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Author Topic: Spaces in tags: compatibility with standard tags? what is really happening?  (Read 776 times)


  • Galactic Citizen
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  • Posts: 345

The standard tag for the artist of an album is, in general, ALBUMARTIST. In MC, the tag is written ALBUM ARTIST (ignoring case).
Yet, Foobar2000 seems to spontaneously interpret ALBUM ARTIST as ALBUMARTIST.
So what is happening? Is MC storing a few such tags without a space, ie storing ALBUM ARTIST as ALBUMARTIST? (Or if not, what?)

Conversely, in MC, I created and populated this tag: TOTAL DISCS.
However, in some files, presumably due to previous tagging, Foobar reads a different TOTALDISCS tag.
Hence my question again:
Are few such tags (ALBUM ARTIST, etc) displayed by MC with a space, yet stored without a space?

PS: I'm trying to have my user defined tags as coherent as possible with general practice (outside of MC, when possible).
For instance, I'm hesitating between creating an ARTIST SORT or an ARTISTSORT tag. Does it matter, or is it all the same because of a peculiar treatment of spaces in tag names?


  • Galactic Citizen
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  • Posts: 345

The program metaflac allows one to read the various metadata of a file.
To get only the vorbis metadata, one can use a command like this:
metaflac --list --block-type VORBIS_COMMENT "04 Andante favori in F, WoO 57.flac"
I asked MC to empty the tags of a particular file, and checked with metaflac that indeed there were none.
Then I updated the tags from MC, and used metaflac again.
The album artist field was "doubled", ie I got:
    comment[8]: ALBUMARTIST=Claudio Arrau
    comment[9]: ALBUM ARTIST=Claudio Arrau
This comes from MC, not me (I have no user defined field corresponding to ALBUMARTIST).

So part of my question becomes: is this the only field that is "doubled" (created twice) by MC, or are there others?

The other part of my question is: if I define user fields, what are the most common ones outside MC, for flac files, and/or for programs like Foobar2000 that will be naturally set to read certain tags?


  • MC Beta Team
  • Citizen of the Universe
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  • Posts: 8186

Why did you create a TOTAL DISCS custom field? MC Already has a [Total Discs] field. It just isn't set to be written to the file as a tag in "Manage Library Fields". But if you turned that on, it is written to the Vorbis Comment Block section of the file, for a flac file.

Have you found the filter in the top left corner of Manage Library Fields, with the drop-down list? Select "Show only fields saved in tags" to see what MC currently tries to save into tags. Add/Change as many as you want.

You may also want to use the filter "Show all fields (including hidden fields)" before you create too many more custom fields.

MC does "duplicate" a few tags in files for compatibility with other applications. You found one in Album Artist. MC is writing two tags for the value it stores in its Library; "ALBUM ARTIST" and "ALBUMARTIST". Look in the "Tag Dump" area of the Tagging Action Window. If you don't see that area, search the forum for how to add it.

I've never seen a list of other fields that are duplicated. Find them by experimenting, or searching the forum and Release Notes.  Note that [Album Artist (auto)] isn't written to tags, and that function can't be turned on for that field as it is a calculated field. [Album Artist] is, but often when using MC the [Album Artist] field doesn't get populated as [Album Artist (auto)] comes directly from the [Artist] field. One of the quirks of using MC with other applications. My solution is just to always use MC.  :D

The other part of my question is: if I define user fields, what are the most common ones outside MC, for flac files, and/or for programs like Foobar2000 that will be naturally set to read certain tags?

MC probably already handles all the common tags you would need. But if you want to create more using custom fields, and you want other applications to use them, you are on your own in researching that. Good luck. You are opening a can of worms. A very frustrating can of worms. It would be best if you found some official documentation on supported tags. But there is no guarantee that any application will follow the official standard.
What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes:
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
  Playing video out to a Sony 65" TV connected via HDMI, playing digital audio out via motherboard sound card, PCIe TV tuner
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