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Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
07-11-2019, 23:12
Post: #1
Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
Ot has been a couple of years since I spent time on classical music tagging and I see that SongKong has been developed significantly since I tried it a while ago. I am therefore doing some reading to remind myself of previous discussions and catch up on latest thinking.

Could somebody please help me find the thread about tagging classical music from before SongKong which addresses the taxonomy of file storage. At the start I decided that I would use Genre as the starting criterion for album storage and built on that as the mood took me. Going back through my collection now trying to sort it out I find that I have JSBach recordings, for example, in Classical, Baroque, Chamber Music, Liturgical and Recital directories and no doubt others not yet found.

I am now of the opinion that if I am to rely increasingly on applications doing the hard work I should use fewer directories and let the tagging do the work. Also should I just use Composer and forget genre?

What is current thinking for management of storage of collection please?

Budgie
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08-11-2019, 00:05
Post: #2
RE: Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
I faced this dilemma some years ago when I started transferring my (mainly classical) music from CD to computer storage. Because I anticipated the library would continue to grow like you I chose Genre as my top-level for organising the library. To keep individual genres reasonably small I defined several genres for classical music: Classical - Early, Classical - Baroque, Classical - Classical etc etc. I also decided to use the 'album' tag as 'classical work' as many CDs include works by several composers, so I split the albums accordingly.
When deciding on which program to use to curate the library it is important to appreciate that they are all working with a 'flat' card type database structure i.e. Artist > Album > Track. It is the software that does all the searching to form lists in the fashion the user requires.
I'm not familiar with SongKong so cannot comment on its merits but because of the effective anarchy in the way classical music is tagged by the originators some personal intervention to impose some standardisation for a library is inevitable. It is a matter for personal judgement what is the most efficient way to tackle this.
I solved the problem by editing the meta data as I acquired each new CD. I have found iTunes a very robust and efficient tool for curating my library (but not for playback). Unfortunately Apple has just dumped the fully-featured iTunes app with the release of their latest (Catalina) operating system. You are OK if you have a PC though. I'm going to stay with the Mojave operating system on my iMac.

System: ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ (running MinimServer) > Airport Extreme bridge > Optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge (controlled by Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP&Mosaic) > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary model
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09-11-2019, 07:53 (This post was last modified: 09-11-2019 07:54 by lyapounov.)
Post: #3
RE: Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
There is no common thinking. There is a balance between file based structure, and tag based structure. I have almost 6500 albums, so no way I correct the bad tags. Fortunatly, MinimServer is clever enough to allow you both philosphy (tag and files) to co-exist.

My own choice is the following structure:
- Test & samplers
- Renaissance
- Baroque
- Classical
- Operas
- XXth Century
- Jazz
- Pop Rock Folk Electro
- World Music
- French music
- Movie music
- Tales and spoken things

Then 2nd level:
- jazz is the most simple: purely main artist (Earl Hines, Tord Gustavsen, etc..)
- Renaissance is the most complex; it is a mixture of composers, labels (Alia Vox, Ricercare, Harmonia Mundi, Alpha, etc.) and Interprets (Ariana Savall, Christina Pluhar, Alfred Deller, etc..) plus Early music, Elisabethan, etc...
- Baroque, Classical, Opera and XXth Centiry: second level is composer. Fortunatly, I have very few albums with multiple composers. I always add a Interpret subfolder, as an example all about Richter, or Glenn Gould or.. Of course, some albums could be in one place or another. But I tend to know where things are.

In a nutshell: do what your feelings tell you to do; this is the best way. And as many friends told me "everytime I browse your library, I have the feeling to be in your brain" :-)
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09-11-2019, 15:35
Post: #4
RE: Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
Hi and thanks for the replies. Seems that not much has changed and we are all in similar positions.

I recall suggesting somewhere a while ago that there should be a manual of style for tagging music similar to that used for the preparation of academic papers. Will check what I have done which might be formalized and if anybody has done anything similar please share.

FYI I am primarily a Linux user so not familiar with Apple OS and my CD collection has been ripped to flac.

Thanks again for the replies.
Budgie
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09-11-2019, 15:46
Post: #5
RE: Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
This previous thread may be of use:
https://forum.minimserver.com/showthread.php?tid=4268

System: ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ (running MinimServer) > Airport Extreme bridge > Optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge (controlled by Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP&Mosaic) > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary model
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09-11-2019, 16:51
Post: #6
RE: Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
(09-11-2019 15:46)DavidL Wrote:  This previous thread may be of use:
https://forum.minimserver.com/showthread.php?tid=4268

Hi and many thanks for the link.

Having revisited this subject and searched further than my nose I find there are many sites giving more than sufficient information on this topic including MusicBrainz and BBC. I will study them together with the above thread and return if I have anything I can add.

Meanwhile I am noting a few technical issues which have caused me some problems which may be of interest:-

Long file names.
File names can easily break the limits imposed by some applications or operating systems when they make use of the fully qualified address within the file name which might include a NAS directories etc. Some tags I have received cause this if they include all the details in the filename including the artists or if they include the first line of text from a liturgical work as an additional 20 or more characters may be added but hidden from what is usually shown.

Illegal characters.
Although my NAS (and many others) run on Linux operating systems which can tolerate so called illegal characters, the NAS system deliberately forbids these so that the NAS can work with windoze systems. My tagging application addresses this problem but I can still get caught out by punctuation such as colons and some illegal characters are illegal even in linux based systems.

Character sets.
I still have some difficulty with these and the strange results I get from mismatches between the tagging received from databases and my system and also the care needed when entering names with diacritical marks.

Will stop now and do some more reading as I doubt I can add much given the experience of those writing with much larger collections.
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11-11-2019, 19:47
Post: #7
RE: Directory structure for Classical Music Albums etc.
My own thoughts are as follows. Metadata tags in theory let you view your data in multiple different ways, and with MinimServer this is the reality. In contrast you can only have one folder structure and it has the problems you mention of long filenames/illegal chars so is not great for playing music. IMHO it is best for this to match the physical release you purchased because:
1. Most tools (including SongKong) work best with an AlbumArtist/Album type folder folder, usually with multiple Disc folders underneath for multi disc albums and box sets.
2. You then have a basic record of what you have regardless of any metadata problems
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