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View Full Version : Improved support for classical and opera music in squeezebox



2004-08-11, 15:04
Is anyone interested in improving support for classical and opera in the
Squeezebox?

There are several challenges to properly tagging, organizing and playing
this type of music on a Squeezebox. We might be able to solve some of them.

The first issue is tagging. We can't tackle the problem of incorrect
information in the CDDB and FreeDB databases, but we can at least specify
the tags that Squeezebox should read and act upon.

Here's a simple example of the kind of information that we might want to
utilize:

LABEL=Deutsche Grammophon
COMPOSER=Gustav Mahler
CONDUCTOR=Herbert von Karajan
ENSEMBLE=Berliner Philharmoniker
PERFORMER=Liza don Getti (soprano)
PERFORMER=Joe Barr (piano)
OPUS=8
PART=movement 1. Allegreto
TITLE=Symphony no. 4

The next issue concerns changes to the Squeezebox interface. Some things
that would be of interest are new top-level browse sections (Composer,
Conductor, etc) and possible changes in the format strings that control the
Squeezebox display.

After these issues have been resolved, then coding can begin. :)

So, over to you. Let's hear what you think. How do *you* arrange your
classical music? How would you *like* to organise it? How would you like to
browse it?

All responses to the list please. I've agreed to collate responses and write
up some sort of summary of your thoughts.

Cheers,

R.
--
http://robinbowes.com

David Lutz
2004-08-11, 21:08
Yes, I would love enhanced Classical support in the slimserver.
Currently all of my classical albums are only tagged to the currently
slimserver support level, meaning: ARTIST=The biggest name on the
front of the cover, i.e. Composer or Ensemble, CONDUCTOR,
BAND=ensemble, COMPOSER, TITLE=Title and part, COMMENT=opus, RV, BMW,
arranger, etc. Slimserver lets me include composer, conductor,
and band in the artist list.

However if slimserver had enhanced classical support, I would gladly
spend the time to retag my collection. The tags you have listed would
be a great start, especially if repeated tags where supported like
PERFORMER. I would also add ARRANGER (maybe not a standard, but a
nice tag to have) and make the OPUS tag a bit more generic to include
RV or BMW numbers as well.

I would like to be able to search/sort by composer/ensemble/conductor/
title all independantly.

D.L.

--
< David Lutz -*- lutzd (AT) pobox (DOT) com -*- AC7NM -*- http://www.dlutz.net/ >

David Lutz
2004-08-11, 23:05
On Wed, Aug 11, 2004 at 10:26:29PM -0700, trmp3 (AT) hoghill (DOT) net wrote:
>
> Is conductor now supported? I am running version 5.2.1 of SlimServer and my conductor tags (TPE3) do not appear in the artist list.
>
> Taylor

Arrrgh! It looks like your right. I see the conductor listed in the
song info, but not in the artist list. I am used to navigating my
collection via "Browse Music Folder".

D.L.

--
< David Lutz -*- lutzd (AT) pobox (DOT) com -*- AC7NM -*- http://www.dlutz.net/ >

Pat Farrell
2004-08-11, 23:11
At 06:04 PM 8/11/2004, robin-lists (AT) robinbowes (DOT) com wrote:
>Is anyone interested in improving support for classical and opera in the
>Squeezebox?

Lots are. But it is hard. So it will take time.
Actually, it is more of a SlimServer issue than of the SqueezeBox or SLimp3.
The main hardware side problem I see is that my non-graphic Sqbx doesn't
handle Latin-1 character sets well, and lots of classical music was written
by foreigners with funny characters in their names.

>There are several challenges to properly tagging, organizing and playing
>this type of music on a Squeezebox. We might be able to solve some of them.

Classical music (using the broad definition, not just romantic music
from 1770 to 1830 or so), is badly served by MP3 tags, especially
the ID3 V1 tags that everyone uses. The later ID3 tags do a better job,
but lots of programs handle it poorly, and the Freedb/CDdb databases
have very poor data. Ogg and Flac and probably some others do it better,
but by no means do it well.

Fixing it will "right" will take a major change to the SlimServer's
datastructures, and there is currently an effort over on the developer's
list to make the changes to support a real relational database.
Once that is done, it will be easy. But expect it to take
a while to get done, even if parts can be released
incrementally.


>The first issue is tagging.

Which is really a problem of data, or more specifically,
the meta data about a song.


>So, over to you. Let's hear what you think. How do *you* arrange your
>classical music? How would you *like* to organise it? How would you like to
>browse it?

I don't want to organize it. I want to put as many tags as possible on a song,
say it is a Baroque chamber piece from 1810, Vienna, in addition to
the composer, performer, conductor, etc. and I want to browse by
all of them in any combination. The good news is that
this is exactly what relational databases do trivially.
Computers are good at organization. Why should I try to do
something that computers do well?

I'd like to be able to say "show me all the pieces with harpsichord and cello"
or in jazz: "show me all the songs without blankety blank sax solos"
or even better, "show me all the guitar covers of Bach chorals."

Pat

Pat Farrell
2004-08-12, 08:53
At 05:44 AM 8/12/2004, Derek Erb wrote:
>
>I have 2 (soon 3) non-graphic SqueezeBoxes and a lot of French songs with
>accented characters such as “Cette année là – Claude François” and that
>sort of thing… they display fine on the screen of my Squeezeboxes.

Hmmm, I'll have to test some more. That would be very cool, as
nearly all my classical stuff has non-ASCII names. The French, German
and Italian artists were very prolific, and used their native languages (duh).

>PS: Going back to the original thread I agree with what someone else
>wrote here that we should be using the MP3 V2 tags for Composer, etc.

The critical question is which ID3 V2 tag set?
There are three, versions, not well designed for upward compatibility.

I think that the critical question is how to collect and store the tags.
Once we have the data, having the SlimServer manage them
is a minor issue of programming.

I have no idea if it would be better to have folks post better entries
to FreeDB, or start a separate ClassicalDB. I'd lean towards the former
to avoid having yet another database to populate, and to avoid
arguing if 20th century music is classical or not.

Pat