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Author Topic: How does MC 11 use tags?  (Read 17916 times)

Listener

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How does MC 11 use tags?
« on: April 12, 2006, 06:29:26 pm »

Classical music is over 60% of my ~1600 CD colection.  After looking at many PC based music player programs, I've decided that MC 11 is by a wide margin the best player for managing a large collection of classical music. 

Being able to use more tags than just genre, album,  artist and song title is essential.  I've read the help, the FAQ and searching this forum.  I haven't found much about how MC 11 handles specific tags and maps tags to database fields.  I ran a few experiments on classical genre files with Flac tags (comments not ID3 tags) and MP3 ID3v2 tags to see how tags are displayed in MC 11.  Here are some results:

MP3 ID3v2 tags:

TCON - displays in MC 11 as Genre
TALB - displays as album
TPE1 - displays as Artist.
TPE2 - displays as Conductor
TPE3 - displays as Band (not as Ensemble)
TCOM tag - displays as Composer in MP3.
TIT2 - displays as Name


Flac comments:

Genre - displays in MC 11 as Genre
Album - displays as album
Artist - displays as Artist
Performer - displays as Performer  (only one occurrence used by MC 11)
Ensemble - displays as Ensemble (not displayed as Band)
Band - displays as Band (not displayed as Ensemble)
Title - displays as Name

It seems to be possible to add columns to the file list display or the panes browser for any of these tags.

I was disappointed to find that MC 11 did not use more than one Performer tag.  I then tried putting two values into a single tag separated by a semi-colon. (i.e. performer=Szell;Cleveland orchestra.)  MC 11 did not separate the values as some players do.

I wanted to find a set of MP3 tags and a set of Flac tags that I could use in MC 11 for browsing on Composer, Work, Conductor, Soloist, Orchestra or other ensemble. The following use of would appear to allow me to tag and browse both MP3 and Flac files with a common set of display columns:

my info                  MP3 tag              Flac comment     MC 11 displays as

type of work       - TCON              -  Genre                     -  Genre
work                   -  TALB               -  Album                    -  Album
combined  artist  -  TPE1              -  Artist                      -  Artist
  (soloist first)
Band                   -  TPE2              -  Band                      -  Band
conductor            - TPE3               -  Conductor             -  Conductor
soloist                 -  DB only field   - Performer               - Performer
Composer           -  TCOM             -  Composer              -  Composer
song (track) title -  TIT2               -  Title                        - name

These uses follow the ID3v4 standard.  I have a vague awareness of an alternate use of some tag (TPE2 I think) for album artist by Microsoft's players. 

I found two different recommendations for OGG Vorbis Comments (which the Flac standard adopted.)  The official one at

   http://www.xiph.org/vorbis/doc/v-comment.html

specifies Artist as the composer for classical music and possibly multiple performer tags for the people or groups actually performing the work. Another recommendation at

   http://reactor-core.org/ogg-tagging.html

defines additional Composer, conductor and ensemble tags and specifies Artist as a summary tag for use on players with limited display capabilities.  I used Band rather than ensemble to fit with the way MC 11 appears to map the ID3v4 tag TPE2.

A comparison table for tag use in different formats at
   http://www.matroska.org/technical/specs/tagging/othertagsystems/comparetable.html

was also useful.

I understand that other players might not recognize all the tags I have specified.  It seems more robust to store attributes as tags in music files in addition to having them in the MC 11 database rather than just defining a set of database only fields.

MC 11 is clearly very flexible and powerful in using tags in music files. Knowing the rules MC 11 uses to map between tags and library database fields would help users make use of that power.

I would appreciate knowledeable comments about mistakes I made or pitfalls I might face.  I hope this discussion might help any other newbies trying to apply MC 11 to a classical music collection.

Bill


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JimH

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 07:09:59 am »

Thanks for posting this.  I'll add it to the FAQ here.
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hit_ny

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 09:09:53 am »

I understand that other players might not recognize all the tags I have specified.  It seems more robust to store attributes as tags in music files in addition to having them in the MC 11 database rather than just defining a set of database only fields.

MC 11 is clearly very flexible and powerful in using tags in music files. Knowing the rules MC 11 uses to map between tags and library database fields would help users make use of that power.

I would appreciate knowledeable comments about mistakes I made or pitfalls I might face.  I hope this discussion might help any other newbies trying to apply MC 11 to a classical music collection.
MC isn't fully compliant wrt to idv3v2  (and above) tags, then again you would be hard pressed to find a player that is. The standards defined for these tags are more like guidelines, some players follow some whilst others less so.

AS a long time tags user i'm moving towards a system where i don't save any tags to the files at all instead relying on MC's library for this. If you need to put tags into files for use with other players there is a library function called Update tags from library. This can be done at anytime.

A library only system means, less file changes so backups are much faster and also allows to have file integrity tests. It makes MC faster to use as well as it does not have to save to files at all..

The achilles heel in this setup is of course library corruption. I guess one needs to do this often & redundantly.
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Listener

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Q
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 10:59:12 am »

Another comparison table reference:

   http://age.hobba.nl/audio/tag_frame_reference.html

Another observation:

I have tried editing Genre tag values in MC 11 and substituting non-standard ones such as "Classical - Symphony", "Classical - Concerto" and "Broadway".  MC 11 seems to display these values and use them for browsing without problems.

Some questions:

Does MC 11 store the calculated Disc ID value that CDDB/FreeDB use in a tag?  (Or an equivalent identifier for YADB.)

Can MC 11 pick up and use a Disc ID value stored in a music file by another ripping or tagging program?

I exported the library to an XML file and checked the data for a CD I ripped with MC 11.  I didn't see anything that looked like a Disc ID.

