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Thread: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

  1. #1

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    Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Have been ripping my music library using dbP for several years.
    Ripped simultaneously to FLAC, ALAC and LAME.
    There are a lot of music apps that do not display the composer metadata.
    Found one called HiFi cast +DLNA because I bought a Chromecast Audio that does.
    Now HiFi Cast only can play FLAC or LAME not ALAC at present.
    It can play to the Chromecast or to my blue tooth speakers from NAS or on board memory.
    When playing using Hi Fi Cast I am still having difficulty displaying the composer metadata properly.
    More than 90% of my music library have the multiple composer metadata ( maybe as well as artist meta data ) is separated by a semi colon ;
    The rest of the tracks use a forward slash instead of a semi colon depending on what was used during ripping.
    I am also assuming that the multiple artist info maybe / could be affected by this semi colon vs forward slash issue.
    It appears that if the composer info is separated by a semi colon ;

    eg
    George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr

    Then the HiFi cast only displays the last composer in the list of composers ie in the above example Ringo Star
    For tracks that have multiple artists separated by a / then all the composers are displayed

    eg
    George Harrison/ John Lennon/ Paul McCartney/ Ringo Starr

    I can change the composer meta data on my hard drive to and from
    George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr
    to
    George Harrison/ John Lennon/ Paul McCartney/ Ringo Starr
    and it works properly with a forward slash but does not with a semi colon every time.
    Given that dbPoweramp and other rippers seem to use a semi colon mostly or a forward slash then it would appear that maybe it would be a good idea
    to have HiFi Cast accept both?
    To compound this if I play the same track or tracks using LAME the composer metadata presents correctly even though the separator is a semi colon ;
    The app developers say that this is unlikely to be an app issue??
    They were pointing the finger at my NAS but if I put the same music files onto the micro SD card on the tablet I get the same issue.
    With FLAC and the separator being a semi colon the composer data ( and probably multiple artist ) info does not display all the names just the last name.
    With FLAC with a slash the composer metadata displays all as expected.
    With LAME it does not seem to mater if the separator is a semi colon or a slash the composer metadata displays all as expected.
    So I am wondering why....
    Is it an app issue?
    Is it a FLAC issue?
    Or ?
    I am a little perplexed.
    Anyone with any ideas / solutions?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Hey shcbris,

    I can remember that I had similar problems and problems in understanding. For me the key to understand the problem has been to understand multiple tags (for artist, composer etc. pp.), their representation in dBpa and in media players.

    In the dBpa user interface the "; " (semicolon + space) is used to represent and separate tags. If those tags can be stored in multiple, separate tags depends mainly on the codec you use (and your configuration of the codec). I.e. so in case of flac each artist or composer, who has been separated in the dBpa GUI by "; " would be stored in a separate tag.


    in dBpa GUI: "Bobby McFerrin; Chick Corea"

    in flac two separate tags: "Bobby McFerrin" and "Chick Corea"


    If the codec or your configuration doesn't allow separate tags the tag is stored just in one tag.


    in dBpa GUI: "Bobby McFerrin; Chick Corea"

    in mp3 ID3v2.3 one tags: "Bobby McFerrin; Chick Corea"

    in mp3 ID3v2.4 two tags: "Bobby McFerrin" and "Chick Corea"


    What you see in your media player depends of the capabilities / configuration of the player. If the player can handle multiple tags and your files have multiple tags, everything is fine. The player can display, manage and organize each of the the separate tags. If not, you will see only one of the tags. In case of Sonos you see the first tag of the multiple tags, in case of your player it seems to be the last. That cuts down the possibilites to access and organize your music.

    If you have only single tags (like in mp3 ID3v2.3) some player display the tag as is (i.e. "Bobby McFerrin; Chick Corea"), and some player substitue the "; " by a forward slash (i.e. "Bobby McFerrin / Chick Corea").

    I hope I could give you a little idea of the concepts.


    Dat Ei

  3. #3

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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Thanks Dat Ei.
    The separator method I used mainly was semicolon space ie in your example "Bobby McFerrin; Chick Corea".
    Probably at least 90% of my music library is with the semicolon convention. The rest the forward slash convention.
    Those tracks that use the forward slash convention are fine.
    Also the same tracks in LAME format present the composer info fine (using the same music player)even though the semicolon space convention is used.
    Does this mean my only alternative is to convert all my tracks to the forward slash convention?
    Hope not...I have 50,000 tracks
    Would there be an automated way of doing this without risking screwing everything up?
    I would hate to have to start again...
    Thanks again
    Steve

  4. #4
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Hey Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    The separator method I used mainly was semicolon space ie in your example "Bobby McFerrin; Chick Corea".
    you have used that method with dBpa? What codec? flac?

