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  • Qest
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Does anyone know of an music manager for Linux that can handle music collections that don't have tags. Instead all the metadata (eg: artist, album, track number, etc) is stored in the file path.

I am currently handling this with Foobar titlescripting so I suppose I am looking for a Linux music player with similar scripting functionality (or perhaps regular expressions?).

And to be clear in advance, yes, I am aware that Foobar runs on Wine, and I am also aware that I could simply add tags. It suffices to say I have reasons for not wanting to take either of those routes.

Thank you for any advice on this.

- Qest

  • SamDeRe81
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #1
Does anyone know of an music manager for Linux that can handle music collections that don't have tags. Instead all the metadata (eg: artist, album, track number, etc) is stored in the file path.

I am currently handling this with Foobar titlescripting so I suppose I am looking for a Linux music player with similar scripting functionality (or perhaps regular expressions?).

And to be clear in advance, yes, I am aware that Foobar runs on Wine, and I am also aware that I could simply add tags. It suffices to say I have reasons for not wanting to take either of those routes.

Thank you for any advice on this.

- Qest


I am not aware of any such music player, I am on Ubuntu and also don't use foobar2000 to play audio, just manage or convert it. The audio is abit glitchy through WINE so it playback because I'm on an eeebox B202 that uses an atom intel n270 not very powerful =/ I found I like Audacious best for plugins support but Guayadeque is best for managing large libraries, it has alot of common sense functions like being able to switch between album gain or track gain.

I was like you once, I hated tags because they just screwed everything up badly. But I found MusicBrainz Picard and was able to basically tag ALL audio using this, it allows consistency between tags and id3 types. Just cluster the CD together and lookup + save. You can regularly re-run it on files and save again to update with any changes. I set it to clear tags then write it's own in 2.4 id3, etc.

Good luck!

  • garyyoung
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #2
Does anyone know of an music manager for Linux that can handle music collections that don't have tags. Instead all the metadata (eg: artist, album, track number, etc) is stored in the file path.

I am currently handling this with Foobar titlescripting so I suppose I am looking for a Linux music player with similar scripting functionality (or perhaps regular expressions?).

And to be clear in advance, yes, I am aware that Foobar runs on Wine, and I am also aware that I could simply add tags. It suffices to say I have reasons for not wanting to take either of those routes.

Thank you for any advice on this.

- Qest


Quod Libet has an option (view/file system) to browse your collection by folder structure. The filenames of individual songs are displayed when there is no tag. It has a tag editor that you can use to change the names of files.

  • cpchan
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #3
Does anyone know of an music manager for Linux that can handle music collections that don't have tags. Instead all the metadata (eg: artist, album, track number, etc) is stored in the file path.


Why are you so against tags? For your info you can use the "Fill Tags" scanner in Easytag to tag the files with your file path info.


  • dhromed
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #4
It suffices to say I have reasons for not wanting to take either of those routes.


Might I inquire as to what those reasons are? Understanding your motives may help us help you.

Foobar on Wine has some issues that detract from the experience, but not tagging files seems a waste of time and a source of frustration.
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2011, 04:54:09 AM by dhromed

  • Nessuno
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #5
Quod Libet has an option (view/file system) to browse your collection by folder structure. The filenames of individual songs are displayed when there is no tag. It has a tag editor that you can use to change the names of files.


It has also some options to tag files from path/filename, should you decide to go that way, one of these days...
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2011, 10:30:44 AM by Nessuno
... I live by long distance.

  • Qest
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #6
Might I inquire as to what those reasons are? Understanding your motives may help us help you.


Okay...

I have about a terabyte of music, none of which is tagged, but follows a rigid folder structure that implies metadata... this format is as follows:

%artist%/%album% [%year%]/[%disc%-%track number%] %title% [%featured artists%]

Where %year%, %featured artists% and %disc% are optional. Foobar title scripting has allowed me to have all the classic columns of artist, album, year, etc... and moreover format them nicely, for example, my artist field shows up as:

%artist% with %featured artists%

When there is featured artists, which is fantastic.

Anyways...

