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ARSCLIST  April 2010

ARSCLIST April 2010

Subject:

Re: article points to some of the problems with classical music and iTunes

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 10 Apr 2010 05:16:20 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (96 lines)

That's an interesting site. But how do you get it to correctly load information into MP3 tag fields? 
That's the point of my complaint -- that the existing load-in databases (Gracenote and freedb) are 
so sloppy and inconsistent with info for classical albums that they almost always require manual 
corrections. Another listmember pinged me off-list to ask if I had found anything to catalog my 
classical CD's, and I told him no because I just don't have the time to correct the data for every 
CD. With the jazz CD's, it was a 50+% rate of _something_ needing manual correction in order to have 
consistency. This was very time-consuming. With classical, I can only imagine the time-sucking 
vortex involved. So I just keep them organized on the shelf and sometimes surprise myself with "oh I 
didn't realize I already owned that disc" moments."

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Baoshan Sheng | International Classical Music Database" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:07 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] article points to some of the problems with classical music and iTunes


> Hi Tom:
>
> Have a look at a project: http://a9music.com (somewhat stale, we're working
> at it now).
> Try to make some search and exploration. I want to know if this is what you
> need.
>
> Any kinds of critics is truly welcomed.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Baoshan Sheng
> Director | International Classical Music Database
> + 86 10 5162 6468 | [log in to unmask]
>
>
> On Sat, Apr 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM, Steven C. Barr <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>> --------------------------------------------------
>> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
>>
>>  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/arts/music/04download.html
>>> This article highlights an overall interesting trend. But the reviewer
>>> also points out the confusing and inconsistent tagging that happens with
>>> classical music in MP3 and other tag-enabled formats.
>>> I have found that cddb/Gracenote and freedb are fraught with problematic
>>> and inconsistent data-entry for classical titles. There are actually tags
>>> that work great for how classical music is generally understood --
>>>  COMPOSER, ARTIST, ALBUM ARTIST and ALBUM TITLE for instance. You can
>>> customize iTunes and other database programs to list by whatever field you
>>> wish, for instance by artist and album title or by composer and title, so if
>>> the data is entered correctly, it need not be totally PITA to use classical
>>> music in an iTunes setting. But unfortunately, most of the pre-programmed
>>> metadata out there is garbage, typical of internet "group volunteer"
>>> operations with no oversight or quality control. Sometimes "help" is not
>>> helpful.
>>> What has surprised me is that the owners of copyrighted classical
>>> recordings haven't gotten together to standardize and publish correct
>>> tag-entry methods and to correct at least their active catalogs. I can
>>> understand how there's no economic incentive to fix out of print items, but
>>> the active catalog gets lost in the shuffle (ipod pun intended) if the tags
>>> aren't right.
>>> Classical titles are just the most glaring examples of the problems with
>>> the online auto-tag databases. I used the Catraxx catalog-database program
>>> to gather and organize my jazz, rock, country and popular CD's and I found
>>> that at least 50% of the auto-loaded tags needed tweaking for something.
>>> Either the recording year was wrong (most common), or something that was not
>>> a compilation was listed as one (also very common), or in the case of jazz,
>>> the musicians weren't listed in the MEMO field (this is a convenience and I
>>> don't hold it against the online databases that this information is usually
>>> missing or incorrect), or the record company was incorrectly or
>>> inconsistently named (very common), etc.
>>> Gracenote is a for-profit entity, so there should be better quality
>>> control. Apple's own database at the iTunes store has more errors than you'd
>>> think in the more obscure corners of jazz, and classical selections are
>>> harder to correctly indentify and locate than rock or jazz. For these
>>> for-profit entities, there's no excuse for the poor quality control. And
>>> what's particularly galling is, none of this should be necessary since CD
>>> Text was available from the beginning of CD's and should have been used to
>>> correctly identify artists and songs (which would then make filling in other
>>> tags much easier and more prone to be complete and correct).
>>> I wish I could propose an easy solution to this, but the only one I can
>>> think of is that buyers of digital downloads demand better tagging/database
>>> information from the highly profitable entities they buy from. As for
>>> cleaning up Gracenote and freedb, I won't hold my breath. I do submit
>>> corrected information to Gracenote from both Catraxx and the iTunes software
>>> most of the time, and appreciate all other users who do so too.
>>>
>>>  What is needed is a ACD...a classical-based equivalent to the familiiar
>> ADBD!!
>> Currently, there is NO discography covering the classical-music recordings
>> of 19??-1943...I discovered this when attempting to include classical discs
>> in my Dating Guide...?
>>
>> Steven C. Barr
> 

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