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    Those tracks that use the forward slash convention are fine.
    But that is from my point of view a problem of your player.

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    Does this mean my only alternative is to convert all my tracks to the forward slash convention?
    I wouldn't do that. I would do it the other way round and try to fix the files with the forward slash. Once you have fixed it in your source files you can convert it easyly into files with forward slashes.

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    Would there be an automated way of doing this without risking screwing everything up?
    There is always a way to to this, as long as you have enough disc space.


    Dat Ei

  5. #5

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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    I ripped all my music using dbP to Lossless FLAC as well as I have another copy in ALAC and another in LAME at CBR of 320kbps.
    The tablet I am using is a Samsung Tab A and the music app is HiFi Cast music app.
    Like I said LAME does not seem to be a problem ( even though it has the separators as semicolon space just as does the FLAC version) playing with the same music app only the FLAC version.
    HiFi Cast wont play ALAC.
    Are you saying to go through every track and manually change from a semicolon space to a slash?
    Not sure I have the patience to do that...
    Going to try using Foobar2000 mobile when I get a chance.
    Steve

  6. #6
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    If I got you right, the majority of your flac files are tagged with "; ". So I would try to identify and fix those flac files with the slashes. I think the DSP ID Tag Processing could do the job. A conversion to ALAC at the end of the day should be no problem at all.

    In a last step you convert your fixed lossless files into mp3 files. You can then choose if you like to have ID3v2.3 or ID3v2.4 tags.


    Dat Ei

  7. #7

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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    50,000 tracks...do not think I have the time to do it individually. Each format FLAC, ALAC and LAME has about 50000 tracks.
    Tried Foobar2k mobile...will not present composer data at all when music played from the NAS whether FLAC or LAME or ALAC.
    So Foobar2k mobile does not seem to be as "friendly" when playing from the NAS as far as composer info is concerned.
    But will show the composer info if the files are played from the micro SD in the Tablet. Whether FLAC or LAME or ALAC theres no problem.
    Just to be more confusing....Not only that when playing from the mico SD card in the Tablet with:
    ALAC even though the tracks use semicolon as separators it displays as a forward slash on the tablet screen..
    FLAC even though the tracks use semicolon as separators it displays as a coma on the tablet screen..
    LAME even though the tracks use semicolon as separators it displays as a forward slash on the tablet screen..
    Talk about annoying..had I known about this years ago I would certainly have used the forward slash.
    This sort of thing does my head in...
    Gotta love standards...there are so many to choose from...

    Just tried another player called BubbleUpnP same sort of issues with semicolon..
    Hopefully there is a solution without having to do mass changes.
    Last edited by shcbris.; 01-31-2018 at 03:47 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    foobar2000 can display composers. and it can display multiple value tags (I do this with artist or album artist). It is very configurable. But it does require that you set it up to display these things. They don't show up out of the box. Search the foobar2000 forum (hydrogenaud.io) for hints on how to setup.

    mp3tag and its advanced "actions" can be programed to batch convert with a few mouse clicks from ; to / etc. It's all programmable. See their forum for assistance.
    https://forums.mp3tag.de/

  9. #9

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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Thanks Gary.
    I already modified Foobar2K mobile to display the composer data and it does display provided but not directly from the NAS just if its locally stored on the device that its playing on.
    Are you saying that I can do a batch convert using the mp3tag programme on a huge database of files just for say the composer field ( and maybe the artist field uses ; as well for multiple artists ) ?
    Thanks
    Steve

  10. #10
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    Thanks Gary.
    I already modified Foobar2K mobile to display the composer data and it does display provided but not directly from the NAS just if its locally stored on the device that its playing on.
    Are you saying that I can do a batch convert using the mp3tag programme on a huge database of files just for say the composer field ( and maybe the artist field uses ; as well for multiple artists ) ?
    Thanks
    Steve
    got it. I use foobar mobile too, but I was actually referring to foobar2000 (not the mobile app). Yes, mp3tag can do lots of sophisticated batch procedures on audio files (mp3, m4a, flac, wav, alac, etc.). Be careful there are some bogus programs with similar names. this is the real program download:
    https://www.mp3tag.de/en/dodownload.html

    The forum is pretty helpful with specific questions on programing,

  11. #11

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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Ok..Thanks again.
    I am sure I am not the only one in this boat given that the semicolon separator is the pretty common when ripping with dbP... but probably its just I like to see all the info
    See how I go..

