Author Topic: Looking for your thoughts before I do something crazy to my library  (Read 290 times)

Phaedrus

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I find myself at a crossroads in my Music listening career, and would appreciate your input.

I recently upgraded to MusicBee from Media Monkey. I've spent the last few months getting all my music properly tagged from Discogs using a plugin from Media Monkey. The plugin tags years, ISRC, Involved People, Cover art, and genres. I still get new music regularly, but it has reduced from a roar to a trickle. I'm now sitting at 84,669 tracks, at 1.3 TB.

While tagging with Discogs, I knew that at some point, I would have to fix my genres. I assumed that they would be at least close, and that I would be able to go through the handful of oddball genres and albums, and tweak them to make them fit better in my library. What I've discovered, is that the Discogs Genres are wildly inconsistent. Some albums seem well tagged, especially the "Studio realeases." Many of my albums, especially the compilations are less reasonable, or lacking in detail with only one genre.

So here are my paths as I see them;
1. Bite the bullet and analyze each track individually for proper genre classification. This path is dark, paved with flowing lava, the plants all give off toxic fumes, and the animals will devour me constantly. (1 minute per track, an hour a day will take about 4 years.)
2. Use the Last.FM autotag in MusicBee to autopopulate Genre, Mood, etc.; for each track. Seems promising, I'm afraid of losing the genres on the good ones.
3. Continue on with the original plan, and just go with it? Seems like a fools errand when I'm staring down the barrel of 37K tracks with an Unknown genre category, 6K tracks with no genre at all, and having to rewrite an "advanced search and replace" preset for each genre modification.
4. Hybrid? Auto tag everything except genre for tracks with more than one genre, and everything for the rest? (I'm leaning towards this.)

The problem I see is that until I work with the database when I'm done, I won't really know how well it worked. I like the concept of occasions and Moods from Last.FM, and the settings seem well thought out in MusicBee. It looks like almost all of the problem tags are taken care of.

Thanks in advance!
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

snwflake

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I personally don't understand the power of having 10+ tags on every file. But genres were quite important to me though. What I found to be a efficient way was just to tell the autotagger and tell it to tag everything with 3 genre-tags.
For your files without a genre at all its quite simple: Custom Search -> Match: 'any', 'Genre' 'has no value' -> Ctrl + a -> Auto-tag by Track -> Updating Track using Last.fm cloud -> overwrite Genre tag. It's at least a good starting point.

I also found that the Last.fm tags aren't really accurate/missing subgenres. E.g. some song is tagged as Industrial Metal and its clearly black melodic death metal but that genre isn't even available at Last.fm.

Your 4. sounds like a good idea but if you really want to be as accurate as possible, you won't get around revisiting each album and setting the special subgenres.

Phaedrus

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The power of fully tagged, and accurate files comes when you build auto-playlists. The more information you have, the more criteria you can use, the more complex the playlist, the more interesting, or fine-tuned the results.

I really believe all I need is a better starting point. Realistically, with as eclectic as my library is, I can deal with some inaccuracy at the sub-genre level. Those are at least manageable, because I can go through a list of a couple hundred which are already close, instead of a list of thousands which could be off by a lot.

The problem comes with wanting accuracy at the track level. Most of my albums, especially the compilations are not easily categorized to three genres that fit all the tracks. I've found tagging to the album, or artist, is useless. This means I'll be fine-tuning for a while, but at least I'll be able to have something close while I'm doing this.

Thanks. This is exactly what I was hoping for. Different ideas are always helpful.
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

Phaedrus

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Turns out I'm at Fourth and long; time to punt.

I just sorted through a random selection of my more esoteric albums, and have discovered the flaw in my plan. I was assuming that Last.fm had everything. Based on the percentage of tracks which came back with either "no change," "Not found," or had only a couple of keywords; Last.fm does nothing for me.

Back to the drawing board.
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

theta_wave

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The power of fully tagged, and accurate files comes when you build auto-playlists. The more information you have, the more criteria you can use, the more complex the playlist, the more interesting, or fine-tuned the results.
This.

You already pointed out the major issue in your metadata scheme and that is discogs only offers per album metadata.  AllMusic Guide, of which I use, has per track styles and moods: http://www.allmusic.com/album/MW0000097528 and http://www.allmusic.com/song/boys-dont-cry-mt0033378214

Unfortunately, AMG is not complete with respect to per track metadata.  Also, posted AMG scrappers are often subjected to takedown notices in the past.

Personally, I use AMG, bandcamp, discogs and musicbrainz scrappers (either I wrote or modified) in mp3tag to populate my metadata fields.

Phaedrus

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Personally, I use AMG, bandcamp, discogs and musicbrainz scrappers (either I wrote or modified) in mp3tag to populate my metadata fields.

You had me up to "either I wrote or modified." Not sure I can accomplish the same thing. Any suggestions on starting points? I tried to get mp3tag to work for auto-populating metadata, but I just couldn't get my head wrapped around it.

