SongKong Jaikoz

SongKong and Jaikoz Music Tagger Community Forum

Album Pdf Booklets and Classical Music Album Artist

As a classical music listener, I voted for PDF integration, but I also have another wish: box sets often (rather: mostly) contain CDs that were previously released as single CDs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a toggle to specify what the user generally prefers, single albums or box sets? A good example of this would be Alfred Brendel’s 114-CD box set “Complete Philips Recordings”. Who wants an album with 114 CDs in it? And yes, I know there is a way to separate individual CDs by CD subtitles, but that creates 114 albums with identical cover art and long album titles.

Oh, and a way to have only one album artist would be marvelous! I dream of a file structure where the soloist of a concert (or solo album of course) is the album artist and for orchestral music and operas etc the conductor. Now there are as many “album artists” as Karajan+Berlin Philharmonic, and another Karajan+Vienna Philharmonic, and dozens of others with Karajan+some orchestra+different soloists in different constellations. That makes the term “album artist” de facto useless. They should all just be called Karajan and all the other contributors should be listed as (contributing) artists.

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Hi, okay already have an issue for this even though not in feature list.

Regarding pdf booklets, where do you get pdf booklets from, my issue at moment is my primary source is MusicBrainz/Cover Art Archive and it often has all pages of the pdf scanned in as seperate jpegs but doesnt actually have the pdf, is it pdf that you actually want or would it work to have the individual pages as jpegs?

You are very fast Paul! Please read also my second paragraph which I edited in while you already responded to the first.

Yes, I hate that MusicBrainz contributors prefer to upload dozens of jpegs rather than a simple PDF. But apart from the shortcomings of MusicBrainz (of which there are many), I think the way Apple Music handles digital booklets (=PDFs) is a good starting point: PDFs can also have metadata, and as soon as these are identical to those of the album, the PDF is treated like an additional track. It is sufficient for the album title and album artist to be identical for this to happen.

I have been adding PDFs to my collection from the Internet Archive manually e.g.

I’m not sure if this is possible to automate or easily make searchable but there is a lot of PDFs there for rock and pop genres.

There is an advantage to PDFs when using Roon as a plyer because you can zoom in in the external pdf reader Roon opens. With JPGs Roon does not let you zoom and it can be difficult to read the liner notes if the resolution isn’t great.

Moving to own thread

Ok so they are in the Cover Art Archive that MusicBrainz use, do you know is this pdf listed under Cover art from MusicBrainz (there are so many versions of album I couldn’t see it )

Yes I can see this would be useful raised for more consideration.

I had no idea that it was using the same archive. So I just tried with Buffalo Springfield: Last time around because it doesn’t have so many hits as Sting does.

But I didn’t see the PDF of “Last time around” under cover art for any of the versions of that album on MusicBrainz.

Problem, the majority of booklet cover art in MusicBrainz is in jpeg format

jthinksearch=# select count(*), mime_type from cover_art_archive.cover_art t1 inner join cover_art_archive.cover_art_type t2 on inner join cover_art_archive.art_type t3 on where'Booklet' group by mime_type;
 count  |    mime_type
   9201 | application/pdf
    286 | image/gif
 834951 | image/jpeg
  73271 | image/png
(4 rows)

But I have checked MusicBrainz and there is no link to the pdf you mention, although I can see it available so it seems there are many more pdfs in the archive than are linked to my MusicBrainz, will have to explore further.

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Although worth noting SongKong does store each album artist seperately in the Album Artists field, so depending on what software you are listening to you can use this field instead of the Album Artist and then there will be an entry called Karajan that will list all albums that they are in some way an album artist, here is an example of configuring this if using MinimServer

Also if using regular desktop music player than understands the Album Artist field but not the Album Artists field then you can the Save:Save multiple values as separate fields option and add Album Artist (and Sort Album Artist) to it.

Yes, I have activated this option. But it is of little use to me, as Apple Music and, more recently, Roon have a powerful search function that finds every artist anyway. My wish was to rename the music and save it under one name so that the file structure is not so cluttered. Another advantage would be that the album grid view in the player software would be much nicer without having 20 names below the album, only one. Your recent option to include the composer in the album title and delete it from the album artists (a MusicBrainz nonsense of the first order) was a first and very welcome step.
As far as I know, the database has roles tied to people, right? Would it be possible to integrate a switch in SongKong that filters all album artists of each album and let us choose a hierarchy, like “if a soloist is present on all tracks, save only him/her as album artist”, “if no soloist is present, save the conductor”, “if neither is present on all tracks, store the orchestra/ensemble as album artist” - Would this be possible? And do you think this would be a good thing?

Regarding the PDFs: I have many PDFs in my album folders that are not from MusicBrainz, I never let SongKong download anything other than the front cover (because of the gazillion useless other jpegs in MusicBrainz). My question is more about SongKong’s tagging capability: “If there is a PDF in the album folder, tag it with the same album title and album artist as the album itself and rename the file to Booklet.pdf” - Apple Music would then automatically treat this like any other downloaded digital booklet in the player. One can also do this pdf tagging manually with onboard tools, but it’s a lot of work and it would be a good option to have in SongKong, I think.

Correct, that would be possible. But the question is can you define a hierachy that you would be happy with for all classical albums or would it not be the case that sometimes you want the soloist, and sometimes you want the conductor and sometimes the orchestra.

My idea was that the album artist field from musicbrainz has an order, so would it be a reasonable assumption that the first person listed (ignoring composer when there) would probably be the artist you are most likely to want ?

Hmm , I was n’t aware of tagging pdfs until you mentioned it. Easy enough to rename the existing pdfs to Booklet.pdf, but I haven’t found a way to tag pdfs programmatically yet, is the tagging necessary ?

