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Noob in need of info.

Hello everyone, I am new to foobar2000 and I was hoping there were some more experienced people around here who could answer some questions I have regarding the program.

First of all, let me introduce myself (and my problems). I'm a lover of classical music, particularly Renaissance and Baroque and I have a large collection (around 10k) of CDs which I would like to digitize for ease of use. In my search for "jukebox software" I constantly run into a very specific set of issues, which makes almost all of the software which isn't as highly customizable as foobar2000 unsuitable for my needs. These issues are the following:

1- Many of the CDs in my collection are boxsets which can be as large as 200 CDs. I know I can't be the only one having this problem as these types of boxsets are very popular among classical music aficionados. So if any of you are out there, I'd love to know how you deal with this problem, specifically keeping all 200 CDs bundled together as a "complete edition/works".

2- Many of the CDs in my collection contain PDF booklets which contain valuable information such as librettos. And I would very much like to be able to read this information whilst listening to the music. I was wondering if any of you knew of a plugin or a method for foobar which made this possible?

And lastly, I would very much appreciate it if anyone knew of any classical music specific foobar discussions/groups.
When I go to talkclassical there is a vibrant community of classical music lovers discussing all manner of things. But I don't find many of those people in the foobar forums, and I find it hard to believe that none of these people are digitizing their music. As a 22 year old who is active in the classical music scene I certainly don't buy the myth that classical music is dying and that its remaining listeners are all a-technical old fogies waving their walking sticks at the kids in their yard. This myth is based on the false premise that stuffy expensive opera houses and the big wigs who frequent them are indicative of the vitality of classical music as a whole, yet teenagers blasting Hanz Zimmer's "The Dark Knight" OST and John William's "Star Wars" OST somehow aren't "real classical music listeners".
But if you pay attention you'll find yourself almost constantly surrounded by incredibly powerful and beautiful classical music. Just listen to the Assassin's creed 2 soundtrack and tell me that doesn't fit in perfectly with "traditional" classical music.
The "Querelle des Bouffons" (1752-1754) was a fiery culture war about the merits of French opera (camp Rameau) versus Italian opera (camp Rousseau). Fast forward to 2018 and now the biggest debate among audiophiles is whether expensive cables can improve sound quality....talk about cultural decline!

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #1
welcome!

1. you can tag each disc, but IMO they are no longer "discs" once they become digital files, so generally, that distinction becomes irrelevant. (I also do not want to see XX separate entries for something that should appear 1 time in a catalog)

I understand reasons to do so - separate original album from bonus material for example, but in many cases I no longer tag discs, especially for compilations. I find it especially annoying when classical/jazz boxsets are broken up across discs (eg. group on end of d2 and beginning of d3)

I tend to keep releases grouped together with %album%/%album artist% tags but break it up via %artist% and custom tag (%album format%). eg. 3CD release could be %album format%="Original LP", "Bonus Material", "Live Material" ; or %album%="Complete Recordings", %album artist%/%composer%="Debussy", %artist%="Orchestre 1", "Orchestre 2"...

There are several threads here specifically about tagging classical music which should give you many ideas. search "classical tagging" in the General section

2. most PDF programs can export the pages as images; I convert mine to JPGs which can then easily be displayed.

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #2
welcome!

1. you can tag each disc, but IMO they are no longer "discs" once they become digital files, so generally, that distinction becomes irrelevant. (I also do not want to see XX separate entries for something that should appear 1 time in a catalog)

I understand reasons to do so - separate original album from bonus material for example, but in many cases I no longer tag discs, especially for compilations. I find it especially annoying when classical/jazz boxsets are broken up across discs (eg. group on end of d2 and beginning of d3)

I tend to keep releases grouped together with %album%/%album artist% tags but break it up via %artist% and custom tag (%album format%). eg. 3CD release could be %album format%="Original LP", "Bonus Material", "Live Material" ; or %album%="Complete Recordings", %album artist%/%composer%="Debussy", %artist%="Orchestre 1", "Orchestre 2"...

There are several threads here specifically about tagging classical music which should give you many ideas. search "classical tagging" in the General section

2. most PDF programs can export the pages as images; I convert mine to JPGs which can then easily be displayed.

Your solution for the PDF's is brilliant! I will certainly use that feature!
Is there a specific program that you recommend using?

As for not labelling the individual CDs; That's something I have heard many people doing and recommending, yet the idea troubles me. I probably wouldn't be willing to discard that information as I'd also like my foobar to serve as a directory for finding my physical CDs too.

I'm also a bit obsessive with my cover art and usually I have all the individual sleeve art too. So if at all possible I'd still like to be able to see all of those per CD.

I have seen people make the individual CD labelling work for 3 and 4 CD boxsets, I just haven't seen it done with GIANT boxsets of 200CDs. Which makes me wonder whether there is a restriction in Foobar for such a large grouping? And will this cause Foobar problems when trying to display them?

