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Topic: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ? (Read 820 times) previous topic - next topic
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Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Hi everyone,

I'm starting to retag my entire music collection, as i'm little by little heading to a completely dematerialized solution. As i wouldn't like to do this huge job twice, i would like to choose the tag format which will be accepted by widest number of players (for those who don't have their own internal metadata database).

According to what i read, there are at least 3 different formats of tags: ID3, Vorbis and APE. For the 3, the datas are embedded to the audio file, and ID3 adding the extra possibility to store it in an external file. Please correct me if i'm wrong.

So, according to your experience, i would like to know which format will be read by most players and has the best chances not to be obsolete in the future. All my files are in lossless formats, mostly FLAC, APE, Wavepack and MP4.

Thanks in advance.

Nico

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #1
Use default formats. That is:

FLAC: Vorbis comment
Monkey's Audio: APEv2
Wavpack: APEv2
MP4: MP4 tags

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #2
Thanks for your reply lvqcl, but I'm still confused.
I'm not sure which tag format is used when editing or adding metadatas in foobar.
Therefore my questions:
1) Does it mean that foobar is able to edit or add metadata in various tag formats ? And switches to the right one automatically ?
2) Do all players which can read metadata support all tag formats matching the audio formats they are able to read ?

Thanks

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #3
Quote
1) Does it mean that foobar is able to edit or add metadata in various tag formats ? And switches to the right one automatically ?
I would assume so.

Quote
2) Do all players which can read metadata support all tag formats matching the audio formats they are able to read ?
Yes, but probably not "all" players work perfectly and some will ignore certain tags, etc.

...I read about a case where someone set-up EAC wrong and wrote ID3 tags to a FLAC file which made an invalid FLAC that wouldn't open/play in certain software.

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #4
I'm starting to retag my entire music collection
/.../
which format will be read by most players and has the best chances not to be obsolete in the future.

Since your files are previously tagged, look out for double tag formats and consider to wipe those. APE files for example can have ID3 and APE tags in tandem, which could possibly increase compatibility with players, but could also be problematic to edit. Personally I would stick to APE tags in APE files (but in reality I use only FLAC). I don't know how foobar handles different tag formats - but if I remember correctly there's a setting for this.

Foobar is probably OK as a tagger, but personally I like to have more control and use Mp3tag which is more powerful and feature rich and supports most tag formats (in spite of its name). In Mp3tag you can set which tag formats should be read, written and removed when editing.

Since you are aiming for compatibility: FLAC is the lossless king and MP3 is the lossy king. So it might be worth converting all your lossless files to FLAC unless you are obsessed with file sizes - I think APE has a tiny edge over FLAC there but the differences between file formats are very small when it comes to lossless compression.

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #5
Thanks for your replies, guys.

I've been thinking and concluded that the best way to do it would be using foobar for the tagging and mp3tag for the mass editing/deleting.

I'm considering using the "Genre" and especially "Style" tags, for more precision. However, before i begin the massive job of retagging my entire library, i was wondering, in the eventuality i would in the future be using a different player that doesn't read the "style" tag, weather there is a software out there that would allow me to mass transfer the information from "style" to "genre". I thought the "Converter -> Tag-Tag" function of Mp3tag would allow me to do that, but apparently that didn't work.

Thanks for your help.

Nico

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #6
In Tag-Tag, specify Field to be: GENRE and, to use data from both fields, enter the Format string as: [%genre%][; %style%]

A more complete transfer can be done under the Actions menu. Create a new action with three steps: copy the data over, resplit it into multi-values again, remove the field Style if needed.

1. Guess values
$meta_sep(genre,; )[; $meta_sep(style,; )]
%genre%
2. Split field by separator
;
3. Remove fields
STYLE

The exact same functionality is available in Foobar2000 Masstagger component, with addition of a live preview of the changes before they are written to files.

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #7
I would say AIFF but this format is not compressed. I use FLAC for archival and ALAC for everyday use since I own an iPhone and am an iTunes lover. Now if you mean the format of song titles and other tags, try minimum amount of information, because too much information trends to get messy over time. I added to the post an example of how I tag my music.

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #8
In Tag-Tag, specify Field to be: GENRE and, to use data from both fields, enter the Format string as: [%genre%][; %style%]

A more complete transfer can be done under the Actions menu. Create a new action with three steps: copy the data over, resplit it into multi-values again, remove the field Style if needed.

1. Guess values
$meta_sep(genre,; )[; $meta_sep(style,; )]
%genre%
2. Split field by separator
;
3. Remove fields
STYLE

The exact same functionality is available in Foobar2000 Masstagger component, with addition of a live preview of the changes before they are written to files.
It's even easier than that. Use

$meta_sep(genre,\\)\\$meta_sep(style,\\)

in Tag-Tag or in an Action > Format value. No splitting of field needed.

Re: Which music tag format to use for a durable use ?

Reply #9
Brilliant, guys!
Thanks.

 
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