Author Topic: How to retrieve good quality genre tags using Picard  (Read 9780 times)

hiccup

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Related to this topic, a big update to genres in MusicBrainz: https://community.metabrainz.org/t/a-new-set-of-genre-tags-for-musicbrainz-recordings/569378
To be honest, I'm not sure that's a good thing happening.
They ignore the only website that has a very good and sensible genre database, that is also under continuous development by knowledgeable enthusiasts: RYM/Sonemic.
Discogs is very limited and rough in their genres, and LastFM in my opinion is more targeted towards radio format type genre descriptors. Many genre names that they use can't even be called 'factual' genres.

And heaven forbid that what they are trying to do now will result in MusicBrainz releases getting genre tagged by copying actual release tags from LastFM and Discogs.
This can get very messy.

All that MusicBrainz should have done is adopt all RYM genres and their hierarchy:
https://pastebin.com/tr9DggBb

It seems they are now trying to invent the wheel all over again and construct yet another list.

Concerning my genre hierarchy list and system, I'm afraid it will only result in me needing to add even more aka's.
Which won't improve anything at all, and will just be a waste of time and a useless lengthening of the Picard script and whitelist.
 
Last Edit: January 25, 2022, 08:16:57 AM by hiccup

hiccup

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I hope this means I don't need to retag all the files I already tagged with the earlier method ;)
It shouldn't.
I don't think I changed the names of any genres (I only added a few)
The most important update is about how genres get grouped under the category node in the hierarchy browser.

Quote from: Mr. Trev
Found one issue… your steps for changing the script to have a subgenre tag need an update.
 - In script #1, navigate to the last line saying:
$setmulti(genre,$unique(%_genretemp4%)) …
Simple enough fix considering I was able to brain it out myself
Good catch, thanx!
That's fixed.

Mr. Trev

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I hope this means I don't need to retag all the files I already tagged with the earlier method ;)
It shouldn't.
I don't think I changed the names of any genres (I only added a few)
The most important update is about how genres get grouped under the category node in the hierarchy browser.

Just out of curiousity I check the tagging of the latest SunnO))) album (https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/e242147b-092d-40b2-a2f2-00e2449fc7c1)
Using your earlier Wikigenre I got 2 subgenre's: Doom Metal and Drone Metal. Using the updated method I only got Drone Metal.
Doesn't seem like enough of a difference to me to redo anything.

hiccup

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Just out of curiousity I check the tagging of the latest SunnO))) album (https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/e242147b-092d-40b2-a2f2-00e2449fc7c1)
Using your earlier Wikigenre I got 2 subgenre's: Doom Metal and Drone Metal. Using the updated method I only got Drone Metal.
Doesn't seem like enough of a difference to me to redo anything.

Which seems to be correct and more appropriate: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/sunn-o/metta-benevolence-bbc-6-live-on-the-invitation-of-mary-anne-hobbs/
'Doom metal' probably came from Wikidata, which I found has an enormous amount of wrong, or over-enthouiastic genre tagging.

It's just a single example of course, but I think this is a fine indication this new system is an improvement.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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How would you guys feel about a service specifically for cataloguing music genres at the track level?
Would it be worth it to make and would it get any use?

hiccup

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How would you guys feel about a service specifically for cataloguing music genres at the track level?
Would it be worth it to make and would it get any use?
Picard/MusicBrainz (can) do(es) that.
See post #2  ;-)

another example where that works nicely:
Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 08:18:03 AM by hiccup

The Incredible Boom Boom

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Picard/MusicBrainz (can) do(es) that.
See post #2  ;-)

another example where that works nicely:


I mean more accurately. I had set up Picard to grab genres by way of the MusicBrainz tags with your previous instructions and all I get is crap, really. I still have it setup, just in case, but I always (and not exaggerating here) end up erasing the tags there and adding my own when I get a chance to listen to the album. Not that your tutorial is bad; it's the information itself.

These are a few albums I've done manually.





I was thinking about a service specifically for determining the exact genre(s) of a song, similar to what I've done above. Like this, but the ability to classify every song on an album, not just the singles. As far as I'm aware, MusicBrainz has decided to let genre tags be somewhat of a free-for-all (as you've stated, RYM is well in the lead for genre listings) and while they're not as bad as LastFM, the quality is still not what I would like. (I realize genre cataloguing is a subjective thing and maybe that is one of the larger hindrances to tagging them by song, but...) "Electronic," "R&B," "MPB," "Soul," etc. are broad categories, not exact genres.

When I tag an Alceu Valença with Picard, I get a lot of "Latin music" or "MPB." Like ok, in an overarching sense that is the type of music, yes, but such descriptions are essentially meaningless at the track level, in my opinion. Maybe there's just not enough interest besides this thread or so to go beyond basic categorical tags...
Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 01:11:48 PM by The Incredible Boom Boom

hiccup

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You are touching upon a lot of interesting aspects concerning genres, categories, hierarchies, etc.
Some of them I have been/am struggling with a bit myself.