As foobar also allows custom tags I suppose I could make the CD number a separate tag from "album", kind of like what you do with "format". Then all of the tracks would still technically be bundled under "album" but I'd still be able to see what CD they are on. Would that be a way of getting around the problem of having multiple entries for a single set?
The "Querelle des Bouffons" (1752-1754) was a fiery culture war about the merits of French opera (camp Rameau) versus Italian opera (camp Rousseau). Fast forward to 2018 and now the biggest debate among audiophiles is whether expensive cables can improve sound quality....talk about cultural decline!

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #3
Your solution for the PDF's is brilliant! I will certainly use that feature!
Is there a specific program that you recommend using?

I use this: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ttrpdftojpg/

I probably wouldn't be willing to discard that information as I'd also like my foobar to serve as a directory for finding my physical CDs too.

Not sure what you mean here; you could set a custom tag for any information you want (eg. media location)

I'm also a bit obsessive with my cover art and usually I have all the individual sleeve art too. So if at all possible I'd still like to be able to see all of those per CD.

My new crate diggin is collecting all the artwork for releases, which usually means all formats and all reissues/masters to browse when I'm playing. (using Album Art Downloader and browser scraping plugins like downloadstar)
I used to save my artwork in different directories for each "CD",  which enabled different covers for each disc but also required multiple copies of artwork in each disc folder for comprehensive display.
However I changed my process and keep all files and artwork in a single directory to easily view ALL artwork regardless of which disc I was playing. It can result in the same cover art for multiple CDs, but that can be reduced/eliminated by configuring the playlist display, not relying on CD splitting, and customizing layout to use all artwork rather than just COVER.

Alternately one can also embed the artwork in the files to achieve different covers within the release.
(personally I don't embed artwork as it unecessarily inflates file size and also makes it difficult to update artwork in the future).

I have seen people make the individual CD labelling work for 3 and 4 CD boxsets, I just haven't seen it done with GIANT boxsets of 200CDs. Which makes me wonder whether there is a restriction in Foobar for such a large grouping? And will this cause Foobar problems when trying to display them?

no restrictions. Keep in mind, display can be fully customized so only 1 "CD" appears in Facets, and all 200 appear in Playlists.


As foobar also allows custom tags I suppose I could make the CD number a separate tag from "album", kind of like what you do with "format". Then all of the tracks would still technically be bundled under "album" but I'd still be able to see what CD they are on. Would that be a way of getting around the problem of having multiple entries for a single set?

This is built-in. Select a group of tracks and get Properties (alt-enter or ctrl-click). Notice "Disc Number" and "Total Discs" fields. Try entering data and then using something like this in your playlist column display: [%discnumber%.]%track%

 

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #4
As foobar also allows custom tags I suppose I could make the CD number a separate tag from "album", kind of like what you do with "format". Then all of the tracks would still technically be bundled under "album" but I'd still be able to see what CD they are on. Would that be a way of getting around the problem of having multiple entries for a single set?
Just use %discnumber% and %totaldiscs% tags like normal. Then use a custom grouping in your playlist viewer to group each disc under the %album% title. (I use SimPlaylist for that as it has a few more options - see screenshots under groups for example)

You could also add the tag %discsubtitle% to add a subtitle if desired for each disc ("Disc 2 - Live At The Lizard Lounge, 2011"). Then you could further add %grouping% tag to group a selection of tracks for each disc ("Act 1").

I would not foresee any problems going up to 200 discs, no different than 200 tracks (not that I've tested it to make sure).

Cheers 8)

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #5
Your solution for the PDF's is brilliant! I will certainly use that feature!
Is there a specific program that you recommend using?

I use this: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ttrpdftojpg/

I probably wouldn't be willing to discard that information as I'd also like my foobar to serve as a directory for finding my physical CDs too.

Not sure what you mean here; you could set a custom tag for any information you want (eg. media location)

I'm also a bit obsessive with my cover art and usually I have all the individual sleeve art too. So if at all possible I'd still like to be able to see all of those per CD.

My new crate diggin is collecting all the artwork for releases, which usually means all formats and all reissues/masters to browse when I'm playing. (using Album Art Downloader and browser scraping plugins like downloadstar)
I used to save my artwork in different directories for each "CD",  which enabled different covers for each disc but also required multiple copies of artwork in each disc folder for comprehensive display.
However I changed my process and keep all files and artwork in a single directory to easily view ALL artwork regardless of which disc I was playing. It can result in the same cover art for multiple CDs, but that can be reduced/eliminated by configuring the playlist display, not relying on CD splitting, and customizing layout to use all artwork rather than just COVER.

