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Thread: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

  1. #1

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    for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    Would you guys that have experience and classified "classical music" post how you did it please?

    do you have no folders and read music as you chose to save it?
    Do you have one folder per composer?
    Do you have one folder per composer + subfolders : one for sonatas, one for cantatas, one for concerto, and so on?
    Anything else I do not see? (god forbid)

    ...and thank you ...sincerely.

  2. #2

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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    I have questions similar to DeleterMann.

    I am gearing up to rip a large collection of classical music CDs to FLAC. Getting the meta-data right is especially tricky with classical music. I selected dBpoweramp's CD ripper mainly because it seemed to have the most robust tools for assigning meta-data.

    So far, it is doing OK, but it sometimes it puts tracks from a disk into folders by performer and sometimes by composer. I am afraid this will cause me grief later. (Currently, I plan to upload the whole collection to VOX's cloud and play them from VOX Player via SONOS to speakers throughout the house.)

    So, the question is how best to organize these files, and how best to do it with dBpoweramp's CD ripper? I would rather not have to manually review and edit the meta-data that CD ripper assigns to each disk.

    A corollary question: when the software matches the CD incorrectly, it seems I should be able to correct that before ripping by manually entering the Label and identifier (of the CD cover). I haven't been able to get that to work. Another way?

  3. #3
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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    Unfortunately the databases (accessed but not run by dBpoweramp) are particularly inaccurate and non-standardized for classical music. Also, different users have different preferences for classical metadata, often driven by the limitations of the player they may be using. Some players cannot sort by or display composers, so users have sometimes inserted composer information in place of artist or as a part of the title (as well as in the composer tag or instead of it).

    There is no standard, but you will find that more tags have been set aside for aspects unique to classical music recently.

    First you need to understand that (with the exception of some car radio players) the playback devices you use to listen to your music are not designed to select your choices by folder and filename but by tags, metadata stored within the music file such as the title, artist, composer, genre, album title, album artist and dozens of others. (Most players are able to also search by folder and filename, but you will quickly discover that given the limitations of filenames (you can't use "restricted" characters, you can't exceed some limit [operating system determined] of filename length, editing filenames makes it very easy to accidentally "loose" files on your storage media.) you should really depend on tags for selecting music to play.

    dBpa provides you with tools to "clean up" metadata and you would be wise to come up with your standards for metadata (others here with large classical collections will chime in and tell you what works for them) before ripping too many albums and then take the time up front to edit the metadata before (preferably) or after (when you find errors or change your mind) ripping the CD. Taking your time ripping to get the metadata better and standardized (to your standard) will save you from much grief later. One advantage of tags is that they can be easily changed (without re-ripping the CD) and for the most part have no operating system limitations like the filenames. Both dBpoweramp and other software (mp3tag is a free tagger for already ripped files - and don't be scared by the name, it edits tags on almost any audio filetype, FLAC included) provide good support for editing and also for adding new tags.

    Now onto filenames. If you use tags to select and play your music (as you should), the filenames revert to their principal purpose, to tell the operating system where to store your files in what order. Your player will have some form of database built in or referenced that will look up the tags you have searched for and automatically tell the player what the appropriate filename is. For this purpose the filename could be anything, the software doesn't care. But you may want to manually find the files, possibly to edit the tags or to move them in the storage system, so it is nice to have the files with human-recognizable names stored logically.

    Dbpa's software will automatically create the folder names and the filenames from the tag data that has been entered before the CD is ripped, but the user has to tell dBpa how to do that. This is done through the "naming string" that is stored along with the filetype you want the program to generate and numerous other detailed in the profile you create for the rips. If you are not used to programming, the naming string will look like so much gobbledygook. but it is in fact instructions to a "string generator" that generates the file and folder names for each track that you rip. This string generator "language" is very flexible, you can generate most any filing system you could want, for better or worse, once (or if) you figure out how to program it. However you can create all kinds of problems if you are not careful. The first problem you have to watch out for is that you don't create duplicate filenames. If you do, dBpa will want to overwrite the original file, as of course your operating system needs every filename to be unique. The second problem, particularly an issue with classical music, is that you don't want to create filenames longer than your operating system or storage device can accept.

    The naming string may also deal with CDs with multiple artists, or CD sets that include multiple CDs, if so written.

    The default naming string will solve problem one, I don't remember if it looks out for problem two.

    Remember, the naming system generates filenames based on what is entered in the tags, if the tag is wrong, the filename will be wrong also. (GIGO!)

    To start with, I'd suggest first reading several (quite long) threads on this bulletin board, reading the help files and instructions that both come with the software and are on these pages, and then ask questions here for what you don't understand or want to do differently. Some of us here (almost all of whom are users not employed by the vendor)can give you naming strings that may do what you wish if the default doesn't serve your purposes.

    Whatever you do, set something up, rip a few (possibly a dozen) CDs, preferably some anthologies and at least one multi CD set, and see if first you are happy with what your player is able to sort on and displays, and second how the files are stored.

