Req Advice on restructuring and retagging my audio library
#1
Dear All,

I'm a long-time Kodi user and digitalized my complete CD collection more than 10 years ago. As the Kodi music integration matured over the years, I partially started to adapt to the improvements. About 4 years ago, I retagged my whole audio collection using Picard, which - I believe - is still the "gold-standard". However, I know that since then, there have still been notable improvements in the Kodi music area, e.g. when it comes to classical music. I'm thinking about taking advantage of these improvements by restructuring and retagging all of my audio data. At the same time, I'd also like to fix some "mistakes" I did, when I setup my audio database in the past. Some of them were:
  • I ripped all of my CDs to FLAC and converted them to mp3 at the time, but only tagged and included the mp3s in my music folder structure and database. The FLAC files just sit idle in an archive folder. Today, I'd love to take advantage of the FLACs rather than listening to the "lower-res" mp3 files in my library.
  • I used relatively low-res cover scans, which - on modern, larger displays - don't look very good anymore. I'd like to upgrade them, where possible.
  • I partially have different spellings for the same artist in my database, not so much in the rock / pop area but for classic composers. I'd like to align those. But I'd also like to browse my Classic collection differently than my rock, pop and jazz collections.
  • My classic folder contains a mix of composer and interpreter folders and a lot of samplers contain multiple composers and orchestras (also see examples below). I'm struggling to find a consistent approach to the folder structure here
  • I structured my folders according to (my personal perception on their) genre. I'd like to keep this as I usually select music by genre according to my mood. But then I put "_sampler" folders in each of the genre folders. Not sure this is an issue, but certainly not best practice according to the Wiki, where it seems as if all samplers across genres should go into one folder...
  • I've got a sizeable collection of movie sound tracks, too. Those, I've sorted by movie title. Again, not sure this is an issue, but wondering whether I should actually structure them more like classical music, according to composers. There are some "big shots" like Williams or Zimmer, where it would certainly make sense. But then you have many lesser known ones, where I would not be able to find the movie just based on the composer name.  
There are certainly more issues in my data than those, but those are certainly ones, I'd like to tackle. I'm posting to get your advice on HOW to best restructure and retag my audio data. 

The folder structure currently looks as follows:

Music
  • Rock
    • _Sampler
      • [1989] Super Drumming Vol. II (CD 1)
      • [1989] Super Drumming Vol. II (CD 2)
      • ...
    • Aerosmith
      • [2006] Devil's Got a New Disguise - The Very Best of Aerosmith
      • [2014] The Very Best of
    • Alan Parsons Project
    • ...
  • Pop
    • _Sampler
    • Abba
    • ...
  • ...
  • Classical
    • _Sampler
      • [1988] Mussorgsky Bilder einer Ausstellung, Strawinsky Le Sacre Du Printemps
      • [1990] Classic Festival Vol. 1
      • ...
    • Aaron Copeland
    • Andrea Bocelli
    • Anton Bruckner
    • ...
  • Soundtracks
    • 8 Mile
    • 100 Greatest Film Themes
    • 300
    • ...
  • Audiobooks
    • Arthur Conan Doyle - Die tanzenden Maennchen
    • ...
  • Special Events
    • Carnival
    • Christmas
    • ...
My music database is exclusively utilized through Kodi and BlueSound/BluOS devices. I don't think BlueSound poses issues here, but just in case...

Assuming you were in my shoes and you would like to "get it right" for once, where would you start? How would you tackle it?

Any advice appreciated...
Server: DIY NAS w/ i3-8100, 32GB RAM, 4x6 TB WD Red, DD Cine S2 + 3xDuoFlex, OMV w/ Emby, TVheadend, Oscam
Living Room: Odroid N2 w/ CE, Panasonic DP-UB9004, NAD 758v3, LG OLED 65 B7, L/R B&W CM10, B&W C S2, B&W ASW10 CM, SL/SR Elac WS 1445, HL/HR Dali Alteco C1
Library: RPi2B w/ LE, Xbox One X w/ Kodi, Nintendo Switch, Panasonic Viera TX-P50 Plasma​​
Reply
#2
No doubt @DaveBlake can give you a more comprehensive answer than me but I'll give it a go.

