductor or artist where I have several versions of the same work, something that I could not do reliably with the limitations imposed by Twonky. The main exception is a compilation by a particular artist, where I would start with the artist. For pop and jazz Genres I generally refine my search by artist.

To make effective use of the search facility I need to be able to tag multiple artists, particularly for works where there is more than one soloist, such as an opera or a concertante work. However my knowledge of tagging is relatively basic and it would be help if someone could tell me (a) how to rip CDs in dBpoweramp with multiple artists; (b) how to add multiple artists to existing rips using mp3tag; and © what is the maximum number of artists MinimServer can handle for an individual track?

Once I have this information I can experiment with a few albums and develop a more considered strategy for tagging my classical collection that also takes into account my growing jazz collection and other non-classical genres, so I should appreciate any help that members can offer.

Wammer.
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25-03-2012, 14:58
Post: #7
RE: Tagging classical music
(24-03-2012 19:13)Wammer Wrote:  I have just started using MinimServer after using Twonky for the last few years, and just signed up for this Forum. Of my 1400 or so albums more than 75% are classical music, most of then ripped from CDs. The tagging has evolved in a haphazard way, and the flexibility offered by MinimServer compared to Twonky has prompted me to seriously consider retagging my entire collection - a major task given the number of albums involved, so it requires careful thought rather than just plunging in.

My initial thinking on the subject resulted in a scheme very similar to the one Simon has set out above. My search pattern usually starts with Genre (Concerto, Symphony, Chamber, Orchestral, Opera, etc.) then Composer, and then I manually scroll through the albums to find the one I want - although i may wish to further refine the search by conductor or artist where I have several versions of the same work, something that I could not do reliably with the limitations imposed by Twonky. The main exception is a compilation by a particular artist, where I would start with the artist. For pop and jazz Genres I generally refine my search by artist.

To make effective use of the search facility I need to be able to tag multiple artists, particularly for works where there is more than one soloist, such as an opera or a concertante work. However my knowledge of tagging is relatively basic and it would be help if someone could tell me (a) how to rip CDs in dBpoweramp with multiple artists; (b) how to add multiple artists to existing rips using mp3tag; and © what is the maximum number of artists MinimServer can handle for an individual track?

Once I have this information I can experiment with a few albums and develop a more considered strategy for tagging my classical collection that also takes into account my growing jazz collection and other non-classical genres, so I should appreciate any help that members can offer.

Wammer.

Welcome to the MinimServer forum!

I can answer (b) and ©. To add an additional artist in Mp3tag, edit the Artist field and add the additional artist preceded by \\. So for two artists John Eliot Gardiner and The Monteverdi Choir, you would enter

John Eliot Gardiner\\The Monteverdi Choir

Note that there aren't any spaces before or after the \\.

MinimServer doesn't have any limitation on the number of artists you can use for a track. It might struggle with a few thousand, though. Smile

Regarding (a), the Artist information in your rip will depend on what Artist information is in the tagging databases that dBpoweramp uses. In my experience, you'll almost certainly get a single Artist tag with all the artists combined, for example:
ARTIST=John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
ARTIST=David Hill: The Parley of Instruments, Westminster Cathedral Choir
ARTIST=Ex Cathedra (Jeffrey Skidmore)
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25-08-2012, 10:51
Post: #8
RE: Tagging classical music
(08-02-2012 18:24)simoncn Wrote:  MinimServer is designed to give you the ability to browse your collection by any combination of tags in any order. This means that your collection needs to be tagged with all the information you might want to look at while you're browsing. Classical music generally has a lot of information associated with it, and it's important to have a consistent scheme for recording all this information in your tags.

There's no right or wrong way to tag your music. I'm still experimenting with different approaches for my small but growing classical collection. I have a combination of downloads and CD rips, and for both of these I generally find the original tagging needs a bit (or a lot) of improvement. It's amazing how much variation there is in the standard of tagging between different record companies!

