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WSLam
2006-05-12, 12:10
I spent a good portion of 2005 digitizing my CDs so that I can build my listening experience around the SB2 (then, SB3 now).

Then this comes along... I wish I waited a tad longer.

http://www.fortunaclassical.com/

I have a Hush as my music server! Same computer! But they are still using PC as source, whereas I think SB3 is a clearly superior solution! SD should work with Fortuna and create a few packages!

But Fortuna will be a GREAT START for people migrating to the SB3.

Now I wish SlimServer offers interfaces like the one they have...

ws

aubuti
2006-05-12, 12:30
Wow. I can see how people with a large classical collection would like a product that organizes music more sensibly than the typical pop artist/album structure. But $5000 for a player that you need to hook up to an HDTV to see what's playing? And only support for proprietary formats (WMA lossless and MP3)? But I'm sure it will work for some folks, and probably boost Olive's and Sonos's sales, as their products look inexpensive by comparison!

WSLam
2006-05-12, 12:44
Wow. I can see how people with a large classical collection would like a product that organizes music more sensibly than the typical pop artist/album structure. But $5000 for a player that you need to hook up to an HDTV to see what's playing? And only support for proprietary formats (WMA lossless and MP3)? But I'm sure it will work for some folks, and probably boost Olive's and Sonos's sales, as their products look inexpensive by comparison!

It's funny that when I did it on my own, I went down the same path. The computer they are using is a Hush...SOTA Fanless. I simply won't settle for any fan based cooling computer...as time passes by, dusts gathers and it will be noisy (at least in HK).

I also picked WMA Lossless. Personal choice. No intention to defend myself here.

Anyway, the high price is mostly due to the Hush. It's a first rate computer and what I use as my MCE and SlimServer now. It's been flawless. Fanless...is imo a start for any audiophile. Now only if they would bundle a few SB3 in the setup, they can consider themselves truly walking down the Audiophile path.

)p(
2006-05-12, 12:46
Another closed system classical database like the one for the olive symphony...what we need is an open one :(

peter

WSLam
2006-05-12, 12:52
Another closed system classical database like the one for the olive symphony...what we need is an open one :(

peter

closed you mean their tagging?
i agree... but then, classical music just doesn't have the same market appeal... I doubt the mainstream software will change to accomodate the tagging needs of classical music.

aubuti
2006-05-12, 13:06
Good point about silent, fanless computers being more expensive, although I am surprised just how much more expensive. Of course, silent/fanless only matters if the computer is somewhere you can hear it.

Re the closed nature of the system, it's not just the tagging system, but also (a) the recommended way of putting your music on the system ("send it to us"), and (b) the prohibition on hardware tinkering (what if 400GB gets too small?).

)p(
2006-05-12, 13:09
closed you mean their tagging?
i agree... but then, classical music just doesn't have the same market appeal... I doubt the mainstream software will change to accomodate the tagging needs of classical music.

There are several enhancements requests filed for slimserver some time ago which in theory could make it a great interface for navigating classical music.

But even when we get there we will still need to tag our classical cd's mostly by hand. A classical cd database is what we really need... Maybe in the form of a community effort. Now al the classical music fans that use slimserver are on their own and are most likely duplicating tagging lots and lots of cd's. A central database of some sort would be ideal.

I personally find the task to tag my 1000+ classical cd's at the moment too scary to even start. So my sb3 is only used for popular music at the moment. And because it works so good I find myself listening much less to classical music as I used to do.

peter

WSLam
2006-05-12, 13:12
Good point about silent, fanless computers being more expensive, although I am surprised just how much more expensive. Of course, silent/fanless only matters if the computer is somewhere you can hear it.

You are of course right. With SB3 wireless capability, it is not difficult to have a computer that is far enough for noise not to be an issue. Since I also wanted a MCE machine, I went with the Hush. Sort of kills two birds with one stone, at a price. Fanless is expensive! The thing weighs like 20 to 30lbs! it's one gigantic heat sink!

