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Advice on import of large music collection
21-02-2015, 17:59
Post: #1
Advice on import of large music collection
I have been using Minimserver on a Synology DS1813 with the Lumin A1 and Lumin control point app. So far most the music in my collection has come from one of three sources
1)Ripped CDs into iTunes, then copied to NAS and album art tagged with BLISS
2) Downloads from HDtracks, Acoustic Sounds, etc
3) High res audio ripped from DVD or Blu-Ray via DVD audio extractor,
tagged with MusicTag Editor app on Mac , copied to NAS and album art tagged with BLISS

I have a new scenario that I need some help with. I received about 750GB
of wav files that were ripped on Windows XP with EAC. There is no apparent tagging. The files are organized in folders following the format of
ArtistName/AlbumName/Track#.TrackName. Knowing that wav files
have limited support for tagging I decided I needed to convert to another format. Given the number of albums and files I found XLD to bulk convert to AIFF (not sure if I should have chosen ALAC or FLAC). I copied the converted
files to the NAS and ran BLISS against it hoping it would automatically tag all the files for me...That did not happen. BLISS called them out as unsupported music files.. I could only see the files from the "Folder view" on the Lumin IPAD app. They were not visible from Artist, Album, Genre, etc.
So I tried to use MusicTag Editor on MAC to tag the albums one at a time which has always worked in the past. No luck that did not work either.

So my question is what would be the preferred or recommended approach to take this large collection of wav files into Minimserver and appropriately tagged them so they are visible normally in my Lumin control point IPAD App? Thanks in advance...

BTW I also tried to import the AIFF files into ITUNES hoping it would automatically tag them for me...No luck with that approach
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22-02-2015, 02:02 (This post was last modified: 22-02-2015 02:20 by DavidHB.)
Post: #2
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
Firstly, the advice from the author of MinimServer, simoncn, is clear: files need to be tagged for most of MinimServer's core features to work. That much I think you knew, but it bears repeating.

Secondly, file format preferences do tend to spark controversy, but my view is that, of all the lossless formats to which you could convert your WAV files, FLAC will give as good a sound result as any and its tagging system (Vorbis) is relatively straightforward. Using MinimStreamer, you can also natively transcode FLAC files back to WAV (ideally WAV24). So, if you could still do it without too much hassle, I would generate a set of FLAC files to use in MinimServer.

Thirdly, you are going to need a grid-based tagging program so that you can tag multiple files in one go. If you were using Windows, my strong recommendation would be for MP3Tag, which I use. The Mac program which is most often mentioned in this forum is Metadatics, which has fairly similar capabilities. It is unfortunately not free, but $9.99 is not a huge cost. It would be nice if you could copy your file names containing track titles to your title tags, but I don't know whether Metadatics does this; MP3Tag certainly does.

Fourthly, I'd strongly recommend that you work on your files outside the music folder(s) normally used by MinimServer, and move them to their working location only when tagging is complete. That way, you can do the tagging job progressively and test your work without confusing MinimServer or getting thousands of errors in the log. I always rip and tag on my PC, and only move files to my NAS when I am confident that they are ready for use in the streaming system. You need to tell MinimServer (via MinimWatch if you are running Minim on a NAS) to do a rescan every time you add files to the library.

Unfortunately, I don't think that the format of your files will be such that metadata can be automatically loaded from the online libraries (it would be nice if I were wrong about this). But there is still a lot of usable information out there, and even if you cannot automate the process it is possible to copy and paste data from Wikipedia articles and the like. This may save time; it will certainly reduce the number of transcription errors.

I hope these thoughts help.

David
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22-02-2015, 03:15
Post: #3
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
i would second the suggestion to go to Flac if you can, then use Metadatics on your Mac to tag the files. Metadatics does have the option to copy the filename to the tag, and can work in large batches. As Davd says, do the tagging on your Mac, then move over to the NAS minimserver library in small batches to test your tagging. Once you have album names and track titles in Vorbis tagging format, you may be able to get album artwork using Bliss.
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25-02-2015, 16:03
Post: #4
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
i took a look at Metadatics and it looks promising...Has anyone tried Musicbrainz Picard? It looks like it has a level of automation in the lookup of metadata...Not sure if it would be appropriate for my situation. Thanks
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25-02-2015, 18:05
Post: #5
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
(25-02-2015 16:03)Roy Boy Wrote:  I took a look at Metadatics and it looks promising...Has anyone tried Musicbrainz Picard? It looks like it has a level of automation in the lookup of metadata...Not sure if it would be appropriate for my situation. Thanks

Can't comment on the Picard software, but the underlying Musicbrainz library (which is one of those accessed by dBpoweramp) is, like others of its kind, a bit hit and miss, especially as it is dependent on user submissions. However, it might work for you, and it is free to use.

The trouble, as you have surmised, is that I am not sure whether or how the software can identify your files. When ripping from CD, an album is, so to speak, a known quantity, and an identifying digital 'signature' can be calculated and compared with the CD being ripped. The chances are that your files will not conform to any known pattern, and data entry cannot be automated, or is at best only partially successful.

My advice would be to bite the bullet and develop a workflow for tagging your files in Metadatics (progressively, as previously recommended). You already have album and artist names and track titles to copy to the relevant tags; arguably that is all you need to start off with for all genres other than classical, for which you would also need the composer name. With Metadatics' ability to add data in batches, I think you will be surprised how quickly you can add files to your library.

