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Tagging music: The way I do it

Discussion in 'Music' started by earChasm, Dec 28, 2017.
  1. earChasm
    Tagging music: The way I do it

    I once helped out some1 on this forum with tagging his music. Unfortunately he kicked me in the balls afterwards so I decided never to get burned here again. A few months later, here we are, I decided to try again but this time for whoever is interested. Not really to help out but to explain how and why I tag my music the way I do. There is no wrong way of doing it but sometimes things get better after some trial and error. If only one person is inspired by the way I tag my music, and I don’t get kicked in the balls, it will be worth it :.)

    The way I tag my music is heavily customised to fit my personal needs and is definitely not for everyone. So yes, there are better ways to tag your music but that’s not my point here. Besides, it’s still a work in progress :.b

    Mp3TagIt (Windows)
    LyricsFinder (Windows, Mac)
    Adobe Photoshop (Mac)

    Let’s start with the end result so my choices makes more sense (less explaining to do). Besides correctly using my tagged music with any DAP or streamer, I also want to use the data to populate my own webbased DB.

    I wanted a overview of my albums with their album-art. I also wanted to see right away what type of files the album consists of (MP3, Vinyl rip, standard Lossless, High resolution or DSD). Besides that, I wanted more or less the same when looking at the actual files on my NAS!

    The overview list must be sorted alphabetically on the album title BUT grouped by album artist and then for each specific album artist, sorted by year. Again, I want the same when looking at the actual files on my NAS.

    So instead of:

    [1] Breakaway
    [2] Meaning Of Life
    [3] Secret Symphony
    [4] Stronger

    I want:

    [3] Katie Melua -- 2012 -- Secret Symphony
    [1] Kelly Clarkson -- 2004 -- Breakaway
    [4] Kelly Clarkson -- 2011 -- Stronger
    [2] Kelly Clarkson -- 2017 -- Meaning Of Life

    I absolutely don’t want all my Queen albums scattered all over the place within the list I’m viewing. If this annoys you too, you might understand why I chose this naming convention.


    After some trial and error (this is a work in progress) I decided to save my album rips on different shares according to their file types (Lossless, Hi-Res, DSD or MP3).

    Each album is made up of three separate parts (with -- as separator) which I can extract when necessary. Albums artist, Album year and Album title. For High Resolution albums the album title is extended with the high resolution identifier, bitdepth and sample frequency. This extra information is also used to add a specific album badge.

    Example: Olivia Newton-John -- 1981 -- Physical (HR-24-88.2)

    Within each folder I save the album art (500x500) and fan art (976x549) images.

    Tracks are saved as "tracknumber - artist - song title". This is very important to find the correct lyrics with LyricsFinder!


    CLEANING-UP TAGS (script)]
    During my journey I run into trouble several times with my tagged music. Invalid or unsupported tags can ruin your fun on different devices or systems. So I decided to make a little script to delete ALL tags except for the general few I’m using.

    It’s easy to create scripts with Mp3TagIt.

    1 - Select your album or tracks
    2 - Click "Actions/actions" or ALT 6 (Windows).
    3 - Create a new group and give it a name.
    4 - Copy the actions from the snapshot.

    So, the first step for tagging each new album is to run this script. I promise, it’s worth it.

    Another script to make life easier. With this script I set the upper- and lowercase style of the Title, Artist and Album Artist fields. Follow the same steps as above but with the actions from the snapshot below :.)

    Well, this is easy with Mp3TagIt.

    1 - Select your album and fill in the right values for each field.
    2 - Set the right album art image.
    3 - save

    Just install Lyrics Finder and you can add lyrics by selecting the root directory of your albums. Because my naming convention is TRACK - ARTIST - SONGTITLE, this program has no problem finding the right lyrics.

    This step is not necessary unless you want to do extra things with your data. Basically you need to create a valid XML document and use the Mp3TagIt field-value placeholders as your field-values.


    That’s it. It’s not rocket science and you can molt it the way you like it.

    I personally don’t like to split-up albums with multiple CD’s. So I join them and use the "discnumber" tag, to separate the tracks. I also keep counting the tracknumbers up instead of resetting them for each CD. Another method is using 101 - 199 for CD1, and 201 - 299 for CD2, and 301 - 399 etc for CD3.

    Sometimes prefix like 'the' are not excluded from sorting. I don’t want all the artists grouped by 'the', so I rename them accordingly (Carpenters, The).

    Whatever you decide to do, don't forget to enjoy the music :.)

    [edit] Cleaned up a little
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

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