I started to write-up a reply trying to address all of it, but I quickly realised it would become a ten-page essay.
Which could be interesting for another thread/topic, but not so much for this one.
So I'll try to curb my response to what pertains most directly to Picard and my system.

Quote from: The Incredible Boom Boom
I had set up Picard to grab genres by way of the MusicBrainz tags with your previous instructions and all I get is crap, really.
I'm not familiar with that artist, but running that album through Picard for me results in this:



Which to me doesn't seem deserving of the description 'crap'. But then again, I'm not familiar with the artist, nor much with the type of music to be honest.

Looking at the genres you manually applied, genres such as 'Urban Adult Old School' 'Smooth G-funk' are not in any genre database that I am aware of. So indeed, those will not be retrieved.
But as soon as you or somebody else adds these as a tag to the recording @MusicBrainz, they will be instantly available to anyone.
If you are interested to test it: I just added 'New jill swing' to track #1.
If you re-run Picard on it you should now see it showing up.
(you do need to add '+ New jill swing' to the whitelist first)

I understand now that (and why) you personally will still not be happy with the result, but if people with expertise on specific music add specific genres such as these to the MusicBrainz database, it will be an improvement for many to benefit from. And it's not much work.
Also it wouldn't be hard for me (or yourself) to add more (sensible and broadly agreed on) genres to the whitelist so from then on they will also get retrieved.

About genres, categories, subgenres etc, I think it's simply impossible to create a strict hierarchy where you can put every piece of music ever produced in one specific box.
Many 'genres' are sometimes categories, sometimes genres, sometimes styles, influences, and sometimes describing a social/political movement and period.
If you wanted to cover those (and some more I could come up with) you will need a lot more tags than just 'genre or 'subgenre'.
And a lot of music just can't be restricted to be placed under a single higher level category.
For one song, Person A would place it under the category Pop, Person B under Rock, another under Electronic, another under Latin, another under Soul, or Folk, etc. etc.

So my perspective on this matter (for now…) is that I just like as much as possible appropriate genre tags attached to a song.
And that is what this Picard system of mine is aiming to do.

For an Elis Regina song, I am fine with ending up with something like: MPB, Bossa nova, Brazilian, Latin.
None of them will pinpoint the song exactly, but they are all 'correct', and the Tag Hierarchy Browser will then allow me to find the music where I would suspect I can find it.
And if I find that somebody labelled it as 'Pop' or 'Vocal jazz' in MusicBrainz' database, I can easily vote it down. And if at least a few people agree, it then will be gone.

So concluding:
My quest and aim is different from yours.
I would like to have all my music getting as much as possible not-incorrect genre tags.
It's easier (for me) to use filters to narrow down a search having such tags available, than not to be able to find music because all more generic (but correct) style or category genre names are absent or removed, and I forgot that I labelled a song as 'Alternative symphonic indie neo-proto synthpunk' ;-)
Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 07:10:24 PM by hiccup

hiccup

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After giving The Incredible Boom Boom's input and thoughts more thought, an idea popped-up in my head, resulting in me adding a new paragraph at the  bottom of the start post.

The Incredible Boom Boom

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I'm not familiar with that artist, but running that album through Picard for me results in this:



Which to me doesn't seem deserving of the description 'crap'. But then again, I'm not familiar with the artist, nor much with the type of music to be honest.

Haha Maybe "crap" is harsh, but this is actually a good example of what frustrates me so much about MB's genre tags!

For the example you gave, there's some good stuff there. (There's also some... crap extremely broad words that are not all that helpful once you start thinking of a song beyond its base categorization.) "Indietronica." "Alternative Dance." "Club House." "Europop." Those are good. I've heard of exactly zero artists on that album (lol), but without even listening to it, those particular labels give me an idea of what to expect. Furthermore, if I wanted to make a shuffled playlist of synthpop songs and don't want "nu disco" tracks to pop up, some of those tags are a great starting point. Heck, I might even YouTube some of those synthpop songs later and see if I like them!

On the other hand, the tags for that Aaliyah album scream, "Listened to the album once (if at all), but doesn't matter 'cause artist is black and sings, so that means... Contemporary R&B, of course!" And then someone came along behind that first person and was like, "Black...? Hip-Hop!" And then a third person - this guy is from r/LetsTalkMusic, wore Abercrombie all through middle school, became edgy and listened to screamo through high school and now his "favorite artist is Kanye West" - comes along and says, "This isn't quite contemporary R&B, but it's not quite hip-hop either... It's new jack swing," with his pinky finger in the air, while sipping a cup of whatever coffee brand snobbish trend followers are into these days. Technically, all these tags are in the ball park, but granularity allows for more versatility and options when quantifying data on your music library or listening more "efficiently" and "effectively."

