Classical music scraping

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Amadeus Offline
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Post: #1
Hi,

I've started adding rips of my classical music CDs to my Mac Mini running Eden RC2.
However, XBMC doesn't recognise the CDs - I've tried both Last and AllMusic.

Is there anything that can be done to improve the recognition? Any particular add-ons that I've not loaded that would help?

Many thanks
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dpetit123456 Offline
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Post: #2
I used iTune to rip my classical collection. Gracenote is by far the best metadata engine for classical music - I had about a 95% hit rate. I ripped in lossless aiff, then converted to flac for use in xbmc.

For album art I download an album art scraper. Gracenote is great for cd data, but not great at album art.

Goods luck!
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MisterDuck Offline
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Post: #3
Classical music is notoriously difficult to tag clearly and consistently due to the myriad possible combinations of release, composer, work, movement, orchestra, conductor, performer and so on, and the scraper can only do its best with what it's given.

Having said that, I've had relatively good results using EAC or dBpowerAMP for secure ripping, then tagging the files using MusicBrainz Picard - the MusicBrainz style guidelines at least have a consistent naming policy for classical music and the database is (mostly) pretty accurate. Last.fm also likes files to be tagged the MusicBrainz way, although I've found it sometimes complains that files are tagged incorrectly when they quite clearly aren't.

Picard isn't the simplest app to set up admittedly, but once you get the hang of it the results are worth it IMO, with the proviso that classical music will still be relatively hit & miss from time to time.
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TimKelley Offline
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Post: #4
The only reason classical music is difficult to tag is that the tag standards completely ignore its needs. The tag standards all support only metadata about the recording, when there is an entire other category, metadata about the music itself. You can sort of get by with the recent tag standards (id3v2.4 and vorbis) but there is still not tag for "composition" or "work title". Even then, most players do not support any of those tags any way in their library or playlist features, including XBMC. There would have to be another plug in specifically for classical music.
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jopie Offline
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Post: #5
I too run XBMC on a MacMini and have quite a extensive classical collection on a NAS which has to serve a dual (sometimes triple) purpose: (1) it supplies the music for those rooms equipped with Sonos streamers (2) and it feeds XBMC in the home theatre (3 is to feed iTunes). I have all my music ripped in flac format and the classical music is organised in folders as follows:
Composer
Subgenre (Symphonies, Piano trios, Violin concertos, Piano concertos, etc)
Work
Performer

So

Beethoven
Piano trios
07 (Archduke)
Ashkenazy
Beaux Arts
Beaux Arts (2001)

Obviously all music is tagged as well. I started out with EAC but later switched to dbPowerAmp which I still use after I switched to OSX running in an Windows emulator (Parallel Desktop). dbPowerAmp together with PerfectMeta (not free) gives excellent, if somewhat wordy, results. These results must be edited though in order to make them more or less consistent, otherwise you will end up with half a dozen Mozarts and otherwise inconsistent tags. For that I use MP3Tag (Windows) and Jaikoz (OSX). Sonos users should therefore invest some extra time in editing the filenames so as to keep them as short as possible so that they do not consume too much of the Sonos internal memory (limited to a max of 64000 tracks).

The rather rigorous organisations of folders allows me to easily find what I am looking for both in Sonos and XBMC, both of which (and unlike iTunes) support a folder-based approach. This also circumvents the XBMC lack of support (at least in my Transparency skin) for the Composer tag.

So as far as the scraping is concerned,
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scott967 Offline
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Post: #6
It might be easier if "classical music" were defined as its own content type in XMBC. Then you could have more control over scraping/display.

scott s.
.
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jopie Offline
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Post: #7
I couldn't agree more, but before that we need support for the "Composer" tag. Does anyone know if this is being considered. It seems somewhat odd to me not to support the tags that already exist.
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sstavross Offline
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Post: #8
I have a BIG collection of classical music too, and I find both scott967 and jopie's ideas very good! Sure we need support for composer's tag in XBMC.
I use foobar for managing my classical music collection. I have tried everything and I think it is the best program for managing classical music in my windows PC. But I have a question for jopie. You say that you have arranged your classical music organised in folders as follows:

Composer
Subgenre (Symphonies, Piano trios, Violin concertos, Piano concertos, etc)
Work
Performer

Do you mean that you have "break" the original cds in tracks and put some tracks in one subfolder and some other tracks from the SAME cd in some other subfolder? Is this practical?
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scott967 Offline
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Post: #9
Been doing some web searching on tagging strategies for classical. Since there is no uniform conventions in various players it can be a problem. Maybe best thing is whatever you do, don't do something that can't be undone if you decide later it isn't working for you.

