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Thread: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

  1. #61
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    Unfortunately I'm having trouble with my replies not appearing after I submit them.
    I asked about this in the "Other Topics > General" forum, and Spoon kindly explained what was causing the problem:
    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon View Post
    If you post a link or @ then the thread goes into auto moderation.
    So, I'll continue with what I was saying before about my playback software, which is called UAPP (USB Audio Player Pro). If I want to sort "The Beatles" under "B" and see it as "The Beatles" in my library (and not "Beatles, The"), I need to use the sort tags in CD Ripper and not rely on the independent settings in UAPP. Hopefully UAPP will support those tags, as if it does I will also install it on my other portable music player to work around the following problem.

    On my other portable music player, there is no Album Artist category in the selection menu. Instead, the album artist is displayed when the Artist category is selected. This means that if I rip a compilation album and enter "Various Artists" in the Album Artist field, "Various Artists" is what I will see if I try and look up individual Artist data. Does that make sense? It's very poorly designed.

    I can now see why someone might want to avoid entering Album Artist metadata, as garym suggested:
    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    2. I have thousands of CDs ripped with ALBUM ARTIST blank. If artist=album artist, I don't use the ALBUM ARTIST tag.
    I also now understand the reason for the "1" in the Compilations field, as it will put the album in the correct folder even with the Album Artist field left blank (and as long as the command is specified in the naming string).

    This would solve the problem above. However, as I wrote a while back, the music player on my PC doesn't recognize albums unless they have a value entered in the Album Artist field, the tracks all appear listed individually! It's Catch-22!

    As I said above, hopefully UAPP will read the appropriate sort tags which will make things work the way I want them to across my portable devices. For the PC, although I don't listen to music from it directly very often, I'm probably going to install foobar2000 to replace the pre-installed software. Then everything should play happily together! I'm just waiting until I've got all of this ripping process worked out before I start something else new.

    Sorry if this is all a bit of a ramble, but posting on this forum is definitely helping to understand what is otherwise just spinning around in my head!

  2. #62
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    I asked about this in the "Other Topics > General" forum, and Spoon kindly explained what was causing the problem:


    So, I'll continue with what I was saying before about my playback software, which is called UAPP (USB Audio Player Pro). If I want to sort "The Beatles" under "B" and see it as "The Beatles" in my library (and not "Beatles, The"), I need to use the sort tags in CD Ripper and not rely on the independent settings in UAPP. Hopefully UAPP will support those tags, as if it does I will also install it on my other portable music player to work around the following problem.

    On my other portable music player, there is no Album Artist category in the selection menu. Instead, the album artist is displayed when the Artist category is selected. This means that if I rip a compilation album and enter "Various Artists" in the Album Artist field, "Various Artists" is what I will see if I try and look up individual Artist data. Does that make sense? It's very poorly designed.

    I can now see why someone might want to avoid entering Album Artist metadata, as garym suggested:


    I also now understand the reason for the "1" in the Compilations field, as it will put the album in the correct folder even with the Album Artist field left blank (and as long as the command is specified in the naming string).

    This would solve the problem above. However, as I wrote a while back, the music player on my PC doesn't recognize albums unless they have a value entered in the Album Artist field, the tracks all appear listed individually! It's Catch-22!

    As I said above, hopefully UAPP will read the appropriate sort tags which will make things work the way I want them to across my portable devices. For the PC, although I don't listen to music from it directly very often, I'm probably going to install foobar2000 to replace the pre-installed software. Then everything should play happily together! I'm just waiting until I've got all of this ripping process worked out before I start something else new.

    Sorry if this is all a bit of a ramble, but posting on this forum is definitely helping to understand what is otherwise just spinning around in my head!
    foobar2000 on your PC unsurprisingly works very well and is super flexible.

    As you've found out there are very few standards for supported tags on some software and players, which partially explains the variations in file names we see.

    Even though I have replaced Various Artists with Compilations in my naming strings (which are slightly modified versions of garym's), I agree with your earlier comment, Queen Greatest Hits, Queen Greatest Hits II and Queen Greatest Hits III (Queen+) I see as Queen albums and not Compilations. Greatest Hits II and III I do use Album Artist (Artist Queen And David Bowie etc).

