Your Ripping Workflow #2- tagging questions*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Dillydipper, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    It’s my hope by asking questions 10 different ways to Sunday, I’ll gain both knowlege and wisdom to help me in my ripping project, and maybe give you ideas as well.


    I see lots of you on this board talking about how you go back and fix tags, so let’s drill this down a little bit. Do you do it right as you rip, or go back to it once you get a hundred or so done, or...?


    Also, do most of you use “Artist-Title” as a standardized filename? And with those multiple versions or specific pieces of info, does that go into the filename, or someplace else?


    I’m thinking of stuff like “single mix”, or “2009 mono box”, or “Hoffman master” or “HDCD”. Some of these are specific to track (“Ringo on drums”), some to albums (“Steven Wilson remaster”), but instead of placing them in the field of the single or album, do they go elsewhere, such as the filename, for easier browsing?


    Do you try to keep your standardized filenames standard, or do you try and re-format them on occasion for the ergonomics of readability when playing them on your mp3 player, or your car audio, or how they come up in the bedroom...?


    How many extra fields do you add on occasion to make shuffling more specific (Diament master on Time-Life”, or “dub mix from CD-5“)? Do you add info you don’t expect to look at, but to help with separating the Sinatra franken-duets from the Sinatras, for instance?


    Do you have a special way to configure your EAC or dbPoweramp or whatever for consistent ripping before you even go in and tweak something further?


    Do you always file “exceptions” the same way, such as “The”, “A”, or numbers

    (are “The Three Tenors” before the alphabet as “3” would be, for instance, or further down, as “T-h-r-e-e”? And, would you file “The The” like that, or, “The, The”?). As an example, I file A Flock of Seagulls under “Flock”, but I make an exception for A Fine Frenzy going under “A”, because the artist chose that name from an exact Shakespeare quote.


    Also, does Donald Fagan automatically go with Steely Dan, or not? Then there’s Paul, Wings and The Silver Beatles...! Or that Randy Bachman solo album, decades removed from both BTO, and Chad Allen & the Reflections...?
     
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  2. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    This thread for instance, would be a good place to share any luck you have had keeping your Classical libraries straight.
     
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  3. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Building a well-organized classical library requires a lot of work, including metadata edits after ripping. My basic workflow -- I don't do this anymore; my ripping project was roughly 2010-15 -- was as follows:

    1. Rip in dBpoweramp. I used 4 different computers at various times (occasionally running 2 at once). I would select the metadata option that looked the best to me; most often for classical this was the option from the All Music Guide. As I recall, it is not always the default option chosen by dBpoweramp -- you need to select it specifically. I prefer performer(s) as artist(s) and leader performer (e.g. pianist in a concerto) as album artist, and composer listed as composer, not artist; in my view it is a mistake to list the composer as the artist. List composer as composer, and then in your media library you will be able to by composer or artist (performer).
    2. After ripping, transfer files to one master drive, using a folder identified as "raw rips."
    3. Assess the files in the raw rips folder and adjust the metadata in Media Monkey. Sometimes I did not need to do much. But at other times I had to make a lot of changes. I might include the composer in the album title (e.g. "Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7") and sometimes, to resolve an ambiguity, include a performer in the title as well, or a date for a recital (e.g. "Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 [Kleiber]"). I also frequently needed to edit the list of performers.
    4. After the metadata has been corrected and the file verified -- I would check the number of tracks that successfully were transferred to the master drive against the CD -- then I would move the files to a "clean rips" folder -- comprising only rips that have been verified and whose metadata has been cleaned up.
    5. Sync clean rips folder on master drive to backup drive. Use FreeFileSync for backup purposes. Best simple, free program ever made.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. Al Gator

    Al Gator So inarticulate

    Most of my tagging happens with EAC when I rip. Anything more I tag immediately after ripping, unless I discover a problem later.

    My tagging is very simple - genre, artist, album, song, date, cover art, and if it's classical, composer. I'm not putting together an archive for the world, I'm putting together something so that I can find what I want. I do have a couple of rules I follow:
    • Artists with "The" will have the name first (e.g. Who, The), or I'll just skip the article, as long as an artist is all tagged the same.
    • For classical, I also tag the composer so I can have a composer-oriented view in JRiver. I also have JRiver analyze the audio after the import so it tags the DR and HDCD info.
    • For classical, the album is the piece followed by orchestra, conductor, and/or key soloists, by last name. For example, "Piano & Violin Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 30 No. 1 (Istomin & Stern)". This means a single CD often ends up as multiple "albums" but I love the easy navigation this provides.
    Since everything's tagged, I can copy the FLAC files and my portable players find everything just fine.
     