    The biggest item of confusion for new users is the difference between filenames and tags. Metadata can be your best friend but it can drive you loco.

  4. #4
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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    Some great advice from schmidj.

    Hi DeleterMann and PGT,

    Yes, getting the tagging right for Classical music is unfortunately tricky as really there are no standards and if you ask five people their preferences, you will very likely get five different responses. Because of this the meta data from the providers can vary widely. Unfortunately it will have to be reviewed, often then edited and frequently manually entered. I've scanned more covers from my Classical CDs than any other genre.

    Another issue is someone with a large Classical collection may well have multiple recordings of the same piece, different Conductors, Orchestra, location, time, etc, so that will have to be factored into the name.

    Regarding DeleterMann's folder question, this, is purely personal preference. I personally ended up using the same naming string for Classical as I do for all other music. This is basically Artist (or Album Artist) / Album where I use the same Artist as the Composer. Not big, or clever, but it does work on all the players I've tried it on.

    IMG_20190915_105009.jpg

    The Artist was Gustav Mahler and I used ArtistSort Mahler, Gustav - as you can see this is displayed under M's. You can see the naming I used for Album and I chose to rip the double disc Mahler Symphonies 1 and 2 as individual discs by not populating Disc No 1/2, 2/2.

    What we are creating is a personal Music Library, so by definition what works for one may well not suit another. As I haven't got a great deal of Classical music, I used Genre: Classical and Genre: Opera. Again most players and apps can search by Genre. You could populate Genre with whatever you want, ie Sonata, Cantata, Concerto etc. or use folders, whatever works for you.

    Here is a, Classical compilation I tagged as an experiment, it being a worse case scenario. Adding all the tags (Orchestra, Pianist, Conductor etc) on a track by track basis took around 30 minutes.

    IMG_20190915_135530.jpg

    As schmidj suggested, try a few things out and see how they work for you.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Oggy; 09-15-2019 at 08:09 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    Wow, very helpful replies so far. I am impressed. Thanks.

    I welcome any further thoughts on this, especially on what particular combination of tags works best for the least amount of manual editing.

  6. #6
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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    You seriously should be looking on what combination of tags will work best with your player(s) and make what ever searches you might do most productive. Don't compromise your tags just to save a little time manually editing, you'll regret it later. Cutting and pasting tags to put them where they belong (to your preference) goes pretty fast.

    My record collection contains a moderately small set of classical albums. What I do is use the tags as titled, Composer goes in Composer, Artist gets the symphony and/or soloist and sometimes the conductor, separated by semicolons when entered in dBpa. (read help on multiple entries of artists in tags.) Because my stupid car player (via Bluetooth from my phone) doesn't display composers, I also prefix the title with the composer's name followed by a colon. ex. Beethoven: Fifth symphony or whatever My naming strings use the maxlength function to avoid too long filenames, at least most of the time. Genre is typically Classical, or Choral. I haven't used the style tag but might if I started over (unlikely) Nor do I use any of the "new" tags designed for more details on classical music. I enjoy classical music but not to the degree where I care about the finer details about the performance.

    Your choices may differ.

    John

  7. #7
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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    I totally agree about trying which tags work with your player / app. I also don't use Style, though in the example in my previous post TIT1 is, Style and it is populated as I accepted whatever the providers had used.

    By coincidence, Beethoven's Fifth was an example I've used previously, so you can see how different they can be. As my Classical collection is small, I don't usually worry about the Conductor, or Orchestra as they are no benefit to me and are shown on the cover. I would probably add them as tags like the previous example if I later needed them.

    IMG_20190916_001952.jpg

    As John said above, your choices may differ!

  8. #8
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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGT View Post
    So, the question is how best to organize these files, and how best to do it with dBpoweramp's CD ripper? I would rather not have to manually review and edit the meta-data that CD ripper assigns to each disk.
    Sadly, metadata obtained by CD Ripper from online databases, generally assumes CDs are of a contemporary nature.

    Also, there is no simple, definitive classical music tagging solution. I agree with the previous posts and you will probably need to read the several classical music tagging threads here on this forum (and on the web) and then, come up with a tagging solution that you are happy with.

    As a result, I suggest your idea of not having to manually review and edit the metadata is flawed. Your collection is classical and, although it is a pain, you WILL have to edit the metadata to fit your solution/purposes, just as I and many other users have had to do.
    Last edited by mville; 09-15-2019 at 07:40 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: for Classical music lovers: how did you classified?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGT View Post
    I am gearing up to rip a large collection of classical music CDs...

    So far, it is doing OK, but it sometimes it puts tracks from a disk into folders by performer and sometimes by composer.
    I'm afraid this is where you need to check what has been entered by the providers as different people see Performer as Artist and others Composer as Artist. CD Ripper is simply doing exactly what you have asked it to do: just edit and save so it gives what you really require.
    Last edited by Oggy; 09-16-2019 at 10:40 AM.

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