Picard is what I use to tag my files, preferably with as many tags as possible. Even though many of the MB specific tags are not read by Kodi currently, there is always the chance that this could change in the future and having a 'full' set of tags will save having to go back and re-tag everything. There is no problem tagging your FLAC files with Picard. I have it set to strip any ID3v2 tags from FLAC so that my tags are always VORBIS tags. Kodi will happily read those.

Covers - fanart.tv is a great resource and their covers are 1000x1000 px jpg files.

Browsing your stuff. You can add multiple sources to the music library so that you can browse your collection in a similar way to using a normal file browser. You can also use smartplaylists and/or custom nodes to further split up those sources into genres or artists or whatever rules are available. Dave will probably have some sage advice about the classical side of things as it's his favourite area Wink Basically though, by using multiple sources you can divide up your music however you have divided it up on disc and then drill into it from one of those starting points.
Learning Linux the hard way !!
Reply
#3
From my perspective after playing around with numerous ways of handling classical I finally decided to go with the MusicBrainz style guide for defining Artist, Album Artist, and track titles.  I also use composer and ensemble tag.  I like to use the performer tag to better define roles (it's intended to be artist (instrument) but I use it as a general role tag.)

To get the artist and album artist tag to work correctly you also need artists and album artists tag as well as corresponding MBID tags for artist, album artist, and album.

scott s.
.
maintainer of skin  Aeon MQ5 mods for post-Gotham Kodi releases:
Matrix
Leia see: 304472
Reply
#4
I have considered writing a guide for this, but never find the time and anyway so many different things are possible it really depends on what matters most to the user and how they like to arrange their music collection. Instead I will try to answer questions as they arise.

Yes use Picard to tag your music files. For best results "cluster" the files, and then hit the browse button on each so you can pick the release that matches what you have best. Not in the Musicbrainz database, then contribute to the community and add it.

And before you start make one addition to the Options>Scripting section. Add
$setmulti(albumartists,%_albumartists%)

That will ensure ALBUMARTISTS tags get created for any multi-album artist releases (most Classical music) and allow Kodi to do a best job.
 
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote: I ripped all of my CDs to FLAC and converted them to mp3 at the time, but only tagged and included the mp3s in my music folder structure and database. The FLAC files just sit idle in an archive folder. Today, I'd love to take advantage of the FLACs rather than listening to the "lower-res" mp3 files in my library.
Yes do use nice lossless FLAC format. I hope that your ripping was separate files per track not one big file per album, otherwise definitiely split them into separate FLAC files and tag.
 
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote: I used relatively low-res cover scans, which - on modern, larger displays - don't look very good anymore. I'd like to upgrade them, where possible.
Picard picks up a lot more covers now, 500x500 works well IMO, so you may not need to look any futher. It will place them in a jpg in the folder with the music files, and Kodi will pick that up when you scan. You can either get Picard to save to folder.jpg (I think cover.jpg is the default) or set Kodi to pick up covers from cover.jpg in advancedsettings.xml. But you can also emmbed cover as metadata in the music file is you like.
 
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote: I partially have different spellings for the same artist in my database, not so much in the rock / pop area but for classic composers. I'd like to align those.
Yes, "Tchaikovsky" and "Pytor Illich Chiakovsky" etc. Picard tagging will help this, but you may have to take care and do some manual editing of composer tags to match the langauge format of the artist tags. This is the only editing I would do and whatever changes you make ensure that the number of names and mbids match and are in the same order. If you have mbid tags (from Picard) then the first version of an artitst name scanned is the one that gets used in the artist lists. mbids gather all the alisas together.
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote: But I'd also like to browse my Classic collection differently than my rock, pop and jazz collections.
Of course you do, so would any sane person in my view. My wish to do that is why I ended up working on Kodi.

My recommedation is to arrange your classical music on a separate music source (just a matter of setting up a folder for it) and then you will have lots of options on how to browse it separately (or all together with everyuthing else)
 
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote: My classic folder contains a mix of composer and interpreter folders and a lot of samplers contain multiple composers and
orchestras (also see examples below). I'm struggling to find a consistent approach to the folder structure here
One of the big improvements in v18 was that the supported folder layout became much more flexible. Well actually Kodi has always been able to cope with a totally flat bucket of music files, but it could not handle local artist and album art and nfo files without a more strict artist>album layout.