There are currently 6 'backups' of my music held by other members of my family or close friends, who get 'updates' three or four times a year. With this much music, I end up doing a lot of organizing to keep things tidy, and I frequently rename albums and sometimes even artists, but because the files themselves never need to change, synchronization software can detect these "moved" files via hashes. If I rename an artist, for example, it simply renames the folder, rather then rewriting every track by that artists.

Theoretically you could make backup software clever enough to do a partial hash match and detect a file that has been both modified and moved, but I do not know of any such software, and I suspect it would be flaky (for example, if the file got shifted to make more room for tags).

Big backups already take hours, with my current system, and if it had to rewrite any file that's metadata had been changed I suspect it would take two or three times longer, which would be very inconvenient. Already big backups border on annoying when I am at a relative's and ready to go but am stuck waiting for it to finish synchronizing.

Moreover, I design databases by day, and denormalizing my collection by adding tags would hurt me inside.

- Qest

  • Nessuno
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #7
Theoretically you could make backup software clever enough to do a partial hash match and detect a file that has been both modified and moved, but I do not know of any such software, and I suspect it would be flaky (for example, if the file got shifted to make more room for tags).


As you are on Linux: rsync.
... I live by long distance.

  • Qest
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #8
I agree that rsync would handle the differential update once you knew that a file had been moved, but how would you detect the move in the first place?
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2011, 12:14:29 PM by Qest

  • Nessuno
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #9
I agree that rsync would handle the differential update once you knew that a file had been moved, but how would you detect the move in the first place?


A typical rsync use is to mirror two directory tree, trying to do it the "smartest" way. if I've understood your point... And anyway, if you use tags istead of moving around files, you can keep the backups in sync with as low as possible data transmission (maybe at expence of a long pristine evaluation phase).

By the way, I'm just remembering the existence of a Python library, based upon mutagen, which uses tags to create a virtual filesystem view of a collection of tracks. That's is: http://www.pytagsfs.org/
... I live by long distance.

  • Qest
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #10
You proposing that I strip all organization from the file structure, and rely solely on tags? ... Like an iPod?

  • DonP
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Reply #11
If the tags are derivable from the file structure, then it isn't critical that the backups files be replaced when you change your labels.  You would have to regenerate the tags if you ever restore from backups, but at least it's automatic.

For a player that directly does what you want, maybe look to players that are scriptable.  Songbird?

  • DonP
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Reply #12
If the tags are derivable from the file structure, then it isn't critical that the backups files be replaced when you change your labels.  You would have to regenerate the tags if you ever restore from backups, but at least it's automatic.

For a player that directly does what you want, maybe look to players that are scriptable.  Songbird?

  • Nessuno
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #13
You proposing that I strip all organization from the file structure, and rely solely on tags? ... Like an iPod?


Well, no, actually! The latter was not a proposal, just a curiousity (a rather funny idea, indeed!  ).
What I meant to say was that if you once organize your collection in whatever univocal subdir pattern you like, say ../artist/album/songname.codec (like iTunes does  ), then if you edit a certain number of tags between two successive backup, only the incremental data will be sent.
... I live by long distance.

  • Roseval
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #14
Rsync is what I use.
A NAS at home and 1 at my sister’s and once a week the whole collection is synchronised.
Most tagging programs reserve space in the header so changing a tag in general only affects the first block of a file. This is the only one send over the internet.
Rsync was developed with modem connections in mind (1988?)
It is very frugal on bandwidth indeed.

An alternative might be Cue-sheets
There are probably Linux media players supporting this
If they do check if they also are able to update the cue-sheet
http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/KB/CueSheet.htm

TheWellTemperedComputer.com

  • cpchan
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #15
As you are on Linux: rsync.


To the OP:

Another option, especially if you don't want to/ can't  setup a rsync server (rsyncd), is to use csync:

http://www.csync.org/
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2011, 03:31:00 PM by cpchan

  • Teknojnky
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #16
the simplest answer is to use rsync.
no it does not detect MOVED files, it will simply copy the whole moved file and delete the old one, but that should still be much faster than trying to manage by hand or find a one-off solution.

the bonus with rsync is your guarunteed a bit for bit exact duplicate, no silent corruption during copy, and any corupted files on the backups will automatically get updated from the source.