David
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25-02-2015, 18:54
Post: #6
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
(25-02-2015 18:05)DavidHB Wrote:  The trouble, as you have surmised, is that I am not sure whether or how the software can identify your files. When ripping from CD, an album is, so to speak, a known quantity, and an identifying digital 'signature' can be calculated and compared with the CD being ripped. The chances are that your files will not conform to any known pattern, and data entry cannot be automated, or is at best only partially successful.

I don't think this is how it works. I believe most rippers look at the exact lengths of all the tracks on the CD to attempt to identify which album is being ripped. This can very occasionally lead to "false positive" matches.
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26-02-2015, 00:00 (This post was last modified: 26-02-2015 00:04 by DavidHB.)
Post: #7
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
(25-02-2015 18:54)simoncn Wrote:  
(25-02-2015 18:05)DavidHB Wrote:  The trouble, as you have surmised, is that I am not sure whether or how the software can identify your files. When ripping from CD, an album is, so to speak, a known quantity, and an identifying digital 'signature' can be calculated and compared with the CD being ripped. The chances are that your files will not conform to any known pattern, and data entry cannot be automated, or is at best only partially successful.

I don't think this is how it works. I believe most rippers look at the exact lengths of all the tracks on the CD to attempt to identify which album is being ripped. This can very occasionally lead to "false positive" matches.

I was thinking of CDDB/Gracenote, which I had cause to investigate a few years ago when I was trying (unsuccessfully) to make a Brennan JB7 work the way I wanted it to. This is how the Wikipedia article on CDDB describes how it works:

"CDDB was designed around the task of identifying entire CDs, not merely single tracks. The identification process involves creating a "discid", a sort of "fingerprint" of a CD created by performing calculations on the track duration information stored in the table-of-contents of the CD ... This discid is used with the Internet database, typically either to download track names for the whole CD or to submit track names for a newly identified CD."

MusicBrainz/Picard uses an acoustic fingerprint (Wikipedia article here) to identify CDs (and possibly individual tracks).

In the latter case, the data elements used do not appear to include track lengths at all. CDDB does use track lengths, but calculates a digital signature from them. This can certainly produce multiple matches, as any user of the Brennan device will testify.

David
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26-02-2015, 00:09
Post: #8
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
(26-02-2015 00:00)DavidHB Wrote:  I was thinking of CDDB/Gracenote, which I had cause to investigate a few years ago when I was trying (unsuccessfully) to make a Brennan JB7 work the way I wanted it to. This is how the Wikipedia article on CDDB describes how it works:

"CDDB was designed around the task of identifying entire CDs, not merely single tracks. The identification process involves creating a "discid", a sort of "fingerprint" of a CD created by performing calculations on the track duration information stored in the table-of-contents of the CD ... This discid is used with the Internet database, typically either to download track names for the whole CD or to submit track names for a newly identified CD."

MusicBrainz/Picard uses an acoustic fingerprint (Wikipedia article here) to identify CDs (and possibly individual tracks).

In the latter case, the data elements used do not appear to include track lengths at all. CDDB does use track lengths, but calculates a digital signature from them. This can certainly produce multiple matches, as any user of the Brennan device can testify.

David

This is not a digital signature in the normally accepted usage of this term. It seems more like a hash of the track length information.

The information about MusicBrainz and acoustic fingerprinting is interesting. Something like this would be needed to identify individual tracks rather than complete albums, as the track length would clearly be insufficient.
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26-02-2015, 12:44
Post: #9
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
(26-02-2015 00:09)simoncn Wrote:  This is not a digital signature in the normally accepted usage of this term. It seems more like a hash of the track length information.

Indeed. I had hoped that, by putting 'signature' in quotes, I had indicated that I was using the term loosely. The term 'fingerprint' in the CDDB article is perhaps better, though it carries an implication of uniqueness, which in the present context would be somewhat misleading.

(26-02-2015 00:09)simoncn Wrote:  The information about MusicBrainz and acoustic fingerprinting is interesting. Something like this would be needed to identify individual tracks rather than complete albums, as the track length would clearly be insufficient.

Yes; that's why I suggested that the OP should experiment with Picard, though I was and am not hopeful that the experiment would be successful. However, it would be good to be proved wrong on this.

More generally, I think that Roy Boy has raised a useful question. There must be a fair number of digital music libraries out there which have been gathered from different sources, and which need significant tagging work for MinimServer to access them properly. My general point is that there are probably no easy shortcuts in such a situation, but a systematic workflow using capable software such as MP3Tag or Metadatics will get the job done more quickly and easily than users might fear at the outset.

David
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28-02-2015, 17:25
Post: #10
RE: Advice on import of large music collection
So I downloaded Metadatics to try that approach. I converted one album (Beck - The Information) to FLAC using XLD (using default settings).
I imported to Metadatics and used the MusicBrainz option to find the album metadata...This seemed to work nicely. I updated my Synology with the latest version of Minimserver ..I copied the newly tagged album to the Synology and did a rescan of Minimserver. After the iPad control point app for Lumin finishes its update after the rescan...I can see the Beck album under the Artist search function..I select the entire album to play...Unfortunately none of the tracks will play..The Lumin app cycles through all the songs in the album but will play none. For grins I point the Lumin app at the Synology Media Server also running on the NAS just to see if it will play the album...I get the same result..
I am wondering if there are some options on the XLD conversion to FLAC that would make this file incompatible for play in Minimserver? I looked at the Minimserver log and did not find anything. Thanks for any insights.
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