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  5. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    The The - I use The The!

    In dBpoweramp, for all music except Classical, I capitalise the first letter of every word as it gives a standard look with a one button press. You can program this, but I like WYSIWYG, occasionally use stylised names such as blink-182 and the aforementioned Classical.

    I try and get tags correct pre-rip, the red highlighted variations in dBpoweramp, CD Ripper make this much quicker.


    The Beatles, The Who etc.

    Artist The Beatles
    Artist Sort Beatles, The

    Artist John Lennon
    Artist Sort Lennon, John

    John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Wings are not lumped in with The Beatles.

    Some players ignore The / A but not all.

    I use sort tags, but some players simply ignore them.

    Disc 1, Disc 2 is not part of the album name, so my dBpoweramp naming string puts each disc in it's own folder simply by populating 1/2, 2/2.

    Artist The Beatles
    Album The Beatles
    Disc 1 Disc 2

    I try and keep names as short as possible, so for the "white album"
    Album The Beatles The original 1987 CD
    Album The Beatles [2009]
    Album The Beatles [Mono]
    Year 1968 11 22

    If it is a description it goes in square brackets, if it's part of the track, or album name round brackets.

    A bonus track not on the original album, I borrowed the idea from another forum member and used *

    I've also used [24/96], [DSD] etc. for higher than Red Book. Higher res aren't in a separate folder, but can all found by searching 24/96, or whatever you want.

    If a Steve Hoffman mastering, or DCC is the only version of a CD I own, then I don't tag it anywhere, but if I have multi pressings, I would add [DCC].

    So many of these are simply personal preferences to stop multiple pressings going into a single folder and a quick method for identification.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  6. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    Those are a beach.
     
  7. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    I tag after each batch of ripping, but my batches these days rarely exceed 10-12 discs.

    For multiple issues of one album, I keep only the preferred version on HD, and the rest are available for listening via CD player.

    I no longer bother with details like mastering, etc. See above.

    IMO, "standardized" means standardized. If you have too many variations, it's not standardized.

    I use no DSPs in dbPoweramp, and no post-rip tweaking of any kind. Tone controls remain flat, and I use only the volume control for playback.

    Winamp ignores "the" and "a"; I follow suit in my filing of rips and images.

    "Numeric" names are filed under the spelled-out alpha heading.

    Solo albums are filed under the solo name. But when the solo name is also part of a band name, as in "Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers," I use "Tom Petty" as the overall "album artist" name and "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers" for the "artist" name on the individual albums to keep the file tree listing and the Winamp main sort list shorter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  8. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    So, this includes no ReplayGain (and no EBU R)?

    Anyone else...?
     
  9. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    Location:
    United States
    When I first ripped my CDs, I didn't take too much care to get the tags right the first time. I just wanted to get the project done! But, once I did that, I went back and fixed the tags and added the correct artwork. Now that I am caught up with that, each time I acquire a new album or single file, I tag it correctly the first time. I periodically go though and update album art as needed to my specs.

    When looking for album covers, I go for the most accurate original covers with the record label logos, serial numbers, and stereo/mono info where applicable. I'll even open something in Photoshop to get it as close to the original image as I possibly can. I will not use anything under 600 x 600.


    For albums, I put albums in their individual folders and list the songs such as:

    2 - Woman In Love

    For compilations, the filename will be tagged the same, but if I play them in, say, Foobar, a song will come up for example:

    WILSON PICKETT • Mustang Sally [Mono]

    For my year-by-year homemade comps, I attach the album the song came from, the singles cover, or the actual 45 RPM record label. That also goes for individual tracks.

    If a comp has predominantly mono tracks, i'll designate any stereo tracks accordingly. If most are stereo, i'll note the mono ones. I put any technical in for for a track in brackets as to not confuse it with being part of a song title that occurs in parentheses.

