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Need help tagging music collection

I have a folder with thousands of misnamed mp3 files. I have in the past used Winamp to send the files to Gracenotes for tags, then renamed the files with tagscanner. For somereason, Winamp is not doing the job, and is only accepting small batches of files, and succeeding on very few files.

Tagscanner is supposed to  erpmit batch processing of files, but I cannot figure out how to do it. I am open to any suggestions. Used media monkey and Brain Picard nt he past with poor results.
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M_Epstein
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M_Epstein
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11 Solutions
 
ReneGeCommented:
I use the freeware Mp3tag

I don't know if it will work with a command line but it easy to use, very powerfull and free.

http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

Cheers,
Rene
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remixedcatCommented:
abander tag control  and also the media player media jukebox has good tagging.
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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
I had heard good things about MP3tag. I downloaded and installed it. Problem is like almost all the other tag programs, there are no instructions as to how to look up tags from multiple MP3 files in one batch. How do I do this? The files come from multiple albums, some I have no idea if they even were on an album.
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remixedcatCommented:
does it have a "by location" process? some will attept albums by name, size, and location. some even sue playcount.

abander did something like this.
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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
Not sure. Cant tell. Yeras ago there was a wonderful progam called Moodlogic. very easy to sue to look up tags. Much better thant he programs I see here. Cant figure them out for anything!
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remixedcatCommented:
Moodlogic was bought by All Media Guide, the company that runs allmusic.com
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ReneGeCommented:
@Epstein

Could you please describe a practical example of what you are trying to do refering to your statment?

"how to look up tags from multiple MP3 files"

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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
I have several thousand miscellaneous mp3 files all in the same folder. The file names have numbers in them, some have artists names, s ome dont.

 I want to make it more universal with all file names as follows: "<artist>   <Album>  <Title>
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remixedcatCommented:
media jukebox would do it if you also want an awesome media player to go with it!
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ReneGeCommented:
Mp3tag does the trick.

I also had a quick look at "media jukebox", looks cool!

Have fun,
Rene
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remixedcatCommented:
oh the DSP studio is awesome in MJ!
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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
Rene: can you tell me how to fix the tags and rename all the files with mp3tag? If I could also import album art that would be even better!
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ReneGeCommented:
Yes, you can also import album art.

You can create tags from file name, file name from tags and lot more.

The best is you play with it and discuver it.

Have a look here:
http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=1470&bih=626&q=%2Bmp3tag+%2Byoutube&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&fp=352c579dbbd02007
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BillDLCommented:
Hi M_Epstein

I'm not sure how much you know about unique CD album identifiers and how "tags" are fetched from databases, so I think a basic background might be important.  When you "rip" a CD to MP3 files, usually the software has the option to look up an online database to identify the CD and fetch in all the data fields to populate the "tags" in your audio files when they are ripped.  To do this a unique ID is read from the CD and submitted to the online database.

The most common online databases are:

CDDB - known as "gracenote" (http://www.gracenote.com) - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sony Corporation.

freedb.org (http://www.freedb.org) - a free and independent database that relies upon user submissions.

The expression "garbage in, garbage out" becomes relevant where databases are updated, edited, and maintained by the public. Although freeDB.org limits the fields that are submitted, that does not completely prevent bad data from being added to the databases.

Go to the freeDB search page:
http://www.freedb.org/freedb_search.php
and enter a word search for "Jackson Browne, I'm Alive", selecting:
Search = Artist and Title
Categories = All
Grouping = 1 list.

16711 results found - displayed on 1672 pages.

Click the "Details" to expand the top result and you will see that it shows the "Disc-ID" as "rock/900d300c" as a link to see the actual database data held. Right-Click > Open in New Tab to see it.

That is the track order for the album I have as MP3 files on my computer, but you will see that the Year and Genre ID3 Tags are not populated.

Close the new tab that opened and click the "Details" to collapse that one.  Expand the one that displays all in lowercase as:
"jackson browne / the best of jackson browne"
and you will see that Track 10 has been stored as "sombodys's baby" (note the s's).  Compare that with the other "Best Of" listings and it quickly becomes apparent that you have a case of "garbage in, garbage out" when a program does a CD-Database lookup.

Not only are there issues with uppercase/lowercase, punctuation, duplicate data in different fields, etc, but there may also be issues with whether the tags are ID3v1 or ID3v2.  It all depends on what software was used to rip the CD and whether the user chose some whacky settings that overrode the default standards expected.

In any case, the CD-ID should be written to the ripped MP3s such that a "tagging" utility can again look up the information to write missing tags to, or correct bad ones in, an "album folder".  There are issues with this however.  In the case of the MP3Tag application it expects the MP3s to be in the same order as the original CD when looking up freeDB databases for the information:
http://help.mp3tag.de/main_freedbstyle.html
"Determine From Selected Files:
With this method, Mp3tag calculates the freedb-ID from the selected audio files. The files have to be in the same order as on the Audio-CD."

