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Two tagging questions for classical music
18-02-2013, 21:00
Post: #1
Two tagging questions for classical music
I'm trying to tighten up my tagging system.

1. I've read the user guide about how MinimServer handles the Artist and Albumartist tags. I've also searched the net for other info about how people deal with the Artist and Albumartist tags; there seems to be a lot of variation. It seems that:

a. the best practice is to put an artist that appears in all the tracks -- the "main" artist on the album, so to speak -- in Albumartist. (This might be an ensemble, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra. I use a separate tag for conductor.)

b. one puts additional artists in the Artist field. These might be artists who only appear on one or two tracks, guest artists not normally a part of the ensemble, etc.

c. For MinimServer, one must include the "main" artist in the Artist field as well as in Albumartist; otherwise the main artist won't appear in MS's All Artists tag list since that excludes Albumartist.

Example: an album of works by Brahms includes two orchestral pieces and the Alto Rhapsody. For all tracks, Albumartist = Netherlands Philharmonic. For the Alto Rhapsody, Artist = name of the singer and Netherlands Philharmonic. For the other, orchestral-only tracks, Artist = Netherlands Philharmonic.

Is this right?

2. For MinimServer, the best practice to include both a Group and a Composition tag to deal with multi-movement works such as symphonies. I've been using a Composition tag but will add the Group if needed. (So far I don't have any albums where the movements of a composition are split up.)

Thanks - David
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18-02-2013, 21:31 (This post was last modified: 18-02-2013 21:58 by simoncn.)
Post: #2
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
(18-02-2013 21:00)magister Wrote:  I'm trying to tighten up my tagging system.

1. I've read the user guide about how MinimServer handles the Artist and Albumartist tags. I've also searched the net for other info about how people deal with the Artist and Albumartist tags; there seems to be a lot of variation. It seems that:

a. the best practice is to put an artist that appears in all the tracks -- the "main" artist on the album, so to speak -- in Albumartist. (This might be an ensemble, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra. I use a separate tag for conductor.)

I'd be very interested in references that say this "main artist" should not be tagged as Artist in addition to being tagged as AlbumArtist. My understanding is:

1) For a multi-artist album, it would be appropriate to tag the "main artist" as both AlbumArtist and Artist.

2) For a single-artist album, it would be appropriate to tag the single artist as Artist, and you could also tag the single artist as AlbumArtist if you use the AlbumArtist index to search for main artists.

Quote:b. one puts additional artists in the Artist field. These might be artists who only appear on one or two tracks, guest artists not normally a part of the ensemble, etc.

c. For MinimServer, one must include the "main" artist in the Artist field as well as in Albumartist; otherwise the main artist won't appear in MS's All Artists tag list since that excludes Albumartist.

Example: an album of works by Brahms includes two orchestral pieces and the Alto Rhapsody. For all tracks, Albumartist = Netherlands Philharmonic. For the Alto Rhapsody, Artist = name of the singer and Netherlands Philharmonic. For the other, orchestral-only tracks, Artist = Netherlands Philharmonic.

Is this right?

See comment above.

Quote:2. For MinimServer, the best practice to include both a Group and a Composition tag to deal with multi-movement works such as symphonies. I've been using a Composition tag but will add the Group if needed. (So far I don't have any albums where the movements of a composition are split up.)

Thanks - David

There's an important difference between the Group and Composition tags. The Group tag is handled specially by MinimServer: it creates an intermediate level between an album and the individual tracks from that album. For example, when viewing the contents of an album, you'll see each group within the album as a single item instead of seeing all the tracks as separate individual items.

There's nothing special about the Composition tag. If you decide to use it, MinimServer treats it as a custom tag, just like any other custom tag that you might put in your files and add to the indexTags property. The benefit of using this tag is to provide an index entry that enables you to find all your recordings of a particular composition (for example, Bach's Mass in B Minor).

I hope this helps to show that Group and Composition are both useful, but they are useful for different things.
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18-02-2013, 22:42
Post: #3
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
One more thought on this:

If you want to see all your "main artists", the Artist index is the place to look for these. For all albums with a single artist, the single artist will be listed in the Artist index. Also, for all albums with multiple artists and an AlbumArtist tag, the album artist will be listed in the Artist index. This follows standard practice for other music servers, including iTunes.
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20-02-2013, 19:39
Post: #4
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
(18-02-2013 21:31)simoncn Wrote:  a. the best practice is to put an artist that appears in all the tracks -- the "main" artist on the album, so to speak -- in Albumartist.

I have a lot of albums where there is no such 'main artist'.
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20-02-2013, 21:29
Post: #5
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
(20-02-2013 19:39)Dieter Stockert Wrote:  I have a lot of albums where there is no such 'main artist'.

