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Thread: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

  1. #1

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    Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    What naming convention do you follow when you rip your Classical Music Cds, so that you can easily get to the song/album you want to listen to (I am sure you want to listen to not simply Beethoven 5th Symphony but you want the 5th Symphony Kleiber version or you want to hear the Karajan version etc). Trying to do this right from the get go (just started ripping yesterday and the next 15/20 days to go). I am thinking of Composer -> Album+Artist(Conductor) ->Compilation. But how can I get DBPowerAmp to do this automatically?

    Thanks

    Arun
    Last edited by Ar3101; 05-04-2019 at 06:16 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    I can help a little. You need to change the Naming setting in CDRipper. In lower LH corner there is a Naming drop down box. I think one of the options in the drop down box is what you need. If not, click on Set which brings up and editor in which you can specify the fields that you want and in what order. The syntax is a bit cryptic but if you play with it you may get it the way you want it. If not ask the quesiton again and Someone with more expertise will answer.
    Good luck
    J

  3. #3
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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Hi Ar3101,

    Unfortunately there are no standards for tagging Classical music and a number of players and apps are not too flexible, some only offering basic search features. Most, sadly seem to have had no input from anyone with a passing interest in Classical music, so as you have possibly seen from the metadata from the different providers, most have simply adapted tagging that works fine for Popular music.

    Whereas with Popular music, if you compare the meradata being offered by Discogs, GD3, Music Brainz and freedb you will normally see few variations (highlighted in red), with Classical, they can all be different. Because of this, a lot of editing may be required.

    There are numerous threads regarding Classical naming on here, which you may find helpful. The search box is just above What's New? A Google search using dBpoweramp Composer in naming, should also help.

    A simple method which hopefully works on most players is Album: 5th Symphony [Kleiber]

    Have a play with your player / app, you can edit the CD you have already ripped - in Windows, right click on the album, and then select dBpoweramp Edit ID-Tags. Simply add whatever you want to the end of album and see how it works for you.

    Oggy

  4. #4
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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Hi, yes tagging and playing properly tagged classical music is a mess! Experiment in what works for your player(s) and your taste. I use a variation of Oggy's system. My title for the above example would be : Kleiber: 5th symphony. I originally used Oggy's method, but my car player (Toyota via BlueTooth from phone) doesn't scroll the entries, so if the title was long, I'd see the important part of the title, but not the composer, which was off the right side of the display. So I changed to putting the composer at the beginning. I also enter the composer in the composer field, so I can search composers.

  5. #5
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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Quote Originally Posted by schmidj View Post
    Hi, yes tagging and playing properly tagged classical music is a mess! Experiment in what works for your player(s) and your taste. I use a variation of Oggy's system. My title for the above example would be : Kleiber: 5th symphony. I originally used Oggy's method, but my car player (Toyota via BlueTooth from phone) doesn't scroll the entries, so if the title was long, I'd see the important part of the title, but not the composer, which was off the right side of the display. So I changed to putting the composer at the beginning. I also enter the composer in the composer field, so I can search composers.
    Unfortunately, your problem with the Toyota display is exactly the sort of problem that occurs with some players and apps. It is why it is so difficult to come up with naming that works on all displays.

    My recently installed car Pioneer head unit displays the track name in double height, and more often than not truncates the track name. This also regularly occurs with the Artist and Album. Nothing to do with the tagging, but everything to do with the player. Designers obviously very rarely try their own products for intended use!

  6. #6
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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    And as many can attest to, automobile players are simply the worst in terms of proper interface and display (e.g., read only certain tags, or not read any tags and use file names only). It seems that car players are 25 years behind on this stuff.....

  7. #7
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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Quote Originally Posted by schmidj View Post
    Hi, yes tagging and playing properly tagged classical music is a mess! Experiment in what works for your player(s) and your taste. I use a variation of Oggy's system. My title for the above example would be : Kleiber: 5th symphony. I originally used Oggy's method, but my car player (Toyota via BlueTooth from phone) doesn't scroll the entries, so if the title was long, I'd see the important part of the title, but not the composer, which was off the right side of the display. So I changed to putting the composer at the beginning. I also enter the composer in the composer field, so I can search composers.
    I tried a track in the car this evening, Supertramp, If Everyone Was Listening. It came up as, If Everyone Was Lister as the last 3 1/2 letters couldn't be displayed!

  8. #8

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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Thank you Schmidj and Oggy. Would you mind posting your naming string that sets the title to Kleiber: 5th symphony format?

  9. #9
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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Actually, unless your player depends on filenames instead of tags (unusual, except for some cases when you use a USB stick in a car) it isn't the filename (set by the naming string) that is important. It is the content of the tags. And the naming string doesn't do anything to tags, it only tells dBpoweramp how to name the files and directories using the tag information entered for the CD being ripped (or converted in the dBpoweramp converter)

    So after looking at the tag information that each of the providers may have provided (by clicking on the tab with the little red tag at the top of the ripper page), I select the most appropriate entries which will take the least manual editing. The title should start off as just that. The artist, I want as the orchestra, possibly some soloists, and often the conductor. That may well take some cutting and pasting, or even just typing it in. In my system, the composer shouldn't be listed in the artist tag. The composer should, to me, be just that, i.e. Mozart, Brahms, etc. Then I manually copy the composer's name (usually just the last name for well known composers) and paste it in the front of the title followed by a typed in colon and space, for each track.

