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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Post by Lowlander » Thu May 18, 2006 9:24 am

Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)



Post by JLDunn » Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:53 pm

I have completely given up on grouping by most genres in my 30,000+ file collection. The first thing I do when I get some files is to clear the genre field and replace it with either Christmas, Country, or Soundtrack and leave all others blank.

Everything else just gets too confusing after a while and I have trouble distinquishing between them so I don't even try anymore.

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Post by DiddeLeeDoo » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:09 am

Like many here I've had my battle with Genre's, and to some degree still to.

Many artists do not really want to be put in one box only. Diversity and being different is IN, and makes it generally difficult to be a 'librarian'

Personally I have found what works for me is what I call 'Music Sections' and I made a little script to help me access these sections in MediaMonkey. (folder organized system)

These sections have made it all much easier for me doing ‘library’ work, and personally I think it would be cool if this eventually becomes a feature of MediaMonkey. May make it a bit easier to get organized.

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

Post by antigoon » Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:32 pm

I've done a lot of thinking about this and I don't believe that sub-genres are the answer. I believe that *multiple* genres are the answer. The difference is subtle, but important.

Suppose I've got tracks from Portishead and from Tricky. I want to tag them both as "Trip-Hop". Now, is Trip-Hop a sub-genre of Alternative, or Electronica (or maybe Pop)? (*) Why is this important? because it means that either both Tricky and Portishead will be Alternative or they'll both be Electronica, but they could never be split.

With multiple genres, I could do this:
Portishead: Alternative, Trip-Hop, Electronica
Tricky: Electronica, Pop, Trip-Hop

The beauties of multiple tags are twofold:
1) It's easy.
2) The taxonomy of music is not an exact science like, say, the taxonomy and nomenclature of the naming of plant species. Hierarchical tags turn the in-exact non-science of music classification and pretends that it is an exact science and will only result in confusion and arguments. Multiple tags make it easy: "Well _I_ think it's Pop, so _I'll_ add the "Pop" tag."


(*) This example is just for illustration only. If you're going to disagree with me, please disagree with the general argument, not with my specific categorization of Portishead or Tricky.

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Post by Lowlander » Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:19 pm

I think both solutions (sub genres, multiple genres are useful).

If I want to play/find rock music it would also include sub-genres (specific rock types) like
- Classic rock
- Hard rock
- Punk rock
- Heavy Metal

These are all subsets of rock for me.

That doesn't mean that your argument isn't valid, in you situation sub-genres wouldn't work, for me it would.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)


Post by fastspinecho » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:11 pm

I always put the recording label in the Genre field.

1) It's objective and fast. No need to spend hours on classifying Achtung Baby.

2) It's useful information (e.g. often a major label switch distinguishes an artist's early work from their later, more commercial efforts)

3) Similar artists wind up often getting grouped together, and the differences are sometimes historically interesting (e.g., "Hey, how did Bis wind up on the Beastie Boys label?)

4) It gives me another search option, e.g. sometimes I want to listen to something from Sub Pop.

Yes, I know that there are other fields that are better used for the recording labels, but the Genre field is always more likely to be accessible (e.g. the iPod won't list songs by the "label" field).


Post by fastspinecho » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:18 pm

(sorry, posted too fast)

6) Most important, it helps me find new music. For example, if I notice that my Kill Rock Stars list has a lot of good stuff, I'll look more favorably at new KRS artists when I'm at the record store.

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Re: Genre

Post by Sparky191 » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:38 am

JLDunn wrote:I have completely given up on grouping by most genres in my 30,000+ file collection. The first thing I do when I get some files is to clear the genre field and replace it with either Christmas, Country, or Soundtrack and leave all others blank.

Everything else just gets too confusing after a while and I have trouble distinquishing between them so I don't even try anymore.
Thats what I do. I use my own genres so make it clear I've retagged it.

00's Rock & Pop
- 00's Rock & Pop
- 60's Rock & Pop
- 70's Rock & Pop
- 80's Rock & Pop
- 90's Rock & Pop
- xx's Rock & Pop
Audio Books
Blues Albums
Children Albums
Classical Albums
Classical Various
Country Albums
Country Various
Dance Albums
Dance Various
Downloads And Recordings
Easy Listening Albums
Easy Listening Various
Hard Rock Albums
Hard Rock Various
Jazz Albums
Musicals & Operas
Pop Albums
R&B and Soul
Rap & Hip Hop Albums
Rap & Hip Pop Various
Reggie Various
Rock Albums
Soundtrack Albums
Soundtrack Various Film
SoundTracks Various TV
Traditional Various

Usually the subfolders are Artist/Album where that makes sense. In Soundtracks or Compilations for example that would make no sense, so theres just album name as a sub folder . In the decades (00's Rock & Pop) and various folders there are no sub folders as these are in effect giant compilation albums of random tracks. 00's Rock & Pop is only split into sub folders because it so big.

