Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

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booblers
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Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by booblers » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:07 pm

Am I correct when I tell people that years later MM still doesn't support reading/writing custom/arbitrary id3 tags? I don't see it documented anywhere despite reading for years that it would come with mm4 and waiting patiently for this core feature.

Have I just missed it?

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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by nohitter151 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:11 pm

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booblers
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by booblers » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:50 pm

Priority? none.
Severity? minor.
Submitted? 2009.
(Though it was needed long before).
Cool.

I really hoped I was wrong. I didn't want to have to write a big long post about why I think MM4 is a major disappointment. For one thing it's obvious that the developers won't care - they've already made the indefensible decision to focus on video and the die is cast. Why bother commenting on it? Mostly so that when people ask why I no longer recommend MM and am actively looking for another solution and while I will start contributing to open source alternatives I will have a well-reasoned argument that I won't have to retype (I'll save it just in case this gets deleted).
--

Why MM4 was a big mistake according to booblers:

A little about me: I am a power user. I collect media and enjoy exploring my collection in a variety of ways. Like every single one of my friends I switched to MM years back because it was the only setup that supported large libraries along with a scripting capability. I use MM daily and would have preferred to continue using MM. I was willing to purchase an MM4 upgrade that was focused on audio and that addressed longstanding issues with MM3. I collect both audio and video. I have 3 networked raid5 arrays each with 8 2TB drives. That's around 42T of effective storage. My last array is 80% full. My MM library is well over 1M tracks and it doesn't even manage my speech/lecture collection. While my music collection is large it takes up only a fraction of my storage the rest of which is devoted to video. In other words: I collect, curate, and consume enormous amounts of both audio and video.

I will never use MM for video. Nor should anyone else. This is obviously not because I don't like video nor is it because I have something against MM. As I said I purchased a copy years ago and I use it daily. Audio and video are *fundamentally* different. It is not just a question of eyes&ears vs ears and also size. They are consumed in radically different ways and in radically different environments. They are talked about, hyped, discovered, investigated, and shared in fundamentally different ways. MM3 was a good start as a killer app for audio. However 4 years later there are still glaring problems that should have been corrected long ago and MM hasn't kept up with important advances in media player features. I'm convinced this is because they are focused on video. I can imagine a tiny - and I mean minuscule - portion of the population of MM users might benefit from the video support in MM4. These people would be people with somewhat large and incredibly unorganized collections of video who have not stumbled on the (free!) software options that do everything MM4 does well with video along with about a thousand other things that MM4 doesn't do. I don't want to talk about other software lest I be accused of promoting something. Instead I will point out a few of the ways the types of media are different and why MM4 should have been focused on audio.

When was the last time you watched a movie more than a few times? A TV episode more than, say, 5 times? When was the last time you wanted to create a list of those shows and movies and video clips based on their metadata? I mean things like how these videos made you feel, their texture, their aesthetic? When did you mix and match them and line them all up and watch them in a new and interesting order to create something artful? When was the last time you wanted to share these new arrangements with other people? Do you often find new and obscure video that you had never heard of before (I don't mean shit that is trending on youtube like socks the kitten with its hair on fire or whatever)? I would suggest that there is a tiny, tiny segment of the population that does these things and they are all in the field of professional video production (or want to be). There are powerful tools that do these things far better than MM4 ever will that professionals use. There might be one other exception for some of you: porn - there are better (and free!) options there as well - many of the arguments I make won't apply to porn but you will still take the point and if you wan't to get into the porn discussion I will be happy to have it but you probably won't want to...

But you take my broad point? Generally speaking people consume video once or a very few times. The consumption is typically static - not a whole lot else is going on at the same time. It's usually an extended event that isn't typically repeated. So, for instance, if you want to watch the latest episodes of your favorite shows you might make a playlist but you will almost never save that playlist to watch those shows again in the same order or etc. The order was arbitrary and unartful and disconnected. You might watch multiple episodes of the same show in a row but that is a trivial task that is easily replicated.

