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DLD-UK
07-24-2015, 05:42 PM
Hi,

Sorry if this question is a little basic. I had ripped all of my CD's and all was well until my hard disk failed. I didn't loose the disk that contained my rips but what I did loose was the ripping options (naming convention and DSP effects) I had previously used. Try as I might I cannot get new rips to follow the naming convention I used before and new rips sound different to previous ones in terms of loudness. Could someone please help me recover from this since I have so far failed myserably!

Specifically:
1. How do I name a file with an optional (composer) after the name. I have tried to follow the examples but can't see to get it this time. If there is no composer I just want blank instead of (). Everythring I have tried I have failed with.
2. With my current rips is it possible run some sort of program to analyse what dsp settings I previously used?
3. Can someone suggest what I should be using? Even though I have read about normalisation a number of times I still cannot work out what I should be using. Should I be doing Album Gain and Track Gain?
4. Is there a way of backing up the options I use so that I don't get in this situation again?

I rip to FLAC and have around 15,000 tracks. But I also have quite a number of FLAC downloads and obviously I don't know what settings were used on those. Can I/should I run the Music Converter against my entire library and will this rewrite all the settings?

Lastly, I've just got a couple of new CD's that also come with Bluray's. Can I rip these and can anyone point me to good article on how to do this? I'm not really interested in the video of these but I would be interested in ripping the surround sound versions.

Sorry if this is too basic but I did try to follow what has already been written. As I worked out the naming convention before I am a bit embarrassed that I can't get it now. Old age maybe!!! It is so many years ago that I ripped everything I can't remember any of it.

Many thank.

mville
07-24-2015, 06:16 PM
Is your PC running Windows? Did you backup your PC ever? Was the failed hard drive the OS/System drive?

BrodyBoy
07-24-2015, 08:19 PM
Hi,

Sorry if this question is a little basic. I had ripped all of my CD's and all was well until my hard disk failed. I didn't loose the disk that contained my rips but what I did loose was the ripping options (naming convention and DSP effects) I had previously used. Try as I might I cannot get new rips to follow the naming convention I used before and new rips sound different to previous ones in terms of loudness. Could someone please help me recover from this since I have so far failed myserably!

Sorry to hear about your hard drive crash...much like unexpected car trouble, those are always an annoying & tedious inconvenience. Hope you can get everything back in working order again soon. As for dBp, it shouldn't be too difficult to get things back the way they were. Addressing your questions individually:


1. How do I name a file with an optional (composer) after the name. I have tried to follow the examples but can't see to get it this time. If there is no composer I just want blank instead of (). Everythring I have tried I have failed with.
You need to be more specific here. Most helpful would be to show us some examples of the naming system you've been using....just copy and paste some of your filenames. Also, are there any other conditional elements besides including COMPOSER, if present? (For example, use ALBUMARTIST, if present, but if not, use ARTIST....or anything like that....?) If you show us exactly ow your files should be named, we can help you re-construct the naming string that produces that result.


2. With my current rips is it possible run some sort of program to analyse what dsp settings I previously used?
Generally not, unless you specifically added informational tags to preserve that information. Most users wouldn't or couldn't do that, and it's probably safe to assume you didn't either.


3. Can someone suggest what I should be using? Even though I have read about normalisation a number of times I still cannot work out what I should be using. Should I be doing Album Gain and Track Gain?
If you were using ReplayGain, that data would be preserved in your existing rips. Go into Windows Explorer and right-click on a few of your music files. The Edit ID Tag pop-up window should show you the existing tags. Look for which normalization tags you have and post them here (it's not the data itself for a given file, but the metadata fields that indicate what you were using before).


4. Is there a way of backing up the options I use so that I don't get in this situation again?
Unfortunately, no "official" or easy way. dBp provides no backup/restore utility or function, so determined users have to resort to either saving registry keys or writing down all their custom settings.


