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"When the waitress brought our drinks, I picked up my beer and proposed a toast. 'To John Hammond, for bringing Son to Columbia Records.' Son looked at me for a few seconds and then shook his head. He picked up his bourbon and smiled at me for the first time all day. 'To Robert Johnson, for being dead!'" - Dick Waterman

Author Topic: Sorting a Music Collection  (Read 2426 times)

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Offline FrontPage

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2011, 09:29:29 PM »
I'm still looking for something that will create the db entries by dropping each disk into the tray and letting the computer and internet (e.g. Gracenote or CDDB) do the work. I probably don't have time to scan my CDs, let alone write the software and enter the data manually! I take it no one on this thread has looked at or used Music Collector?
Cheers,
FrontPage

Offline Stuart

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2011, 10:05:23 PM »
I haven't used Music Collector. The biggest problem with many systems is the time that it takes to enter the data. If you can import it from an external source, like Gracenote or CDDB, so much the better. But there are problems with accuracy and consistency when using their info that one can either correct or let slide--and learn to live with. Occasionally, the errors can be confusing to the point of being maddening, like the example that was discussed a while back on Ari's board. As dj says, the ideas are easy to come up with, it's doing the actual work to build the db and supply the content that takes time and effort.

I use iTunes as a db of sorts. It works for my limited needs, but it could do a lot more. We're at the forefront of computing technology, but were still pre-Model A IMHO, to use an automobile analogy. And for another automotive analogy, "There's 10,000 parts in the modern automobile, but it's the loose nut behind the wheel that causes the most problems." --In the case of computers, it's often the "loose nut behind the keyboard." But I digress, as usual...

Offline dj

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2011, 03:26:04 AM »
Quote
Was it you dj who was logging recording dates, locations, labels etc into it?

Yeah, that was me.  I have had occasional problems with iTunes - I've lost the comment fields, which contain discographical info and personnel, for a few CDs (interestingly, all have been CDs on the JSP label.  Coincidence?) - but as long as I'm careful to take everything in the iTunes directory (not just the iTunes Music directory) when I move from disk to disk or machine to machine, I have never lost all my database info.

Quote
In the case of computers, it's often the "loose nut behind the keyboard."

I like that, Stewart!

Quote
I'm still looking for something that will create the db entries by dropping each disk into the tray and letting the computer and internet (e.g. Gracenote or CDDB) do the work.

Ain't gonna happen, FrontPage.  I don't know how Gracenote and CDDB get their data, but it almost always contains junk.  I just ripped Archeophone's Stomp And Swerve CD, and everything was pretty much ok except one artist's name was in Japanese!  My wife does database stuff for a large book retailer.  They get their info direct from the publisher, and even then almost every entry has to be hand-tended due to typos, spelling errors, inconsistencies, etc.


Offline Stuart

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2011, 07:09:27 AM »
I don't know how Gracenote and CDDB get their data, but it almost always contains junk. 

Some of it, at least, is user submitted. On the version of iTunes that I use, there is an "Submit CD Track Names" option. It's hard to tell the source of specific CD info, but my guess is that a fair amount is user submitted, given the nature of the errors.

Offline FrontPage

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2011, 10:42:30 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I'm OCAR about data integrity, so it is a given that I will scan and correct errors, one CD at a time. My main objective is to build the database without having to rip the CDs (which takes several minutes each). My separate ripping project (ongoing over the past couple years) has two objectives - first, to get as much of my collection as possible accessible for listening via my Sqeezebox server, and second, to create a lossless backup of my collection. Like many of us here, probably at least 40% of my stuff is either difficult or impossible (i.e. out of print) to replace in the event of a loss. I keep a copy of the lossless directory at my office. So a parallel database (w/o the music) is what I'm after.
Cheers,
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Offline tmylet

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2011, 08:31:13 AM »
While I'm late to the party (in more than one way) this thread is exactly what I've been looking for. I may be one of the last holdouts who has tons of stuff on CD and nothing on a computer, Ipod, etc. but would like to become a little more intimate with the digital age...

A few years ago I bought a Card Catalog file cabinet, took the bottom out of every other drawer then joined that drawer with the one directly beneath it. It holds CDs very nicely. I labelled the drawers by genre, region and format:  Country Blues; Mississippi; 78 reissues...As I quickly approach overload I'm looking at starting to put it on computer and/or an MP3 device.