    As some search by Album rather than Artist, add the Artist name to Greatest Hits, Best Of etc unless you want thousands of tracks to make your own Greatest Hits Compilation...

    Even though I prefer David Bowie written as David Bowie, but under B's, back in the day you had record shops where some displayed by Christian name and some by surname - it is entirely personal preference.

    Regarding Jimi Hendrix, I have The Jimi Hendrix Experience sort tagged under Hendrix, Jimi

    The Alan Parsons Project sort tagged under Parsons, Alan


    BUT, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band under Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The


    Each to their own.....
    Last edited by Oggy; 01-24-2021 at 04:52 AM.

  3. #63
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Another vote for foobar2000 as a player on your PC. I've never heard of the player you're using, but foobar2000 is pretty popular and infinitely flexible. I use it myself for my PC player. I also use foobar2000 mobile as the player on my iphone and ipad rather than the built in apple music player.

  4. #64
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Another vote for foobar2000 as a player on your PC. I've never heard of the player you're using, but foobar2000 is pretty popular and infinitely flexible. I use it myself for my PC player. I also use foobar2000 mobile as the player on my iphone and ipad rather than the built in apple music player.
    And us paupers use it on Android too!

  5. #65
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Oggy View Post
    And us paupers use it on Android too!
    What does it say about me, if I use UAPP too?


    Dat Ei

  6. #66
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Oggy View Post
    Even though I have replaced Various Artists with Compilations in my naming strings (which are slightly modified versions of garym's), I agree with your earlier comment, Queen Greatest Hits, Queen Greatest Hits II and Queen Greatest Hits III (Queen+) I see as Queen albums and not Compilations. Greatest Hits II and III I do use Album Artist (Artist Queen And David Bowie etc).
    If you donít mind my asking, what was behind your decision to replace Various Artists with Compilations? I know garym also prefers Compilations.

    I have the naming string set up to send compilations to a Various Artists folder, but seeing as Iím also entering Various Artists in the Album Artist field, doesnít that make the [IFCOMP} code in the naming string redundant? I mean, wonít the Album Artist metadata send the files to the correct folder anyway?

    On the other hand, is there ever a problem having both the naming string and the Album Artist metadata telling the files where to go? Iím guessing not, and that the [IFCOMP} command takes priority in such a case.

    The other thing is, if I enter Various Artists in the Album Artist field but set the naming string to create a folder named Compilations, Iím then going to see a Various Artists folder created within the Compilations folder, which Iíd rather not have. Again, I can see now why it might make sense to leave the Album Artist field blank, but Iíd rather have Album Artist metadata included.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oggy View Post
    Regarding Jimi Hendrix, I have The Jimi Hendrix Experience sort tagged under Hendrix, Jimi
    I also understand now how just ďBeatlesĒ might be a useful sorting name. Anything that puts the files where you want them is good enough. This would make sense for groups that have a lot of offshoots with similar names and members. For example, Gong, Planet Gong and Pierre Moerlen's Gong could all just be sorted by Gong and still show their correct individual names in the Artist field. Although I wonít probably go this route, I can see itís appeal.

    Thank you Oggy for helping me to understand these matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    Another vote for foobar2000 as a player on your PC.
    Thanks, garym. I installed it on a PC back in 2014, when I first thought about ripping all my CDs to FLAC. Unfortunately I didnít get very far and gave up very early on (using Exact Audio Copy, which I didnít really get on with). This time Iím determined to get it done properly!

  7. #67
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    What does it say about me, if I use UAPP too?


    Dat Ei

  8. #68
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Dat Ei View Post
    What does it say about me, if I use UAPP too?


    Dat Ei
    I should have said some of us paupers!

    The fact that you use UAPP, I would take as read that the app is very good.