Re the closed nature of the system, it's not just the tagging system, but also (a) the recommended way of putting your music on the system ("send it to us"), and (b) the prohibition on hardware tinkering (what if 400GB gets too small?).[/QUOTE]

Oh, that. Well, it's because of the fanless thing...everything is connected inside via heatpipeps. I do have an external HDD connected using SATA in a SmartDrive HDD Enclosure, so I could have ore capacity without adding a single fan...

I OTOH just wishes that UI will include one for CLASSICAL music.

aubuti
2006-05-12, 13:26
Something I overlooked in my earlier comments is that the $5000 includes ripping and tagging up to 1000 CDs, adding liner notes, etc. If they do it well and you value your time at all, that service is worth a good part of the total price tag, especially with the dearth of free online classical music databases.

That is good to hear that you can add capacity easily via external HDD. Is there anyway to do a backup, or do you have to rely on the backup they keep on their server (mentioned in the FAQ?).

mherger
2006-05-12, 13:27
> Oh, that. Well, it's because of the fanless thing...everything is
> connected inside via heatpipeps. I do have an external HDD connected
> using SATA in a SmartDrive HDD Enclosure, so I could have ore capacity
> without adding a single fan...

....and is this really a Windows sticker on the back?!?

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

kolding
2006-05-12, 15:20
I came up with my own tools to do classical tagging, mainly because everything else sucks so bad at tagging. ID3v2 actually contains sufficient defined tools to specify tags in a reasonable manner, problem is that nobody uses them (ie, most taggers have GUI's with rather fixed sets of tags). FLAC is, of course, free form, so you can pretty much do whatever you want with FLAC.

I enter info on a disc-by-disc basis, and group things by work within that. I store the data in a JSON (JavaScript object notation) file, and store data in a hierachical fashion. This allows me to not have to duplicate info into each track.

I'm attaching an example file. It contains data on the 1st (I think) Kronos Quartet album, the one with Purple Haze. You can see from looking at this, that there are 5 works. The 1st, 3rd, and 4th works all are actually multiple track/movement works, the 2nd and 4th are single tracks.

Some of the tags (at the outter level) are "per disc", others at inner levels are "per work" or "per track". The format is fairly flexible.

I also have some perl scripts which will take this file and tag MP3 and/or FLAC tracks based on it. The scripts that use it are available at:
http://www.koldware.com/SlimStuff/MusicUtils/cRetag and
http://www.koldware.com/SlimStuff/MusicUtils/ClassicalDB.pm
The first is the actual script, and the second is a support module.

The command syntax is "cRetag disc.txt *.mp3 *.flac". I do rely on the track number tags actually being in the files to tag, although you can tag an indivual track if you add the -t option (cRetag -t 1 disc.txt track1.mp3 track1.flac).

I've tagged my entire classical collection via these scripts. I found it much easier to use than any other tools out there, but I'm an old command line/unix dude.

Eric

Listener
2006-05-12, 21:18
There are several enhancements requests filed for slimserver some time ago which in theory could make it a great interface for navigating classical music.

Ceejay filed those requests (# 2696-2701) after a couple of long threads to which I contributed. A couple were listed for v 6.5 the last time I looked. I think the enhancements will make a world of difference for locating and playing classical music on the Squeezebox.



But even when we get there we will still need to tag our classical cd's mostly by hand. A classical cd database is what we really need... Maybe in the form of a community effort. Now al the classical music fans that use slimserver are on their own and are most likely duplicating tagging lots and lots of cd's. A central database of some sort would be ideal.

The Well Tempered Database project is underway to create such a database for classical music and build a tagger program to use the database. See

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/wtdb/



I personally find the task to tag my 1000+ classical cd's at the moment too scary to even start. So my sb3 is only used for popular music at the moment. And because it works so good I find myself listening much less to classical music as I used to do.

peter

I researched and experimented for awhile and then just started. In almost 3 weeks I've ripped about 11% of my 1800-2000 CD collection. I'm getting faster as I get experience with the process.

