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  1. #1

    There has to be a better way...

    Ripping a CD collection, I've read elsewhere, is something you'll do twice. The second time is to avoid all the mistakes made the first time.

    I'm about to start the second go but can't help thinking there's a better way. Particularly - as I imagine anyone here has done/think of doing - as this is a non-trivial amount of classical music, some reissue boxes/deluxe editions and a heap of other potential problems I'm trying not to think about.

    All the advice, hints and tips I've encountered so far suggests one think: it's a lot of work. And more so if you start with a sense of pedantry. I'm working on classical music genres that make sense to me, and a scheme for album artist for basic detail and work, etc. But: it's going to be a lot of work, and various tool aside, not much different to how this might have been tackled a few years ago. I've a few common issues:

    - multiple recordings of the same classical music work. Including more than one recording by the same orchestra and conductor. So date of recording with feature somewhere.
    - some classical stuff that fits the work approach cleanly (e.g. symphonies) and some that doesn't sets of themed/non-themed CDs.
    - reissues pop/rock CDs. e.g. the Creedence Clearwater Revival reissues I have have some extra studio tracks, and some additional live recordings. Across the CDs the live recordings form a chunk of the same concert.
    - boxes! E.g. some Simple Minds SDEs. The extras include b-sides, lives stuff, unreleased bits, remixes, etc. but these are grouped differently across the boxes.
    - CD singles. So more non-album stuff. Given I think popular music stopped around 1998 I've a number of multiple format singles and I prefix to group content by type (live, remixes, generic b-sides) rather have each CD single as its own album.

    There's nothing impossible here. I could rip CDs to work, rips things multiple times to get different views of the same albums and/or use playlists to solve problems. But all solutions (unless I'm missing something - and very happy to be shown to be an idiot) involve me doing lots of work.

    This where I think there must be an easier way. I'd like to rip a CD with only basic meta-data. E.g. Artist/Album/Album Version or a CD of composer/work/performance details. Then I'd like to be able to do a scan from this and have the scanning do the fiddly bits for me. This - magically (I need to work through the detail here) - then collates what I want with the advantage that if I change my mind I just rescan with a different magic set-up and not re-rip. This would be particularly useful for classical if wanting to change movement ids from roman numeral to numbers, or add/remove piece nicknames, etc. to the library. With the Creedence example I can browse the to album (a default view) without bonus tracks, the bonus tracks collated under one or more virtual albums and the CD as it would be physically.

    The creates a database of meta-data that has classical CDs in the their original form and by work. The front-end (i.e. LMS) then has some mode view to make this all spouse friendly - i.e. a sensible default to find most stuff and a slightly nerdier view that allows me to distinguish between my original copy of U2's Joshua Tree and the re-issue (and the new re-issue when my bank account is dented in June).

    Custom scan/library/tags in 7.9 and other bits and pieces seem to get someway there but is there some easy way to do this that I'm missing. I want to separate the actual meta-data I see in LMS (or similar) and the meta-meta-data attached to the files, which is less important. (Being a database nerd I can go in more detail here but having a classical piece's key or conductor on each movement, rather than the work breaks a normal form.)

    Is this an impractical pipe-dream? Apologies if I've not been clear - any misunderstanding is my fault, not the reader's.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Tou dont have to re rip if the files are in a lossless format.

    Just convert to the format you want now like FLAC .

    If they already are in FLAC good then you can use some of the power of a tag editor.
    Want to change an artist or a composer tag .
    Mark the whole folder with that artist or composer not just a single album and fix it.

    Mp3tag puddle tag dBpoweramp xld etc can do it.

    Importan backup every file before doing anything .
    Heck make intermidiate backups in stages if there are anlot of changes.
    ( then you can return to last weeks versions if you messed up )
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  3. #3
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    I'm currently immersed in a never-ending project involving botanical taxonomy.

    For a few hundred years, sorting plants into sensible groups involved ever more precise analysis of form, or morphology as it's known in the trade. Determining relationships among plants was an exercise in observation and careful attention to detail. Over time this resulted in many changes to classification of species, as new details about new (and old) plants rolled in and as new generations of botanists flexed their taxonomical muscles.