  9. #69
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, what was behind your decision to replace Various Artists with Compilations? I know garym also prefers Compilations.
    For me purely personal preference, instead of going into a folder named Various Artists, it goes into one named Compilations, nothing else is changed. I altered it when I was mucking around with naming strings trying to better understand how they work, liked it, so kept it. I simply tend to call them comps, or compilations.

    Yes, your Beatles and Gong examples are absolutely correct and actually there is no valid reason I can think of to add ,The

    Neil Young is another artist where Album Artist can be advantageous.

    You can sort albums however best to suit you - I put Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel in with Cockney Rebel and John Cougar in with Mellencamp. This is actually something I didn't do with LPs, but my memory was better several decades ago!

    The default settings work extremely well and many want to start ripping immediately. We are all creating our very own personal libraries and sort tags can quickly be added, altered, and of course removed to better suit our needs.
    Last edited by Oggy; 01-24-2021 at 10:24 AM.

  10. #70
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Oggy View Post
    I should have said some of us paupers!

    The fact that you use UAPP, I would take as read that the app is very good.
    Agree!

  11. #71
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    The reason I use "Compilations" vs "Various Artists". I *think* this got me on that path, but it's been a long time, so the details are blurry. I use a Squeezebox Players/LMS Server ecosystem for my music at home. The LMS server is good (and has improved greatly with community work, despite being dropped by Logitec years ago). I recall that one of the quirks of LMS, at least back then, is how it treated an album that had even one track with a different artist than the other tracks (maybe on track is "Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams" but this is a Steve Earle album and all the other tracks are Artist=Steve Earle). So in this case, assuming there is NO "compilation" tag field and NO "album artist" field, LMS would put this album under "Various Artists" rather than Steve Earl. So one could solve this issue by adding ALBUM ARTIST =Steve Earle. But if you forgot to do that and you were browsing for "Steve Earle" the artist, you'd see all his albums, except for the one that is instead sitting over in "various artists". But sometimes you'd want such mixed artists albums to end up in "Various Artists". So because "Various Artists" had particular implications for the LMS server, I avoided having anything purposely end up there. So instead of "various artists" I used "Compilations" for things I definitely wanted to be tagged and filed as "albums with varying artists". Then I also have "true" various artist albums that I want to show up under an artist category called "Various Artists". These are typically some odd CD I have where there are no artists listed, and it's not a single artist. These are often something I picked up at a live show, or some giveaway, or some obscure bluegrass album, etc. (The XXXX Festival, with no specific artists mentioned). So these I put in ARTIST = Various Artists.

    Still confusing, I know. Now bring in the COMPILATION tag. If I want something to end up in the "compilations" folder, I make sure I give it the COMPILATION=1 tag and value. Then LMS pulls this up under compilations no matter what. And if I don't want an album to accidentally end up in "various artists" or "compilations" (like the Steve Earle example), I make sure to use an Album Artist (=Steve Earle) for that album, so it will show up under Steve Earle no matter what. And this just has to do with browsing by artist, etc. If I search for "steve earle" in LMS, it will return a list of all songs/albums that steve earle appears on, including any in the compilations folder.

    So for me, COMPILATION tag is critical. ALBUM ARTIST is critical if there are different track artists and I do NOT want this album to appear accidentally as a compilation, and "Various Artists" is more akin to "unknown artists" in my use case. And by the way, this all sounds wonky and very confusing, but in practice it works perfectly for me and all almost 9,000 albums I have are at my fingertips and well organized. It's all harder to describe as compared to just "use".

    edit: another reason I use ALBUM ARTIST. Let's say I have a compilation album which is a tribute album for Guy Clark. He's not on the album. But it has many other artists. I would set COMPILATION=1. And I would also make Guy Clark the ALBUM ARTIST. So the album shows up under compilations for me. But when I browse to Guy Clark albums, I see not only actual Guy Clark albums, but I also see this "tribute" album related to Guy Clark. But to be clear, the actual FILE FOLDER this tribute album is in, is the COMPILATIONS folder (not the Guy Clark artist folder). But the tagging allows LMS to show me this album if I click on "Guy Clark" albums display (because of the tags, not the folder location). I probably just confused the reader more.....

    edit2: Another thing, I understand that a selection of Queen songs from different albums (Queen's Greatest Hits) is a compilation in the "old school" sense of the word. But in my "digital filing" sense of the word compilations, I would want the "Queen's Greatest Hits" album to appear in my artist folder for Queen. The albums that are in my "compilations" folders are albums that don't match any particular artist (e.g., a Movie Soundtrack), so there is no ARTIST folder to put it in.
    Last edited by garym; 01-24-2021 at 04:41 PM.

