Genre is a real pain!( In general, not because of MM )

Discussion about anything that might be of interest to MediaMonkey users.

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sadao
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Post by sadao » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:23 pm

Lowlander wrote:I generally use the super genre in the genre names. Like hard rock, classic rock, punk rock, rock rock & roll. And even Rock en Español and Dutch Rock. This way if I search for rock all variants are displayed. Also the same goes for when I look for Dutch music. As I also have Dutch Pop, etc.

This looks estatically a little better I guess.

There have been requests to be able to use super genre's with sub genre's.
The really nice thing about it is that it's easily parseable. You can do an explode on the ' - ' or specify the first three characters.

Lowlander
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Post by Lowlander » Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:35 pm

Certainly, your method has many benefits (sorting and MagicNodes), but for me that is less important.

Even my setup no longer is needed. I used to use the criteria rock in the autoplaylist to get all rock music. Currently you can just manually select the genre's you want to use.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

Guest

Post by Guest » Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:31 pm

i make it simple

if it is rock i call it rock

country is country

it does not matter if it is rock from england or were ever it is still rock.

and country has bluegrass in also. so it is just listed as country

i go by the names of the singers. more then the genre's only one i use for genre all the time is christmas which was not one listed i had to write that one on the main list.

but now i too have started to use the genres more as i am making playlists for each one big band, christmas, classical, rock, country, instrumental, humor, comedy, concerts, meditation, new age, bluegrass,kids, those are the ones i use mostly,
so it is easier to make playlists based on those then just the singers.

as most the singers i have do songs in almost all those genres.

tfelice

Post by tfelice » Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:21 am

Personally, I am real anal about genres. When I first cataloged all my music files and then looked at them I had thousands of Rock, Pop and Country. So I started to break them down into more exact genres so I can build nice playlists and burn CD's from it. Since I have such a wide variety of music this really is neccessary for me.

I use allmusic for research and pretty much do everything manually. So I have very distinct genres and even separate the Progressive Bluegrass from the Contemporary Bluegrass (yes there is a difference).

What I also am in the process of doing is making larger "style" playlists that are all encompassing. For example the "Country" playlist includes all things that are country from "Honky Tonk" to "Nashville Sound" to "Country Pop".

With the new MM version I may try using the Custom fields to add super-genres that will help further classify the music. For example I have quite a bit of "Americana" music which is a sub-genre of "Alternative Country" which is a sub-genre of "Country". I may attempt to set up a custom field for the top level genre and then another for the sub-genre and use the genre field for the exact sub-genre that the music is.

tomtommorrow

Genre

Post by tomtommorrow » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:44 pm

With the vast diversity of music available today, pinpointing the exact genre for a particular artist can be very difficult. Depending in the year you were born, one artist can have two very different genres.

If you were born in the 50's or 60's then AC/DC may not be "Classic Rock" even though all classic rock stations play AC/DC. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc. may be your defintion of classic rock.

What about artists such as Seal, Dido, and Norah Jones? Would these be classified "Soft Rock", "Top 40", and "Jazz" respectively or would you put them all under "Pop"?

Whatever the case I think the best way to use genre is classify artists as you see them, with an emphasis on simplicity. If you use too many sub-genres you risk the problem of remembering what "Classic Rock-Bluesy-Southern Rock" meant when you first catergorized your music. If you want to create a playlist that includes The Allman Brothers you probably won't have too much trouble finding it under Classic Rock or whatever you think The Allman Brothers are.

As for naming conventions, I find using the ~ character as a seperator is nearly flawless. Many songs, artits, albums, etc. use the - character (especially classical) which will reak havoc with your naming conventions. I use EAC and it allows the ~ character to be used. I am sure if you rip in MM it will allow this as well. Unless you listen to lots of Latin music I doubt you will ever have a problem with the ~ character. Here is my naming convention- %D\%C\%T~%N~%A~%C~%I.

One last reccomendation I can whole heartly give is anything Brittney Spears or Back Door Boys you can easily caterogize as "crap".

Risser
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Post by Risser » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:06 am

I've been kicking around the genre question for a long time. I haven't come up with a solution, but here are some observations:
- What I'd like to do is use the Genre field to match the "core genre": Rock, Pop, Soul, Reggae, Jazz, Easy Listening, Avantgarde, etc. Then, I'd like to use one of the custom fields to put in the "extended genres" presented by AllMusic. But I haven't done this, as I don't see the payoff matching the effort.
- One thing I worry about is that some artists switch genres mid-album. Take maybe John Mellencamp, moving from traditional rock & roll to backbeat-pop to a folk tune. Or between albums, like, say, Beck. So, using AllMusic to grab and paste a set of genres seems... somehow risky to me.
- I put Christmas in Occasion. (Also Halloween.) This is because I have some Rock and some Easy Listening Christmas tunes, and I need to know the difference.
- I find that I tend to want to listen to tunes in clumps. Generally, these are by time period & genre. For example, 80s pop music. 60s rock. 50s & 60s Rock & Roll. 70s pop. Modern rap & pop. 50s & 60s Easy Listening. So, I think year and core genre will be enough.
- What genre is They Might Be Giants? Too rocky for Pop. To poppy for Rock. Pop-Rocks?
- Rock and Pop are not the same, nor is one a subset of the other. Pop has a Cole Porter/Brill Building aesthetic (Dandelion by the Stones), and Rock has a more Blues/Beat aesthetic (Honkey Tonk Woman by the Stones). They are two different types of music, with two different goals in mind. Sometimes, like all genres, you can have a song that contains elements of both (Start Me Up by the Stones?), but in general, they are not the same.