It would be great if people could share the schemes that they're using to tag classical music, so that we can learn from each other's experience. This thread is a place to do this and chat about different approaches. To start things off, here's the scheme that I'm currently using to tag my tracks.

1. Set the Album tag to the full official name of the album.
2. Use a separate Artist tag for each artist who's performing on the track. The order of these tags is significant, as it affects the order in which multiple artists appear on the control point display. I generally use the order in which the artists appear in the record company's descriptive material. I don't include the conductor (if there is one), but use a separate Conductor tag for that.
3. Use a Conductor tag for the conductor (if there is one).
4. Use a Composer tag (or multiple tags) for the composer. Don't include the composer name in the list of artists or in the track title.
5. Set the Date tag to the year of the recording / issue.
6. Set the TrackNumber tag to the track number (not including "/ totaltracks").
7. Use one or more Genre tags as appropriate. Each Genre is a separate tag.
8. Use the Group tag to group together any musical works with multiple movements that appear as consecutive tracks on the album. For example, I would tag each of the four movements of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 as Group=Symphony No. 5 and Composer=Beethoven. For some large musical works, I've used multiple groups rather than a single group.
9. Use the Composition tag for all multi-movement musical works, whether or not they're grouped. (They won't be grouped if they're not consecutive tracks.) Don't include the composer in the composition name.
10. Don't include the composer, conductor, artists or track number in the Title tag.

This is an evolving work in progress. I know it's not fully consistent at the moment. For example, I haven't currently got Composition tags on musical works that only consist of a single movement/track.

If you've read this far, you're probably interested in classical music and have a scheme of your own. Please share it so that we can all learn from each other's experience!

Hi Simon,
Have read this thread and the others and will have to do so again as I am still trying to understand how Minimserver works and difference between it and Twonky.

Meanwhile there are some beginners issues on which I seek guidance, the first being the structure of the music file collection. I have put my files in sub directories by genre and then by composer. This is OK until I start using multiple genres and then I have to remember where I put a particular file if I wish to edit tags etc. On reflection I might now consider by Composer but would appreciate your views and that of others with good sized classical collections.

I cannot get multiple genre tags to work. I have tagged a file for example Liturgical\\Choral and that is exactly how the genre it appears in Bubble ds. I had expected to have two genres with file appearing in Liturgical and Choral. I will check delimiters but how should the multiple genre tagging behave?

In reading the threads on albumartist tag I wondered if this might be used to discriminate between the Conductor/Director who spans the whole work and say the soloists performing in individual tracks. Need to study more on this as I have never yet been able to tag Conductor.

The functional requirement is to be able to select a work by the Conductor/Director, for example Messiah (Jacobs) because there are many Messiahs (recordings I mean!) and by year eg. B minor Mass (Herreweghe) (2011) where conductor has produced work several times. When playing one needs to know this information but also the track, eg. "ARIA: Mache dich, mein Herze, rein." (Mathew Brook, bass-baritone). I am sure you know all this but I have not achieved consistent tagging yet so my searching is not fluent. I do think we need some agreed standard for all this and hope you might lead the way.

I use Linux OS (openSUSE 12.1/KDE) so have been using Easytag as tagging editor to date but it does not have flexibility of mp3tag. I believe Puddletag is linux equivalent of mp3tag so will try that. If you have any Linux user advice it would be appreciated.

Budgie
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30-12-2012, 20:09
Post: #9
RE: Tagging classical music
(08-02-2012 18:24)simoncn Wrote:  1. Set the Album tag to the full official name of the album.
2. Use a separate Artist tag for each artist who's performing on the track. The order of these tags is significant, as it affects the order in which multiple artists appear on the control point display. I generally use the order in which the artists appear in the record company's descriptive material. I don't include the conductor (if there is one), but use a separate Conductor tag for that.
3. Use a Conductor tag for the conductor (if there is one).
4. Use a Composer tag (or multiple tags) for the composer. Don't include the composer name in the list of artists or in the track title.
5. Set the Date tag to the year of the recording / issue.
6. Set the TrackNumber tag to the track number (not including "/ totaltracks").
7. Use one or more Genre tags as appropriate. Each Genre is a separate tag.
8. Use the Group tag to group together any musical works with multiple movements that appear as consecutive tracks on the album. For example, I would tag each of the four movements of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 as Group=Symphony No. 5 and Composer=Beethoven. For some large musical works, I've used multiple groups rather than a single group.
9. Use the Composition tag for all multi-movement musical works, whether or not they're grouped. (They won't be grouped if they're not consecutive tracks.) Don't include the composer in the composition name.
10. Don't include the composer, conductor, artists or track number in the Title tag.