If I feel like having a "bossa evening," I wouldn't want Elis's "Aprendendo a jogar" to be on that AutoDJ playlist, ya feel me? Lol But, I do want that song on every funk playlist and autoplaylist I make, regardless of whether the artist is "Brazilian music" or "Latin music"!

Quote
Looking at the genres you manually applied, genres such as 'Urban Adult Old School' 'Smooth G-funk' are not in any genre database that I am aware of.

The way my system works is <STYLE>: <Genre Category> -> <Genres>
The <STYLE> tag encompasses the overall musical style of the album and is based on US radio formats for the most part. The <Genre Category> and <Genre> classify the song.
Urban Adult Old School: Funk · R&B · Soul -> Hip-Hop Soul
"Urban Adult Old School" is a combination of "Urban Adult Contemporary" and "Old School music."

Quote
But as soon as you or somebody else adds these as a tag to the recording @MusicBrainz, they will be instantly available to anyone.
If you are interested to test it: I just added 'New jill swing' to track #1.
If you re-run Picard on it you should now see it showing up.
(you do need to add '+ New jill swing' to the whitelist first)

I understand now that (and why) you personally will still not be happy with the result, but if people with expertise on specific music add specific genres such as these to the MusicBrainz database, it will be an improvement for many to benefit from. And it's not much work.
Also it wouldn't be hard for me (or yourself) to add more (sensible and broadly agreed on) genres to the whitelist so from then on they will also get retrieved.

The thing with anyone being able to just add whatever (what I meant by free-for-all) is I'm usually just clearing the genres completely and retagging them anyway. Even if I do add more accurate genre tags, all the "black + singer === contemporary R&B"-type tags are still there.

But, you've given me an idea. I could maybe modify your whitelist and turn it into a blacklist. I'm always redoing generic tags like, "New Wave" and "Pop" anyway, so making a blacklist would remove the stuff I didn't want in the first place and leave stuff that (may or may not) be accurate and research from there. (Which is at least a little bit better than constantly removing "Electronic," "Hip-Hop," "Punk," etc. plus still needing to research all the obscure differences among different types of house music.)

What I personally was envisioning was a service that had RYM's accuracy pertaining to track level genres, but with the ability to use it without having to go a website, search for the artist, then open numerous tabs of the album and any singles from it, in order to tag one's genres more precisely. There would probably be a voting system, like when adding information to the MB database, but - most importantly - a way for majority vote to remove a genre after it's been added. I've gone back and forth on whether it's a service I could write as an extension to MB itself. I'm also waiting to see how RYM plans to handle access to its database.
Last Edit: January 26, 2022, 10:35:31 PM by The Incredible Boom Boom


hiccup

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If I feel like having a "bossa evening," I wouldn't want Elis's "Aprendendo a jogar" to be on that AutoDJ playlist, ya feel me? Lol But, I do want that song on every funk playlist and autoplaylist I make, regardless of whether the artist is Brazilian!
I do feel you. I honestly love Elis, and I now realise I forgot how funky and modern some of her songs are.

(Guilty of derailing my own topic. So sue me ;-)

psychoadept

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'cause artist is black and sings, so that means... Contemporary R&B, of course!"

I feel you on this kind of stuff. I mean, a lot of these particular genres go back to the early record days when the recordings were actually on "race charts", and we've just come up with fancier ways to say "black people music".

I'd love to have the level of granularity that you're talking about, but presently I'm letting Picard do as it will and I'll sort it out once I'm doing with other, more clear cut, projects. With regards to my own collection, I get the same tracks tagged with any combination of Electronic, Industrial, EBM, Dark Electro, Synthpop, Futurepop, etc, based on the genre source. I'd be pretty happy to just get them all under one umbrella for now.
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hiccup

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… a lot of these particular genres go back to the early record days when the recordings were actually on "race charts", and we've just come up with fancier ways to say "black people music".
Ok, now I really think we are drifting off-topic from what this Tips & Tricks topic is about.
If the colour of the human skin is being brought up to be relevant to music genres, and somebody is interested and willing to discuss that (and probably have it challenged), this is not the right thread for it.

psychoadept

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… a lot of these particular genres go back to the early record days when the recordings were actually on "race charts", and we've just come up with fancier ways to say "black people music".
Ok, now I really think we are drifting off-topic from what this Tips & Tricks topic is about.
If the colour of the human skin is being brought up to be relevant to music genres, and somebody is interested and willing to discuss that (and probably have it challenged), this is not the right thread for it.

It's less about color of skin and more about cultural sources of music, which goes to a bigger question about "what is a genre", and you're probably right that we could spend pages on that (and people have, I know).
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