SongKong Jaikoz

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Classical Music tagging, best practice

Jaikoz 10.1.2 on macOS 10.14.6; my player is Audirvana 3.5 .

I’m new to taking metatgging seriously and want to do it correctly for my large collection of classical music.

May I ask for your help, please?

Firstly, which tagging ‘service’ is most reliable for classical music… Discogs, MusicBrainz etc? I’ve never had much luck with them - but I know you used to work at the latter, Paul?

Secondly, when editing metatags for classical files manually, am I right that this is the best procedure/workflow, having read help articles 2.4.3.n, please:

  1. add (the files in) a folder in my filesystem’s music hierarchy (in my case a high-resolution subfolder of ~/Music
  2. do not try to have either Discogs or MusicBrainz autocorrect my files because this seems to prevent further editing… although I know there is a box to tick, ‘Do local correct settings on songs that already have a Musicbrainz Id’
  3. go to Preferences > Manipulators
  4. edit and/or build new (each of) the six operations in the second row (‘Autocorrector’, ‘Word Replacer’, ‘Word Remover’ etc)
  5. go to Preferences > Local Correct
  6. there select either Auto Match or Auto Format; not 100% sure of the difference, please
  7. in each case there are six fields (three columns of two… ‘Artist’, ‘Album’, ’Title’ etc)
  8. deselect all but the one on which I want corrections to be performed
  9. if necessary use the manipulators edited or built in step 4
  10. save the preference
  11. go to Action > Local Correct and run one or more of the nine options

If so, am I right that step 11 ‘does it all for me’; and that I have no more granular control of what and where to apply those changes?

How would I best change, say:

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: String Quartets in E flat major (Op. 12), in A minor (Op. 13) & in E flat major (1823)


String quartet in E♭Major (Opus 12), String quartet in A minor (Opus 13) String quartet in E♭Major (1823)

Hi Mark

MusicBrainz is much better than Discogs for classical because it actually has the concept of Works (Discogs only has albums) and has way to handle Classical specific issues when adding Classical albums. That said, it doesnt make it very easy to enter Classical albums because the MusicBrainz interface was designed for standard Pop/Rock, they need to overhaul the interface.

Now, autocorrecting from MusicBrainz does not prevent editing, furthermore the Local Correct task just does some basic word replacement/removal tasks, this is not going to help with your Classical Music editing.

What you should do is run Action:AutoCorrect (with MusicBrainz enabled), or just run Action:Remote Correct:AutoCorrect Metadata from MusicBrainz. Then if it finds a match the data should be correct, but of course you can make minor adjustments as you see fit by editing directly in the spreadsheet or using the Details Tab (View:Show Detail Pane)

Editing may be required because either:
1.MusicBrainz only has partial information
2.You need a particular field to be different to work with your music player.

I haven’t used AudioNirvana so I cannot give specific help here but lets look at your example below.

Are we referring to the album field here, and was the original data added by MusicBrainz or not ? If so you can remove the composer from the album title by disabling Preferences:Remote Correct:Classical:Add Composers to start of Album Title .

To modify the metadata for already matched tracks you then run Action:Remote Correct:Update Metadata from MusicBrainz

Thanks very much for that detailed and helpful reply, Paul!

MusicBrainz it is, then. Is there any advantage to having my own login/account credentials?

Forgive me, please: new to Jaikoz… there are preferences to control to determine exactly what happens in/for that Action (AutoCorrect), aren’t there… somewhere… I couldn’t find where.

I can see that, thanks; I don’t need/there’s no way for me to customise what happens here, is there?

Yes, the album field. No MusicBrainz couldn’t find it. The source is here.

Thanks again, Paul; I feel I’m beginning to find my way :slight_smile: .

Yes, for adding database to the MusicBrainz database itself but not needed for using Jaikoz itself.

Yes, in Preferences:Manipulators:AutoCorrectors

Yes, there are many MusicBrainz specific options in Preferences:MusicBrainz

Okay, so just manually edit to how you want it.

Thanks, Paul!

Shall explore Preferences now :slight_smile:.

Interestingly, I tried another download (details here); and MusicBrainz failed to recognize that either - even after I first matched its Acoustic ID.

Any suggestions, please?

As for the example I gave to change the Mendelssohn’s album field:

I suspect you’d say the best way is to do this manually, would you?

Ideally, I’d like to somehow script or regex the pattern of such a title and perform the changes on all tracks, if possible…

Although there are links between the two, Acoustid and MusicBrainz are two different databases. With Acoustid your songs is analysed and if its fingerprint matches an existing track it is given the same Acoustid, if not it is allocated a new Acoustid, basic metadata you already have in your file (e.g artist/title) can be automatically stored with the new Acoustid in the Acoustid database, but at this point there is no link to the separate MusicBrainz database.

For a link to exist first of all the album has to be in the MusicBrainz database, secondly links need to be created between each fingerprint in Acoustid and the track within the album within the MusicBrainz database.

Adding albums to MusicBrainz is essentially a manual process so the Acoustid database is considerably larger than the MusicBrainz database, and therefore there are many tracks in Acoustid not linked to the MusicBrainz database.

Jaikoz, has Find and Replace but unfortunately it currently doesn’t support regex


Thanks for your reply and clarification, Paul!

I have downloaded quite a few Classical albums lately (from the likes of Presto Classical, HD Tracks and ProStudioMasters).

Not a single one has been in MusicBrainz - except part of the Mandelring Mendelssohn Complete String Chamber Music.

I have always tried to do my best to accept that Classical music lovers are in a tiny minority across the world (except perhaps in some of the more enlightened (northern) European countries… Finland being the obvious example); and to make the most of it :slight_smile: .

Because I never have any trouble listening to, finding and buying from the specialists like Presto, Chandos, Primephonic and Arkivmusic, I had hoped that the situation with tagging was better. And that MusicBrainz would be able to help me.

But, as you kindly point out: if the data hasn’t been put into the database, no-one can get it out.

So I’m now turning cheerfully (if a little reluctantly) to examining the best ways manually to tag everything.

Hence my questions to you about Local correct and Find and Replace so that I can set about correcting the likes of:

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: String Quartets in E flat major (Op. 12), in A minor (Op. 13) & in E flat major (1823)


String quartet in E♭Major (Opus 12), String quartet in A minor (Opus 13) String quartet in E♭Major (1823)

Thanks again!

Well you will just have to manually edit one album field then copy and paste manually to the other album fields for tracks on the album, sorry don’t have a cleverer way.

But Musicbrainz does have alot of classical music, have you tried just running Autocorrect over the whole library.

Thanks again, @paultaylor !

Yes, I did try that. The files I have in my library are not too esoteric :slight_smile: But next to nothing is there.

I’ll continue to experiment…

Nor will it be the end of the world if I do ‘take back control’ and manually edit. In some ways I quite enjoy that :slight_smile:

If so, would the dozen or so steps in the sequence which I described in my first post be the best way to achieve ‘perfection’, do you think?

Sorry, I cant see how that is going to help much but by all means try.

I think instead having the spreadsheet view configured to show the columns you want to edit, and then judicious editing and copying/pasting is going to be the way to go.

That’s really helpful, Paul. Thanks.

It’s probably the simplest and most efficient way :slight_smile: