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Author Topic: Multiple values in Instrument and Orchestra  (Read 2227 times)

linuxuser200

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Multiple values in Instrument and Orchestra
« on: January 30, 2015, 05:05:22 am »

Hi,

I am a new MC user and have just started learning about MC features.

I have imported my library (90% classical) and discovered one major issue (for my use case): Instrument and Orchestra fields are treated as single value fields rather than lists. This is an issue for me because I am using these fields to store multiple values (multiple instruments are common in classical works while for the Orchestra field I am using it to also store the Chorus for choral works or operas). This limitation means that I cannot use MC for updating tags because of the risk that it will mess up the Instrument and Orchestra values (i.e. it will convert multiple values into a single value).

Would it be possible to allow the field's Data Type to be edited for built-in types? Or, if that cannot be changed, would it be possible to allow the built-in types to be deleted? I could then delete it and recreated a use-defined one, which, strangely enough, gives me more flexibility.

The odd thing here is that built-in types are meant to make it easier for users to import their library, however in this case it is making it much harder - I would have preferred to create these 2 types myself and configure them manually (which would only take a few seconds!) as opposed to re-tagging my library to use some other tag names that can be configured as lists.


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linuxuser200

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Re: Multiple values in Instrument and Orchestra
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2015, 04:10:44 am »

This isn't Linux specific so I should have posted it in the main (Windows) Media Center forum. Is it still possible to move it now?
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Arindelle

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Re: Multiple values in Instrument and Orchestra
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 05:56:42 am »

I find the best way to deal with multiple values for any field is to create a custom field which could be then used for tagging/retagging and display through your "views" (especially when using category type views; pane views split

This is realtively simple eg. for [Orchestra] you can create another field called [Orchestras] or whatever as long as it is different of course. I just posted on this thread how I do this => http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=93835.msg647207#msg647207

Use the newly created field in your views; but keep the original "orchestra" field intact. Changing or creating one will autopopulate the other and vice versa. There are a bunch a fields that are more or less universally recognized including Orchestra, Conductor, Instrument (not sure on that one but think so), some are remapped (renamed) but essentially they work with most players and ripping software.

Quote
This is an issue for me because I am using these fields to store multiple values (multiple instruments are common in classical works while for the Orchestra field I am using it to also store the Chorus for choral works or operas). This limitation means that I cannot use MC for updating tags because of the risk that it will mess up the Instrument and Orchestra values (i.e. it will convert multiple values into a single value).
I'm not sure I follow, but unless I missed something, you shouldn't be concerned if you are doing this correctly. JRiver (like many programs excluding iTunes  :P) uses a semi-colon as a separator. So if you have a chorus and orchestra in the orchestra field separated by ";" this won't be a problem. If you have done something like "London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House" you can use the find and replace tool to remove the & and replace it with a semi-colon. "London Symphony Orchestra; Chorus of the Royal Opera House" which will be separated in list form in the newly created field.

Always try bulk changes after backing up your library and insuring you have a recent backup of your physical media too. And try changes on small batches first; you can use CTRL+Z to undo.

Hope this helps :)
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linuxuser200

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Re: Multiple values in Instrument and Orchestra
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2015, 08:08:03 am »

Hi Arindelle,

Thank you for your response.

I have experimented with your suggestion posted in the other thread - while it is a great suggestion and it improves visualising and editing the fields that contain multiple values, my issue is different. I am most of all concerned with saving the fields correctly in the flac tags and ensuring that MC does not alter the structure of the tags.

While experimenting with this, I have come across a more fundamental problem that I will describe below (which I need to resolve first before going back to the original Instrument/Orchestra issue).

Here's an example:

Let's say I have a flac file that contains the following tags (among others):
Code: [Select]
title=Divertimento for flute, oboe & clarinet, Op. 37: III. Vivace
performer=James Galway - flute
performer=Gareth Hulse - oboe
performer=Antony Pay - clarinet

Note in the above example that there are 3 distinct "performer" tags in the flle.

in MC, I have created a custom field (Performer) configured as follows:
- Data Type: List (semicolon delimited)
- Relational: Not relational (store one value for each file)
- Edit Type: Standard
- Checked option "Save in file tags (when possible)"

When I import this file into MC, I get the Performer field filled in as follows:
Code: [Select]
Performer=James Galway - flute; Gareth Hulse - oboe; Antony Pay - clarinet

So far, so good. However, if I now make a change to some field (either one of the performers or some other field) and then select "Library Tools -> Update Tags from Library" in order to save my changes into the tags stored in the file, the resulting flac file will contain these tags:
Code: [Select]
title=Divertimento for flute, oboe & clarinet, Op. 37: III. Vivace
performer=James Galway - flute; Gareth Hulse - oboe; Antony Pay - clarinet

Note how the 3 distinct performer tags have now been converted into a single one containing the values separated by semicolons.

Interestingly, this does not seem to happen when the Artist field gets saved into its corresponding tag(s). It only seems to apply to custom fields. This is even though I have tried to configure my custom Performer field in the same way as the built-in Artist field.

It's important to me that when tags get written to file they are not merged but that they are written in the same way as they were read. How can I achieve this? Have I misconfigured something?

Thanks for your help.




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linuxuser200

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Re: Multiple values in Instrument and Orchestra
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 04:13:42 am »

Hello again...

No-one has any ideas about this problem? :-)

To summarise, these are the problems I have:

1. Custom fields configured as "List" (Data Type) do not behave correctly when they are written to the flac file's tags: instead of being written as multiple tags, they get written as a single tag with values separated by semicolons (see the example in my previous post). I am pretty sure this is a bug.
Note: Built-in fields that are also of type "List" work correctly. I have tested this with Artist and Conductor.

2.The Instrument and Orchestra built-in fields are configured (i.e. hard-coded) as "String", however for classical music in particular this restriction doesn't make sense (many works can have multiple instruments and in the Orchestra field one could also store the chorus associated with a choral piece). It would be really great if they could be changed to Lists.
There are 2 problems with they way they are configured at the moment:
  2.1 They are parsed as single values and therefore they will not be split as I would expect. Arindelle posted a useful link on how to create custom fields to get around this problem. However that  workaround does not fix the second issue below.
  2.2 When these fields are modified, they are written to the flac file's tags as single values, just like with custom fields described in issue 1. above. I really need them to be written back as separate tags, each containing a single value.
I have searched your forum and found at least 3 other instances where other people have requested that these fields be changed to Lists (going back 3-4 years). Is there a technical reason why this cannot be done?
Here are the previous threads:
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=74349.msg504396#msg504396
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=65897.msg441949#msg441949
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=60355.msg407484#msg407484


I use a UPnP server (MinimServer) that works really well with classical music. I normally listen to my music by streaming from this server. However, when I'm at my PC, I prefer MediaCenter, which is probably the best PC-based music player and organiser. I really like its flexibility and ease of use for organising and finding music. But I would also like to use it to fix tagging errors in my flac library. MinimServer expects data such as Instrument, Orchestra, Artist, etc, that may contain multiple values to be stored in separate tags (as I understand it from the MinimServer's developer, this is mandated by the UPnP standard) so currently I cannot use MC's tagging facility because of the issues above.

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