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Author Topic: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac  (Read 6293 times)

couchjr

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A friend has tagged some test classical multichannel dsf files in MC 19 Windows, including two custom-defined tag fields. If I import an album of those files from an NTSF-formatted portable HD (I have the Paragon NTFS driver installed) into MC 19 Mac (without copying the files onto the internal HFS+ hard drive), so that MC is reading them from the portable HD, I see the custom fields but there's no data in them. I also do not see the cover art thumbnail, which is present when the file set is viewed on his Windows machine.

If I copy the files to my HFS+ internal drive, I get similar results but in addition I don't see the custom fields/columns at all on MC Mac. If I then copy the files back to the portable drive and he imports them into his Windows MC (after first deleting any old copies), his custom fields and the cover art field are empty. So with no operation performed on the files other than copying the file to the Mac internal drive and back to the NTFS portable drive, tag data seems to be lost.

At first I thought the problem might be incompatibility between the Mac/Win versions of MC, and that may still be true as in paragraph one above, but paragraph two makes me wonder whether there might also be some problem with the file format itself as well.

My goal is to be able to extract (on my Mac) stereo dsf files from the iso files for these albums (I've done that successfully and they play gloriously when pulled from directly attached storage by my Oppo 105) and then apply my friend's expert tagging by the "re-ripping" or (as I call it) the "file swapping" method (tag pasting isn't working for me, and would be too tedious to do individual tracks for a large number of albums anyway) so that eventually I can play them from a Mac server via MC and have decent search across the several thousand album collection. All the operations (extracting stereo dff from iso, converting to dsf via AudioGate, copying tags via "file swapping" and updating tags from/to the library) seem to work pretty much as expected on the Mac except for this problem with some metadata apparently not being accurately preserved. I should say that my friend's tagging in a few fields overwrites values (ID3?) that may have come with the original iso. So for instance, rather than the "Classical" value for "genre,' he has "vocal," "choral," "orchestral," "chamber," etc. When I read his files from the portable hard drive, these values are retained, and only the custom tag fields are empty.

If anyone has any experience round-tripping tagged DSD files from Windows to Mac or any troubleshooting hints to resolve this issue, I'd be grateful. I'm quite new to MC and computer audio in general, so I may have missed something obvious. But these days I expect proprietary application files or de facto-standard-format files to transmit across platforms without problems, so I trust there's a fix or fixes. Thanks in advance for your help!    
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Matt

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 03:42:58 pm »

Welcome.

You'll have to create the same custom fields on both sides if you want to be able to exchange data using them.

This is because a file tag doesn't contain all the information needed to create a field if it isn't in the library (and it's not clear that'd be good anyway since it means importing a strange file could create a bunch of fields you might not want).
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

couchjr

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 10:58:36 pm »

Matt, thanks for the welcome and the response. Taking things a step at a time. Having once imported the multichannel files with the custom fields into my Mac MC (and having deleted them from the library) I now see that those fields are appearing in the tag list viewer (at lower left). Is that what you mean by "creating the tags" on that side? Do I assume the Mac MC library now knows about those fields forever? When I re-import a custom-tagged multichannel file the custom field values are still empty. Is it possible that when I earlier imported the multichannel file, and MC didn't recognize all the fields, it would have discarded the values from the unrecognized fields in the original multichannel file itself? (Surely not?) Is there a way to "create a tag field" without a file selected so that the library will be ready to receive a custom-tagged file? If so please point me to it.

I've also experienced MC reporting other "failures" on some but not all tracks when doing the "re-rip" swap and tag update. The stereo versions start without the two custom fields, so there are fewer fields. On some tracks data from two fields seems to have been merged into one (in fields unrelated to the custom ones), and in others not. Are you saying that I have to predefine the custom fields on the stereo files *before* I can "re-rip" and swap them out for the multichannel ones and update tags to pull the tags accurately from the multichannel ones in the library? If so, can I do this in batches and simply add the two custom fields to, say, 50 albums worth of files at a time without populating them with values, then delete them from the library, and then the "re-rip" and update method (importing the multichannel files, deleting them from library, replacing them with the stereo files in the original directory, and updating tags both directions) should work correctly?

If I import both the multichannel dsf and the stereo dsf of the same album into the library (I'm only using the one main library so far), they get combined so that I see duplicate tracks listed under the same album heading, so clearly I can't allow two versions of the same album in the same library.

I looked at the spec for dsf and it allows frames for ID3v2 tags and your notes say MC Mac is at ID3v2.4, which I see allows user-defined tag fields, but doesn't talk about user overwriting of producer-supplied values. Are we confident that if I've overwritten the producer-supplied value for a tag field in the original multichannel file, and then  do the "re-rip" swap for the stereo version, and *if the field labels are equal in number and identical in spelling* in both files, that the multichannel values first entered in the library will always overwrite any producer-supplied values that were in the stereo files? In my tests it seems to happen most of the time but not in all fields, but that may be because of the discrepancy in numbers of fields between the two versions in my initial tests.

Finally (thanks for your patience), I'm concerned that my MC library database is now quite confused (as I may be). Is there a command to wipe it out so I can be confident that, following the instructions you are kind enough to be providing, I'm starting from a clean state? If I have to import the stereo files to add the two custom fields, I'd want to erase any of their producer-supplied values from the MC library prior to starting the "re-rip" swap process. I want the tags from the multichannel versions to be what MC remembers so it can update the stereo versions with those values.

Many, many thanks.    
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Matt

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 10:42:40 am »

Let's say you add a new field to your library called 'Favorite Color' in Options > Library > Manager Library Fields...

