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Author Topic: Tag TOOL VERSION "spontaneously" updates in some of my albums  (Read 546 times)

markf2748

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Tag TOOL VERSION "spontaneously" updates in some of my albums
« on: November 12, 2022, 07:37:56 pm »

I set MC to write the tags TOOL NAME and TOOL VERSION into my audio files, just because I think maybe someday it will be useful to have this information.  Normally the written values are static and cause no harm.  They show up in the flac file's Vorbis Comment block.

However today I noticed unexpectedly that about 20 old albums on my MC server had their TOOL VERSION updated to 30.0.30 for every track.  I found this through a manual file compare which I do before backing up.  For the cases I checked, only the two final "30" bytes changed in the entire file, AFAICT.  I did not intentionally change or update any of these files, nor did I recently play them.  I believe this happened two or three days after updating to MC 30.0.30, but in retrospect I may have occasionally seen this kind of thing in earlier versions.  I do have the option selected for General > Importing & Tagging > Update tags when file info changes.

This presents a problem because now these files are out of sync with their backups, so I have to re-write either the backups or current versions for no apparent good reason.

What could have caused this "spontaneous" change to TOOL VERSION, and why is only a small fraction of my collection affected?

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blgentry

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Re: Tag TOOL VERSION "spontaneously" updates in some of my albums
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2022, 09:19:54 pm »

I suggest the following:

* Find an affected file.  Copy it somewhere as a control.
* Find that same file in your most recent backup
* read the tags of both with a tag reader.

Now you can see what tags are different.  I suspect you will find one of:

Last Played Date
Star Rating
Some minor random metadata change that you made

Or maybe I'm just wrong.  But reading the tags of both should give you some more information.

Good luck,
Brian.
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markf2748

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Re: Tag TOOL VERSION "spontaneously" updates in some of my albums
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2022, 01:58:46 pm »

But reading the tags of both should give you some more information.
Thanks for the quick response and suggestion, which indeed provides more information but has not led me to an answer.

(1) Binary comparison of the old and new flac files shows they are byte-for-byte identical, with the exception of two bytes.  In every case the TOOL VERSION changed from 30.0.19 to 30.0.30.  As expected in this case, comparison of the individual tags written to the files shows them to be identical except for TOOL VERSION.

(2) Looking at the other library fields in the MC tags panel, old v.s. new all appear to be identical AFAICT, except for DATE MODIFIED which has been updated as expected between the old and new versions.

So the question remains:  What is the root cause of the update?

A possibility, but I do not think it holds water:  I have one custom field in MC library manager, called TITLE, with Edit Type Standard, which I recently changed to Calculated Data with Expression =[NAME].  I suppose it is possible MC "updated" this field in the background without actually changing its value.  But if this were the root cause, then I am puzzled why the great majority of my files were not affected. 

The changed files all had one of two Last Modified dates back in mid October, 2022.  These files encompass a wide range of genres and original import dates, most were not recently played, and I do not use star ratings.  My music folder hierarchy is organized in common fashion by Artist > Album, residing on a single USB SSD attached to the MC PC.  Under a given Artist directory, typically some but not all albums were affected.  In every case, all tracks within an affected album were changed in the same way with same update time stamp.
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blgentry

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Re: Tag TOOL VERSION "spontaneously" updates in some of my albums
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2022, 05:23:08 pm »

I'm at a loss to explain this behavior.  Perhaps someone else has more ideas.

Best of luck.

Brian.
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markf2748

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Re: Tag TOOL VERSION "spontaneously" updates in some of my albums
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2022, 12:10:59 am »

What are the criteria for writing TOOL tags into an audio file, assuming you have selected the option to do so?

Which of the following trigger a TOOL tags update?:

1) A change in at least one tag or the audio data.
2) A single tag overwritten with an unchanged value, so the file effectively reads the same as before.
3) Library tools > Update Tags (from library), even when no other tag values have actually changed.
4) A change in the file's OS modification date alone.
5) Anything else?
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