    So, a track may look something like this:

    14 - The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) [Mono] - Harper's Bizarre

    If it's played in Foobar, it looks like:

    HARPER'S BIZARRE • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) [Mono]

    In my car player, it looks something like:

    Pop
    The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) [Mono]
    Harper's Bizarre
    1967 - Volume 3
    Various Artists

    I never settle for whatever settings one ripper or tagging program offers. I tweak everything to my liking. I always add a zero to the single-digit tracks to keep any player from scrambling the track order. I use two tagging programs to get everything exactly how I want it. For tagging, I keep it simple. I don't add things like the year of release to the string. I already know that in my head.

    I also use "The". I absolutely hate it when people omit "the" from song titles and artists.

    I do not use ReplayGain stats. I master my stuff so everything is the correct RMS already.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  10. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    Correct.

    . . . whatever EBU R is . . .
     
  11. Madness

    Madness Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I use JRiver exclusively for ripping and tagging. I check the tags for new rips/downloads, because sometimes they are inconsistent. As an example, I just bought a vinyl release of Wolf, Devil's Seed, and it was bundled with a CD. I ripped it, because I couldn't find the FLAC version of the album, even though I could have sworn I had all of their albums. In JRiver, when I viewed Artist Wolf, Devil's Seed did not appear in the album lists of the download file I knew I owned. Turns out that the Album Artist in the tag said "The Wolf" and not "Wolf." So now I have a CD quality download version of the album, and a CD quality CD rip of the album.

    Anywho, when I own two different bit rate/sample rates of an album, I change the album title in the tag to identify the hi-res version by putting 24/96 in parenthesis after the album title; i.e. TOOL's Fear Inocolum (24/96).

    I let JRiver name the track names by default, based upon the on-line resources it pulls from. The only time I manually change the track name is when I merge tracks together such as Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker - Livin Lovin Maid. Then I change the track number to whatever track number the first song of the merged files is.

    Been thinking about putting the year the album was released in parenthesis after the album name, but there have been so many rereleases of stuff that it would just be more effort than I'm willing to put in right now.

    File structure I use is Artist/Album; rip/download to my hard drive, then copy over to my NAS.
     
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  12. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    It's apparently an extra protocol you can use in Replay Gain, at least in dbPoweramp, accessed through the settings in ReplayGain>advanced options. Default setting is "18", but, I don't know what that means either.
     
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  13. I don't consider it proper to apply ReplayGain during the rip. My belief is that you should keep the rip as close to the original CD as possible. Then use the software playback to alter the playback for consistent levels (ReplayGain) and such. Foobar and JRiver and other players are able to apply ReplayGain during playback if you choose.

    Rip the CDs with no extra processing or correction. Rip them as they are.

    If the CD has pre-emphasis then apply de-emphasis to a second and separate version of the rip. You'll end up with two versions. One with the pre-emphasis as the original CD rip. And one with applied de-emphasis. Use custom tags to identify that one has pre-emphasis as the original CD, and one has a digital de-emphasis filter applied.

    Same for HDCD. If the CD has HDCD encoding the rip the CD as it is without special HDCD decoding. Then do a second version with HDCD decoding. Use custom tags to identify that one has HDCD endcoding and that one has had a digital HDCD decoding done.
     
  14. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    Classical is unfortunately a nightmare for various reasons and someone who is a big lover of Classical music may well have multiple recordings of the same piece with differing Conductors, Orchestras, Soloists, location and date with varying different combinations of this! English, German, Italian... at the very least a lot of editing will be required!

    This is what I used for Mahler Symphony No. 2

    Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection"

    i. Allegro maestoso
    ii. Andante moderato
    iii. In ruhig fliessender Bewegung
    iv. "Urlicht" - Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht

    As you can see, this is basically the information directly from the CD, I've simply used i. to iv. to denote the movements and no Composer, Conductors and Orchestra in the "track" name, I simply entered them as tags.

    Artist Gustav Mahler
    Album Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection"
    Composer Gustav Mahler

    I then used Artist Sort Mahler, Gustav


    I pondered for a long time on how to tag Classical music, but as most players use Artist / Album / Title, I chose to work around that for maximum compatibility and simply to get something started: I then found it actually works very well (for me).

    When I have more than one recording of the same piece, I add the most pertinent bit Conductor, or Orchestra to the album name. As I said previously, crude, but it works.