Bill

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tessa

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 05:33:43 am »

I would also be interested in more detailed information about tags/library.  Just because I monkey with my music.....

I too have wrestled with how to tag classical music.  What I have done has largely been driven by the fact that I use an ipod, which exposes the artist, album, title, genre, and composer tags.  So, I've cleaned up the composer tags (normalize and remove composer from non-classical music). 

I have thought about having different genres: chamber, sonata, orchestral, and so on.  That would make it easier to go to on the ipod but I'm not sure if it gets me anything else, organization-wise. 

I've also thought about adding a new keyword called instrumentation since I tend to think along the lines of "I'd like to hear some bassoon music today".  This would be useful because I could create smartlists that I could then use on the pod.

So, I have wondered a little bit away from the orginal question but I would like to hear how some people deal with these sorts of things. 

One thing I would really like to see is the ability to have multiple instances of a tag in a song.  So, for Artist, I could have the band name, along with the vocalist.   Right now, I combine them 'The Seatbelts / Mai Yamane" so that it all gets sorted under the band name but it would be nice to be able to easily get to all of the Mai Yamane stuff.  I Can see, though, how this would be difficult to implement in an interface.

Thanks,
Tessa
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scthom

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 08:21:16 am »

One thing I would really like to see is the ability to have multiple instances of a tag in a song.  So, for Artist, I could have the band name, along with the vocalist.   Right now, I combine them 'The Seatbelts / Mai Yamane" so that it all gets sorted under the band name but it would be nice to be able to easily get to all of the Mai Yamane stuff.  I Can see, though, how this would be difficult to implement in an interface.

This gets brought up every so often.  Probably there is some info if you searched back far enough.

You need a list type tag.  I use "ARTISTS" so that the regular ARTIST field gets the primary artist, while ARTISTS gets a semi-colon separated list of the track artists.  So you would have

ARTIST = The Seatbelts
ARTISTS = The Seatbelts;Mai Yamane

Then you just add ARTISTS to your view schemes instead or in addition to ARTIST.

The downside is that ARTISTS is not a standard tag in that it doesn't map to an ID3 field (mp3).  You can still have it written to the files, but it will not necessarily be usable in other players besides MC.
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Listener

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 12:05:54 pm »

> You need a list type tag.  I use "ARTISTS" so that the regular ARTIST field
> gets the primary artist, while ARTISTS gets a semi-colon separated list
> of the track artists.  So you would have

> ARTIST = The Seatbelts
> ARTISTS = The Seatbelts;Mai Yamane

> Then you just add ARTISTS to your view schemes instead or in addition to ARTIST.

You gave me similar advice in an earlier thread when I inquiored about using Fl;ac tags.  So I tried putting two values separated by a semi-colon in a Performer tag.  It displays as a single item "Szell;Cleveland orchestra" in the file list and in the browser pane area. 

Just now I defined a new "Artists" field in the database and set the same "Szell;Cleveland orchestra" value for one file.  It displays as a single value in the filelist and in the panes area.

Can you provide more detail on your suggestion?  Should listing multiple values separated by a semicolon produce more than one item in the panes browser list for the Artists field?

Bill
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scthom

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2006, 11:12:21 pm »

You don't have the data type set right.  Go Tools->Options->Library->Artists->Edit.  Make sure the data type is "List (semicolon delimited)".  Then it will work.  You probably have a standard string type set now.  The default field "Artist" is set to string type, so you can't use it, you have to add your own field "Artists" (or whatever).
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Listener

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2006, 11:57:14 pm »

> You don't have the data type set right. 
> Go Tools->Options->Library->Artists->Edit. 
> Make sure the data type is "List (semicolon delimited)".  Then it will work.

Thanks.  That was exactly what I needed.  I changed the data type of the Artists field and saw each of the values in the semi-colon delimted list appear in the Panes browser list for Artists.

I had poked around not knowing what to look for and not finding this.

Bill
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scthom

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2006, 11:22:53 am »

No problem.  Too many options/features to understand them all well.
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DancingSamurai

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2006, 04:52:09 pm »

Is there any way to change the default artist field to a list? I imagine the answer is probably "no" and that there is a good reason for this... anyone care to enlighten me?

I'm asking because Windows Media Player had this functionality for their Artist field a few versions back (but it was really buggy, which is why I found MC in the first place).

Thanks!
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pstrg

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Re: How does MC 11 use tags?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2006, 07:20:22 pm »

How to deal with movements?

ID3v2 TALB (Album title) is of course intended for the album title, as an album may contain a number of works.

TIT2 is for Title ("Name" in MC jargon), that is, the name of the work.

The "right" tag to use for movements within a work should be TIT3 (Subtitle/Description refinement).

However, if one tries to create such a tag with MC11, it will in fact store information as an additional comment.
(I tried to name it "Subtitle", "TIT3" and "Subtitle/Description refinement" without success -- it always ended up as an additional comment).

This means that software that more closely complies with ID3v2.4 won't be able to see that data.

Quite a pity, because MC11 has by far the best editing capabilities of any music organizer but, because of that problem, it would oblige one to use it and only it.



my info MP3 tag Flac comment MC 11 displays as

type of work - TCON - Genre - Genre
work - TALB - Album - Album
combined artist - TPE1 - Artist - Artist
 (soloist first)
Band - TPE2 - Band - Band
conductor - TPE3 - Conductor - Conductor
soloist - DB only field - Performer - Performer
Composer - TCOM - Composer - Composer
song (track) title - TIT2 - Title - name

These uses follow the ID3v4 standard. I have a vague awareness of an alternate use of some tag (TPE2 I think) for album artist by Microsoft's players.

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