Do gather all the music files from an album into one unique folder (with maybe separate subfolders of discs in a multi-disc set e.g. 13 CDs of Pink Floyd boxed set). Otherwise use a folder layout that makes most sense to you as a human - by artist, genre, year, family member, or some other arbitrary category. Folders can be named however you like.
 
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote:
  • I structured my folders according to (my personal perception on their) genre. I'd like to keep this as I usually select music by genre according to my mood. But then I put "_sampler" folders in each of the genre folders. Not sure this is an issue, but certainly not best practice according to the Wiki, where it seems as if all samplers across genres should go into one folder...
Sure, no problem. Wiki is out of date. Compilation albums ("samplers"?) can be is any folder or folders you like, the name and where it comes in scanning order does not matter. All those issues were fixed several versions ago now.
(2020-06-14, 22:39)M4tt0 Wrote: I've got a sizeable collection of movie sound tracks, too. Those, I've sorted by movie title. Again, not sure this is an issue, but wondering whether I should actually structure them more like classical music, according to composers. There are some "big shots" like Williams or Zimmer, where it would certainly make sense. But then you have many lesser known ones, where I would not be able to find the movie just based on the composer name.  
No issues. I have mine in a mix of folders, some movie based, others just composer, it does not matter. But I do have the whole lot under one folder called "Soundtracks" that I have added as a separate music source so that I can look just at the artists, albums, songs of only soundtracks whenever I want to do that.


You proposed structure looks fine to me. When creating the library I would add each major section as a separate music sources e.g. classical, soundtracks, rock_pop, special etc.

Tag well and all else will follow.
Reply
#5
Dear @black_eagle, @scott967, and @DaveBlake, Thank You so much for your excellent and detailed advice. I'll follow your recommendations and will get started until I get stuck. LOTS of work to do, and that's fine. I'll certainly share my learnings and experiences along that journey. Maybe we can reuse some of that and your advice to improve or expand the existing Wiki then. Maybe I can contribute. I'll try. Will take time, but I guess we have plenty...  ;-)  Thanks again!
Server: DIY NAS w/ i3-8100, 32GB RAM, 4x6 TB WD Red, DD Cine S2 + 3xDuoFlex, OMV w/ Emby, TVheadend, Oscam
Living Room: Odroid N2 w/ CE, Panasonic DP-UB9004, NAD 758v3, LG OLED 65 B7, L/R B&W CM10, B&W C S2, B&W ASW10 CM, SL/SR Elac WS 1445, HL/HR Dali Alteco C1
Library: RPi2B w/ LE, Xbox One X w/ Kodi, Nintendo Switch, Panasonic Viera TX-P50 Plasma​​
Reply
#6
Of course there is more you can get into such as local art (say you already have lost of artist fanart you want Kodi to use), and using the Artist Information Folder - a place for artist nfo and local art separate from your music layout. You don't say if you have scraped artist and album NFO and art you want to keep. I suspect you can just have the joys of rescraping the lot from remote sources and discovering the magic of that.

And if you have a existing playback history you would like to keep - playcount, last played and user ratings (those things that change during use), then even though they are based on you mp3 files you can export the song history and later import it onto your new FLAC based library. Since the process uses song titles and artist it can make a good job of matching up history to the new library. This is not perfect, especially if you have multiple releases of the same album, but it is pretty clever for the average collection.

Ask questions and I will try to guide you.
Reply
#7
I've scraped album nfos, but a loooong time ago. I'll start from scratch to discover the "magic" you are describing. Again, my sincere thanks for your kind offer, @DaveBlake!
Server: DIY NAS w/ i3-8100, 32GB RAM, 4x6 TB WD Red, DD Cine S2 + 3xDuoFlex, OMV w/ Emby, TVheadend, Oscam
Living Room: Odroid N2 w/ CE, Panasonic DP-UB9004, NAD 758v3, LG OLED 65 B7, L/R B&W CM10, B&W C S2, B&W ASW10 CM, SL/SR Elac WS 1445, HL/HR Dali Alteco C1
Library: RPi2B w/ LE, Xbox One X w/ Kodi, Nintendo Switch, Panasonic Viera TX-P50 Plasma​​
Reply



Logout Mark Read Team Forum Stats Members Help
Advice on restructuring and retagging my audio library0
This forum uses Lukasz Tkacz MyBB addons.