    On my app, secondary tags are on the second and third pages, so if needed, I can add tags:

    Orchestra
    Conductor
    Soloist


    Often the cover art gives the information, so I don't bother.

    Hope this encourages folks to have a go at tagging Classical, or it can be used as an example of how not to do it!


    Whilst I capatalise the first letter of every word for non-Classical (achieved by Captalize Tags in dBpoweramp, CD Ripper) for a quick and consistent look, I prefer lower case for Classical naming. As usual, this is simply personal choice for my own library.
     
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  15. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    There are two ReplayGain DSPs in dBpoweramp, ReplayGain (Apply) which does alter the files and I certainly would never use, and ReplayGain, which alters nothing, but simply writes a tag. I do use this with the default setting EBU R128, LUFS Target Volume - 18. On some players you have a choice to use these tags, or not.
     
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  16. Randoms

    Randoms Aerie Faerie Nonsense

    Location:
    UK
    I don't know if @garymc would like to add anything to this.

    The main matter is that ReplayGain (Apply) is destructive and ReplayGain non-destructive.
     
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  17. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    You're right, I forgot to mention that.

    New thread up now, on how many different formats you need to play your files on different devices.
     
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  18. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Those of you who are altering band names removing A or The are doing it wrong.

    If your music library/player software doesn't have an option to ignore those name artifacts when sorting metadata then start using a better player/library software.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  19. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elkhart, IN, USA
    ..let’s drill this down a little bit. Do you do it right as you rip, or go back to it once you get a hundred or so done, or...?
    Prefer to handle it at ripping stage whenever possible.

    Also, do most of you use “Artist-Title” as a standardized filename?
    My folder names generally follow artist - year - album format:
    Beatles - 1963 - Please Please Me

    ...inside that folder, the file names are track number title:
    01 I Saw Her Standing There.flac.

    If it's a compilation album with multiple artists I usually have to do some folder renaming after the rip:
    (Various Artists) - 1999 - The Sounds Of The 60s becomes Sounds of the 60s - 1999 - (Various Artists)

    In the case of a multiple artist compilation on a single disc, the filenames are track number artist - title:
    01 The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There.flac

    In the case of a multiple artist compilation on a multi-disc set it becomes disc number-track number artist - title:
    01-01 The Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There.flac


    And with those multiple versions or specific pieces of info, does that go into the filename, or someplace else?

    If it's specific to just the song then I append that to the title:
    01 I Saw Her Standing There (George Martin Mix).flac
    01 I Saw Her Standing There (Single).flac
    01 I Saw Her Standing There (Single).flac

    If it's specific to the entire album it goes to the album tag and thus creates a folder such as:
    Beatles - 1963 - Please Please Me [2009 Apple Remaster]
    Beatles - 1963 - Please Please Me [2009 Apple Expanded Remaster] (HDCD)


    I’m thinking of stuff like “single mix”, or “2009 mono box”, or “Hoffman master” or “HDCD”. Some of these are specific to track (“Ringo on drums”), some to albums (“Steven Wilson remaster”), but instead of placing them in the field of the single or album, do they go elsewhere, such as the filename, for easier browsing?

    See above. I don't personally label box sets as "box set" or "box" unless it's part of the official album title. Even with a large collection, I haven't had much trouble remembering what albums are box sets.

    Do you try to keep your standardized filenames standard, or do you try and re-format them on occasion for the ergonomics of readability when playing them on your mp3 player, or your car audio, or how they come up in the bedroom...?

    I try to follow a standard that is simple and makes sense to me. I haven't had to rename files for playback.


    How many extra fields do you add on occasion to make shuffling more specific (Diament master on Time-Life”, or “dub mix from CD-5“)? Do you add info you don’t expect to look at, but to help with separating the Sinatra franken-duets from the Sinatras, for instance?
    If I want to shuffle specific tracks or albums and not include anything else, I'll drag them all into a new playlist and shuffle that. I may add a little info in the comments section depending on what it is.


    Do you have a special way to configure your EAC or dbPoweramp or whatever for consistent ripping before you even go in and tweak something further?

    I use dbPoweramp because the tagging is almost always perfect... I only have to change the filename / folder directory name output options when dealing with multiple artist or disc sets.