That would really be a killer feature to have these pdfs show up in Song Kong. But I understand it may not be easy.

I don’t think there is an order in MB’s album artists, just an alphabetical one. Sometimes orchestra and conductor are connected with an “&”, such as: “Berlin Philharmonic & Herbert von Karajan” all other album artists are separated by commas, the stupid composer by a semicolon. So if you simply take the first one after omitting the composer, you will most likely get the one that comes first in the alphabet.
And after thinking about it again, I don’t think that’s possible. Because MusicBrainz doesn’t have any decent genres (so much for “encyclopedia of music”!). You would first have to know which work is on the CD, i.e. piano concerto in order to select the pianist, or symphony in order to select the conductor, in the case of recitals the singer and not the piano accompanist, etc.
I have come to the conclusion that it will probably not be possible to do this with SongKong alone. I already pointed out (and got promptly banned) years ago in the MusicBrainz forum that MB got the album artist completely wrong - there should only be one name allowed when you enter an album into the database, and that is the name for which you would buy the CD. You don’t buy Beethoven’s 9th Symphony because of a tenor who appears in the 4th movement, but by conductor. A recital because of the singer and not the accompanist. A cello concerto because of the cellist and not because of the orchestra or the conductor.
So just forget about my dream of correctly tagged classical music and I’ll do it by hand.

Apple Music (iTunes) is able to do it. It shows PDFs that are in the same folder, but separately. In order to merge it with the album you have to tag it like you would tag a track or an album in Apple Music. I think Doug’s AppleScripts had a script, but it is deprecated if I remember correctly.

No, that is incorrect the composer is added first separated by a semicolon but after that they are usually in the order they are displayed on the cover.

It doesn’t matter what they are separated with because MusicBrainz returns the data as separate elements

e.g for album

Release Artist is returned as:

<name-credit joinphrase="; "><artist id="1f9df192-a621-4f54-8850-2c5373b7eac9" type="Person"><name>Ludwig van Beethoven</name><sort-name>Beethoven, Ludwig van</sort-name></artist></name-credit>
<name-credit joinphrase=", "><artist id="62250633-e888-49bb-ab9f-d6f14ef21012" type="Orchestra"><name>Staatskapelle Dresden</name></artist></name-credit>
<name-credit joinphrase=", "><artist id="07673c24-18fd-4ab1-9262-ed14f3b3b737" type="Choir"><name>Chor der Staatsoper Dresden</name></artist></name-credit>
<name-credit joinphrase=", "><name>Rundfunkchor Leipzig</name><artist id="25644cee-ce2d-4f88-ba4e-c1677a57592d" type="Choir"><name>MDR Rundfunkchor Leipzig</name></artist></name-credit>
<name-credit joinphrase=" &amp; "><artist id="eb1dbd32-6555-4457-b7ec-26234ebd310d" type="Person"><name>Edith Mathis</name><sort-name>Mathis, Edith</sort-name></artist></name-credit>
<name-credit><artist id="cdb34f45-c9d3-4f14-a79a-bc1da62455cc" type="Person"><name>Karl Böhm</name><sort-name>Böhm, Karl</sort-name></artist></name-credit>

The thing is if MusicBrainz has set them as part of album artist then they should be valid for all tracks of the album, and the first person is more likely to be valid than the last. So I think just setting a Classical Music option of Limit Max Number of Album Artists To This Many which is set to a number would be fine for most cases.

I found some of the MusicBrainz developers are extremely touch about criticism, although I had a long thread about why the Track Artist/Recording Artist is wrong for Classical but didn’t get banned so I don’t know what you said !

But I don’t agree there should be only one album artist in the MusicBrainz database, if multiple people are credited on the album cover (not talking about individual tracks) then they should all be part of album artist. But if I implement this limit option it should usually work. the order tends to go by most prominent person, so if famous cellist playing album will first be credited to them, likewise for famous conductor or orchestra.

But then what is the “artist” tag for? Every artist that appears on one or more tracks could be searched for and found in any (modern) music player software anyways. Moreover, he/she would only appear in that work or movement they actually contributed!

I can get quite snarky when I have to argue with stupid people that are also stubborn, hehe.

Oh, if only some programmer (cough, cough!) with brains would start a new (classical only!) database where the input screen would force participants to enter every single bit of information in separate fields like BWV, Key, Opus, etc., with most fields only available as drop-down menus to choose from. For example, there are only so many keys. The different languages could be managed by the database itself. The user selects his language and automatically gets the right selection. MusicBrainz has some of these features, but never really thought them through. Other things like genre, epoch or work type (sonata, symphony, lied, cantata) are missing altogether. Shouldn’t a database be as granular as possible, so that all the data only comes together when a query is made? was promising, but seems to be abandoned …

  • The artist tag is for artists that were the main contributors to that track
  • The albumartist is for artists that were main contributors to the album, additionally the albumartist must be the same for all tracks on the album to maintain album integrity

These rules can be applied to all albums whatever the type of music, and both artist and albumartist can contain multiple people or groups. Often the value is the same but not always, i think of the album artist as the default artist for all the tracks on the album, but where the people involved are different that is captured via the artist field being different to the album artist field.

If an artist had no involvement in some of the tracks on an album they would not usually be listed as the album artist, all people in the album artist field are usually involved in all tracks.

Really MusicBrainz just need to improve the UI for adding classical releases that would resolve most issues. It has taken many many years for MusicBrainz to get to where it is now, any attempt at a new database (unless done by major player like Google/Apple) would be doomed to fail.