You discover video in vastly different ways as well. Why? Why isn't an auto-dj necessary for video? Why aren't scrapers that check various charts for video all that helpful? Because the quantity of high-quality video is so incredibly low. Remember: this is from the guy with well over 30T of video. An exercise: goto any movie chart website - rottentomatoes - your favorite critic, whatever. Check out their year end list of "top X" - top movies, top tv shows, tv episodes, whatever. How many are there? On the order of 10? Maybe 15-20 at the outside? Check out metacritic - how many new tv shows this year have a rating above 80? I didn't check but I don't have to - it's less than 20. Movies? A similar number. Now think about music - think just about albums. Top 50 lists? Top 100 lists? Check the same metacritic numbers. Now remember that those albums are made up of 10-15 unique tracks and unlike most tv episodes these tracks can vary wildly in terms of their aesthetic and qualities. The meta-data things I was talking about above. We're in a grey area here where someone might be tempted to make an argument like "well X episode of 30 rock made me feel Y and the other episode made me feel something else" - fine - but not nearly on the scale that audio/music does. The point is that the discovery of music and its qualities is much more complicated and interesting and difficult because there is *way more of it* in terms of individual units. Way more *worth* discovering (and again, I love video too). How many video files are you a rabid fan of? How many audio files?

But remember - it's not just that there is more of it - you also don't mix and match the videos. When you bring combinations into the mix you have way, way more information to deal with. Can you think of a non-trade website (ie that is not closed to the public) that is devoted to the metadata of aesthetics of video? Take a look at allmusic guide or rovi's music findr for instance. Do you know of any site that goes beyond identification metadata for video and spends significant effort breaking down its attributes into things like how they make you feel, when to watch them, with who and so forth? A very few of the finest films might get such treatment from discerning critics but no one devotes websites to this information because people do not watch video BASED on this information. The most complicated this information gets for video is a genre and perhaps a sub genre.

When was the last time you downloaded a 720p video file that was in the 7gb range in terms of size without knowing what it was? When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised by the outcome and decided to try to figure OUT what it is by using a media fingerprint to follow up and learn more (the porn exception in still in place here)? I would submit that this has likely NEVER happened to you. If you are in the .0000000001% of people to whom this has happened then it was probably very easy to figure out what the video was since video typically has plots that can be articulated, searched for, etc. Goodluck trying to do this with audio files.

The point is this: for 99.99% of even mediamonkey users (which is to say: power users) you do not need any of the power that MM brings to the table. If you happen not to have any of the tools I allude to above and you are also incredibly disorganized with the few video files that you likely have then maybe there is some small benefit to you from MM4 - but you would have been better off with another solution. You should probably just use a decent directory structure and VLC.

All of these interesting and complicated things that you *don't* do with video you most likely *are* doing with audio. If you aren't you probably *should* be - I don't mean this in a snobbish way - I just mean that you would find that your life would be significantly enriched by the process. Not so with the same exercises with respect to video.

Some of the very basic things that a person with even a small to medium size audio collection might want in a media player are still missing while they add absurd, useless, already out-dated video features to MM. That you still can't store an audio fingerprint in a custom tag is ridiculous. That you can't utilize the vast amount of metadata outside of 5 custom tags is RIDICULOUS. That you can't update online profiles with ratings easily is RIDICULOUS (things like RateYourMusic - the only event you can fire on progmatically is when any audio file is changed at all - oh that's fun to try to keep a ratings library up to date with RYM or any other music discovery service).

Speaking of which: why aren't music discovery services more tightly integrated? Why aren't metadata services more tightly integrated? That a rinky-dink audio manager like Tomahawk does a better job of integrating local libraries with social media and music discovery is a travesty. I generally hate "social media" - I despise twitter and long ago closed my facebook account. But why doesn't MM have an integrated system for "discovering" and "resolving" music? See tomahawk for examples of the types of cool features that MM developers SHOULD be working on instead of video.

Now I know what's going to happen here. Some clever guy is going to come along and say that basically anything I want to do in MM is doable with scripts. I can replicate what Tomahawk does - I can kludge my way through custom id3 tags by keeping my own sql tables and so forth. Sure - I can do these things. I *have* done these things. I've written scripts that integrate very powerful music discovery software with ratings systems and MM and audio fingerprinting. You don't get a collection above 1M tracks WITHOUT doing these things. But it's all one big giant kludge. Multiple software packages open doing what should all be done in MM elegantly.

There are lots of problems with MM audio and lots of features that I could spew on about that would be great - things that would make this a top shelf music manager. But why bother - tell me: why bother? Years later you STILL CANT EVEN ADD CUSTOM TAGS TO AN MP3 WITHOUT DOING IT YOURSELF IN A NON-STATIC WAY THAT WILL NOT BE SAVED TO THE ACTUAL FILES.

What a joke.