Anyway, this is just me verbalizing some thoughts I've had on genre while I'm kicking around how to handle it for myself.

Peter

Risser
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Re: Genre

Post by Risser » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:28 am

tomtommorrow wrote: If you were born in the 50's or 60's then AC/DC may not be "Classic Rock" even though all classic rock stations play AC/DC. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc. may be your defintion of classic rock.

What about artists such as Seal, Dido, and Norah Jones? Would these be classified "Soft Rock", "Top 40", and "Jazz" respectively or would you put them all under "Pop"?
See, for AC/DC, I would go with 70s Rock. Yeah, that gets lumped with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Yes, King Crimson, Allman Brothers, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Van Halen I & II, April Wine, Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, Queen, T. Rex, Black Sabbath, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Foreigner, Bad Company, etc.etc.etc. But, is that bad? If you need to slice and dice it farther, you're either listening to specific artists that you already know you want to listen to, or you can pick them out manually.

I will say, I do have a need to differentiate between 60s Rock (Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Stones, Doors) and garage rock (Shadows of Knight, 13th Floor Elevators, Easybeats, Standells, Captain Beefheart), but I do this with a 'tag' in one of the custom fields.

But, I guess there's an example. If you wanted Classic Rock, you should pull Rock from 1967 to 197...5? 7? Whatever. I can't think of any rock from that era that *wasn't* classic rock. Maybe we're thinking "radio rock", but then that's not really genre, that's... circumstance. I dunno.

I once had a debate about Van Morrison being "classic rock", because, no matter how you slice it, even though Moondance is a great song, it's not *rock*. It's a pop song. It's much more comfortable next to Fire by the Pointer Sisters or Piano Man than Highway to Hell or Purple Haze. I think anyways.

As for Seal and Dido, I don't know enough about them, but I'd probably drop them into Pop. And Norah Jones I see as a continuation of the jazz vocal tradition, a la Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Helen Merrill, etc. For that, I use Vocals, although if you wanted to be strict, you could go with "Jazz".

Jazz is funny though, because I see more of a reason to cut Jazz into pieces. I mean, Albert Ayler is way different than Kenny G is way different than Charlie Parker is way different than Bix Biederbecke or Glenn Miller is way different than Miles Davis is way different than Cab Calloway is way different than George Gershwin.

Anyway, I'm just throwing stuff out, because it's a tough concept, this genre thing, and I think best when I talk things through.

Thanks,
Peter

Bluzz
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Choosing genre

Post by Bluzz » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:17 am

pah68 wrote:When I'm not sure, I'll use CD Universe (Provided as one of the MM options) to look up genre, and the classification is buy album not artist. I agree with 95% of the genre classifications.
Could you explain how I can use CD Universe from MM please. I have tried to find it as an option, but cannot do so.

Cheers

pah68
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Post by pah68 » Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:31 am

Right click any track
Get Info/Buy > CD Universe

It'll load CD Universe into your browser with the artist you selected

sadao
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Re: Genre

Post by sadao » Tue Apr 19, 2005 9:12 am

tomtommorrow wrote: Whatever the case I think the best way to use genre is classify artists as you see them, with an emphasis on simplicity. If you use too many sub-genres you risk the problem of remembering what "Classic Rock-Bluesy-Southern Rock" meant when you first catergorized your music. If you want to create a playlist that includes The Allman Brothers you probably won't have too much trouble finding it under Classic Rock or whatever you think The Allman Brothers are.
I think having sub genres can be pretty useful. The main point though is to have them be somewhat transparent. I find that, like risser suggested, having a core genre in the genre tag and a sub genre someplace else is the best way to go about it. Personally, I encode the core genre in the first three letters of the genre tag, and then use the remainder to denote the sub genre. Combining this method with Pablo's magic nodes works wonders (i think i've mentioned this earlier in the thread).

S.

Kuby

MM let me edit/delete/mewrge/move ALL Genre listings

Post by Kuby » Sat May 14, 2005 11:38 pm

Genre could be usable IF we could edit/merge/delete/move any/all listings in the Genre - then let us LOCK our setting per listing/album/etc.

I would not want to edit all and then have it all lost on the next rescan - so a LOCK feature will be needed when we can edit!!!