Additionally, there is also the option to enter the "Disc-ID" to either the "Comment" field or the "DISCID" field when fetching data from the freeDB database:
http://help.mp3tag.de/options_freedb.html#freedbgeneral 

So, say you wish to use MP3Tag to rename your MP3 files based on ID3 Tag Information found in your files.  Firstly, if the Tag information is correct, you may easily end up with a load of wrong file names:
http://help.mp3tag.de/main_converter.html#ttf
In common with most other similar renaming utilities, MP3Tag relies on correct use of Format Strings and %Placeholders%.  These work much the same as variables in a DOS batch file or a web slideshow creation utility, where the actual values replace the placeholders on demand for each file when running in "batch mode".

The authors of MP3Tag have thought ahead and state this:
"Mp3tag has an unlimited undo feature in case something is not like you would have expected it."

Most good tagging utilities allow you to directly access and use the "scripting" function that normally runs unseen when doing some form of tagging or renaming:
http://help.mp3tag.de/main_scripting.html
It gets very complicated though, and it's too easy to make mistakes.

MP3Tag is simple enough to use once you have it configured, but it takes time to look through and ascertain what all of the options do. For example, have a look at the options that are available under "Configurations > Actions":
http://help.mp3tag.de/options_format.html

This page shows you an overview of all the Menu options:
http://help.mp3tag.de/main_commands.html

Regretably there is no real simple solution to do what you want.  There is always a learning curve involved before you become conversant with an application's functions.

What do I use?
==============

Unfortunately due to the inconsistency in tagging by the plethora of Ripping, Recording, Extraction, Converting, and Editing applications around over the recent years I have had too many completely botched batch jobs and eventually gave up.  I've tried a lot of these types of utilities, and in the end I really can't be bothered any more.  I file my MP3s in logically named folders, I rarely keep all the tracks from whole albums, I rarely listen to them as complete albums, and when I listen to them I set my media players to compact/minimal view where I don't see the tags anyway.  I don't use any cataloguing software to organise my files in nice neat "genres" or filtered playlists, so the whole tagging thing to me is really now a superfluous exercise.

If I really do want to tag my MP3s, then I either rip them properly to begin with and ensure that the tags are correct, or I run a fancy batch file using a command-line driven program like "Tag" by Case and Neil Popham:
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Tag_(tagger)
http://www.synthetic-soul.co.uk/tag/

Sorry if this comment sounds completely negative and non-encouraging.  I just wanted to highlight the fact that too many software cooks and illiterate chefs in the digital audio encoding department have spoiled the broth and made it very difficult to get consistent results with anything.

The two applications I have used with BETTER results and seem to stick to standards are:

TagScanner by Sergey Serkov:
============================
http://www.xdlab.ru/en/index.htm
User Manual:
http://xdlab.ru/files/ts_manual.pdf
Screenshots:
http://www.xdlab.ru/en/screen.htm
Download page:
http://www.xdlab.ru/en/download.htm

Direct Download Links:

Installer Version (10th Feb 2011):
http://xdlab.ru/files/tagscan5.1.596setup.exe 

Standalone Non-Installer "Portable" Version (10th Feb 2011):
http://xdlab.ru/files/tagscan5.1.596.zip
(stores your settings in the "Tagscan.ini" file)
Functionality and usage is in the "1.html" help file in the "Help" sub-folder of the portable version when unzipped.

MP Tag That by Helmut Wahrmann
==============================
Part of the full Media Portal suite.
http://www.team-mediaportal.com
but downloadable separately.
MPTagThat Home:
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/mediaportal-tools/mptagthat
Documentation:
http://wiki.team-mediaportal.com/3_MPTagThat
Download Page (Stable version 2.0.4034 Build 35136):
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/music/mptagthat

Whatever you choose to do, PLEASE do so on COPIES of your audio files until you are absolutely sure you have the right recipe and ingredients.

Bill
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BillDLCommented:
One correction.  I typed:
"So, say you wish to use MP3Tag to rename your MP3 files based on ID3 Tag Information found in your files.  Firstly, if the Tag information is correct, you may easily end up with a load of wrong file names:"

That should read "Firstly, if the Tag information is INCORRECT, you may ..."
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BillDLCommented:
It might be worth mentioning another utility that I have used quite a lot recently and which you may find useful for quickly viewing ID3 Tags of single files.

AudioShell - 1.3.5
http://www.softpointer.com/AudioShell.htm
http://www.softpointer.com/downloads/AudioShell135.exe
AudioShell is designed for Windows 2000/XP 32 bit systems.
Freeware MS Windows Explorer shell extension which allows you to view and edit ID3 metadata tags in two new tabs in the Windows Explorer Right-Click > Properties dialog.

Many of the "free" tagging utilities use the Open Source "ID3 Library" where there are links to various tagging applications:
http://id3lib.sourceforge.net/
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ReneGeCommented:
As BillDL suggested, I just tried AudioShell on my W7 64bits. I love it, as it is simple and quick to edit tags on the fly.
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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will look at them and see what I come up with.
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you M_Epstein
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ReneGeCommented:
Glad I could help.

Thanks for the points.

Cheers,
Rene
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remixedcatCommented:
Glad to assist you ;-)
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