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cataloguing artist names
03-02-2014, 04:21
Post: #1
cataloguing artist names
Is there an easy way to have minimserver list artists last name, first name Green, Al) as opposed to first name last name (Al Green)? As I get older I am forgetting some first names. I suspect this has been asked before, I just haven't found it.
Thanks
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03-02-2014, 08:18
Post: #2
RE: cataloguing artist names
(03-02-2014 04:21)yurkot Wrote:  Is there an easy way to have minimserver list artists last name, first name Green, Al) as opposed to first name last name (Al Green)? As I get older I am forgetting some first names. I suspect this has been asked before, I just haven't found it.
Thanks

If you want these names to appear as "lastname, firstname" everywhere, you can retag your files to use this format or you can use the tagUpdate facility of MinimServer.

If you want these names to appear as "lastname, firstname" in some places (e.g., the artist index) and as "firstname lastname" in other places (e.g., album listings), this is a planned enhancement for a future release of MinimServer. This feature is likely to require having tags in the "lastname, firstname" format.
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10-02-2014, 22:58
Post: #3
RE: cataloguing artist names
nervous about screwing something up, so please humor me. I have minimserver on my synology NAS and minimwatch on my desk top task bar. I right clicked on the green note and chose properties. Then I went to Advanced and found the tagUpdate slot what do I type in the box to catalogue artists lastname, firstname?
Thanks much
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10-02-2014, 23:30 (This post was last modified: 10-02-2014 23:32 by simoncn.)
Post: #4
RE: cataloguing artist names
(10-02-2014 22:58)yurkot Wrote:  nervous about screwing something up, so please humor me. I have minimserver on my synology NAS and minimwatch on my desk top task bar. I right clicked on the green note and chose properties. Then I went to Advanced and found the tagUpdate slot what do I type in the box to catalogue artists lastname, firstname?
Thanks much

You would need to create a tag update file with all your artist names in their current format and the corresponding names in 'lastname, firstname' format. It would look something like this:

@ARTIST=Paul McCartney
=ARTIST=McCartney, Paul
@ARTIST=John Eliot Gardiner
=ARTIST=Gardiner, John Eliot
@ARTIST=Herbert von Karajan
=ARTIST=Karajan, Herbert von
....etc.

or perhaps you would prefer:

@ARTIST=Herbert von Karajan
=ARTIST=von Karajan, Herbert

The examples of Gardiner and von Karajan show why this file can't be created automatically by MinimServer.

After you have created this file, you need to copy it to your NAS and put the Linux absolute pathname to the file in the tagUpdate property box and restart MinimServer.

This doesn't change any tags in your files. It just changes how the artists are shown by MinimServer.
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14-02-2014, 14:09
Post: #5
RE: cataloguing artist names
(10-02-2014 23:30)simoncn Wrote:  You would need to create a tag update file with all your artist names in their current format and the corresponding names in 'lastname, firstname' format. It would look something like this:

@ARTIST=Paul McCartney
=ARTIST=McCartney, Paul
@ARTIST=John Eliot Gardiner
=ARTIST=Gardiner, John Eliot
@ARTIST=Herbert von Karajan
=ARTIST=Karajan, Herbert von
....etc.

No fun doing something like this for 3400+ artists over here....

Back in the early days of MinimServer we had a discussion that one day in future it should be possible to show an artist tagged as "Karajan, Herbert von" as "Herbert von Karajan" for display-purposes in the Artist field of the control point.

Just curious whether that day may be coming a tiny bit closer anytime soon Rolleyes

cheers
bbrip
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14-02-2014, 15:27
Post: #6
RE: cataloguing artist names
(14-02-2014 14:09)bbrip Wrote:  No fun doing something like this for 3400+ artists over here....

Back in the early days of MinimServer we had a discussion that one day in future it should be possible to show an artist tagged as "Karajan, Herbert von" as "Herbert von Karajan" for display-purposes in the Artist field of the control point.

Just curious whether that day may be coming a tiny bit closer anytime soon Rolleyes

cheers
bbrip

It is coming closer, but that doesn't solve the OP's problem of how to get his artist names into the "lastname, firstname" format. When that day arrives, I expect there will be a number of MinimServer users who want to do the same thing. This needs to be taken into consideration in the context of adding this feature.
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15-02-2014, 00:25
Post: #7
RE: cataloguing artist names
(14-02-2014 15:27)simoncn Wrote:  ... that doesn't solve the OP's problem of how to get his artist names into the "lastname, firstname" format.

I seem to recall that we have discussed using the ArtistSort tag on the forum. This could be used now (I use ComposerSort, but not, as yet, ArtistSort). My problem was to create correctly populated ComposerSort tags in hundreds of albums that did not have them; a requirement to create ArtistSort tags (or to write all the Artist entries in sort order) would be logically similar.