I rip to FLAC and have around 15,000 tracks. But I also have quite a number of FLAC downloads and obviously I don't know what settings were used on those. Can I/should I run the Music Converter against my entire library and will this rewrite all the settings?
I'm not sure what you mean here....I thought your existing music library was okay (i.e., the rips you made prior to your hard drive crash)? In any event, you wouldn't run Music Converter on existing files unless you need to process those files somehow. It doesn't sound like that's what you want or need to do. Please clarify if I'm not understanding what you would want to accomplish, or do to these existing files.


Lastly, I've just got a couple of new CD's that also come with Bluray's. Can I rip these and can anyone point me to good article on how to do this? I'm not really interested in the video of these but I would be interested in ripping the surround sound versions.
Not with dBp. There is certainly software available for ripping Blu-Rays, such as PowerDirector and many others, but dBp is an audio-only program.

DLD-UK
07-25-2015, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the reply. Yes it is Windows 8 Pro 64 bit. I have backups but they are not in a good state. The OS was on it's own partition on an SSD but the SSD just stopped working with no prior warning. I restored the backup onto a replacement SSD but then found I was being hit with online fraud. My anti-virus and anti-malware programs both found no problems. But after 3 replacement credit cards I decided I had been hit somehow. I still don't know how. So I decided I needed to do a completely fresh install and that my backups were useless. Something bad is on them but I don't know what. My actual documents/music etc all sit on a server so I didn't loose any actual data. I just lost the settings I was using with dbpoweramp and when I came to rip again I realised that I couldn't remember what I had used or why I had used it. So, I thought I'd ask other people what DSP settings they use.

DLD-UK
07-25-2015, 11:25 AM
Sorry to hear about your hard drive crash...much like unexpected car trouble, those are always an annoying & tedious inconvenience. Hope you can get everything back in working order again soon. As for dBp, it shouldn't be too difficult to get things back the way they were. Addressing your questions individually:


You need to be more specific here. Most helpful would be to show us some examples of the naming system you've been using....just copy and paste some of your filenames. Also, are there any other conditional elements besides including COMPOSER, if present? (For example, use ALBUMARTIST, if present, but if not, use ARTIST....or anything like that....?) If you show us exactly ow your files should be named, we can help you re-construct the naming string that produces that result.


Generally not, unless you specifically added informational tags to preserve that information. Most users wouldn't or couldn't do that, and it's probably safe to assume you didn't either.


If you were using ReplayGain, that data would be preserved in your existing rips. Go into Windows Explorer and right-click on a few of your music files. The Edit ID Tag pop-up window should show you the existing tags. Look for which normalization tags you have and post them here (it's not the data itself for a given file, but the metadata fields that indicate what you were using before).


Unfortunately, no "official" or easy way. dBp provides no backup/restore utility or function, so determined users have to resort to either saving registry keys or writing down all their custom settings.


I'm not sure what you mean here....I thought your existing music library was okay (i.e., the rips you made prior to your hard drive crash)? In any event, you wouldn't run Music Converter on existing files unless you need to process those files somehow. It doesn't sound like that's what you want or need to do. Please clarify if I'm not understanding what you would want to accomplish, or do to these existing files.


Not with dBp. There is certainly software available for ripping Blu-Rays, such as PowerDirector and many others, but dBp is an audio-only program.

I'm afraid I don't know how to edit with this system properly!

My naming convention is simple and look like this

M:\FLAC\Pink Floyd\Discovery - A Momentary Lapse of Reason\03 - The Dogs of War (David Gilmour).flac

M:\FLAC\Pink Floyd\Discovery - The Dark Side of the Moon\01 - Speak to Me.flac

The only thing I'm having a problem with is the composer. If dbpoweramp knows the composer I want it to appear in brackets as with the (David Gilmour) above. If it doesn't know the composer then I want it to appear as in the second line.

I'm making a total mess of editing this. Sorry.

