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And what a time-sucking vortex it is... I've been writing a discography for Columbia Masterworks 78 rpm recordings - one year down and 380 pages later!

By the way - the W.E.R.M is full of errors. I've had to cross-reference everything to do with Columbia to get it sorted. Also- the Columbia record catalogs are also error ridden - particularly the mid 1940's editions.

Sam Hopper






On 10/04/2010, at 7:16 PM, Tom Fine wrote:

> 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