Funny, I always resisted AMG because of the $12 fee, but I've spent $15 for a CD for one or two good tracks.
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

alec.tron

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You already pointed out the major issue in your metadata scheme and that is discogs only offers per album metadata. 
There is a beta on discogs atm for how to store track relative data VS album relative data... hopefully this makes it into a feature to be released this year as it will require another few years for it to become useful (as users need to add the data as well...). Then there's also the issue of genres' being highly subjective, especially on a sub/sub-sub level...
I for one am very curious what comes of that...
c.



Phaedrus

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You already pointed out the major issue in your metadata scheme and that is discogs only offers per album metadata.
There is a beta on discogs atm for how to store track relative data VS album relative data... hopefully this makes it into a feature to be released this year as it will require another few years for it to become useful (as users need to add the data as well...). Then there's also the issue of genres' being highly subjective, especially on a sub/sub-sub level... I for one am very curious what comes of that... c.

Aye, I'm curious as well. I suspect it won't really be any better than Last.fm for my more esoteric albums. On the other hand, I've been surprised by the level of detail available from Discogs for these albums. We shall see.

I'm confident that the "sub-sub" level will be "less than perfect." It's a lot easier going through many lists of a few hundred songs to tweak the sub-sub genre than it is to go through 85K tracks and tag all three levels at once.

Why can't someone just create an AI that can tag mood, genre and style automatically? How hard can it be? I mean, not even people can do that reliably. ;D
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

theta_wave

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Here's my workflow with mp3tag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrXekn8N_PE

Unfortunately, for per song metadata, I have to go through each one by one (mouse gesture is down).  It is very fast for classical and single artist albums, but huge box sets can be a chore.  Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to have mp3tag do a "walk" where the same command is executed for each song down the list w/o confirmation messages because each song already has a unique AMG_SONG_ID that directs it to the AMG page for the song (see above).

EDIT: For the "walk", autohotkey might be the answer, but damn I have to dive into its documentation since I'm not familiar with its syntax.

EDIT 2: Found a promising post on stackoverflow that might lead me to the answer: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/15946630/autoencode-in-notepad/22990842#22990842

EDIT 3: Okay, here's an autohotkey script (Win+S) I just made that performs a walk down a tracklist in mp3tag running a web source for each track automatically.  To quit it, press Win+Q.  Basically, it prompts the user to enter the number of tracks in the album (enter about 1.5X more).  Then it runs the following key sequence: alt+s (this brings up the websource menu), l, t, enter, enter, down (next track).  For example, this will run the following named web source script per track down the tracklist: &Last.fm#&1 &Track metadata.src.  This works best if the song already has a unique refID that bring up the song page immediately.  Thanks for motivating me to find solution to this particular use case.

Code: [Select]
#q::
    BreakLoop = 1
    return

#s::
#IfWinActive ahk_exe Mp3tag.exe
InputBox, times, Number of tracks (more than on album)
    if (times > 0); test if it is a number
    {
        Loop % times
        {
            if (BreakLoop = 1)
                break
            Send !s; alt+s to bring up tag sources menu
            Send l
            Send t
            Send {Enter}
            Send {Enter}
            Sleep 1000
            Send {Down}
        }    return
    }
Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 09:15:53 AM by theta_wave

Phaedrus

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Thanks for motivating me to find solution to this particular use case.

A couple of years ago, I cobbled together an Excel spreadsheet that found all kinds of information for movies so I could do some analysis for a top 100 list of movies from several different people. I used JSON and an Excel plugin I found. It was ugly, but it worked.

Thank you for the links. They have shown me that if I could do that in Excel, I can do this in Mp3tag. At least, I'm gonna give it a shot.
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

theta_wave

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A couple of years ago, I cobbled together an Excel spreadsheet that found all kinds of information for movies so I could do some analysis for a top 100 list of movies from several different people. I used JSON and an Excel plugin I found. It was ugly, but it worked.

Thank you for the links. They have shown me that if I could do that in Excel, I can do this in Mp3tag. At least, I'm gonna give it a shot.
Hmm, let me know if I can be of help.  It is pretty straightforword exporting tag data using mp3tag to a csv-like format so that importing into excel would be easy.  It sounds like you are already know this.
Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 07:21:04 PM by theta_wave

Phaedrus

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I was trying to say that based on your links, it looks like this is similar to what I did in the previous project. I could have been clearer.

You have shown me that I can probably figure this out. Thanks!
Dell Inspiron, i5, 8GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 10 Home
MusicBee 3.1.6272 Portable on 2TB Portable Drive
Library;
84,669 files, 1302.2 GB, 256d 1:58

theta_wave

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Video of my autohotkey in action: https://youtu.be/itrzHlqzs9U

edit: added video link
Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 08:27:26 AM by theta_wave