I started out using EAC to rip CDs, MP3tag to tag them and J. River Media Center 11 to do final tag cleanp. It was an ugly, tedious, mistake prone process. I now use Media Center for the entire process. It is much less tedious and mistake prone since Media Cnter supports Composer and other tags. I can get the tags right before I start ripping a CD. (I compared 6 WAV files made by EAC and Media Center 11 and found them to be identical so quality doesn't seem to be an issue.) It is still a long process to riop and tag a large collection but it seems doable to me.

Bill

cepheid
2006-05-12, 21:40
I also have some perl scripts which will take this file and tag MP3 and/or FLAC tracks based on it.
Would these scripts work for ALAC tags as well? IIRC, ALAC also uses ID3, though I'm not positive about that. In any case, all of my music is in ALAC format (ripped using iTunes), and while I did my best to tag the stuff properly, it was certainly not optimal due to iTunes' somewhat limited tagging.

One feature request that would be great for SS is to add "Browse by Composer" in addition to the other Browse options... I know there's an option to have SS include Composers in the "Browse by Artist" list, but that's not at all the same thing.

Another idea which could be done separately or in conjunction with the above is to allow inclusion of only CLASSICAL composers in the artist list, i.e. only Composers for songs tagged as Classical would be added to the Artist list, while other composers would be ignored. The reason for this is that many of my rock/electronica tracks include composer information, namely the artist(s) who wrote the song. However, often these are personal names rather than band names, and I do **NOT** want them added to the Artist list. At the same time, the "artists" for classical pieces (i.e. the conductor, ensemble, soloists, etc.) are rarely relevant when I'm searching for music, i.e. I am much more likely to search for "Mozart" than I am to search for "Neville Marriner" or "Berlin Chamber Orchestra."

Currently the only way to browse by composer is to add ALL composers, regardless of genre, to the Artist list (by enabling the appropriate feature in SS), but this causes the very problem I mention above (i.e. that I only want to see composers for classical music, not any other genres).

It would really be great if SlimServer treated classical composers as the "artists" for purposes of searching - at the very least, to make it an option so those of you who DO want to search by conductor/ensemble/soloist still can. Adding a "Browse by Composer" is certainly the easiest workaround, so hopefully the developers can add that sometime soon. The other option (the first sentence of this paragraph) would probably take a bit of work to ensure that it was done in an intuitive fashion.

kolding
2006-05-13, 10:41
Would these scripts work for ALAC tags as well? IIRC, ALAC also uses ID3, though I'm not positive about that. In any case, all of my music is in ALAC format (ripped using iTunes), and while I did my best to tag the stuff properly, it was certainly not optimal due to iTunes' somewhat limited tagging.


Sure. The scripts could easily be extended to any format, given that you somebody's written the appropriate Perl modules to write the tags to those formats. I've relied on other modules to handle those, namely MP3::Tag and Audio::FLAC::Header.

cliveb
2006-05-13, 12:30
Fanless...is imo a start for any audiophile.
Being fanless only solves one part of the noise problem (admittedly the major part). You're still left with the noise caused by the hard disk(s). Even Samsung Spinpoint disks configured for "silent" operation make a little bit of spin and seek noise. I note that the Maestro has the hard disk suspended so as not to transfer vibrations to the case, but I would lay money on the device not being genuinely silent.

As far as I'm concerned, the Slim Devices solution is the correct one: a central server placed somewhere remote, where the noise doesn't matter (mine's in the attic), and client front ends with *absolutely no moving parts* at the point of listening.

WSLam
2006-05-15, 00:44
Being fanless only solves one part of the noise problem (admittedly the major part). You're still left with the noise caused by the hard disk(s). Even Samsung Spinpoint disks configured for "silent" operation make a little bit of spin and seek noise. I note that the Maestro has the hard disk suspended so as not to transfer vibrations to the case, but I would lay money on the device not being genuinely silent.

As far as I'm concerned, the Slim Devices solution is the correct one: a central server placed somewhere remote, where the noise doesn't matter (mine's in the attic), and client front ends with *absolutely no moving parts* at the point of listening.

Of course. I have SmartDrive2002 on all my hdd. Hush also dampen the sound of the HDD themselves.