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Tagging music help

I was wondering if anyone had any input on how I could accomplish an automated way of standardizing my album and file names.  What I ideally would like to to is automatically change words such as "If, As, The, A" to "if, as, the, a" EXCEPT for when they are the start of a song title or album name.

I currently use mp3tag and Tagscanner to tag my music but I am open to using whatever program I could use to accomplish this.

Re: Tagging music help

Reply #1
Automated mixed case capitalization is complicated. Common style guides, such as Musicbrainz (they are all similar) require that Phrasal Verbs be capitalized and they include the same short words as do prepositions (come in, move on, take off). The word "as" is difficult; it usually is capitalized when not followed by a noun. Parts of titles separated by major punctuation should start capitalized. Non-English titles usually use sentence case, so you have to come up with some way of separating them in the collection, or keep lowercase as-is. A script has no way of distinguishing proper nouns (matters for non-English). Rap music is dense with non-standard language contractions, which might look better all capitalized. Expect to fix up the output of your script by hand.

A good approximation can be achieved with a series of $replace() functions in Foobar2000's "Masstagger" component. Similar functionality is available through "Actions" in Mp3Tag and the core of Foobar2000. I prefer the Masstagger, as it provides a live preview, and allows to break up types of fixes onto separate lines for readability.

After the titles are fixed up completely, the filenames can be constructed simply from the title and artist. For that I'd use the "File Operations" plugin in Foobar2000.

Here is an example Masstager script I came up with. It uses a placeholder character (vertical bar) to define word boundaries, assumes this character doesn't occur in titles, and includes an incomplete list of short words that should be lowercase. I do not personally use this script, and expect that it needs to be significantly expanded. Maybe you can search for other solutions with Mp3tag keyword online.

Re: Tagging music help

Reply #2
I have expanded the script and now find it good to be used on my files (and safer than typing over every short word by hand). I checked it against a collection of unnormalized capitalization, and marked all oddities. A script can't check where a string in parentheses is part of the same sentence; someone needs to read and understand the title. An independent Subtitle or Version is more common. You can delete some sections (like direct fix-ups), or ammend then list of short words as you wish.

Another way could be to replace all short words and then capitalize up first and last word searching with $strchr() and $strrchr(), but this can't handle other exceptions (a title with two or more sentences).

While this probably can be transferred to Mp3Gain Actions with some changes, I don't think that program is as good, because I find it essential to see the changes before they are committed to files, and add corrections.

If you need further nomalization (like featured artists), that probably belongs to a separate script, but can be added to the same action.

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