The downfall of all these database programs is where they're pulling information. The more I think
about it, the more sense I see in Peter's idea of using MARC data. At least MARC aheres to
relatively strict conventions. They may be klunky, but they're designed to be consistent.
As one who has filled in tags for 150+ classical CDs, trying both iTunes (Gracenote) and dBPowerAmp
(which draws on a number of sources including freedb, Allmusic and others), there is ZERO
consistency out there. The same conductor and orchestra may be listed differently for each album,
even on the same label. Composer names are screwy and sometimes just wrong. A lot of data,
especially for DGG and EMI CDs, is in German (useless to an English speaker who wants an English
database). The whole experience was infuriating, and in fact convinced me it wasn't worth my time to
suck all my CDs into a hard drive library. The worst of all this is that Gracenote is a FOR PROFIT
company and they have never lifted a finger to clean up their database from its dark early
"crowdsourced" days. You can expect crowd-source cluster-you-know-what from freedb, but a real
"company" should value their brand more. Apparently, customers who pay license fees, like Apple,
don't pressure them hard enough.
Even though MARC's naming conventions may not be near what I would think of, I assume the same
conductor and orchestra show up under the same names in every entry. If not, that's terrible!
From Day 1, record companies could have kept all of this consistent and uniform by using the CDText
layer always in Red Book, and getting together on standardized naming conventions, perhaps under an
ISO standard. This would have required a few extra minutes per CD to enter the data, but it should
have been standard practice all along. Instead, a lazy attitude by everyone who could control a
standard led to crowd-sourced inconsistent garbage.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "L. Hunter Kevil" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sound recordings cataloging software
>I wonder if anyone has extensive experience with jRiver, media library
> software for digital files. It has received wide praise over the years. It
> can read and process into libraries CDs. It can handle - I believe - all
> the sundry audio file formats.
> I have thousands of lps as well.The question is this: will jRiver handle
> the cataloguing of lps, even if there is no digital file attached? I harbor
> the hope - optimistic for sure - of digitizing some of my most cherished
> L. H. Kevil
> Out to pasture, Univ of Missouri
> On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 1:14 PM, Stephen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I use Collectorz's Music Collector software for my collection of about 2800
>> recordings (CD, vinyl, and digital files), and find it extremely useful.
>> It's not perfect--it pulls info from sources (Amazon, for example, or data
>> uploaded to the Collectorz database by other users) that are not always
>> accurate, so I usually have to do some editing. But it does allow easy
>> searching of artists, conductors, orchestras, labels, genres, etc. It
>> allows for recordings with multiple artists, composers, orchestras, etc.
>> And you can specify where the recording is stored.
>> You can catalog recordings in several ways: 1) Place a CD in your
>> computer's CD drive, and let the program scan it; 2) Use a barcode scanner
>> on the back of the CD case; 3) Type in the UPC or title, and let the
>> search for matches; 4) Point the program to digital files on your computer
>> or backup device, and let it scan those; or 5) Enter info manually. With
>> #1-4, covers are downloaded automatically from various sources; with #5,
>> after adding the recording, you use the program to search for a cover,
>> is then downloaded and added to the database. (This last method can also
>> used with methods 1-4 to get a different cover than the one automatically
>> I've been impressed by the constant improvements in the program since I
>> purchased it several years ago. My only complaint is that there is yet no
>> simple search-and-replace that allows you to replace (for example) "G-Dur"
>> with "G major".
>> Stephen Peithman, Producer/Host, “Connections”
>> Capital Public Radio | capradio.org | 7055 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA
>> Listener supported Public Radio | Licensed to Sacramento State
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Marsha Maguire
>> Sent: Monday, November 24, 2014 9:35 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sound recordings cataloging software
>> Hi, Peter,
>> As discussed earlier, there are some free and inexpensive applications out
>> there that should allow you to capture existing MARC or other descriptive
>> metadata and load it into a database. A good place to start looking for
>> software is the American Library Association's Automating Libraries: A
>> Selected Annotated Bibliography (ALA Library Fact Sheet 21, 2014),
>> at http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet21. One
>> mentioned there (although it doesn't seem to work with MARC data) is Music
>> Collector at Collectorz.com:
>> http://www.collectorz.com/music/ I have no idea how complete the Music
>> Collector database is (from which you can download records into your home
>> database), but according to one review, Amazon is also searched. There is
>> optional barcode reader add-on.
>> A similar product is Readerware Music Database, which lets you scan in the
>> UPC barcode (or enter other info like Title, etc.). It then "collects full
>> information from a number of different sources including reviews, cover
>> full disk and track listings" for your home database:
>> Both these products offer free trials, and both are very inexpensive.
>> Another option is CollectiveAccess, which, although it's intended primarily
>> for archival and museum collections, can import MARC and other data (how
>> simple this process is I'm not sure): http://collectiveaccess.org/. You
>> could download MARC records and export them in various formats with the
>> wonderful MarcEdit, which is free: http://marcedit.reeset.net/ Presumably,
>> you could then load them into CollectiveAccess.
>> As far as I know, All Music Guide metadata isn't free, but if that is
>> inaccurate, I'd love to be corrected.
>> I hope you find software that works for you, Peter, and if you discover
>> something fabulous, please let us know!
>> Marsha Maguire (retired LC cataloger)