Apart from a bit of head scratching over syntax, the problem was remarkably easy to solve using Actions in MP3Tag. In my "Reverse Names in ComposerSort - 1 last name" action, I use the following regular expression:

$regexp(%COMPOSER%,(.*) (.*),$2',' $1)

This splits the contents of the Composer tag into two sections (or "sets"), the divider being the final space (that's the "(.*) (.*)" bit, meaning "any number of characters, then a final space, then any number of characters"). It then reverses the two sets, placing ", " between them. This works for "Ludwig van Beethoven" (Beethoven, Ludwig van) but not for "Ralph Vaughan Williams" (Williams, Ralph Vaughan). So I also have a "Reverse names in ComposerSort - 1 first name" action, where the regular expression is:

$regexp(%COMPOSER%,(.*?) (.*),$2',' $1)

This expression is exactly like the other, except for the insertion of the question mark in the definition of the first set. This makes the set "non greedy", so the split is at the first space, not the last, and gives "Vaughan Williams, Ralph" in ComposerSort. (I haven't yet come across a composer with both more than one customarily used first name and more than one unhyphenated surname. If I do, I shall probably enter that name manually!) An action such as this can be applied in MP3Tag to any number of files at once.

The point of all this geekiness is to show that batch updating of metadata can be remarkably quick. Even being careful and taking only one composer at a time, I was able to create ComposerSort Tags in several thousand tracks in less than an hour.

I use ComposerSort, and am likely to continue doing so, because I want to sort by last name but display the names in first name - last name format. ComposerSort goes into indexTags and Composer goes into itemTags. In tagFormat, I have an entry "ComposerSort.displayFormat={$composer}". Again, I think that it would be straightforward to apply this approach to the Artist and ArtistSort tags.

All of this works for me, but I am less sure that it meets the needs of others. If it does, is it worth my trying to put together a step by step tutorial? It could save someone else all the head banging that those infernal regular expressions cost me ...

David
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15-02-2014, 12:27
Post: #8
RE: cataloguing artist names
(15-02-2014 00:25)DavidHB Wrote:  All of this works for me, but I am less sure that it meets the needs of others. If it does, is it worth my trying to put together a step by step tutorial? It could save someone else all the head banging that those infernal regular expressions cost me ...

David

Thanks for this very useful guide. The tip about greedy and non-greedy regular expressions is very helpful.
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15-02-2014, 14:34 (This post was last modified: 15-02-2014 15:54 by DavidHB.)
Post: #9
RE: cataloguing artist names
(15-02-2014 12:27)simoncn Wrote:  Thanks for this very useful guide. The tip about greedy and non-greedy regular expressions is very helpful.

As you kindly describe my previous post as a 'Guide', I'll not produce a separate tutorial, unless someone feels they need it.

I'm glad that you are still considering the "automated name reversal" idea, but I do wonder how well it can work in practice. As I indicated in my previous post, the point at which names are split for reversal can be determined somewhat arbitrarily. Some names should not be reversed at all. Getting things right would seem to require a fair amount of user intervention.

The other concern that has not been addressed in the thread so far is consistency; if you are indexing on the Artist field, you will typically need the name in that field to be consistent for the same artist. There are often variations in spelling, especially when the names contain accented characters and the field has been populated from an on-line database.

MP3Tag can again help. First you need to decide which of the different spellings you are going to use. Then use the folder selection dialog in MP3Tag (which has an option to select sub-folders) to list a set of tracks containing the Artist 's name. Note that if you select the whole of a large collection, MP3 will take a long time to read the metadata and display the list. However, the time you will save may make the wait worthwhile. Once the list appears, you can use the filter command (F3) to target your artist entries. For instance, if you were looking for differently spelt instances of "André Previn", you might use the filter expression "artist HAS prev". Adjust your filter expression so that only tracks containing your target name are displayed, then select all the filtered track entries.

At this point, MP3Tag gives you options. If the Artist field contains only the name you wish to make consistent, you will find that there is a drop-down list of all the artist entries in the selection, plus <blank> and <keep>. If you want just one of these entries to appear in all the selected tracks, select that entry, and press the Save icon. Alternatively, you can do a Search and Replace (Alt-6, then Replace gives you the dialog) on any field in the current selection. Press Save. When all the Artist fields are consistent, if you are using ArtistSort as described in my previous post, you can use the Actions previously described to make the ArtistSort entries consistent also.

Once again, the point of all this is to show that cleaning up metadata is not necessarily as labour intensive as is often thought. Learning MP3Tag, or another program with similar capabilities if there is one, is well worth the effort.

David
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15-02-2014, 15:44 (This post was last modified: 15-02-2014 15:45 by simoncn.)
Post: #10
RE: cataloguing artist names
(15-02-2014 14:34)DavidHB Wrote:  I'm glad that you are still considering the "automated name reversal" idea, but I do wonder how well it can work in practice. As I indicated in my previous post, the point at which names are split for reversal can be determined somewhat arbitrarily. Some names should not be reversed at all. Getting things right would seem to require a fair amount of user intervention.

I agree that reversal from "firstname(s) lastname(s)" to "lastname(s), firstname(s)" can't be fully automated, and a semi-automated approach as you have described in these posts is the best solution. I believe it is possible for MinimServer to provide full automation for the opposite direction, with any unavoidable exceptions being handled by separate ArtistSort and Artist (etc.) tags.

I'm hoping to start work on implementing this soon.
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