    Do you always file “exceptions” the same way, such as “The”, “A”, or numbers (are “The Three Tenors” before the alphabet as “3” would be, for instance, or further down, as “T-h-r-e-e”? And, would you file “The The” like that, or, “The, The”?). As an example, I file A Flock of Seagulls under “Flock”, but I make an exception for A Fine Frenzy going under “A”, because the artist chose that name from an exact Shakespeare quote.
    I remove "The" from all folder names manually so if I need to jump to The Beatles, I can do so by starting to type "Bea". I don't change anything in the actual tags.


    Also, does Donald Fagan automatically go with Steely Dan, or not? Then there’s Paul, Wings and The Silver Beatles...! Or that Randy Bachman solo album, decades removed from both BTO, and Chad Allen & the Reflections...?
    This can be resolved with the Sort As Artist tag.


    ...with all of the above said, it's important to note not to put too much emphasis on file names. There will be file names that are simply too long for computer filesystems and you'll have to truncate them, which will become much more apparent once you start tackling classical albums.

    As long as the metadata has the information you need and the player can sort them in the order desired (this is where having numbering at the beginning of tracks comes into play), that's all you need..
     
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  20. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    Location:
    United States
    While I am not one of those people, I must remind that there is no right or wrong way. Each of us have our own way of doing things. Some things make sense only to each of us, but they are not wrong.
     
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  21. vinnn

    vinnn Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    From a tagging standard perspective it kinda is though. In id3 and ogg tagging standards (FLAC uses ogg tags) a comma separated tag translates to multiple values, many standards compliant software players will interpret a comma separated artist or album artist tag as being related to two different artists.

    So say you tag a file with "Orb, The" as the artist, many players will show the same track under the artist "Orb" and under a different artist called "The".
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  22. Grant

    Grant Now let that bass fall in! Oh yeah!

    Location:
    United States
    Well, none of the players I use do that, so i'm good.
     
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  23. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    As I said before, my exception-to-the-"rule" example is, "A Flock Of Seagulls", is not the same as "A Fine Frenzy": one refers to this hypothetical collection of birds, while the other is an exact Shakespeare quote. While not going deep into that hole without starting yet another thread on it, I'm sure there are good reasons why "The" is at times both an irrelevant part of an artist name, yet at other times uniquely significant. (And no, I'm not going to bring up The The again...! :sweating: )
     
  24. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark Thread Starter

    Location:
    Central PA
    By the way, I originally wanted to remove as much irrelevant tag information as possible, but my difficulties with inconsistent filing methods proved a bridge too far for that idea.

    Example: the only reason I wanted to have an album's year in the tag, was so I could easily collate an artists' output in his folder, chronologically. I would have been fine, for instance, if I could have it in an invisible (see-through) font color, just to get the albums in their correct order instead of alphabetical. BUT - once I included the tab in the index of the folder, for some reason I'm not able to drag/drop that column further off to the side, out of sight.

    Example: didn't need cut #'s on tracks from my various-artists hit singles compilations (of which I have over 100)(don't ask - radio guy...:wave: ), because I'd intended to separate-out the best versions of all tracks into a single folder that could be the shuffle-able one at parties, even as I left duplicates from other comps, mono or stereo or DES or remakes or lesser originals or other insufficient examples, back in their own "2nd-Priority GenPop" folder - still track #'s uneccesary. BUT - several members insist they find track number paramount because they do see the compilation albums themselves, as important as the individual tracks.

    Example: select albums in my "personal" library would have their track #'s screwed-up anyway, were I to "tie" a few tracks together, such as in the case of a DJ-mix album, like Thievery Corporation's DJ Kicks comp, which is presented as a segue'd mix (then there's Abbey Road Side Two - exactly how many tracks are there, really...? :eek: ). So what's the point of assigning track #'s to tracks I don't treat as individual tracks anyway? By the way - my next thread in this series deals with issues like these, so hold your thoughts on that until it goes live by tomorrow sometime...! :shh:

    Perhaps I can explain myself better in the context of this old thread I started some time ago:
    Not exactly a tagging question...mostly a folder question
    I probably just made things too difficult for myself, especially at this beginning stage of my process, but like Frozen's Elsa, I just wasn't able to "let it go".
     
  25. garymc

    garymc Forum Resident

    Correct. This is why I use only ReplayGain (which writes the RG tags)
     
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