I had thought of a custom solution for myself, but it would involve using tags for metadata...

instead of using a obsessive/compulsively maintained directory and file structure, it would use an itunes style filesystem with filenames/paths generated from the checksum or some type of GUID (I thought of using musicbrainz/PUID's, but they are not unique enough) of the audio (not including tags).

thus, the file/path would be unique and remain constant even if the metadata changed

having a relatively flat, constant filesystem, with unique filenames regardless of metada would make it super easy to rsync/backup.

in database terms, the filename and/or path would be the primary or unique key which never changes, with the rest of the metadata can be changed to whatever irrelevant of the primary key.
  • Last Edit: 18 February, 2011, 04:51:29 PM by Teknojnky
Last.FM Nodes for your library @ http://build.last.fm/item/356

  • Qest
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #17
If the tags are derivable from the file structure, then it isn't critical that the backups files be replaced when you change your labels.  You would have to regenerate the tags if you ever restore from backups, but at least it's automatic.


This would be true except for the fact that my 'backups' are actually used by other people.

Another option, especially if you don't want to/ can't  setup a rsync server (rsyncd), is to use csync:


I've no problem with Rsync. I've used it before for other backup purposes and been nothing but impressed.

having a relatively flat, constant filesystem, with unique filenames regardless of metada would make it super easy to rsync/backup.


I'm thinking this might be the best solution to the problem. Perhaps with the filename being an MD5 of the actual audio data (not including tags)? Rsync will be pleased with me, basically every Linux audio player will be pleased with me, and nothing about this solution offends me from a redundancy stand point.

  • SamDeRe81
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Reply #18
They're used by other people eh?

  • Ouroboros
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Reply #19
the bonus with rsync is your guarunteed a bit for bit exact duplicate, no silent corruption during copy, and any corupted files on the backups will automatically get updated from the source.
This is only true if you select the rsync -c option, which creates a temporary CRC for each file on the client and server, and compares the CRCs to decide if it needs to update or not. If you don't use the -c option then rsync compares file size and last edit time, and uses that to decide what needs to be copied across - and (as I am discovering) that means you can have corrupted files on either the source or the backup and not realise it.

  • PaJaRo
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #20
Might I inquire as to what those reasons are? Understanding your motives may help us help you.


Theoretically you could make backup software clever enough to do a partial hash match and detect a file that has been both modified and moved, but I do not know of any such software, and I suspect it would be flaky (for example, if the file got shifted to make more room for tags).


What do you mean by partial hash? only audio data?
  • Last Edit: 19 February, 2011, 10:31:19 AM by PaJaRo

  • db1989
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #21
They're used by other people eh?
See:
There are currently 6 'backups' of my music held by other members of my family or close friends, who get 'updates' three or four times a year.

  • Qest
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #22
They're used by other people eh?
Yes. If they weren't being used, I'd be satisfied with just two backups.

What do you mean by partial hash? only audio data?
That would work in this case, but I was thinking more along the lines of how rsync compares files by breaking them file into chunks and doing hashes on each chunk. If a backup software took a similar approach to compare all potentially deleted files with all potentially new files, then it could identify files that have been moved as well as modified.

An update...

I have setup and begun testing a Foobar masstagger script to tag all my files, which seems like it should work, though I may need to break my collection into batches. Also, it seems Foobar's move file tool can rename my files to their audio MD5 hash. The only thing left to decide is how to handle all my cuesheets, log files and cover art (much of which is too large for embedding).

At any rate, I figure that running this set of scripts on every copy of my music should make them all rsync-able.

  • DonP
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Reply #23
They're used by other people eh?


Makes it a distribution system instead of just a backup system eh?

  • XQYZ
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Need A Linux Music Manager
Reply #24
They're used by other people eh?


Makes it a distribution system instead of just a backup system eh?


Well one could say the backup is regularly checked for errors by third parties by accessing the files.