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Understanding metadata and additional command line options

I just downloaded EAC v1.5 as an alternative CD ripper (I also downloaded CueTools). I’m trying to understand additional command line options under EAC>Compression Options, and from what I gather this is where you tell EAC what metadata you want to collect.

1.   Can I assume that the order of the parameters, or placeholders I guess they’re called does not matter in this field?
2.   Is this metadata mainly for players to retrieve, so it can be displayed on a screen or used in cross-reference, for instance if you told the player to “play everything from 1969”?
3.   Is all this metadata accessible by the user under Properties in Windows Explorer?

I found a short tutorial from a techradar article from 2017, https://www.techradar.com/how-to/how-to-rip-your-cds-to-flac  and their suggestion for placeholders differs from the default string in EAC in a couple spots. I’ve pasted only the differences below, the tutorial in green and the EAC default in red.

-8 -T "PERFORMER=%albuminterpret%" -T "ALBUMARTIST=%albumartist%"
-6 -T "BAND=%albuminterpret%" -T "ALBUMARTIST=%albuminterpret%"  %hascover%--picture="%coverfile%"%hascover%

First, the default compression level is set to 6 and the article suggests 8. From what I’ve read, most seem to choose higher compression. There are those that claim maybe higher numbers are harder for players to decode, but no confirmation on this. I don’t care about the extra encoding time, I would like to do this only once.

4.   So, does anyone have a reason to choose 6 over 8 aside from the encode time?

 Another difference is the default string uses %albuminterpret% for both BAND & ALBUMARTIST.

5.   Is that normal, or a mistake in the default string?

Also, the default string adds cover art placeholders. Not sure why the techradar article omitted cover art, but I’ve read a lot of users omit it since they want to load their own hi-res pictures into the file. I’m not sure how to decide on artwork placeholders.

6.   Is the cover art embedded in the file like metadata, or just a .jpg that resides in the folder with the audio files?

If it’s just a .jpg in the folder, then I assume one reason it should be there, aside from just being able to open it up to look at or read details, lyrics, etc., is so players can display it, and a hi-res cover would display better on a large monitor like a tv. Not sure how car stereos would handle it, but I guess you shouldn’t be looking at cover art while driving anyway! For me, I would definitely want hi resolution pictures not just for the cover, but the back and all inside content as well- I’m archiving these CDs so I want to save everything except the jewel case.

7.   If I did have all that artwork in the folder, how would the player display it- cycle through all of the image files, or just display one?
8.   Should I leave out artwork placeholders if I’m going to scan all of the CD booklets anyway?

Even if the jackets are lost or damaged, I guess you could use downloaded images for those, or make a separate ripping template for them that includes cover placeholders. Would appreciate everyone’s opinions and insights on the subject!

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #1
Man that's a lot of questions.
I suggest you also look though the guides in the Knowledgebase.
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Category:EAC_Guides
Some are a bit dated but helpful.

I'll try one small piece.
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=EAC_placeholders
On the main program window of EAC
CD Artist is stored in the %albumartist% placeholder
CD Performer is stored in the %albuminterpret% placeholder
Foobar2000:Encouraged Tag Standards
Quote
ALBUM ARTIST
[...]
tag should only exist if an album contains various artists. It should NOT be created when an album does not contain various artists.
Quote
-T "ALBUMARTIST=%albumartist%"
This would always write ALBUMARTIST, not just when the track artists differ. Unfortunately EAC cannot make writing of the ALBUMARTIST tag conditional via the additional command line options. One workaround is to put Various Artists (or whatever) in the CD Performer box only when the track artists differ. When all track artists and CD Artist are the same you leave CD Performer blank and no ALBUMARTIST tag is written.
This is merely a suggestion. You can tag the files however you want.
You've already tried CUERipper, which only writes the ALBUMARTIST tag when the track artists differ per the Foobar2000 Encouraged Tag Standards.
 
korth

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #2
Thanks korth, yes I know- that's a lot of questions.  :o The sad thing is I have read through those EAC guides, many times, and still have questions. Sometimes the explanations leave me more confused than when I started. It's like learning a whole new discipline or language, and then having to use it right away- but hey, immersion is the best way to learn right? I'll just start making rips for practice before I tackle the larger project of ripping the entire collection. I have used CUERipper and I like the way it uses the release year in the folder structure by default when naming and organizing the files. I would only have to change it for some CDs for which the CD release year wouldn't make sense for me, like singles collections. I also plan on trying dbPoweramp as well. Thanks for your help!

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #3
Quote
ALBUM ARTIST
[...]
tag should only exist if an album contains various artists. It should NOT be created when an album does not contain various artists.
That seems like an outdated recommendation to me. Is this actually still true for foobar?

To be able to browse a shorter list of only album artists as opposed to a longer list of all artists, you need to tag ALBUM ARTIST on all albums, not only on compilations. To indicate a compilation there is the COMPILATION tag.