You can then set a value for 'Favorite Color' for any files in MC.

When you do this, MC will write something like "Favorite Color = Red" into the tag of the file (assuming you told it to save this field in the tags when you created it).

When you take these files to a different copy of MC, it will not read the new 'Favorite Color' tag unless you also create a 'Favorite Color' library field on that machine.

In other words, you must create the 'Favorite Color' field in both copies of MC, using Options > Library > Manage Library Fields...

Does that help?
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

couchjr

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 10:50:47 pm »

Thanks, Matt. Yes, it does help. If I understand you:

1. I only need to create the field using Options > Library > Manage Library Fields on each platform and values should populate correctly when importing a file created on one into the other.

2. I shouldn't need to create the fields for each individual album file set, once the Library knows about all the relevant fields, even if I'm transferring metadata from a file with more fields to one with fewer using the "re-rip" image swap/tag update method.

So I've opened Options > Library > Manage Library Fields now on my MC Mac, and both the custom fields ("Composition" and "Source of file") appear in the list when I have "Show all fields" selected. Just to be safe, I've deleted them and re-created them using the "Add New Field" button as you instruct.

To test, I've just imported a tagged multichannel dsf album file set (that I have not touched before) directly from the portable hard drive. All the tag values, including those that overwrite producer-supplied values, appear to have come through correctly *except* the values for the two custom fields. The fields appear but the values are all blank. It looks like they didn't "stick." When I can reach my friend who tagged the files in Win MC, I'll confirm which settings he used for those two fields to make sure they match; it's remotely possible he neglected to check "Save in file tags" for those custom fields.

UPDATE: Indeed my tagger friend had not checked the "Save in file tags" for the two custom fields, so that explains that. He's going to re-tag those fields and resave the relevant multichannel files; presumably all should be well for this step when I import them. If so, I'll move on to test the "re-rip" metadata transfer to the stereo versions. It's increasingly looking like the scrambled metadata I saw before was the result of JRiver trying to fit more fields into fewer and naturally the data didn't populate cleanly. It would be good to confirm that and rule out NTFS vs. HFS+ file system issues.

Thanks again for your patience.





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couchjr

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 10:30:01 am »

Just a follow-up to close out this thread.

When the person tagging the files on the Windows side checked the "Save in file tags where possible" box AND invoked the "Update tags from library" command after tagging each album's worth of files, all the metadata came through perfectly on the Mac side when using the "file swap" or "re-rip" method of replacing the old files with the new ones in the old folder and updating in both directions.  Many thanks!

It took us all some time to realize that checking the "Save in file tags where possible" toggle does not mean that the tags are written into the files when created. This is a little ambiguous in the interface/documentation that I've seen. The "save" or "submit" action is done via the "Update tags from library command," which must always be run in order to write tags into the media files. Apparently the checkbox when creating/editing the tag field properties merely takes the safety off--you still have to pull the trigger in a separate step.

Many thanks to Matt and everyone for help learning and solving this. We now are looking at ways to batch these retaggings from multichannel to stereo dsf files, where the multichannel files are tagged in MC 19 for Windows and the stereo files (extracted from the same iso files, so with matching file names but different paths) need to have those tags brought over on the Mac side. I'll start a new thread for this.
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Matt

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 10:36:33 am »

It took us all some time to realize that checking the "Save in file tags where possible" toggle does not mean that the tags are written into the files when created. This is a little ambiguous in the interface/documentation that I've seen. The "save" or "submit" action is done via the "Update tags from library command," which must always be run in order to write tags into the media files. Apparently the checkbox when creating/editing the tag field properties merely takes the safety off--you still have to pull the trigger in a separate step.

By default, any changes you make in the library will automatically be written to the tags in a background thread.

The only requirement is that you didn't turn off Options > General > Update tags when file info changes.
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Matt Ashland, JRiver Media Center

couchjr

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 11:35:51 am »

Thanks for that info, Matt. I think we had turned that off out of an abundance of caution, as the instructions for the tag transfer directed for auto-update/auto-import. It made us nervous with these complicated classical tags that something might change without our knowing. I'll pass this along.
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mstan

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 03:44:24 pm »

By default, any changes you make in the library will automatically be written to the tags in a background thread.

The only requirement is that you didn't turn off Options > General > Update tags when file info changes.
But if the user creates custom fields, "update file tags" is unchecked by default, I think.
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MrC

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 03:57:22 pm »

That's correct - Save in file tags (when possible) is off by default for new user fields.
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couchjr

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Re: Files tagged in MC 19 for Windows lose custom tag values in MC 19 for Mac
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 09:41:45 pm »

By the way, in case this helps someone else: I forgot to mention that we tracked down a few mysterious failures of the "Update tags from Library" operation to the fact that, based on discussions on Computer Audiophile about "ticks" in some directly extracted DSF files using SACD_extract, I had extracted the stereo files from the ISOs first as DFF files and converted them to DSF using AudioGate. I hadn't noticed that AudioGate strips commas out of track filenames when it uploads a file (perhaps to enable uploading CSV groups of files?). Several of our test tracks were Bach choral works and Dowland songs which had commas in the names. The MC Libary filename tag came from a multichannel DSF which had been directly extracted and not converted via AudioGate, so it retained the commas. Naturally when I tried updating the file tags of the stereo files from the multichannel files, MC couldn't match the filenames due to the missing commas, so the updates failed. It took a while to spot this. So if you convert using AudioGate, watch out for commas, and restore them manually before you update the tags!
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