Author Topic: Can anyone help me with “Best Practice” for Tag Separators….?  (Read 1560 times)

leeuniverse

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So, as some know I'm trying to put together my music collection, so I've been reporting issues, suggestions, etc.
Part of this process is having my Tags etc. all correct, and in that process, I’m leaning thinking I should use backward Double-Slashes \\ as the separator for ALL Tags, but would all players etc. like that?

So, any value that has multiple entries I just use the double-slash.
So, Genres would be separated by double-slashes, as well as ALL other Tags, Artist, ISRC #'s, etc.
Or should I do something different, like use double-slashes for some and a forward single-slash / or semi-colon (;), commas, etc. for others?

This has confused the crap out of me since ALL seem to be being used.

Phaedrus

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Just my $0.02.

MP3Tag says that the universal separator is " / " (Note the spaces, they are important.) I use Semicolons and I've not seen any issues. Possible they are there but when I play outside of MusicBee I just don't care as much about my tags because when I'm portable, I only care about Album, Artist, and Title. All of the players I can remember playing with either had an option to specify your delimiter or it was just fine with my semicolons. Whatever you use, don't double it up. If you end up missing one of the pair you may not notice the issue until well down the road.


For the love of GOD, do NOT use different separators for different tags. You will very quickly hate your life if you ever try to do any kind of tag based scripting.

On a side note, I've travelled the road you are now on. After a good 15 years of playing around, I started using MusicBrainz Picard for all my tagging needs. With a couple of minor scripting tweaks and ignoring genres, I accept all the tags it wants to give me, without any other checking. In fact I also update them from time to time as the MusicBrainz database is updated. I don't manually manipulate tags anymore.
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leeuniverse

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Thanks, ya, the forward-slash seemed to be the other most common...
It seems forward slashes tend to be used on the less common tags and semi-colons are used more on the more common tags like Genre and Artists.

I'll test the forward-slash with spaces also and see what it does.
Drives me nuts that there's no consistency...  It's like I hate that the "Date" isn't consistent either, the primary date should be when the song first came out by the artist, then we can have Album Date, and Remix/Remastered Date.  Those are the only primary dates we need, the most important one being the original release date.  But instead, most dates are Album release dates, and that ticks me off for those who might want to music of different years.

Anyway, ya, I'm using Picard also along with Mp3tag...  Going crazy, but thank you.  :)
Oh btw, I've discovered that Picard's Genre tag doesn't like certain separators, it won't show multi-genres if you like use a single slash or something, the semi-colon and backward slashes seem fine to it.

Oh, and I also discovered that if you use backslashes in Picard for Genre and Artist, and then open in Mp3tag, and even save, for some reason MusicBee and Windows explorer shows the backward slashes instead of semi-colons, as they do when you're "editing" the tags adding the backslashes with Mp3tag.
There's all kinds of weird crap, it's frustrating trying to figure it all out....
Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 04:52:41 AM by leeuniverse

Phaedrus

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Spend some more time on MusicBrainz Picard. Once I got all the scripting straight, there was no reason to use any other Tagging program, unless the release wasn't in MusicBrainz, and I had to revert to Discogs. Once you embrace the MusicBrainz system, everything else falls into place.

I believe all of your issues are solvable through scripting, or a more thorough understanding of what MusicBrainz is and does. I found that most of my problems were my own creation, because I didn't understand the metadata, or I scripted badly. The genres are a nightmare, but no one has those figured out canonically. I think I finally settled on Artist genre, or only the top genre per song. Anything more than that, and it becomes just about useless.

You might also check into some other apps like TagScanner, and kid3 to make sure you aren't dealing with residual tags from the original source. Might also be issues with the difference between APE, ID3, and Vorbis, depending on your source files.

Good luck.
Dell Inspiron, i5, 16GB, 256GBSSD
Windows 11 Preview
MusicBee 3.4.7735, installed on C:\
Library on External drive;
267,193 Tracks, 16,859 Albums, 3794.19GB, 774d 16:09

[font=Roboto, "Segoe UI", sans-serif]Topping D10 32bit  384 kHz USB DAC[/font]
O2 Headphone Amplifier
beyerdynamic DT770M 80 ohm

alec.tron

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Oh, and I also discovered that if you use backslashes in Picard for Genre and Artist, and then open in Mp3tag, and even save, for some reason MusicBee and Windows explorer shows the backward slashes
Hi.
as a pre-cursor, hoping not to sound rude - you really should spend the time understanding multi-value metadata first off, before making fundamental decisions.
A few poiinters:
- there's 2 metadata conventions
     - the new ish, that allow multi declaration of the same (i.e. vorbis - has multiple single fields, which Musicbee just displays as one)
     - and the ancient that only allow single field declarations (i.e.  id3) and force you to write a separator into the string
the later is what is making things difficult to grasp when dealing with different metadata managers

for id3 & metadata managers
- it has been decided on id3 2.4 that the official separator is a NULL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_character)
- different metadata managers  / media players do handle this differently. Musicbee for example defaults to a semicolon (to display the seperator...). MP3edit allows you to have the NUL display as other characters, i,e. /. // etc
But all of that means, you do not actually set // in mp3edit but still a NULL...

Hope this helps.
c.

leeuniverse

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Thanks for the thoughts guys...

After tons of testing with Picard and Mp3tag and seeing the results in those programs and Windows Explorer and MusicBee, and seeing what seems to be standard convention, I've decided I'm going to do a Forward Slash Separator on all my standard tags, no spaces, and then do a Semi-Colon with a Space for my Genre's and multi-artists in the Artist Tag.
I'm using ID3 2.3...

This seems to be the best at displaying things properly, and what's most used and how.  I've tried every other variation and tags I could think to do, and there were often display issues.
I could just do ALL Semi-colon, but that doesn't seem standard atm, and I can always change the separators in the future if I need to.

Thanks all for being sounding boards...  :)