I've never had any problems with this in my players/servers. If foobar still doesn't support the COMPILATION tag, then there's room for improvement.

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #4
2.   Is this metadata mainly for players to retrieve, so it can be displayed on a screen or used in cross-reference, for instance if you told the player to “play everything from 1969”?
Both, but you also need to check what your specific player or server supports.

Quote
3.   Is all this metadata accessible by the user under Properties in Windows Explorer?
Not all but some (and it depends on Windows version). Windows isn't good for metadata. To see all tags I suggest using a player like foobar or preferably a tagger like Mp3tag.

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #5
Quote
ALBUM ARTIST
[...]
tag should only exist if an album contains various artists. It should NOT be created when an album does not contain various artists.
That seems like an outdated recommendation to me. Is this actually still true for foobar?

To be able to browse a shorter list of only album artists as opposed to a longer list of all artists, you need to tag ALBUM ARTIST on all albums, not only on compilations. To indicate a compilation there is the COMPILATION tag.

I've never had any problems with this in my players/servers. If foobar still doesn't support the COMPILATION tag, then there's room for improvement.

foobar2000 can remap the metadata for proper sorting
http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Foobar2000:Titleformat_Reference#Remapped_metadata_fields
This ends my discussion of foobar2000 capabilities in this thread.
Regardless of what foobar2000 can or can't do with the COMPILATION tag used by itunes, EAC doesn't have an option to add the tag conditionally. This thread is about EAC v1.5 metadata and additional command line options. I was explaining why the %albuminterpret% placeholder was in the additional command line options for ALBUMARTIST. I stated it as merely a suggestion and that they could tag the files however they wanted. If you want to discuss foobar2000 and its capabilities, please start a new topic.
korth

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #6
Quote
1.   Can I assume that the order of the parameters, or placeholders I guess they’re called does not matter in this field?
Depends on the encoder used. Some options may need to be in a particular order but usually the metadata order doesn't matter.
Quote
2.   Is this metadata mainly for players to retrieve, so it can be displayed on a screen or used in cross-reference, for instance if you told the player to “play everything from 1969”?
The metadata tags are for anything that can read them. What can be viewed or displayed and how depends on the capabilities player/viewer used.
Quote
3.   Is all this metadata accessible by the user under Properties in Windows Explorer?
Not all. Windows only reads the tags it was programmed to recognize.
Quote
4.   So, does anyone have a reason to choose 6 over 8 aside from the encode time?
If you're unsure if there are limits to the hardware/software you're going to play the files on, do you really need to push to setting to the max just to gain a little eatra compression?
Quote
6.   Is the cover art embedded in the file like metadata, or just a .jpg that resides in the folder with the audio files?
%hascover%--picture="%coverfile%"%hascover% will embed the art in the audio file in EAC if a cover exists and the 'Add cover image to ID3V2 tag' option is enabled on 'EAC Compression Options > ID3 Tag tab. EAC will also save the art as a file in the extraction folder if a cover exists and the 'Write cover image into extraction folder' option is enabled on 'EAC Compression Options > ID3 Tag tab.
Note: Embedding the same hi-res art in multiple files can drastically increase the size of the collection.
Quote
7.   If I did have all that artwork in the folder, how would the player display it- cycle through all of the image files, or just display one?
Depends on the player.
Quote
8.   Should I leave out artwork placeholders if I’m going to scan all of the CD booklets anyway?
Depends on the player. Some may only read the file and not the contents of the folder.

korth

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #7
Having Album Artist populated for all albums doesn't cause any issues and isn't incorrect. It makes tagging simpler and uniform. Quite often I have an album by one main artist and a duo featuring another on a track.

I would not record AA to Band or Ensemble or similar fields unless I had an old player that read those and couldn't be configured to read Album Artist. Those fields are from the legacy ID3 scheme. I think Band/Ensemble can optionally contain the name of the orchestra or collective when the credited artist is a solo performer (vocalist). Various Artists are not a "band".

The cover image is better kept as a separate file in the folder with the music. This allows it to be easily replaced later, as you finish scanning, editing and downloading, and be of higher resolution than is practical to embed in every track. I would place additional images of the booklet or disc in a subfolder for cleaner organization and uniformity across albums that have different number of artwork pieces. Most players would only show the main cover image, and the rest you can view in a program of choice. But Foobar2000 can be configured to rerieve addiitonal images. I don't think it is practical to read a booklet from within a player.

Re: Understanding metadata and additional command line options

Reply #8
Wow a lot of answers for a lot of questions! So I will probably leave artwork placeholders in and let EAC embed them in the file, so they will be accessible no matter what player I use (though it will most likely be Foobar for home). Then I'll put all my separate scanned hi-res stuff in a sub-folder within the album folder. Thanks korth for answering all my questions, thanks vilsen & j7n for your contributions.  :)

 
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