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Old 09-17-2010, 12:24 PM
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C3POwen C3POwen is offline
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Help Tagging VA compilation albums for the J3

My faithful old Sony A808 is coming to the end of its life so, after having done a lot of research, I ordered the J3 from Amazon UK (209!), as it seems to do everything I want, along with the ability to use some of the awesome UCIs that I've seen on the forum.

However, there's one thing that I've had trouble finding an answer for, after lots of Googling and searching both the ABI and iAudiophile forums, which is this:

How does the J3 handle compilation albums that contain different artists?

I know that iPods use the "band" tag to handle this, but I've seen nothing relating to how Cowon deal with this issue. Any info would be greatly appreciated, so I can make a start on the epic retagging session that I may have ahead of me...
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2010, 12:43 PM
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Hey C3POwen, welcome to ABi and congrats and enjoy the J3, from all indications a mighty fine deee-luxe player indeed

I don't have one so I cannot help directly, but I submit the following for your consideration:

Perhaps reconsider how you tag/filename your music?

For instance, I too have a lot of VA stuff. I personally decided eons ago that the best solution for me was to adhere to the following protocol:

I make the Artist tag "Various Artists".
I include the specific artist/guests as part of the Track Title tag.
My filenames are set according to this as well.

e.g.: The Jazz For A Rainy Afternoon CD.
Artist Tag: Various Artists
Track Title: Imagination [Woody Shaw]

Filename = Various Artists - Jazz For A Rainy Afternoon - 01 - Imagination [Woody Shaw].mp3

This is an old school method but it totally works for me and I never have to worry if any of my players will properly support what I call the "extended tags" [any ID3 tag fields beyond the standard Big Six: Artist, Album, Track Title, Track Number, Year, Genre].

Just a thought for you...
cheers and good luck,
-lestatar

PS: I also adhere to the above for multiple disc relases. I have read far too many horror stories of DAPs that don't understand the Disc ID3tag.

e.g:
Various Artists - Late Night Moods [Disc1] - 15 - As Time Goes By [Bryan Ferry].mp3
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:44 PM
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For file/folder browsing, a VA album is no issue anyways, and for tag browsing your best bet is to go by album. I just tag my VA albums "properly", with the single artist names for the artist tags.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:50 PM
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lestatar lestatar is offline
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dfkt, of course you are correct. I am showing my age, cutting my teeth on MTP only, non-folder browsing DAPs. File/Folder browsing makes this kinda irrelevant.

Which is partly why I had to decide on a standard protocol for myself that made sense

Still, my music library is organized this way as well, not just what is on my DAPs.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:05 PM
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C3POwen C3POwen is offline
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Thanks! I've been lurking here for a while, but was so stumped about this and it seemed like a good place to ask and get a sensible answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
For instance, I too have a lot of VA stuff. I personally decided eons ago that the best solution for me was to adhere to the following protocol:

I make the Artist tag "Various Artists".
I include the specific artist/guests as part of the Track Title tag.
My filenames are set according to this as well.
That's how I titled things in SonicStage (*shudder*) for my old A808, but since I kept all of the ATRAC files separate from my real music library, I wasn't too fussed. However, with a collection containing thousands of FLAC files, I was hoping that I'd be able to stick with the tag system I was using in foobar2000 (which allows the use of either "band" or "album artist" as a sorting field).

Perhaps I'll convert my FLACs into MP3s when transferring and go with the "artist in title" method, as I tend to browse by artist rather than album. Perhaps something along the lines of "Ramona (Acoustic Version) | Beck"?
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C3POwen View Post
...SNIPPED...Perhaps I'll convert my FLACs into MP3s when transferring and go with the "artist in title" method, as I tend to browse by artist rather than album. Perhaps something along the lines of "Ramona (Acoustic Version) | Beck"?
Sure, whatever works best and makes sense for you. Only thing: I only wonder if stuff like the pipe character "|" might be considered non-standard for some DAPs?