My existing library was on a server so I haven't lost any music. But I'm very aware that I have ripped over a number of years and used different DSP settings over that time. So, I think my music is inconsistent in terms of tags and even naming conventions. For example, some of my files have the album year included in the name and some don't. I have also found that I have used Album Artist and even Genre's inconsistently. I can fix those sort of things using MP3tag but I was hoping that I could make consistent use of normalisation tags for replaygain across all the music. I have definitely used different settings over the years. That is why I thought I might be able to run music converter and fix those things. Maybe I should be using a different program?

I also really need help in understanding which DSP settings to use. No matter how many times I read the explanations I still can't work out what to use.

Maybe it would help if I explain why I think I have an issue. I play most of my music on a Squeezebox Touch and I have tried all the volume adjustment settings values. At the moment I have set it to "smart gain". But I seem to have little success in keeping a constant volume even within the same album or across albums. I've also set crossfade but that doesn't seem to work either. If I play albums that I ripped a few years ago all seems okay. But if I play more recent albums nothing seems to work well.

I hope that makes some sort of sense.

mville
07-25-2015, 11:29 AM
Do your backups contain backups of the registry. There is a registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Illustrate

that will contain most of your dBpoweramp settings e.g Naming string, DSP settings etc.

mville
07-25-2015, 11:35 AM
The only thing I'm having a problem with is the composer. If dbpoweramp knows the composer I want it to appear in brackets as with the (David Gilmour) above. If it doesn't know the composer then I want it to appear as in the second line.
After [title] in your Naming string, try adding the following:

[IFVALUE]composer, ([composer]),[]

PLEASE NOTE. In the above example this only returns the first Composer. If you require all Composers, the code is different, but could result in very long pathnames.

DLD-UK
07-25-2015, 11:47 AM
Brilliant. Thank you.

BrodyBoy
07-25-2015, 03:01 PM
I'm afraid I don't know how to edit with this system properly!
Not a problem! We can follow just fine..... :)


My existing library was on a server so I haven't lost any music. But I'm very aware that I have ripped over a number of years and used different DSP settings over that time. So, I think my music is inconsistent in terms of tags and even naming conventions. For example, some of my files have the album year included in the name and some don't. I have also found that I have used Album Artist and even Genre's inconsistently. I can fix those sort of things using MP3tag but I was hoping that I could make consistent use of normalisation tags for replaygain across all the music. I have definitely used different settings over the years. That is why I thought I might be able to run music converter and fix those things. Maybe I should be using a different program?

I also really need help in understanding which DSP settings to use. No matter how many times I read the explanations I still can't work out what to use.

Maybe it would help if I explain why I think I have an issue. I play most of my music on a Squeezebox Touch and I have tried all the volume adjustment settings values. At the moment I have set it to "smart gain". But I seem to have little success in keeping a constant volume even within the same album or across albums. I've also set crossfade but that doesn't seem to work either. If I play albums that I ripped a few years ago all seems okay. But if I play more recent albums nothing seems to work well.

I hope that makes some sort of sense.
It sounds like you've gotten the COMPOSER naming issue resolved. Aside from that, it seems you're now looking to clean up your library a bit and apply some consistent volume normalization. Since you are already familiar with mp3tag, I'd suggest you start there. To really do this right, it's not going to be a quick-scan, quick-fix kind of thing. But here are some suggestions...all of these are things that can be done very easily in mp3tag, and once you get the processes refined to your liking, can be performed quickly on large batches at a time:


