Tricky tagging situations

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Anamon
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Tricky tagging situations

Post by Anamon » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:54 am

I wanted to try and get a little feedback from other users on how they solve a number of situations when tagging their digital music library. I never could decide on a consistent set of rules yet, and it's just tedious and stupid switching back and forth all the time.

1. Singles and Maxis
Especially a problem if there are albums of the same name. Do you add some tag like "[Single]" or "[CDM]" to the album tag of these releases to discern them? This means that tags are not very clean. Or do you just put the release name in the album tag without any additional information? This has the downside that you can't easily discern singles from albums and your album tree is blown up with lots of singles, making it hard to find actual albums.

2. Unnamed releases
Very frequent problem with electronic music on Vinyl. It's just tracks on a record. Do you put the title of the first track in the album tag? This might make it harder to find the other tracks. Do you somehow combine the track titles into an album tag like "Side A / Side B"? This makes it easier to browse but the tags are not so nice anymore. Or do you just put something that is associated with the release, like I used to do, along the lines of "[CAT#] Label name"?

3. Incomplete releases
This can be considered dirty and evil, but I know that especially in the age of digital distribution and MP3 stores, a lot of people do this. If there's a release with 15 tracks and I only really like one of them, I might want to have only the one track in my collection. What to do? This is the problem that bugs me the most. Keep the Album tag empty? Then you have a nice overview over your "orphaned" tracks, but on the other hand their tags lack important information. Do you just tag them as you would if you had the full release? Then the tags are nice, but you will pollute your album tree with a lot of releases that you don't even have in their complete form. Another solution that I currently tried was to put an "[Incomplete]" tag in the Album Comment field and add a Filter to MediaMonkey that hides any releases with that tag whenever I want to only see full releases. The problem there is that this only works in MediaMonkey and other software does not know about it.



I would be really interested in hearing what you do in these cases, or if you have a different method altogether. It would be cool if you could write why you think your way is the best...

Thanks :D

DazB
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by DazB » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:27 pm

Hi,

1. I append [Single], etc.
2. I don't have this problem, but would use the title of the first track as the release title and number the tracks from there.
3. I tag them as you would if I had the full release.

Daz

Mizery_Made
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by Mizery_Made » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:41 pm

1 - I use things such as " [CDS]", " [VLS]" or other such widely accepted abbreviations for these types of releases (CD Single and Vinyl Single respectively)
2 - Don't really have this issue myself, but you could always go with "[Unknown Title]" since you technically don't know the album title, while the brackets distinguish between any actual "Unknown Title" named albums and ones where you just don't know the title.
3 - I tag them just as if they were full albums in terms of Album tag, Year, etc. However, I use the Grouping field to distinguish between full albums (which recieve a "--Album--") and loose tracks (which receive a "--Misc--", though I have one for "--Tech N9ne Misc--" since I want all his loose features grouped together) which then allows me to filter the library and only show full albums or vice-versa. It also allows me to organize these differently when it comes to filenames. Full albums are put in a folder under their genre, which then adds a folder for the album artist, year & album, then the filename. Meanwhile, the misc things I have are then labeled "Artist - Title.ext" in a "!--Misc---!" folder under their respective genres.

tucky
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by tucky » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:18 pm

Interesting post as I've just been considering question 3 this morning. I've decided to clean out my music collection of tracks I don't like or listen too. This is going to cause me some pain as I like to be as complete as possible but I'm just sick of having loads of pointless music clutter my collection.

The course of action I'm contemplating is to create my own album tag so for example if I keep 10 Bee Gees songs out of the 40 I've somehow ended up with I'll just put their tag as something like 'Favourite Bee Gees'

For tunes which can't be grouped by album artist I'm thinking of creating the tag 'Orphaned Tunes' which would at least only take up 1 album node and be meaningful to me.

Anamon
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by Anamon » Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:25 pm

Thanks for all your suggestions so far!

As for question 3, some well-defined tag to make the difference seems to be a popular way. Mizery_Made, I actually did about the same thing you do a while ago, I used "Incomplete" in the grouping field for tracks that are part of incomplete releases. I now still do something very similar, just that I put [Incomplete] in the Album Comment, because I thought that this info is something that's actually associated with the release and not the single tracks. It works pretty well with MediaMonkey's filters, but what I was worried about was compatibility because other applications can't access that Album Comment information. Thanks for reminding me that MediaMonkey can do everything! With renaming/folder rules this is no problem as all loose tracks can be put in different folders automatically. So I'm now pretty comfortable with this solution. A filter called "Hide incomplete releases" gives a nice and clean album overview!