Guest

Post by Guest » Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:53 am

Sorry for entering the discussion so late, don't know if there is still interest.
I have been thinking about the whole "genre" discussion for a while, coming across the same problem - artists that just won't stay in their genre.

First, a quick recap on music genres.

1. there are only a few real GENRES. Allmusic defines the following:
Avant-Garde
Bluegrass
Blues
Cajun
Celtic
Comedy
Country
Easy Listening
Electronica
Folk
Gospel
Jazz
Latin
New Age
R&B
Rap
Reggae
Rock
Soundtrack
Vocal
World

I take this list as a starting point. Personally, I don't really like it in this exact form. Why?
- One, it is very North America centered. Bluegrass, Gospel, Folk are not really genres of their own,
and in contrast everything outside of the anglosaxon realm is simply shoved into "world".
- Two, their definition of "Rock" is much too broad. I would make separate genres of ROOTS/ROCK & ROLL and POP for example.
But that's another discussion.

2. What comes next are STYLES and there are tons of them. "Rock" alone probably contains over a hundred styles!

With respect to MP3 tagging, the only solution I see would be to define THREE "genre" fields. I would call them "genre", "style" and "artist style".

GENRE is the "father" genre. One of very few.
This allows for example to sort music on the hard disk in a few easily distinguishable directories.

ARTIST STYLE is the OVERALL style of the ARTIST.
I know there are some really difficult cases, but in general you can define a "main" style for an artist.
As an example, I will always consider John Lee Hooker to be "Delta Blues" even if he happens to play "Boogie Woogie" sometimes

STYLE is the individual style of the SONG.
This is very useful if you want to sort out a long list of songs that sound alike, regardless of whether it's that particular artists' speciality.

The big question is now, how should this be implemented?
Media Monkey has "Custom fields" so in theory it would be easy to assign these "sub"-styles to them.
However, what should the GENRE field really contain? The "father" genre or the "style"?

It's a pity that the ID3 people didn't define subgenres when they started the whole thing.
A list of some 99 genres (ID3v1) was either too long (for GENRE) or much too short (for style)
Also, why can't there be a BINDING industry standard for tag frames?
Every MP3 tagging program (including MM ;) claims to "follow the standard" but I have yet to find two where all ID3v2 frames
would be defined in the same way (and believe me, I've tried LOTS of them!)

Any comments on this topic would be most welcome.
I am a new MM user but have been building up and extensively maintaining a large digital music collection for over 5 years now.
I have been using MMJB and Helium, but am getting fed up with both of them (both too slow and too unstable).

I would also love to hear how other people catalog their music.

One last comment: Am I the only one who HATES the people calling songs "OLDIES"? This is NOT a genre, and the definition changes every few years anyway!

pah68
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Post by pah68 » Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:07 am

You've made some good points. :wink:
Anonymous wrote:One last comment: Am I the only one who HATES the people calling songs "OLDIES"? This is NOT a genre, and the definition changes every few years anyway!
Nope, your not the only one.
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trixmoto
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Post by trixmoto » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:36 am

Unfortunately a lot of the songs I have copied from friends tend to be labelled with Oldies, but I'm trying to fix my genres soon. Just finished adding levelling values to all my songs, it's taken 3 days (I have quite a large collection!) so maybe that'll be my next task.
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MarineBrat
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Post by MarineBrat » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:34 am

Anonymous wrote:Bluegrass, Gospel, Folk are not really genres of their own
To me, those three are vastly different.

Just to throw in my $0.02 on how I delineate genres of music. I have started using the forward slash "/" as a delimiter between genre and sub/genre. So for instance...

Stevie Ray Vaughan might have some songs tagged as Rock & Roll, and others tagged as Blues, and still others as Blues/Rock, or even Rock/Blues, depending on what the dominant aspect of the song was.

Then there's...

Pop
Pop/Rock
Pop/Jazz
Pop/Folk
Pop/Disco
Pop/Comedy

...and...

Rock
Rock/Blues
Rock/Jazz
Rock/Pop

And I've also started using decade identifiers for some songs, such as...

50's Pop
50's Rock
60's Pop
60's Rock
etc...

I have been doing that because many Rock and Pop songs are just so well identified by the decade they were produced in. For instance, "The Dixie Cups" singing "Chapel Of Love" is 60's Pop all the way, while "The Turtles" singing "Eve Of Destruction" is 60's Rock. And to lump "The Dixie Cups" Pop music in with something like Celine Dion's Pop just wouldn't do at all. Nor would you want to put "The Turtles" in the same rock genre as ZZ-Top or REM.

At the same time, I don't think that something like ZZ-Top or Santana is identified well by a particular decade, though I'll never forget that Tush came out in the mid-70's because it hit my friends and I like a ton of musical bricks. Similar with ZZ's "La Grange". Since those groups had (have) such longevity the idea of lumping them into the 70's doesn't work for me.

I never realized that having a musical collection could be so much work! :)

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