    And then came gene sequencing, and the ability to understand at a deeper level just what the relationships really are, this sometimes being at odds with what it looked like at an "appearance" level. In some cases, all the scientific (Latin) names of the plants have changed.

    It has really led me to confirm my earliest conviction -- that taxonomy, the names and classification that we give to things, has to reflect practical needs, and not just our desire for deep understanding.

    When I'm organizing my personal music taxonomy I try to be disciplined about what I need in the way of classification, and not impose unnecessarily detailed levels of classification. My penchant for intellectual order must sometimes be subordinated to practicality. I've created very elegant classification systems in my head (and posted about them here), but realize that they don't serve enough of a purpose for me, much less anyone else, to actually invest the time to implement them.

    I've long since ripped my music library to lossless formats, and have tweaked the classification multiple times since. But I have found that all that work, while enjoyable, hasn't actually increased accessibility to what I want to hear, or my understanding of what I'm hearing.

    I'm increasingly comfortable with basic taxonomy, as reflected in the automated consensus systems.

    Maybe I've just gotten lazy.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonM View Post
    I'm currently immersed in a never-ending project involving botanical taxonomy. [....]
    RonM, fantastic post. I couldn't agree more.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleMonkey View Post
    - multiple recordings of the same classical music work. Including more than one recording by the same orchestra and conductor. So date of recording with feature somewhere.
    I've found the easiest way to force something like that to show as distinct albums is also the easiest way find what I'm looking for quickly:

    Please Please Me [original 1987 CD]
    Please Please Me [2009 stereo remaster]

    I use brackets rather than parentheses simply because pop songs have long used parentheses in titles, but there's no reason you can't use whatever looks best to you.

    - some classical stuff that fits the work approach cleanly (e.g. symphonies) and some that doesn't sets of themed/non-themed CDs.
    Even after years of having this stuff online I still tend to think in terms of discs/albums as they were pressed and sold. So my ALBUM tags almost always have a 1:1 relationship to what's in the jewel box. But there's no reason you have to play along. There are a few situations where I've felt like I had a good reason to break things out:

    Construction Time Again [DTS]
    Construction Time Again [PCM bonus tracks]

    - reissues pop/rock CDs. e.g. the Creedence Clearwater Revival reissues I have have some extra studio tracks, and some additional live recordings. Across the CDs the live recordings form a chunk of the same concert.
    You can either give all the live tracks a common album name and number the tracks properly or build a playlist. Because I still tend to think in discs, I've done the latter. But it's a nuisance if/when the storage scheme changes because the file names in the playlists no longer match what's actually out there. If you just change the tags, you're set forever.

    - boxes! E.g. some Simple Minds SDEs. The extras include b-sides, lives stuff, unreleased bits, remixes, etc. but these are grouped differently across the boxes.
    As a fellow Simple Minds fan, I've elected to go with the individual disc subtitles:

    New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84): Alternative Mixes, Roughs and Demos

    Custom scan/library/tags in 7.9 and other bits and pieces seem to get someway there but is there some easy way to do this that I'm missing. I want to separate the actual meta-data I see in LMS (or similar) and the meta-meta-data attached to the files, which is less important. (Being a database nerd I can go in more detail here but having a classical piece's key or conductor on each movement, rather than the work breaks a normal form.)
    If your directory structure--how you're physically storing the files--matches the actual CDs, you can do whatever you want with the tags yet still have the ability via Music Folder to easily select and play the discs as originally shipped. (Though maybe I'm confused and not addressing your actual concern.)

    Just remember that (as at least one other person has already said) you absolutely do not need to re-rip your discs if your original project created lossless files. Or if you have lossy files but aren't bothered by that. If you have clean files on your hard drive(s), reorganizing your library is a matter of changing tags and possibly moving files. You don't need to recreate the audio data.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    .. Ofcourse if you once ripped as mp3 you have to do it again lossles (FLAC) :P been there done that..
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Eric Seaberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleMonkey View Post
    Ripping a CD collection, I've read elsewhere, is something you'll do twice. The second time is to avoid all the mistakes made the first time.
    What OS are you using, Mac/PC/other, and what format have you ripped already? Everyone is asking the same... it seems.