Artists that I have a lot of albums of, say Led Zeppelin, SRV or Hendrix will be in the Hard Rock Albums or Blues Albums rather the decades (00's Rock & Pop).

I'm constantly re-organising it though, as my collection changes and I find my music listening habits change. So its just a snapshot in time rather then structure I always stick too.

Be nice if MM could change the tagging rules based on parent folder say soundtracks vs rock etc.

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Post by MCSmarties » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:03 pm

This post in another thread explains my position on the subject. Comments are much appreciated!

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Post by Sgrom » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:43 am

Thought id add my 2c too.

At the moment I have pretty specific genres filled in the genre tags, eg. Indie Rock, Trance, Pop, Punk/Rock, Alternative Rock, Chillout, Chillhouse, House etc.

I dont think the genre issue will ever really be resolved, as it is very subjective. In my opinion the ideal solution depends on what you want the genre tag to do for you. Personally, I want to be able to load a playlist of songs I consider to be Indie Rock and just hear music that I would classify as such.

Thus, for myself the best way to have my music tagged would be similar to what "guest" said. Firstly, have a super genre field to use for tagging whole bands or albums. For example I would classify the Killers as rock, or my 16 Disc 80's collection as 80s. But I would like to have a genre tag for each song aswell. Although this would be a pain to fill in (hopefully a script to automate it could be made) it would enable you to make a playlist of perhaps New Wave music, and that would include stuff that is present in my 80s genre and anywhere else. Or a playlist of indie rock that would include all killers songs that are indie rock.

Does that make sense?

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Post by BillyGates » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:29 pm

My 2c as well (Great thread, I just read through it all...)

There's 2 things everyone should realize:

1. The -big- thing is Genres are subjective so in my opinion you have to personalize them. I went and wiped out all my Genres 6 months ago and started just adding them from scratch a little at a time.

2. You can make Genre's -whatever you want- and that's great! I only have a few Genres like:


3. The format I use for multiple categories if I want to do them is separating them with '/' something like:


4. I only put music into a Genre if I think it will fit a category. I don't 'force' putting a Genre on everything.

I don't know if this is the best way, but thanks to MM it's easily searchable this way and works for me.

Hope this helps someone! :)

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Genres & Classifications

Post by Billman » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:58 pm

I agree with "BillyGates" that this is an interesting thread ... so of course I'd like to add my two cents as well. (I'm a newbie so I have searched all the threads yet to fully inform my comments, so please bear with me.)

As said by several previous posters, selecting a Genre is a personal and subjective decision that depends what you want to use the Genre for. Personally, I use the main single Genre as an indicator of where to find the physical CD in my library - thus there are just a few main Genres (Rock/Pop, Jazz, Classical, Holiday, ...)

I would very much like, however, to be able to assign sub-genres to each record. Personally, again, I would be very happy if there were a sub-genres (plural) field in which I could put several sub-genres

IN ADDITION, I would find it EXTREMELY useful to be able to add an arbitrarly large (or just plain large) number of addition Classifications to each track for the purpose that many people have used Genre (e.g., dance, workout, dinner, meditation). Some classifications that I'd like to use are: tone, texture, instrumentation, location (for world music), instrumentation ... and I'm sure I'll come up with others.

If MM can give me a dozen classification fields (and I can use them for Autoplaylists) I would be very happy.

-- Bill

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Post by Teknojnky » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:27 pm

You can add custom entries for tempo/mood/occasion/quality fields to suite your personal needs, and dont forget the custom1, 2, 3 fields (altho they don't provide dropdown's).

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Post by bbrodka » Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:42 pm

You really want to go nuts with genres here us a lust of thousands

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Post by JoFo » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:58 pm

Sorry for bumping this post but don't we have genre and STYLE?

Sample from disgogs:
Foo Fighters - The Colour And The Shape
Label: Capitol Records
Catalog#: CDP 7243 8 55832 2 3
Format: CD
Country: US
Released: 1997
Genre: Rock
Style: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
Credits: Producer - Gil Norton

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