  12. #12
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Have a look at this, for more understanding of multi-value tags and the use of separators:
    Tagging multiple composers

    It is very confusing, so you will need to fully understand the multi-value tag concept, the use of separators and how different software vary in the way they display/edit multi-value tags, otherwise you will get in a mess.

    I totally agree with Dat Ei's suggestion in post no. 6, as the way forward here and I also agree with garym's suggestion that these fixes are often best accomplished using MP3Tag.

  13. #13

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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Thanks.
    Appreciate the help.
    Yes if I convert the FLAC to LAME mp3 using dbP batch converter and play on the player
    the composer info comes out as you would expect.
    So even though the FLAC music files have the separator as a semicolon to begin with when they get converted to LAME mp3
    files by the batch converter they become a forward slash when multiple composer data is there. Obviously any composer info that has a single composer is not affected either way.
    While that is all well and good...it would be preferable to play using FLAC lossless..instead of LAME at 320kbps
    But as the Stone's sang ''You can't always get what you want"....easily that is
    Maybe these idiosyncrasies should be highlighed a little more prominately.... or maybe I just missed it.
    Last edited by shcbris.; 01-31-2018 at 09:15 PM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    Yes if I convert the FLAC to LAME mp3 using dbP batch converter and play on the player
    the composer info comes out as you would expect.
    So even though the FLAC music files have the separator as a semicolon to begin with when they get converted to LAME mp3
    files by the batch converter they become a forward slash when multiple composer data is there. Obviously any composer info that has a single composer is not affected either way.
    No, this not correct and is what I meant earlier about fully understanding the issues involved here. The flac files do not have any separator, only multi-value data values. The separator is only used when displaying multi-values in software. dBpoweramp uses a semi-colon and a space within it's GUI.

    Example. A flac file might contain a multi-value COMPOSER such as:
    COMPOSER=George Harrison
    COMPOSER=John Lennon
    COMPOSER=Paul McCartney
    COMPOSER=Ringo Starr

    Depending on the software you use to view this tag and the file format you are viewing, it may look different.
    In Illustrate's software (inc. dBpoweramp), for flac files (and mp3 files), it will look like this:
    George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Ringo Starr

    However, in MP3Tag, for flac files, it will look like this:
    George Harrison\\John Lennon\\Paul McCartney\\Ringo Starr

    This is further complicated with mp3 as the behaviour differs between the ID3 tagging system versions ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4, where ID3v2.3 does not support multi-value tags, whereas ID3v2.4 does. FYI, flac uses the vorbis comment tagging system.

    From what you have stated in this thread, I suspect you are writing ID3v2.3 tags in your mp3 files, so on conversion from flac to mp3, your composer tag is converted from a multi-value tag to a single value tag containing the data value:
    George Harrison / John Lennon / Paul McCartney / Ringo Starr

    which is what you are seeing in your HiFi Cast app for mp3 files. I suspect also that the HiFi Cast app does not support multi-value tags as only the last composer is being displayed for flac files as your flac composer is a multi-value tag.

    These issues are common (but often misunderstood) issues as many users are using ID3v2.3 for mp3 file creation. It is the same issue I faced with my flac files and mp3 files. I use foobar2000 (which supports multi-value tags) to play my flac files and iTunes/iPod Classic 160GB (which does not support multi-value tags) to play my mp3 files. See here for more info:
    ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4 and multi-value tags

    So before proceeding, the first question is how have you configured your mp3 codec in dBpoweramp?
    Go to dBpoweramp Control Center >> Audio Codecs: List / Options >> mp3 ID Tagging
    What is Tag Creation and ID3v2 Version showing?

  15. #15
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    Re: Composer tags - semi colon separator vs forward slash

    Quote Originally Posted by shcbris. View Post
    While that is all well and good...it would be preferable to play using FLAC lossless..instead of LAME at 320kbps
    But as the Stone's sang ''You can't always get what you want"....easily that is
    Maybe these idiosyncrasies should be highlighed a little more prominately.... or maybe I just missed it.
    You simply need to use a player that supports multi-value tags.

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