  12. #72
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    It's all harder to describe as compared to just "use".
    That seems to be the case most of the time!

    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    edit: another reason I use ALBUM ARTIST. Let's say I have a compilation album which is a tribute album for Guy Clark. He's not on the album. But it has many other artists. I would set COMPILATION=1. And I would also make Guy Clark the ALBUM ARTIST. So the album shows up under compilations for me. But when I browse to Guy Clark albums, I see not only actual Guy Clark albums, but I also see this "tribute" album related to Guy Clark. But to be clear, the actual FILE FOLDER this tribute album is in, is the COMPILATIONS folder (not the Guy Clark artist folder). But the tagging allows LMS to show me this album if I click on "Guy Clark" albums display (because of the tags, not the folder location). I probably just confused the reader more.....

    edit2: Another thing, I understand that a selection of Queen songs from different albums (Queen's Greatest Hits) is a compilation in the "old school" sense of the word. But in my "digital filing" sense of the word compilations, I would want the "Queen's Greatest Hits" album to appear in my artist folder for Queen. The albums that are in my "compilations" folders are albums that don't match any particular artist (e.g., a Movie Soundtrack), so there is no ARTIST folder to put it in.
    As far as making things more confusing, not at all. In fact I was going to ask a question about the very same thing but it must have slipped my mind with everything else Iíve been trying to work out. Makes me wonder what else Iíve forgotten to ask!

    Regarding the second point, if an album is comprised of entirely new music, but each track is by a different artist (I have at least one soundtrack album where this is the case), I would not call that a compilation in the ďoldĒ sense of the word. However, I understand that the meaning of Compilations is slightly different in the context of creating a music library and that thatís where such an album would belong. As it is, I think Iíll stick with ďVarious ArtistsĒ as thatís what Iíve been using for the past however many years with my mp3 files.

    I also realised that Iíd completely forgotten about the [IFCOMP] command allowing for a different file name to be created than the one used with non-compilation albums, and so it is still useful even when the Album Artist field is populated with Various Artists for compilations.

    I still have to try out a few things that have been discussed on this thread, which is taking a while as I really only have one day a week when I can sit down and actually rip CDs. Still, I think Iím getting there!

  13. #73
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    I also realised that I&*8217;d completely forgotten about the [IFCOMP] command allowing for a different file name to be created than the one used with non-compilation albums, and so it is still useful even when the Album Artist field is populated with Various Artists for compilations.
    Yep, that's very important for me (as that tells dbpa what folder to put that album in, and also includes the track artist name in the file name for those "compilation" CDs.

  14. #74
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Well, after finally having a day to sit down and try out most lot of the things I've been thinking about, I've found that:

    • Everything works perfectly across all of my software as long as I populate the Album Artist field. If left blank, only one of my devices recognises the tracks as belonging to a whole album and displays them as such. Otherwise, all of the tracks are displayed individually.
    • Setting the naming string with the command "[IFMULTI]\Disc [disc]" doesn't group multi-disc CDs as one album in the default settings on all my software. However, there is an option in UAPP to ignore the file path and group tracks from different folders which have the same album name and artist ID, which solves this problem. Again, the Album Artist field needs to be populated for this function to work.
      Note: Having the option to either play each CD individually or as a complete set may be something I actually want to keep, so I'm glad I found it.
    • Using the command "[IFMULTI][disc].[]" obviously groups multi-disc CDs as one album without having to alter any of the settings.
    • None of my software appears to support sort tags! In fact, each device library lists the artists differently. As software I use in the future may be able to read these tags, I'll probably still include them just to be on the safe side.