Lowlander
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Lowlander » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:11 pm

Duplicate post removed, language cleaned up: http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... =1&t=40381

I find it strange that everybody seems to think that their request have to be in the program and those of others shouldn't. Video support had many more requests than custom tags and many argued it was pointless to have an audio only program instead of an actual media (audio/video) program. I personally would have voted for custom tags over video support (if one had to make a choice), but am happy in the end that video support did get added. There are so many requests out there and many are much older than the custom tags request. I have a list of features for many years that I would have liked to have seen implemented, but it just doesn't work like that. The developers have to way many factors among which difficulty (custom tags would probably require major work on DB design), amount of users benefiting from it, amount of users that it would impact negatively (many features will make MM more complex to use), and for tagging how to fit it in the standards supported by the different file formats.

MediaMonkey is an in the middle software. It is more powerful than your run of the mill media programs like WMP and iTunes, but lacks focus to be an all powerful program. Then again very few users are actually requesting these ultimate customizable options (which I wished were available in MM).
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

nohitter151
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by nohitter151 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:20 pm

TL:DR - "I am whining because they didn't implement this one feature that I want, which is clearly more important than all the other features that lots of other people wanted and were implemented."
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booblers
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by booblers » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:31 pm

Lowlander: Could you then move this into the Wishlist forum? I don't need "help" and I suspect this post won't be read in this thread.

As for your comments: I haven't been whining in the forums for requests. I noted that everyone said it was coming in MM4 and waited patiently (years). I waited another what? 3 months after mm4 came out before asking if I had just missed the feature?

Video support might have had more requests but I think I make a pretty compelling case for why the focus should be on audio and not video. I see that you don't argue with it. If you're saying my post should have been addressed to the community long ago well then maybe I'm late but it *is* addressed to the community. That's why I phrase everything in terms of "think about how you do X" - "when did you last do Y?" etc. It's an argument for a change in focus along with an expression of frustration. I may have boiled over there but I believe I did so while offering constructive criticism. I suspect it will be ignored (especially if you keep it in this forum) - but such is life.

That there are many other older requests for core features with respect to audio just proves my major point. That nearly every other audio manager in the world allows for custom tags should indicate that it should be considered a core feature. If that isn't a good enough reason I offered more above. That it might be "hard" isn't a great counter-argument (it isn't, in principle, difficult btw - it's another keyed linked table with data that gets written to the file and is returned either with songdata or as another call). I don't believe it's an "ultimate customizable" option if it's available in pretty much every up-to-date media manager with the exception of iTunes.

Anyway - you don't seem to disagree which is both good and bad. I understand you to be an active and vocal member here. You seem to have been ignored as well. I guess you're just more ok with the new focus on video than I am. I guess you're more ok with mediamonkey doing 2 things in a mediocre way rather than doing 1 thing very, very well.

de gustibus


nohitter: would you care to respond to the detailed argument about why the focus on video doesn't make sense? Or is being a forum troll more your style?

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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Onweerwolf » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:34 pm

I completely agree with your point of view.

It's fine that MM can now play vids as it doesn't intrude when you only play audio so I can just leave it for what it is.

But I certainly think that the time that has been spent into developing video should have gone into making the audio part better.

When MM 3 came out it was far ahead of the competition. With MM4 not so much anymore. If it were not for the scripability and the many add-ons that people have written it might even be behind.

And it's true that devs rarely respond to wishes. None of the things I've suggested in the past few years have been implemented. Almost none of the things that other users have suggested that i've vocally supported haven been implemented either.

Yes, the internal structure of the software has been improved, which is important but as for new usability that concerns audio only we now have:

- Tabs
- Collections
- Summary column

Tabs seemed nice but I don't actually use it much though that might be personal.
I like collections, even more so if they're going to be better customizable in the future.
I love the summary column.

But that's really it.

Still no extra custom tags
Still no master playlists that contain all songs from it's nested playlists
No way to sort by static playlist
No auto DJ improvement
Still no possibility to autosave 'send to device' playlists to the sync profile of said device
Not even a timer
Still the out of date GUI

So yeah, there has been some improvement, but all in all not as much as I had hoped for.

And one does wonder what that means for the future. Do I keep on waiting or look for an alternative?
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Onweerwolf
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Onweerwolf » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:39 pm

nohitter151 wrote:TL:DR - "I am whining because they didn't implement this one feature that I want, which is clearly more important than all the other features that lots of other people wanted and were implemented."
Wow,

Nohitter, i will not deny that you have been very helpful and resourceful in the past. To myself as well as to others but I also think you display an extremely arrogant behavior towards people that you disagree with or just don't understand. The above quote is really uncalled for.

