Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Brainz Eating

I got a new toy last week. It's like an iPod but more geeky and less sexy. In other words, perfect for me. So I spent a night uploading my collection to this thing, only to find out that much of my music was mistagged, untagged and worse, completely all over the map in terms of spelling and capitilization etc. You don't want to know how many 'spellings' of 2Pac there are out there.

So I find MusicBrainz which uses some sort of mp3-fu to fingerprint the music and be able to look it up. More importantly for my purposes, it has a community that is very fastidious about normalizing all the artists and album names according to their style guide. So I spend a few days submitting and resubmitting my music to this thing, and retagging my collection.

For the most part it did the right thing, but it does have a few annoying quirks, like tagging the track number as 0, or spreading the music over different albums. So I write a little perl script to audit the results and fix those up. Second problem are the bootlegs and the mix CDs. The 'right' thing to do with the mix CDs is to let the tagger throw them into the right directories, and create a playlist based on that, and through that somewhere. But I'm a bit compulsive, and I don't like seeing albums that aren't complete, and I don't want to go around trying to find, or waste hard drive space, on the rest of Right Said Fred album. The 'right' thing for the bootlegs is to submit them to MusicBrainz, but I'm a bit too lazy for that.

So the solution that I've undertaken is to support two different trees, one that is tagged by MusicBrainz, and another that has no Brainz, and write another script that merges the two in a symlink tree. It should probably also synchronize the tags somehow, but I haven't gotten around to that. Basically whenever I acquire new music, I let MusicBrainz chug on it for awhile, if it comes up with something, it'll copy it into the Brainz tree, otherwise I'll put in it other tree. From there it's just a matter of a Unison call, and I'm in organizational heaven. I use Unison instead of simple rsync so that if I upload something from work or a friend, I won't lose it.

The next problem to deal with is that MusicBrainz doesn't tag genre, which is a bit annoying. I can either go and retag these things on my own, or write something that does a lookup on All Music Guide and does the right thing from there.

Or I could actually enjoy my music.

2 Comments:

Blogger ratty said...

i can see the allure of all this organization, yes. but it does seem to take some of the fun out of listening, doesn't it?

7:22 AM  
Blogger fiona said...

as one who lives in a thoroughly disorganized state, this sounds like heaven. you mean one could actually find the thing one is looking for at any given moment? sure, it takes some time and energy in the beginning, but it can only beget musical bliss in the end.

6:43 AM  

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