After reading/thinking, I think I am going to experiment with this setup:

Physical file layout:

all music
-classical music
--composer
---recording (eg CD)
----tracks (as on recording)

This allows access to actual CD via files

Library/tagging layout

album: work title: composer (Symphony No 40 in G minor, K. 550: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

track/song title: movement, work sub-part (First movement molto allegro)

artist: composer (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

album artist: performer (Nova Filarmonica Portuguesa)

Note in this scheme an "album" may be less than, equal to, or more than a single CD.

Haven't tested this in XBMC. While I don't think it will scrape via extant scrapers, you could use artist and album nfo files for composer and work info, "fanart"/"thumbs", etc in the skin.

scott s.
.
(This post was last modified: 2012-10-30 23:22 by scott967.)
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sstavross Offline
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Post: #10
It is very intersting you aproach! But I have some questions/remarks:
Lets say I have 2 cds (albums) with the Symphony No 40 in G minor, K. 550: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When I click on the album to see the tracks I'll see something like this:
1.First movement molto allegro
1.First movement molto allegro
2.Second movement adagio
2.Second movement adagio etc

and I'll be lost. Have I understand you right?

Also I don't like the idea of putting in artist the composer's tag. Sure it is clever to use artist and album nfo files for composer and work info, "fanart"/"thumbs", etc in the skin, but I think it will be confusing.
(This post was last modified: 2012-10-31 12:49 by sstavross.)
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SwissElite Offline
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Post: #11
I would also appreciate if the composer tag was supported for music.... for he obvious reasons that were already stated before..... its simply impossible to find classical music one is looking for with the current tags...

There are many tags that COULD be added to make classical music scrapping perfect, e.g. the works' number (Opus/catalogue number (e.g. K. 550)), but they are the icing on the cake. much more important: THE COMPOSER! Thats the guy / madame that actually wrote the work.

Hopefully, this year's christmas version of XBMC (also called "Frodo" in some places) will include the tag, would be great Wink
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jopie Offline
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Post: #12
(2012-11-10 12:05)SwissElite Wrote:  I would also appreciate if the composer tag was supported for music.... for he obvious reasons that were already stated before..... its simply impossible to find classical music one is looking for with the current tags...

There are many tags that COULD be added to make classical music scrapping perfect, e.g. the works' number (Opus/catalogue number (e.g. K. 550)), but they are the icing on the cake. much more important: THE COMPOSER! Thats the guy / madame that actually wrote the work.

Hopefully, this year's christmas version of XBMC (also called "Frodo" in some places) will include the tag, would be great Wink

Hear, hear!
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syfre Offline
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Post: #13
sorry but i don't see anywhere in the Frodo roadmap that the PRODUCER tag will be supported ?

Anyway why do you want the COMPOSER tag ?

The ARTIST tag is multi-artists, you can tag your files for example "COMPOSER / PERFORMER / CONDUCTOR" and you will get all the three indexed in the database and you will retrieve your music by performer, composer or conductor.

There are three multi-values tag : ARTIST, ALBUMARTIST and GENRE

Adding a new node in the music database is a lot of work, need to be sure it worth it.

Regards
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jopie Offline
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Post: #14
Sorry but that argument only goes so far. First of all, FLAC files used by many who like classical music supports the COMPOSER tag. Second, XBMC is not my only interface-streamer. Our Sonos system also supports the COMPOSER tag and more importantly, does NOT index more than one entry per tag. I am surely not the only one out there trying to balance the demands of two (or more) different systems! Moreover, it makes sense to keep artists and composers distinct (as indeed are lyricists).
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scott967 Offline
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Post: #15
(2012-11-11 20:39)syfre Wrote:  sorry but i don't see anywhere in the Frodo roadmap that the PRODUCER tag will be supported ?

Anyway why do you want the COMPOSER tag ?

The ARTIST tag is multi-artists, you can tag your files for example "COMPOSER / PERFORMER / CONDUCTOR" and you will get all the three indexed in the database and you will retrieve your music by performer, composer or conductor.

There are three multi-values tag : ARTIST, ALBUMARTIST and GENRE

Adding a new node in the music database is a lot of work, need to be sure it worth it.

Overloading an attribute to deal with a data modeling problem seems like an iffy approach. The "performance" relation and the "composition" relation are different concepts. I thought the purpose of using an RDBMS was partly to make it not so difficult to update the model?

As a band-aid approach I find using "artist" for "composer" can be made to work (using rules like "artist contains Mozart" for smart playlist, but there is no way to sort by composer).

scott s.
.
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