You are a moderator and this kind of behavior really doesn't suit the function you have here.
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Lowlander
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Lowlander » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:40 pm

booblers wrote: I did so while offering constructive criticism
Cursing isn't constructive criticism.
booblers wrote:Video support might have had more requests but I think I make a pretty compelling case for why the focus should be on audio and not video.
In the end the ability to attract users is a compelling reason. And many more people had issue (thus might not adopt/leave MediaMonkey) with lack of video support than with lack of custom tag support (as there are 5 custom tags to work with).
Onweerwolf wrote:Still no master playlists that contain all songs from it's nested playlists
There are plenty of people who oppose this and you can already achieve this, but will have to define the playlists it inherits.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

Onweerwolf
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Onweerwolf » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:47 pm

Lowlander wrote:
Onweerwolf wrote:Still no master playlists that contain all songs from it's nested playlists
There are plenty of people who oppose this and you can already achieve this, but will have to define the playlists it inherits.
How can people oppose this?? :-?

And no you cannot achieve this. When you add a new playlist as a nested playlist to another parent playlist it is IMPOSSIBLE to have the parent playlist (or any other kind of playlist) contain the tracks from that new playlist.

The only thing you can do is make a new smart playlist after the new playlist has been added to reference the new playlist which means the level of automation is zero.
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Lowlander
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Lowlander » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:51 pm

You can do it, but it isn't automatic. I oppose it as my parent playlists aren't meant to inherit tracks from child playlists in all scenarios. In those scenarios that is needed I manually set it up to do so. In some programs nesting is an inheritance setting whereas other like MediaMonkey it is an organizational method.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

booblers
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by booblers » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:54 pm

I don't dispute that the 3 curse words in the post were not part of the constructive criticism. I didn't know it wasn't allowed or I probably would have skipped them. Now I know. As I said the post is an expression of frustration along with constructive criticism.

I still don't think you and I disagree. Sure if people said they wanted video support in the software it makes sense for the developers to look into adding it. Do I think it should have been done after audio was closer to where it should be? Yes. But, again, you will note that I'm making a case to USERS too that MM4 shouldn't be used for video. The features of MM are *not* the features one needs when dealing with video.

Maybe I'm putting words in your mouth but you seem to be saying "too late - this is what users wanted."

Fine. I'm saying: they shouldn't want it - and I attempt to convince them and anyone else who might read the post.

I can get far more detailed and point to particular solutions that are far better but I assumed that would be taken by people like nohitter as some kind of ploy. There's a certain group of people who seem to think that no matter what the devs do it's the correct course of action to be defended at all costs.- Anyone who disagrees is working for someone else or just "whiny." Really what I want is efficiency. That's all anyone should want from software.

I tried pretty hard to explain why adding video doesn't add to overall efficiency. I gather nohitter disagrees but doesn't want to actually make an argument.

"tl;dr" is a classic troll phrase - it's pretty cool when moderators troll...

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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Onweerwolf » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:55 pm

Lowlander wrote:You can do it, but it isn't automatic.
Exactly as I said, which means the function is still not implemented.
I oppose it as my parent playlists aren't meant to inherit tracks from child playlists in all scenarios. In those scenarios that is needed I manually set it up to do so. In some programs nesting is an inheritance setting whereas other like MediaMonkey it is an organizational method.
So? Then people like you just turn of the functionality. I don't see the problem here.
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Lowlander
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Lowlander » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:02 pm

I don't think you will convince the all those users that were requesting and ranting about video support that it shouldn't have been added. You won't even convince me, someone who didn't really need video support before MediaMonkey 4. Now thanks to DLNA it is essential for me. After the fact video support rates higher than custom tagging for me. In the end there is a long list of things which I would like to see (Auto-DJ improvements like Onweerwolf being one of them) of which some have been a really long time on my wishlist. I think video support was a smart move on part of the developers as a significant part of the userbase/prospective users was lamenting the lack of it.
Onweerwolf wrote:So? Then people like you just turn of the functionality. I don't see the problem here.
So? Then people like you just turn on the functionality. I don't see the problem here. Either way somebody needs to do something, so the status quo may be better than changing it.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

Onweerwolf
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Re: Still no custom/arbitrary id3 tags?

Post by Onweerwolf » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:06 pm

Lowlander wrote:Either way somebody needs to do something, so the status quo may be better than changing it.
No.

Pro users need to put in a ridiculous amount of time to make it happen manually while contra users would have to turn off one simple setting. It's not even comparable.
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