Author Topic: Loss of Tag data  (Read 4407 times)

Mattiefcf

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I've saved all my music files and my original MusicBee Library on a NAS, and that setup was working just fine with my old laptop.

I've started using a new laptop.  After installing MB on the new laptop I've scanned the music files on my NAS onto the new machine, no problem.  But what I didn't realise at first was that MB has created a NEW Library on the C Drive of my new laptop. Probably obvious, but it didn't occur to me immediately.

When I reliased this I didn't think it would be a problem.  I assumed that all of the tag data from my OLD Library would find its way into my NEW Library.  But it now looks like this isn't the case.  The thing that I have noticed so far is that a lot (but not all) of the tracks that had multiple genres (separated by the text ";") have reverted to only one genre.  This is a bit of a problem since I've spent the last two years categorising my 40-odd thousand tracks, and now essentially lost all of that work!!!!!!

Is this issue because some tag data is only stored in the Library, and not embedded in the music file?  If that is the case, then the solution seems obvious - get my new Laptop to start using the OLD Library that is stored on my NAS.  But I can't find any way to do this... I can import an iTunes Library to MusicBee, but not an old MusicBee Library!?!?  Am I missing something?

And if the problem isn't to do with whether or not the tag data is embedded in the music file, any suggestions for how I recover all that valuable data?

Very grateful if anyone can save my sanity here :-)

Pingaware

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Assuming that the paths haven't changed for the old library, then to choose it, hold shift when you open MB. This should bring up a dialogue that (somewhere, haven't got it in front of me right now) allows you to locate a library on your computer. Even if the files have changed path, so long as you use the remap files command, I think it *should* be okay.
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psychoadept

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The thing that I have noticed so far is that a lot (but not all) of the tracks that had multiple genres (separated by the text ";") have reverted to only one genre. 

Hopefully Pingaware's advice works for you.  However, genres should still be saved in the tags.  If you have "genre" instead of "genres" displayed in your library, it will only show one genre.  Have you looked at the tag inspector to see what is actually present in any of those files?

Also, this page might save you some trouble in the future: http://musicbee.wikia.com/wiki/Backup_%26_Restore
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Mattiefcf

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Thanks Pingaware. I'll have to try the Shift+Open trick later. However, I fear the worst as I checked the embedded tags on the back of scampell's advice and it appears that most of the genre data is not in the files anymore.

However... I have separate older copies of the files on the old laptop and a separate Library linking to them. All the genre data is present on those old copies.  So assuming I need to revert to those old files (only 1 week old fortunately!), any advice on how I copy them to my NAS while keeping all of the genre data?

Previously the genre data was lost either in the process of copying the files (and Library) to the NAS or when I installed MusicBee on the new laptop and (unthinkingly) created a new Library resident on the new laptop.  Should I import my pre-existing library when installing MB, and if so, how?

As always, advice is much appreciated. I love the freedom from iTunes that MB gives me, but it's excellent flexibility does present some challenges!

Steven

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As scampbll says the genres are written to the music file - its easy enough for you to do that on a test file and check the results in something like mp3Tag.
What can happen is if you use other applications that also update the file, they might not be able to handle multiple genres and only write a single genre. For example, if you ever use WMP, it can automatically update music files without any prompting.
If you still have your old library cache file (musicbeelibrary.mbl) and files located in the old directory structure, you can use the File/ Advanced/ Synchronise Tags to File (cant remember the exact command) which rewrites the tags based on whats in the musicbee library cache.

Mattiefcf

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Steven, scampbll, Pingaware, many thanks.  It sounds like I've got a fix then.

And now that I've moved my music from my 500Gb laptop to a 2Tb NAS I can start buying CDs to rip again!

Mattiefcf

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Unfortunately my optimism was misplaced.  Nothing has worked.

I now believe the source of the problem is that MusicBee only writes one genre to the AAC file (I don't think I mentioned previously that I use mainly AAC).  Maybe that is all that AAC can handle?  On looking closer, I notice that the few MP3's I copied HAVE retained the multiple genre tags.

To check this I went back to fundamentals.  I started with my Library and music files that I knew contained the full, multiple genre data.  I copied an AAC file that was listed in MusicBee as having multiple genres from one location to another (still in the monitored folders).  The result?  The original file is still listed as having mutiple genres, but the new file shows only one.

My conclusion?  My MusicBeee Library is recording multiple genres, but only one is being embedded in AAC files.  Does this sound right, or have I mis-interpreted something?

If I'm right I guess the solution is to copy the original Library (the one with two years' worth of editing contained in it) to my NAS, and continue using that rather than creating a new Library.  I'm not yet sure how I will link that to the new location of the Music Files... remap I guess, but I haven't got to grips with it yet.

Wish me luck.

Steven

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yes you are right about that - its something i completely forgot about. At the time i did the mpeg tag saving, the spec, and other applications only supported one genre. I will check if anything has changed around that such as what mp3Tag does now.
As you suggest you could use the Remap function - it should be quite straight forward.
Other alternatives include exporting the tags to an iTunes xml file, search/replace the file path (assuming the folder structure is basically the same) and then import that iTunes xml file to the new library

edit:
i have had a look at this. MB is writing the multiple genres to the single genre field by separating each genre with a "; ".
I then added the file to a new library and the genres all loaded correctly so i am not sure now why you would be having issues
Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 09:15:55 PM by Steven

Mattiefcf

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I googled and I gather AAC files require multiple genres to be separated by a "/".  Could it be that AAC files just don't recognise the ";" and so ignore everything after that?

Mattiefcf

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Problem fixed I think.  I copied my original Library to where I want it, my NAS.  That Library was mapped to the AAC files on my laptop, so I had to re-map to the AAC copies I had already put on my NAS.  As far as I can see, all the multiple genre info is now present and correct.  I still think the AAC files only store one genre, but since I'm using the original Library again (which, I gather, is whether the multiple genres are stored) problem solved.

I lost a few working links in the re-mapping process, but I think I've identified the effected path and fixed it.  There are a few more dead links, but I think (stress 'think') this is because not all of my music folders were copied to the NAS.  These appear to be folders with particular symbols (e.g. "[", "?"), so this looks like a relatively simple issue to fix.

Thanks for everyone's help.  It's really helped me understand how MusicBee and digital music files and Libraries work, though I still consider myself a complete novice :-)

edit:

I just wanted to acknowledge that Pingaware's original advice was, as it turned out, essentially the solution to my problem.  scampbll, thank you for the advice regarding Library backups - I will definitely be doing that from now on!  And Stephen, thank you for the excellent software.  While I used it, iTunes was just a necessary evil.  But MusicBee helps me to explore and enjoy my music collection with the flexibility that I need.  I think it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 12:12:02 PM by Mattiefcf