I am pretty new at this, and I don't claim my system is perfectly refined. I'm still changing it, but for the most part, it works for me.

Of course, we all are influenced by the software we use for cataloging. I'm using JRiver Media Center (JRMC), which uses ";" to separate multiple values of tags such as "Artist" and has other defaults in its database.

1. Album - same as you, but sometimes I add the composer name, as some browsers don't always give that information. Also, I sometimes shorten the album name. For example: "Haydn: Quartets Opp. 51, 76". When I have many versions of a work, I sometimes standardize the name and include the artist. For example: "Goldberg Variations (Rangell)".

2. Artist(s) - I'm working on a system, and don't have it down yet. Right now, some album tags include all artists, and some have the main artist with an additional People tag with entries like "AndrĂ¡s Schiff (p)".

3. Conductor - Same as you.
4. Composer - same as you.

5. Date - same as you. If the information is available, I prefer the recording date, which is often earlier than the copyright or (P) date printed on the insert.

6. Tracknumber - Same as you. The ripper I use (dBPowerAmp) does store total track information as a tag.

7. Only one Genre tag per track. Not sure if JRMC supports >1.

8. Group - This is a default tag in JRMC, but I haven't used it. I see the value in using it or the Composition tag.

9. Composition - The JRMC default database setup doesn't have such a tag (but it can be added easily). I am considering adding it or switching software to MusiChi, which is preconfigured to use this. I see the value, but not sure it's worth the effort now.

10. Same as you.

Comments:

My rule of thumb for "Album Artist" is that it's where I would look for the album in a record store that files by performer. In other words, the leading performer on the album.
  • For solo works, the name of the soloist.
  • For single-instrument concertos, the name of the soloist.
  • For duets, the player listed first on the album (a terrible solution).
  • For orchestral works, the conductor's last name , "/", and the abbreviated orchestra name.
  • For chamber ensembles (e.g. quartets), the name of the ensemble.
  • For jazz groups, the name of the group or leading player.
  • For other cases -- improvise.

I am not quite sure why one would need both "Group" and "Composition" tags. Care to elaborate?

The lack of standardization among databases is frustrating.

JRMC considers Artist a single-value field, but displays it as a list field if values are separated by ";".

Mike

Mike
Portland, Oregon, USA
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30-12-2012, 21:59
Post: #10
RE: Tagging classical music
Hi Mike,
Thanks for posting this very detailed description! See responses below.

(30-12-2012 20:09)Mike48 Wrote:  I am not quite sure why one would need both "Group" and "Composition" tags. Care to elaborate?

In most cases, the Group and Composition tags will be the same. However, there are a few cases where they might not match exactly:

1) If the tracks aren't consecutive, they can't be grouped, so Composition is necessary. I have a few albums like this, where the movements of a Mass are interspersed with other items.

2) The Group (or Title) tag might contain additional information about the specific recording or performance. For example, I have two recordings of Allegri's Miserere, one with additional embellishments and one without. This happens to be a non-grouped item, but the same thing could apply to a group.

3) If the library contains multiple recordings of the same composition, it might be useful to put additional information in the Group tag for quick selection of the desired recording.

Quote:
The lack of standardization among databases is frustrating.

Very much so!

Quote:JRMC considers Artist a single-value field, but displays it as a list field if values are separated by ";".

Is this actually a single-value field in the file, with physical ';' separators? If so, this won't work well with MinimServer.

Best regards,
Simon
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