Stick around and tell us how you love your new, enroute J3
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:31 PM
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C3POwen C3POwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Sure, whatever works best and makes sense for you. Only thing: I only wonder if stuff like the pipe character "|" might be considered non-standard for some DAPs?
I did wonder. Still, no harm in trying, I guess. If I get no joy, perhaps I'll go with the file/folder browser and set up a sensible "Artist>Album" folder structure for playback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Stick around and tell us how you love your new, enroute J3
Shall do! I actually cannot wait, especially as I got the email saying it had shipped about an hour and a half ago.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:42 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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My own organization uses three pseudo-artists for these VA compilations: (a) Oldies Compilations, (b) R&B Compilations, and (c) Soundtracks. You might have your own additional notions.

Anyway, these pseudo-artists are the "Artist" for folder structure, according to \Music\Artist\Album which is physically how my collection is stored, both on PC hard drive as well as on my J3.

So "real artists", be they individuals or group names, show up in the \Artist level just as they are. And VA compilations end up in one of the three pseudo-artist \Artist level as above.

Album names are strictly what the album names are, no matter from an individual/group artist album or from a compilation album.


Now, the ID3 tags for each track stored in any album's folder ALWAYS has the true artist for that track in the "artist" field of the ID3 tag.

And I ALWAYS store the host album's name in the "album" field of the ID3 tag. I do not put the "original album" in the ID3 tag, for compilations or greatest hits collections... although that extra piece of information IS in my CD Database.

So in the ID3 tag for any track, no matter from an album by a single artist or off of a compilation or soundtrack that consists of tracks by multiple artists, the "artist" tag field name is ALWAYS the true performing artist/group's name... not "various artists". And the "album" tag field name is ALWAYS the physical album's name.


I don't select music to play by using the J3's Browser icon. Instead, since all my tracks contain valid ID3 tags, I always browse through Music -> Library, and then down either through [Artists] almost 100% of the time, but also very rarely sometimes through [Albums]... both of which are derived from the J3's boot-time analysis of ID3 tags.

This overall ID3-tag approach lets me find a track by an artist that I'm looking for, no matter whether its on a single-artist album or on a multiple-artist compilation.

The use of the three pseudo-artist values I invented to sub-divide multiple-artist compilations is only for my own physical storage and organization convenience, and not normally used to find something to play (because I do not normally use the J3's Browser function).

However if I really did want to find a compilation of a given name, coming in through Music -> Library and tapping on [Albums] would let me do that directly, since my ID3 tags all contain physical album name in the "album" field for all tracks on that multiple-artist album. I do not need to use Browser and navigate manually.


One final note: my own methods do NOT place artist or track number or album anything other than track name in the external file name for a track. The other information items are in the ID3 tag, not in the external file name. But that's just me.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:04 PM
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C3POwen C3POwen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Only thing: I only wonder if stuff like the pipe character "|" might be considered non-standard for some DAPs?
I've tried it with the "|" in the title tag and didn't have a problem, although I've only tried it with MP3s using ID3v2.3 tags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
So in the ID3 tag for any track, no matter from an album by a single artist or off of a compilation or soundtrack that consists of tracks by multiple artists, the "artist" tag field name is ALWAYS the true performing artist/group's name... not "various artists". And the "album" tag field name is ALWAYS the physical album's name.
I tend to browse by artist, but still want to listen to all album tracks sequentially, be it from a "solo" work or on a compilation/soundtrack, so this still isn't ideal for me. Is there any way to request the implementation of the "BAND" tag in a future firmware update from Cowon? If this was listed in the browser as [Album Artist], or gave us the option to use this as a search option instead of [Artist], then it'd make tagging more accurate and browsing within compilation albums easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Stick around and tell us how you love your new, enroute J3
I've had it for a few days now and do nothing but keep fiddling with it. It also sounds pretty awesome, and the customization options by way of UCIs is inspired.
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