It's obvious that there is no perfect solution but I'd really appreciate any ideas as to how to best approach what looks like a monumental task.

Tom Mylet
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Offline Stuart

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2011, 09:38:47 AM »
Hi Tom:

There are only 24 hours in a day and only so many days in a life. So how much time do you want to spend (time that you will never get back to do other things, such as listening and playing music, as well as other enjoyable endeavors) organizing your music/information? As you say, it is a monumental undertaking, one that, IMHO, is best approached one step at a time. Once you decide on the software program (as I mentioned, I use iTunes, but there are others), the next thing to do is to figure out how to enter the music and info. To minimize the time, energy and concentration involved, I do this in background. When the computer is on, but while I'm doing something else, I let iTunes find the CD info and import the CD. I find that I'm most comfortable with the process when I'm not conscious that it is happening. The only downside is that once in a blue moon when there are problems reading the CD in the middle of the importing process, I won't be aware of it in real time. But so what? I'm having a better time doing other things.

Make sure that you backup your music files to an external hard drive, because you only want to import your CDs once. When the time comes, we can point you in the direction of the software that some of us use to do this. There's a thread here on the subject somewhere.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stuart

edited to add: I only clean up the CD info when absolutely necessary. To paraphrase the Dodge Journey commercial (the one with Fahey playing in the background), no one makes a list of typos they want to correct before they die--I least I don't.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:45:57 AM by Stuart »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2011, 08:12:16 PM »
So a parallel database (w/o the music) is what I'm after.

I'm not aware of anything that would do that in any serious way. And I have to ask you Bill, why you would want to keep the metadata separate from the audio files? In other words surely at some point you're going to want to integrate your lossless music files with the info about them? At that point you meet the dreaded "integration problem".

I just did a search and found you can integrate iTunes with lossless media files, see http://gizmodo.com/5207476/how-to-manage-an-all+lossless-music-library-with-itunes

To go this route assumes you have faith in Apple getting their iTunes data model capable of reflecting some kind of serious musophile / historical weenie real world model. Maybe Apple will, maybe they won't. However, since I don't have time to roll my own data model integrated with media files and external sources of metadata, if I could rip all my CDs again I'd investigate going the Apple Lossless route.

The only reason I'd look at it (which would entail reripping all my CDs to lossless) now is due to storage prices falling throught the floor. As of a month ago I now have 7.2 terabytes of RAID-ed NAS on our network without spending too serious dough. Or to put it another way, for the price of a midprice computer fully loaded I now have 7,373 gigabytes of RAID-protected extra storage available on our home network.

This setup could swallow all my (reripped lossless) files without a burp and still have room to spare for several generations of whole network backups. For anyone interested this is the NAS box I scored empty and then loaded it myself with 5 x 2 Tb drives: http://www.synology.com/us/products/DS1511+/index.php

I give this Synology box 5 stars for anyone shopping around, both in the hardware- and management software departments. Be sure to start shopping in the Amazon links to your left ladies and gentlemen!  ;)

After getting it going, sourcing the 5 x 2 Tb Western Digital drives from a local big box store, formatting the RAID array, transferring all the audio files and pointing iTunes at it, I then belatedly started considering how one might backup the backup. Big fleas have smaller fleas, kind of thing. The cloud? Maybe in a few years. Right now I'm happy with the RAID SHR volume I elected to set up on the NAS. If one of the drives fails I can pull it out, replace it and the NAS box s/w will rebuild the storage array on the fly. I have not tested it but have researched it and am happy it will work.

If 2 of the NAS drives fail at the same time I'm screwed. Unlikely but not unheard of. Not to mention other risks like burglary and fire. It's a calculated risk on my part, but I'm better off than I was when it was all on one internal drive and I have space to burn, which does radically change your perspective.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 09:35:05 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2011, 08:11:04 AM »
...I just ripped Archeophone's Stomp And Swerve CD...

For those not familiar with Archeophone, they have an interesting catalog--and it is currently all on sale:

http://www.archeophone.com/index.php

http://www.archeophone.com/product_info.php?products_id=38

Offline dj

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Re: Sorting a Music Collection
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2011, 09:12:48 AM »
On sale through October 15th, so act fast!

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