    I didn't get too far before I realized to keep everything lossless whenever possible. Even on a Mac, everything is now FLAC. There is a GREAT app called "Yate" that will allow you to edit ALL TAGS anyway you want, and that's really the point. Decide how YOU want to see the tags and what they show, and change them as required.

    Info at: https://2manyrobots.com/yate/
    Eric Seaberg - San Diego
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  8. #8
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    I tried to like RonM's post but was told that I needed to spread reputation else where 1st. So- great post Ron !

    No need to re-rip. It sounds like an issue w tagging. If I am wrong sorry. Perhaps more info on what your problem is would help us to give better advice.

    If one is unhappy w how recordings appear in one's library re-tag them, maybe make a copy 1st and see if it works for you. The whole process is very individually related to how you want things to appear, not how someone else feels it should be.

  9. #9
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    Agree with others regarding ripping. If you are already lossless, then it is "just" a retagging issue. Of course, tagging isn't that easy and can be a 2-time job too as it doesn't always become clear what you need until you think you are done once or you start figuring out the gaps.

    With regard to the specific details like were brought up in the original post, I take advantage of the fact that FLAC files can take custom tags and create custom tags for all the little bits of information I want. I use MP3Tag for tagging, and once I have all the tags filled out, I have actions that essentially allow me to assemble the primary tags (album, title, genre, albumartist, etc) from the custom tags. The beauty of that method is that if I don't like where things end up, I can create a new action and reassemble the tags in a way that works.

    For example, I have custom tags (for classical music) for "orchestra" "movement" "conductor" "soloist" "opus" "work" "style" "CD Title" and "period" (composer is a standard tag already).

    I then assemble the "album" tag using "work" "opus" and "composer"
    The song artist is based on the "conductor" and "orchestra"
    and so on. Of course, if I would rather utilize the "CD Title" I can just assemble that into the "album title" tag.

    The most Important thing is that you keep certain designated tags from ever changing so that you don't lose important metadata. This gives you the flexibility to assemble things the way that works for you or until you find a way that works for you. It really can be challenging to get things in order when dealing with classical music. I still tweak things often.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iPhone's Avatar
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    Classical

    It has always been Classical being the issue for me. When one looks at Pop, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Funk, Rap, IE anything but Classical, it really just comes down to Artist/Album and whatever tagging scheme works best for how YOUR mind thinks of your music. I am anal retentive when it comes to my tags so I actually use the Year when the song was released even if its on a Greatest Hits or Compilation. The only time the same song by the same group gets a different date is if its a true new version. Example: Eagles/Hotel California on the album it gets a 1977 date on any of the greatest hits albums it gets a 1977 date because its the same, but on the Hell Freezes Over album Hotel California get 1994 for its date.

    Since one can look up Music by Artist Album or Artist All, this helps with Classical Music because if one includes the Conductor, the Orchestra, and the featured Musician, it can make it quicker to find the exact version of the piece one is looking for. The Forum Help section has some good ideas about tagging Classical music and also searching on tagging Classical give additional ideas. But again the main thing about finding things quickly is first by tagging THEM in the way one thinks about their music (after reading the help guides) then lastly being Absolute when it comes to consistency! When it comes to Classical, consistency is the key.

    To close, for me, the main thing about ripping is if I use a powerful enough program that allows me to tag the way I think of my Music while it's being ripped, the less MP3tag work I have to do later after it's ripped. A friend of mine rips all his CDs to FLAC on a Vortexbox. All one does is feed a Vortexbox CDs and it rips and tags them. Then he spends days using MP3tag to clean things up. He doesn't mind because he nuts about his tagging and reasons if I am going to have to edit, might as well clean Everything up. So he uses Vortexbox and MP3tag. I on the other hand use dBpowerAmp adjust as much as I can before the rip, have it tagged perfect in many cases and am just using MP3tag to verify. Another nice thing about dBpowerAmp is that one can combine multi-CD sets into one album. In my opinion it is one album, the media just didn't allow it all on one CD or LP. For example, my rip of the Beatles White Album is songs 1 to 30, not 17 songs on Disk 1 and 13 song on Disk 2, the LP was 4 sides so the "Traditionalist" can go you know what up a rope. Its the Music that matters, but if one wants, with dBpaowerAmp they "could" even number them like the original LPs fir they wanted to.
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