    For any multi-disc set, I make sure the album (not track) title ends with ",disc 1", ", disc 2" or whatever as appropriate. I also try to remember to set the disk number and total number of discs in the set correctly on that page.

    The naming scheme is mostly only important to have some organization on your hard drive (or other storage), so you can later find the directory and files for, let us say fixing a erroneous or mis-spelled tag or to copy the files to a different storage medium using your operating system's file manager. In dBPA the naming string (usually) is used to use the tags to generate a directory filename and track filenames which are conveniently "human readable" But if you have a player that plays from tags, like most do, the actual filename doesn't matter with a couple of caveats to follow. For instance, I'm Chief Engineer of a radio station which uses a well known automation system to play files on the air via a log. The filename has to be a unique 5 digit number like 45612, nothing else. Their library system has a separate database which stores all the metadata for each file (which BTW for that automation system has to be either .wav or .mp3, no other audio formats) But most of us like to have the filenames be "human readable and descriptive". This is particularly important in the few cases where your player plays from directory and filenames.

    In my case, I have set things up where there is a different directory for each disc that I ripped (or the equivalent for my own recordings/transfers from LP, etc.) The directory name is the album artist followed by a space then a dash, then another space and the album name. The files in the directory, one per track, start off with a two digit track number, a space, a dash, another space, the track artist's name, another space, dash and space, then the track name. I also put a copy of the album art named "folder.jpg" there (as well as having the art as a tag in the track files). Finally I store the ripping log generated by dBpoweramp as a text file there. For compilation albums, unless I have good reason otherwise, the album (not track) artist is entered as "Various Artists", typed in manually when entering/cleaning up the tags, as dBpa doesn't enter that automatically.

    Some others have different naming schemes for the file and directory names, as long as they come up as unique (see below) and you can find the directories and files on your storage medium, whatever pleases you is fine.

    Now the caveats: You have to be sure that your naming scheme generates unique filenames, otherwise files will get written over. (as long as you don't use the multi-encoder feature, you'll get a warning about this) If the directory name isn't unique, the files for different albums will end up in the same directory, unless you want it that way, probably not good. That's why, with my naming scheme, it is important for me on multi-disc albums to include "disc 1", etc. in the album title, so the album titles are different for the different discs in the multi-disc album. I could have the naming scheme do this but I don't because I don't have very many multi-disc albums, and because all too often I forget to properly set the disc number tag when entering the data.

    The second issue, which tends to particularly be an issue with classical music, is the filename length restriction in your operating system. The limit (I think 125 characters?, I used to know this by heart) usually applies to the "fully qualified" filename, including the name of the directory the file is in, the name of that directory's parent, all the way back to the drive letter, and it may be different on a server like a NAS than on the client machine. Now, since this applies only to the filename, not the actual tags used to generate the filename, dBpoweramp's naming string generator/translator includes a number of functions that my be usable to come up with shorter file and directory names.

    The most useful one is the "MAXLENGTH" function which truncates the item string to the number of characters called for in the function. One trap here, if you use that on album titles (or even whole directory names where the album title is at the end) for multi-disc albums and it truncates the disc number (at the end...) off, you will end up with duplicate directory names for different discs in the set, the tracks will all end up in one directory, not what you probably wanted. I seem to recall there was a function available to trim characters out of the middle of a string, but I don't remember right now,

    The "language" for the naming string is, to non-coders, and even some coders, rather obtuse. I'm not sure of the source of this particular string editing function (it is possible that Spoon came up with it on his own, however given its flexibility, I suspect it is available as a package), but someone who is more into contemporary programming languages and commercially available functions may know its source. My initial coding experience was with Fortran, I struggle with the syntax in HTML, PHP and such these days.

    Whatever, when you change the naming string, you should try it on a few entries, including compilations and ones with really long artist and track names to see if the generated filenames and directory names are what you wanted, before renaming an entire collection of thousands of albums and finding it messed things up. In fact you should make an extra backup copy of your library before doing anything global like this, better safe than sorry...

    So here's my naming string:

    [IFVALUE]album artist,[MAXLENGTH]25,[album artist][],[IFCOMP]Various Artists[][IF!COMP][MAXLENGTH]25,[artist][][][] - [album]\[track] - [MAXLENGTH]25,[artist][] - [MAXLENGTH]40,[title][]

    Very arbitrary, but suits my particular purposes.

    One little thing to watch out for, if you edit tags in mp3tag (free tag editing software), and then use it's built in file renaming feature to change the file and directory names, it doesn't include the maxlength function, and you can end up with some overlength file/directory names. Been there, done that. And usually it will go ahead and change the filenames on your server, but you can't access them from outside the server afterwards, you have to log onto the server and use its file manager to edit the filename to make it short enough. A royal pain...

    But, as you can see, the prepending of the composer's name to the title is a very manual editing task, not automatic.

  10. #10

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    Re: Classical Music Files = naming convention you follow

    Schmidj: Thank you very much for this detailed reply, which solved all the questions I had so far (and did not even know how to ask). I am a total beginner to transferring my CDs to files, and had no clue about the difference between Tags and Names for Windows File Explorer, because the only player I knew so far was the Windows Media Player which I use by right clicking the file and "open with" WMP. I am sure I will be using your above reply as my bible for quite sometime to come.

    Thank you very much.

    Arun
    Last edited by Ar3101; 05-07-2019 at 01:05 AM.

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