Alternately one can also embed the artwork in the files to achieve different covers within the release.
(personally I don't embed artwork as it unecessarily inflates file size and also makes it difficult to update artwork in the future).

I have seen people make the individual CD labelling work for 3 and 4 CD boxsets, I just haven't seen it done with GIANT boxsets of 200CDs. Which makes me wonder whether there is a restriction in Foobar for such a large grouping? And will this cause Foobar problems when trying to display them?

no restrictions. Keep in mind, display can be fully customized so only 1 "CD" appears in Facets, and all 200 appear in Playlists.


As foobar also allows custom tags I suppose I could make the CD number a separate tag from "album", kind of like what you do with "format". Then all of the tracks would still technically be bundled under "album" but I'd still be able to see what CD they are on. Would that be a way of getting around the problem of having multiple entries for a single set?

This is built-in. Select a group of tracks and get Properties (alt-enter or ctrl-click). Notice "Disc Number" and "Total Discs" fields. Try entering data and then using something like this in your playlist column display: [%discnumber%.]%track%

Lots of very good suggestions which I will definitely keep in mind! Thank you for sharing!
The "Querelle des Bouffons" (1752-1754) was a fiery culture war about the merits of French opera (camp Rameau) versus Italian opera (camp Rousseau). Fast forward to 2018 and now the biggest debate among audiophiles is whether expensive cables can improve sound quality....talk about cultural decline!

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #6
As foobar also allows custom tags I suppose I could make the CD number a separate tag from "album", kind of like what you do with "format". Then all of the tracks would still technically be bundled under "album" but I'd still be able to see what CD they are on. Would that be a way of getting around the problem of having multiple entries for a single set?
Just use %discnumber% and %totaldiscs% tags like normal. Then use a custom grouping in your playlist viewer to group each disc under the %album% title. (I use SimPlaylist for that as it has a few more options - see screenshots under groups for example)

You could also add the tag %discsubtitle% to add a subtitle if desired for each disc ("Disc 2 - Live At The Lizard Lounge, 2011"). Then you could further add %grouping% tag to group a selection of tracks for each disc ("Act 1").

I would not foresee any problems going up to 200 discs, no different than 200 tracks (not that I've tested it to make sure).

Cheers 8)

Very valuable information! I will definitely check SimPlaylist out.
Thank you.
The "Querelle des Bouffons" (1752-1754) was a fiery culture war about the merits of French opera (camp Rameau) versus Italian opera (camp Rousseau). Fast forward to 2018 and now the biggest debate among audiophiles is whether expensive cables can improve sound quality....talk about cultural decline!

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #7
BTW I found this crazy setup on Reddit: http://i.imgur.com/0KGcUKO.png

If Foobar is able to handle whatever the hell this guy is doing with his setup, it should be able to handle my needs just fine  :D
The "Querelle des Bouffons" (1752-1754) was a fiery culture war about the merits of French opera (camp Rameau) versus Italian opera (camp Rousseau). Fast forward to 2018 and now the biggest debate among audiophiles is whether expensive cables can improve sound quality....talk about cultural decline!

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #8
BTW I found this crazy setup on Reddit: http://i.imgur.com/0KGcUKO.png

You could recreate the basics of that in a few minutes, assuming you have foo_facets already?
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,88410.0.html

In your FB go to View Menu>Layout>Create Scratchbox
which will give you a new layout window to play with - click in it to see a popup window with all of the building blocks/elements.

From the popup window, select "Splitter (top/bottom)" to divide window. In top section, insert "Splitter (left/right)."
You will now have 3 spaces to fill.
Clockwise from top-bottom, click and insert "Album Art Viewer", "Facets", "Playlist View"



That's it. You can customize Facets (adding or removing columns) and Playlist view to your liking.

You can copy-paste sections into your current layout, or replace your current layout entirely. Make sure you back-up your layout before doing any of that: Preferences>Display>Default User Interface>Export Theme

Re: Noob in need of info.

Reply #9
I would just add a quick note about tagging, especially with classical. Decide early about how many fields you want to use and save yourself the extra work of adding more or changing tags around later.

Assuming you are ripping to FLAC (?), have a look at this tag mapping document for the <quote/unquote> "standard" tags to use - notice that FLAC / Vorbis Comment have tags for CONDUCTOR, COMPOSER, PART, OPUS, etc, and as you mentioned you can add your own custom tags. Decide how many specifics you want to use along with the regular fields, then you can design your layout to make use of them.

Of course this would be fine if you only intend to use foobar alone to catalog and display your music. If you need to transfer to other, shall we say lesser software, you might have to scale things down. (Or do so just to keep it manageable). Here is a discussion thread regarding classical tagging that is quite interesting. There is no easy way for which fields to use for what and everyone does things differently. ::)

(I'm not actually familiar with anything classical but just find categorizing music interesting)

Cheers 8)

 
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