After some thinking I decided the following for the other 2 solutions: adding (Single) to all single/maxi albums (instead of VLS or CDS etc. because I already have a format field as a custom tag). And for unnamed releases I do it pretty freestyle, but the one constant is that everything that is not a full album (single, maxi, EP) contains the catalog number in squared brackets []. Sometimes this is just "[CAT#] Label name" for a vinyl with 2 unrelated tracks, or sometimes it is "Release name [CAT#]" if I can find a sensible title, e.g. for singles. That way, I can have filters that hide singles&co., or show only them, by looking whether there is a '[' in the album field.

Mizery_Made
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by Mizery_Made » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:34 pm

Adding that tag to the Album Comment would mean less clutter in the files tags, but it also means as you state, only MediaMonkey can access this information. The Grouping field can be read by some other programs however, as it's written to the tag. Also, if the Database is ever corrupted, this information would be preserved because it's in the tags as well as the database, while the Album Comment is only stored in the Database.

Though too, I have some loose songs that don't even belong to an album. They may have been put up for free download on an artists site or other such things, so they may only have Artist & Title information. The Album Comment solution is no good in this scenario, because there's no album entry to associate the "tag" with. Though this may not be an issue for you, just my thoughts on that method.

Anamon
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by Anamon » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:13 am

Mizery_Made wrote:The Album Comment solution is no good in this scenario, because there's no album entry to associate the "tag" with. Though this may not be an issue for you, just my thoughts on that method.
Yes, that's correct. In my original post I was hinting at the situation of an album of which I only have a part in my library. If the track does not belong to an album at all, just leaving the Album field empty is the best way I think. What bothered me about incomplete releases is that when I open the Albums node of my tree, I will have a lot of releases that are listed but not actually available, because they are incomplete. This is not really a problem for album-less tracks as they just show up under Unknown, which is pretty neat and tidy.

As for the Album Comment field, the safety part is not much of a concern to me because my MM3 database actually is my backup. I have other info that I have only in the database and not in tags, so I regularly back up my database file. I also disabled automatic database update, so that I can restore my tags should another application mess with them. And if it should ever become a problem that other applications cannot access that info, it should not be much of a problem to just write a script that copies the info to another field, I guess.

mattisse
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by mattisse » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:02 am

Hi Anamon,

here's how I approach these tagging situations.

1. I append the media format (CDS, CDM, 7", 12" etc.) in brackets to the album tag. Additionally I'm using one custom tag for the release type. Possible values I'm putting there are "Album", "EP", "Single/Maxi", "Compilation", "Anthology", "Live Performance" and "Soundtrack".

2. Usually tag it with the title of the first track.

3. I can recommend using the Magic Nodes script. It comes with predefined nodes that filter complete and incomplete albums. That way I can fully tag all songs, which of course pollutes the album tree. But if I want to look at complete albums only, I use the "complete albums" node from Magic nodes insted of the original "albums" node from MM.

bkenobi69
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Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by bkenobi69 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:46 am

Great responses! But, none of these solutions for question 1 answer the part about blowing up your album list with singles. I'm still not sure of a good way to organize things so that I can keep the original info without blowing up the list with one song per album. I have several "albums" for "Top 80s songs" "Top 90s songs" etc. After including them in MM, I now have HUNDREDS of single song albums when I select the "Album" tab, which basically makes it useless.

The problem is, these songs came off of the albums they are organized under. But, I would rather have them listed under their "Top of ..." category. Is there a way to have "original release album" stored? If so, that would probably solve my problem. Especially if it was searchable with the regular album info.

bkenobi69
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:35 pm

Re: Tricky tagging situations

Post by bkenobi69 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:18 am

Ok, after a little more searching I did locate the "Original Ablum" field. Perhaps I can just copy the Album field over to the Original Album field and then rename the Album to something consistent. The only problem is, how to do the copy? I can't seem to find the correct scripting component name. I guessed "OrigAlbum" but that didn't work. Suggestions?

EDIT: I didn't realize the RegExp Search&Replace had all those presets. I found one (copy artist to original artist if empty) and modified it to suit my needs. Everything is good now. 8)

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