Apply a consistent file naming scheme (optional, since your players don't really care...but it'll look better to you). Just like with dBp, mp3tag allows you to construct naming templates that make very quick work of this task.
.
Create your own GENRE scheme. mp3tag's custom genre list is a simple text file saved in AppData, so if you make that list yourself and then apply your own selections (from mp3tag's drop-down box) to albums or batches of files as you go through and clean them up, you'll be enforcing a consistent genre scheme that makes sense to you. (The GENREs as applied by the online databases are wildly inconsistent, and this is often subjective, anyway.)
.
Decide what tags are essential to you, and which aren't. With an mp3tag action group, you can quickly remove the extraneous ones and make sure the ones you want are added. For example, ALBUMARTIST is key to the way I organize my library, so I ensure that it's written properly for every album/file. You can create and use different action groups for different types of albums.....compilations, for example, often have some different tagging needs, as do classical music and some other types that don't fit the "pop" conventions.
.
In your mp3tag clean-up actions, remove all the normalization tags. This is a good first step, I think, in addressing the varying loudness problem. Look at a bunch of your files from over the years and make a note of all the different types of normalization tags you see....then include those tags in a REMOVE action. (A good way to do this is to load a big batch of files in mp3tag, select-all, and open the Extended tags box. Look down the list and you'll see all sorts of tags you probably didn't know were there!)
.
After you have "groomed" and cleaned up your tags and you're happy with the filenames and metadata, then you can batch process these files with dBp and apply new volume normalization tags, if desired. (I say "if desired" because you may or may not feel you need them after removing all the inconsistent normalization that's been applied over the years.)


This is just a brief list of suggestions. As many of the longtime users here can tell you, fixing and cleaning up metadata tends to become a never-ending quest! I'm very meticulous with my tags and I still find errors that sneaked in under the radar. But if you start now, cleaning up your existing library and being more diligent about metadata on new rips going forward, you'll find your music library much easier and to navigate and use.

As for DSPs, there really aren't any that you must use. Obviously, if you decide you want to apply normalization to all rips, you'll want to use the Volume Normalization DSP. Many of us use the ID Tag Processing DSP as the "first line of offense" in attaining the metadata consistency we've been talking about. (But even then, still go trough some post-rip review in mp3tag.) Beyond that, all the other DSPs are really tools for addressing specific needs or issues and aren't needed for most CD ripping.

DLD-UK
07-31-2015, 04:48 PM
Not a problem! We can follow just fine..... :)


It sounds like you've gotten the COMPOSER naming issue resolved. Aside from that, it seems you're now looking to clean up your library a bit and apply some consistent volume normalization. Since you are already familiar with mp3tag, I'd suggest you start there. To really do this right, it's not going to be a quick-scan, quick-fix kind of thing. But here are some suggestions...all of these are things that can be done very easily in mp3tag, and once you get the processes refined to your liking, can be performed quickly on large batches at a time:


Apply a consistent file naming scheme (optional, since your players don't really care...but it'll look better to you). Just like with dBp, mp3tag allows you to construct naming templates that make very quick work of this task.
.
Create your own GENRE scheme. mp3tag's custom genre list is a simple text file saved in AppData, so if you make that list yourself and then apply your own selections (from mp3tag's drop-down box) to albums or batches of files as you go through and clean them up, you'll be enforcing a consistent genre scheme that makes sense to you. (The GENREs as applied by the online databases are wildly inconsistent, and this is often subjective, anyway.)
.
Decide what tags are essential to you, and which aren't. With an mp3tag action group, you can quickly remove the extraneous ones and make sure the ones you want are added. For example, ALBUMARTIST is key to the way I organize my library, so I ensure that it's written properly for every album/file. You can create and use different action groups for different types of albums.....compilations, for example, often have some different tagging needs, as do classical music and some other types that don't fit the "pop" conventions.
.
In your mp3tag clean-up actions, remove all the normalization tags. This is a good first step, I think, in addressing the varying loudness problem. Look at a bunch of your files from over the years and make a note of all the different types of normalization tags you see....then include those tags in a REMOVE action. (A good way to do this is to load a big batch of files in mp3tag, select-all, and open the Extended tags box. Look down the list and you'll see all sorts of tags you probably didn't know were there!)
.
After you have "groomed" and cleaned up your tags and you're happy with the filenames and metadata, then you can batch process these files with dBp and apply new volume normalization tags, if desired. (I say "if desired" because you may or may not feel you need them after removing all the inconsistent normalization that's been applied over the years.)