In this case, MinimServer will put individual entries in the All Artists index for all the album's artists, and it will put a single entry in the Artist index for the combination of all artists on the album. The latter entry could be quite lengthy if the album has a lot of different artists.
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21-02-2013, 15:58
Post: #6
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
Thank you Simon -- sorry for the slow reply.

(18-02-2013 21:31)simoncn Wrote:  I'd be very interested in references that say this "main artist" should not be tagged as Artist in addition to being tagged as AlbumArtist.
Some people say to not bother with Albumartist, some say to complete it (in various ways). Much depends on the player in use, since some ignore Albumartist. I did find one piece of info on the Mp3tag site that indicated that some Android players don't work well with Albumartist; one person said "The safest thing which works with all players is dropping the ALBUMARTIST field completely." So we're all over the map.

The bottom line is that as I've experimented and gotten more experienced with MinimServer I ended up doing what you suggest . . . so all is well. Hopefully I will never want to use a player like those I've read about that don't handle common tags well.

Quote:The Group tag is handled specially by MinimServer: it creates an intermediate level between an album and the individual tracks from that album. For example, when viewing the contents of an album, you'll see each group within the album as a single item instead of seeing all the tracks as separate individual items.
But this is exactly what happens with my Composition tag. I can search Composers --> Beethoven --> Symphony No 5, and I see a nice "Play all" item that enables me to load the whole symphony at once, if I want, as well as the individual movements listed below.

Quote:There's nothing special about the Composition tag. . . . The benefit of using this tag is to provide an index entry that enables you to find all your recordings of a particular composition (for example, Bach's Mass in B Minor).
So I'm still uncertain about this. I read in another thread that Group can handle situations where the tracks making up a work are not contiguous -- is that the only difference? For the next release of MinimServer, I'd suggest expanding the section in the user user that deals with this.

Maybe the best thing for me to do is use Group exclusively but display it as Composition, since I prefer the latter term for classical works ("group:Composition" in the properties file).

David
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21-02-2013, 16:03
Post: #7
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
(20-02-2013 21:29)simoncn Wrote:  In this case, MinimServer will put individual entries in the All Artists index for all the album's artists, and it will put a single entry in the Artist index for the combination of all artists on the album. The latter entry could be quite lengthy if the album has a lot of different artists.

This is useful to know. I have a couple of compilation albums, for which I used "Various Artists" as in the Albumartist field. I was thinking of dropping that (after all, there really is no group called Various Artists) and leaving Albumartist blank. But I would prefer not to see a long list in Artists. So always filling in Albumartist is really a good idea.

David
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21-02-2013, 16:44
Post: #8
RE: Two tagging questions for classical music
(21-02-2013 15:58)magister Wrote:  Some people say to not bother with Albumartist, some say to complete it (in various ways). Much depends on the player in use, since some ignore Albumartist. I did find one piece of info on the Mp3tag site that indicated that some Android players don't work well with Albumartist; one person said "The safest thing which works with all players is dropping the ALBUMARTIST field completely." So we're all over the map.

I'm aware that there are differences of opinion about whether or not to fill in AlbumArtist as well as Artist. In your original post, I thought you were saying that some people have suggested using AlbumArtist and omitting Artist, but this seems to have been a misunderstanding on my part.

Quote:But this is exactly what happens with my Composition tag. I can search Composers --> Beethoven --> Symphony No 5, and I see a nice "Play all" item that enables me to load the whole symphony at once, if I want, as well as the individual movements listed below.

You wouldn't see this if the only Beethoven composition you have is a single recording of Symphony No 5. Ih this case, when you browse to Composers --> Beethoven, there would be no Composition choice displayed, because all the items in your current selection are tagged as the same Composition. Instead, you'd see an ungrouped list of the indidual movements of the symphony. To see the whole symphony as a single grouped item, you'd need to use the Group tag.

You'd have a similar problem if you open an album containing a recording of Symphony No 5. The album contents would show a separate entry for each movement of the symphony. If you want the album contents to show a single entry for the whole symphony, you need to use the Group tag.

Quote:So I'm still uncertain about this. I read in another thread that Group can handle situations where the tracks making up a work are not contiguous -- is that the only difference? For the next release of MinimServer, I'd suggest expanding the section in the user user that deals with this.

It's actually the opposite: you can use Group if the tracks are contiguous, but you can't use Group if they're non-contiguous. You can use Composition in both cases.

The difference is that a Group is treated as a single item wherever it appears. This could be in a list of album contents, or it could be when browsing via any index entry. Composition is just a normal tag, and it only has a grouping effect in the specific context of the Composition index entry. Does this help to explain the difference?

Quote:Maybe the best thing for me to do is use Group exclusively but display it as Composition, since I prefer the latter term for classical works ("group:Composition" in the properties file).

This wouldn't work, because the Group and Composition tags are used for different purposes. You can't substitute one for the other. However, you can use both of them together on the same tracks.
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