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Go Back   Thoughts Media Forums > ZUNE THOUGHTS > Zune Talk

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2010, 09:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Default Music Metadata: It's Here to Stay

<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1287775877.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>On a private mailing list I'm a part of, the issue of music metadata was brought up - specifically, that the Zune desktop and device software relies on metadata for everything, and if you're the kind of person who has a collection of digital music stretching back 10+ years, there's a good chance it's missing proper metadata. Many people have worked around that by organizing and playing back their music like they would a Word document; via the file system. This is a habit that you should seriously consider breaking, and I'll tell you why. <MORE /></p><p>I've seen this complaint a lot over the years running a Zune site, and the reality is that if you have music that's missing metadata, you'll have trouble playing it in any modern music player. Everything relies on metadata now, and sooner or later you're going to have to bite the bullet and tag your music. Yes, it might take hours, weeks, or even months to get it all in shape - but in the end it will be worth it. Doing everything via a file directory structure is a bad habit that we all picked up years ago, but music software has evolved beyond looking at the file names - metadata is so much more powerful and useful.</p><p>If you're in this situation, there's a free program called <a href="http://www.mediamonkey.com" target="_blank">MediaMonkey </a>that makes this process much easier - if all your files are named in the same way for instance, you can use a built-in script to automatically insert the metadata into the file based on the file name (Arist - Song) for instance. There are also people who create custom scripts to solve all sorts of automation problems to make tagging easier. It can also look up albums on Amazon.com, automatically correcting track names, embedding album art, and a lot more. The Zune software has tools to adjust metadata, but nothing as powerful as MediaMonkey - I found it so useful I paid for a gold lifetime license because I wanted to thank the developers for creating something so awesome.</p><p>If your music collection is in a sad state, lacking metadata, bear down and fix it - you'll thank me for it later.</p>
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2010, 09:19 PM
efjay
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Here's what I use to edit my music when necessary, seems to match MediaMonkey and its free:

http://www.mp3tag.de/en/
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2010, 11:33 PM
fbeiderb
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Default Link is wrong in article

I have used ID3 Tagit for years. It is no longer supported by the author, but works (pretty much) fine under Win 7 64 bit.

I will give media monkey a try and see how I like it.
 
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2010, 03:51 PM
timmy
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I use the same as efjay. MP3Tag is really good with ability to create scripts as well.

Then I rely on www.albumartexchange.com for good quality album art rather than scanning them myself (which I am not very good at compared to what the people at albumartexchange can do)
 
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2010, 05:00 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmy View Post
Then I rely on www.albumartexchange.com for good quality album art rather than scanning them myself (which I am not very good at compared to what the people at albumartexchange can do)
Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to contact that guy to ask if he wants me to donate <A HREF="http://www.jasondunn.com/albumart/" target="_blank">my album art project to the cause</A>.
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2010, 06:38 PM
Gerard
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While it may seem a 'bad habit' to those who use a Zune, iPod, or other dedicated music player to listen to their music, I find that the labour of adding metadata to my music files (mostly MP3s) would be too much work, even with nifty software helping out. As Jason suggested, taking hours or days seems like a lot of work. I have other priorities, like raising a family and getting work done. So when I rip a CD into MP3 files, I just use AudioGrabber. Then I take about 35 seconds to open the folder in VLC, save as an M3U playlist, open that in Notepad and use a Replace All (Ctrl + H) to remove the full paths from each track, making a filename-only playlist with no conditions on storage location. In that way I am able to launch the M3U playlist file from any location I like, on any computer, and the default music software has no problem playing all the tracks. It's dead easy, and for my uses with VLC on the PC or CORE on the WM phone, works just peachy.

Don't have any use for album art on the phone as I tend to shut off the screen while listening, same on the PC as music plays in the background while I do other things. Never have I allowed media players to grab online album art or other data, as this strikes me as both invasive a vulnerability in media players, not a feature. If I'm listening to music, whether it's a client's latest jazz recording or some ancient classical album I grabbed in realtime from vinyl I've had since childhood, it's to hear the music, not any metadata. So different strokes I guess, and I can see how for some users metadata may be important... but not critical for all.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2010, 08:40 PM
timmy
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Jason: You have a lot of very nice scans, so that will probably be appreciated. Can you share your workflow to get them this nice?

Gerard: I can see the different needs for having or not having metadata, but getting the metadata fixed is no big issue.

I rip my CD's in Exact Audio Copy, http://www.exactaudiocopy.de which has support for FreeDB to get and embed album, artist, titles etc. Then I grab the album art from Albumartexchange and embed it using MP3Tag, so it's actually not much harder than what you are doing, and then I am set with any mediaplayer.
 
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2010, 09:37 PM
Gerard
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I wasn't suggesting it's necessarily that much harder... rather that the retroactive effort, to add metadata to hundreds of albums already ripped without it, is not worth the effort (duplication of effort for the most part) for those who don't want or need to display such information, or use it in sorting/searching. I'm not a 'mix tape' sort of guy, so generating playlists automagically based on possibly-embedded meta tags or other related behaviors isn't of interest, just as it is central to other listeners' tastes. Just saying to each his/her own, in response to the notion that metadata might be essential somehow. Essential, for some.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2010, 07:00 PM
Fellwalker
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Default +1 for mediamonkey

I add my support for mediamonkey which i finally paid for this summer after using for three years.


the paid for version can also move and rename files based upon their tags, to sort them into proper hierarchy of artist/ album, and then i use artist name/song name, but you could put track number, or include the album in the file name. It does all of that in the background.

Tagging is very fast, and has a pretty good database to call on. The only thing I have not been totally happy with is album art.

I also use it with minilyrics, which has the ability to sit within a window in mediamonkey. That gives (usually scrolling) lyrics to pretty well all of my tracks, which it downloads and saves for you. I have had to add some for more obscure tracks, but it is great to sing along with occasionally.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2010, 06:05 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
While it may seem a 'bad habit' to those who use a Zune, iPod, or other dedicated music player to listen to their music, I find that the labour of adding metadata to my music files (mostly MP3s) would be too much work, even with nifty software helping out.
Absolutely - it's your music, you can do what you want with it. But when music playback software - whether it's on your computer, your phone, or a gaming console - fails to allow you to sort, view, and play back your music...well, you'll know why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
So when I rip a CD into MP3 files, I just use AudioGrabber. Then I take about 35 seconds to open the folder in VLC
Unless you're not using the CDDB lookup tool to get the name of the CD and tracks, which would be pretty baffling, all of your tracks ripped in this way have metadata in them. So maybe you're confused about what metadata actually is?
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