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Topic: Can special characters in folder naming cause problems? (Read 356 times) previous topic - next topic
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Can special characters in folder naming cause problems?

Hello, I have a folder structure like so:

Code: [Select]
/Music/
       Aerosmith/
                 1973 - Aerosmith [Disc 01] [Columbia · CK 42344 · US · 1978]
                 1973 - Aerosmith [Disc 02] [Columbia · CK 43892 · US · 1993]
                 1974 - Get Your Wings [Columbia · CK 57361 · US · 1993]
                 1975 - Toys in the Attic [Columbia · CK 57362 · US · 1993]
                 1976 - Rocks [Disc 01] [Columbia · CK 23434 · US · 1978]
                 1976 - Rocks [Disc 02] [Web · Hi-Res · 24-192]

If I have different versions of the same album, I add all of them to my archive, but I treat them as multi-discs because most music playing software stacks multi-discs together. Also, if the DISCSUBTITLE tag is specified in the FLAC metadata I can differentiate the multiple discs by a specific title.

As you can see I included the label, catalog number, release country, and release date in the title of the folder names, they're separated by the interpunct character https://www.middot.net

My archive is on a Linux-formatted HDD, ext4 filesystem to be more specific, and I have no issues when I use a graphical GUI file manager. In terminal the white spaces of the folders need to be escaped, but most terminal emulators do that automatically during folder name auto-completion.

My question is, do you think having such a folder naming can cause issues in the future if I decide to move to a different operating system or filesystem? I think filesystems will only improve from now on and things like an interpunct character shouldn't cause compatibility issues. What's your opinion about it? I'm curious what do you think and if you have a similar structure.

Re: Can special characters in folder naming cause problems?

Reply #1
My question is, do you think having such a folder naming can cause issues in the future if I decide to move to a different operating system or filesystem?
Assuming you will avoid FAT and ISO 9660, then I guess https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1976007/what-characters-are-forbidden-in-windows-and-linux-directory-names will tell you what to avoid.
Microsoft Windows will not be happy about long path names, but there is software that can do the renaming for you. If you migrate, you will however have to make sure that you use a copying utility that can handle it.

Interpunct should be no problem. Worse is that the colon character will likely show up in several album titles. You can replace it by semicolon or by Unicode full-width colon.

Also I would have done a few things different to get them collated better. It seems you use "Disc" for different releases, but more commonly you would use that for different CDs in a multi-CD set. Think of how you want those organized. I use one folder per physical CD, so I would have had something like

1976 _ Rocks {1978 US · Columbia · CK 23434}
1976 _ Rocks {2012 remaster 2014 24-192 · Columbia · }
1997 _ Nine Lives {1997 Jap. enh. · Sony SRCS 8263}
1997 _ Nine Lives {1998 AUS 2CD · Columbia 494398 2} ¶1
1997 _ Nine Lives {1998 AUS 2CD · Columbia 494398 2} ¶2

to get the releases sorted chronologically by mastering generation and then re-release date; also I used underscore because you might have to use hyphen in a YYYY-MM date if an artist has more releases per year; and I used {} because it is rarer in actual album names. The pilcrow is redundant if you know that nothing but disc number will follow the }.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Can special characters in folder naming cause problems?

Reply #2
Thank you.

Your post is very helpful. I have all the  information in the metadata as well (LABEL, CATALOGNUMBER, RELEASECOUNTRY, RELEASEDATE, and so on) which I think is the most important but I like having them in the name of folders as well for a quick visual scan.

Putting the release date first between those brackets is a good idea indeed. Thank you for the idea.

I will need to differentiate the name of the albums in the metadata of FLAC files however, at least only for those that have multiple releases, like so?:.

TITLE: Nine Lives [CK 494398 2]
TITLE: Nine Lives [CK 11111111 0]

The downside with this approach and not using the multi-disc approach is that the album title becomes a bit long and I see a lot of “duplicate” cover photos in the album list but for me that's not a problem.

Do you think the catalog number will suffice in the title?

Re: Can special characters in folder naming cause problems?

Reply #3
I will need to differentiate the name of the albums in the metadata of FLAC files however, at least only for those that have multiple releases, like so?:.

FLAC metadata are free format, so you can put the information anywhere you want. <ALBUMVERSION> or whatever.
If I want to have a <CATALOG NUMBER THAT I ENTERED MANUALLY AND WHICH IS CORRECT> tag, then I can do that too, and then I won't ahve to worry over external taggers writing to <CATALOGNUMBER> or <CATALOG #> or <LABELNO>.

My media player of choice, foobar2000, allows me to display columns formatted from several tags, so I can have separate <ALBUM> and <ALBUMVERSION> and display one column %album%[ ▒▒▒ %albumversion%], then what is in the bracket is only included if the albumversion field is populated.


Do you think the catalog number will suffice in the title?
Depends on what you are looking for. Sorting by catalog number won't tell you which one is a remaster that has been through the loudness war, so I am more interested in information like "2012 remaster 2014 reissue" or even "2012 remaster dr=4 2014 reissue" (the "dr" being the album's dynamic range).

The catalog number will tell me all that, if only I can remember the entire database - which of course I won't.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Can special characters in folder naming cause problems?

Reply #4
If I use the exact same album title for two albums, then my music playing software shows one album and the tracks will display in this weird order:

Code: [Select]
    Track1
    Track1
    Track2
    Track2
    Track3
    Track3
    and so on...

without knowing which track is from which album. Sure, the separation looks great on the filesystem:

Code: [Select]
1997 _ Nine Lives {1997 Jap. enh. · Sony SRCS 8263}
1997 _ Nine Lives {1998 AUS 2CD · Columbia 494398 2}

But on the music playing software side it seems to me that the approach is basically dictated by the player we're using which kind of sucks. I'm using Linux and I listen with different media playing software such as Lollypop and DeaDBeeF. The DeaDBeeF software is basically a foobar2000 clone and can do what you mentioned with the columns but I would love if there would be an approach that  works well with multiple media players.

I think at this stage my only option is to have different album titles for those albums that have multiple versions and for that I will need to append some additional information to the album titles.