    So I'm a few steps closer to having things set the way I want them!

    I would just like to ask, how do those of you with very large music collections arrange your digital music library when saving files? I know this is based purely on personal preference, but at the moment I have the following:

    Music > (followed by three folders) MP3/Lossless/HDtracks > Album Artist > Album

    This is largely just because I already have a collection of mp3 files, The HDtracks folder was created when I downloaded some sampler albums, and Lossless seemed suitable for ripping CDs to FLAC. This has worked fine up until now, but I'm thinking about creating an alphabetical folder hierarchy to tidy things up a bit (the mp3 files will still have their own folder).

    On a similar point, is it a simple process to have files saved as both FLAC and mp3 at the same time? It might be worth replacing those old mp3 files with new, accurately ripped ones.
    Last edited by Supernaut; 01-25-2021 at 08:46 PM.

  15. #75
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    Re: Need advice before ripping collection to FLAC

    Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
    Well, after finally having a day to sit down and try out most lot of the things I've been thinking about, I've found that:

    • Everything works perfectly across all of my software as long as I populate the Album Artist field. If left blank, only one of my devices recognises the tracks as belonging to a whole album and displays them as such. Otherwise, all of the tracks are displayed individually.
    • Setting the naming string with the command "[IFMULTI]\Disc [disc]" doesn't group multi-disc CDs as one album in the default settings on all my software. However, there is an option in UAPP to ignore the file path and group tracks from different folders which have the same album name and artist ID, which solves this problem. Again, the Album Artist field needs to be populated for this function to work.
      Note: Having the option to either play each CD individually or as a complete set may be something I actually want to keep, so I'm glad I found it.
    • Using the command "[IFMULTI][disc].[]" obviously groups multi-disc CDs as one album without having to alter any of the settings.
    • None of my software appears to support sort tags! In fact, each device library lists the artists differently. As software I use in the future may be able to read these tags, I'll probably still include them just to be on the safe side.

    So I'm a few steps closer to having things set the way I want them!

    I would just like to ask, how do those of you with very large music collections arrange your digital music library when saving files? I know this is based purely on personal preference, but at the moment I have the following:

    Music > (followed by three folders) MP3/Lossless/HDtracks > Album Artist > Album

    This is largely just because I already have a collection of mp3 files, The HDtracks folder was created when I downloaded some sampler albums, and Lossless seemed suitable for ripping CDs to FLAC. This has worked fine up until now, but I'm thinking about creating an alphabetical folder hierarchy to tidy things up a bit (the mp3 files will still have their own folder).

    On a similar point, is it a simple process to have files saved as both FLAC and mp3 at the same time? It might be worth replacing those old mp3 files with new, accurately ripped ones.

    I have a top level "Music" folder. Then underneath I have two folders: FLAC and LOSSY. Within each of those two folders I have folder for ARTIST (or ALBUM ARTIST), then underneath that I have a folder for ALBUM. So for example:

    music/FLAC/The Beatles/Abbey Road
    then the Abbey Road files are in that "Abbey Road" folder.

    The only exception is for my Compilation/Various Artists albums. There is no "artist" folder. So all of these are in a single folder called Compilations, with subfolders for each album. For example, consider the various artist CD called "Opera Goes to the Movies"

    music/FLAC/Compilations/Opera Goes to the Movies/....

    Regarding creating mp3 and FLAC simultaneously, yes dbpa has ability to do that. Instead of setting "encoder" to, say, FLAC, set it to "Multiencoder". But then within that you need to setup the naming string, etc. and other settings for each of the codecs you'll use in multiencoder (e.g., FLAC and mp3). I don't personally use this, but lots of posts on this forum about using multiencoder. (p.s., even if I wanted to create mp3 from my FLAC, which I no longer need to do as I use TuneFusion to create mp3 files for my phone "on the fly", I still wouldn't use multiencoder. I used to rip to FLAC then after I had a batch of CDs done, I would check things out, look at the tags, make sure I had no last minute tag edits, etc. Then I'd fix all this as needed, and THEN I would use batch converter to create mp3 copies of those FLAC albums.

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