This is just a brief list of suggestions. As many of the longtime users here can tell you, fixing and cleaning up metadata tends to become a never-ending quest! I'm very meticulous with my tags and I still find errors that sneaked in under the radar. But if you start now, cleaning up your existing library and being more diligent about metadata on new rips going forward, you'll find your music library much easier and to navigate and use.

As for DSPs, there really aren't any that you must use. Obviously, if you decide you want to apply normalization to all rips, you'll want to use the Volume Normalization DSP. Many of us use the ID Tag Processing DSP as the "first line of offense" in attaining the metadata consistency we've been talking about. (But even then, still go trough some post-rip review in mp3tag.) Beyond that, all the other DSPs are really tools for addressing specific needs or issues and aren't needed for most CD ripping.

Thank you so much for your response - I really appreciate it. I have read it a number of times and still don't know how to respond or implement it!! I was completely unaware of the power in MP3TAG and although I want to follow everything you have said, I'm not actually sure how to. I've looked at the MP3TAG help page but I wonder if there are posts, documents or videos that show how to do the things you suggest? They say Google is your friend but in this case it is not helping too much. I feel like it's my first day at school!!

For example, when I look in the genre.ini file (which I assume is the file you were referring to?) all I see is one line that says "Audiobook=". Is there a definition of the syntax somewhere? I would really like to define my own list of genres that both dbPoweramp and MP3TAG both use without showing me genres that I'm not interested in. I know that dbPoweramp is getting genre information from databases but some of those are so strange. I recently had Pink Floyd defined as Pop and ABBA defined as Rock!!!

In terms of naming conventions I was completely unaware that MP3TAG supports naming templates. But again, using Google I have not found out how to do this. I have often thought of writing a Perl script to go through my library and report on inconsistences. I often use Bulk Rename Utility to tidy up problems but it would be so much easier if MP3TAG could go through the library.

With regard to volume normalisation it doesn't matter how many times I read about it. I just don't get it. I set my Squeezebox to do Smart Gain, but I don't know what that actually means and I've never understood whether I should be using Track Gain or Album Gain or both. I do know that CD's that I ripped before I had problems on my PC all sound okay on the Squeezebox and that others since vary widely.

Has anyone written a document on how to do all this?

Sorry if none of the above makes sense but I can't work out how to use this editor.

BrodyBoy
08-01-2015, 01:32 AM
Has anyone written a document on how to do all this?

Sorry if none of the above makes sense but I can't work out how to use this editor.
Unfortunately, there isn't a comprehensive manual for mp3tag, but it does have excellent integrated help files and online forum (http://forums.mp3tag.de/index.php?showforum=17) resources. It's an incredibly useful program! One thing I especially appreciate is its flexibility...basic functions are very accessible for users who just need to do some basic editing, but for those willing to climb a little further up the learning curve, it offers very powerful tools to accommodate even the most advanced metadata management needs.

It's probably not appropriate to turn this into an mp3tag thread, but you're welcome to PM me if you'd like some instruction on performing the specific tasks you mentioned. I'd also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the forum & FAQs over there, so you can take advantage of those resources if/when you want to learn some more advanced functions.

As for normalization, I'm really thinking you should just strip all those tags as I described in my earlier post, and don't worry about "re-normalizing" now. Volume normalization is not required, and your library can function quite well without it. After you take care of the other clean-up tasks and you're happy with your library's organization and metadata, then you can decide whether you want to use volume normalization. If you still think you do, you can always come back and get help with that specific task.

garym
08-01-2015, 08:15 AM
With regard to volume normalisation it doesn't matter how many times I read about it. I just don't get it. I set my Squeezebox to do Smart Gain, but I don't know what that actually means and I've never understood whether I should be using Track Gain or Album Gain or both. I do know that CD's that I ripped before I had problems on my PC all sound okay on the Squeezebox and that others since vary widely.

LMS SmartGain is very nice. It automatically uses AlbumGain if playing an entire album or TrackGain if playing a mixture of tracks from different albums. The best of both worlds!