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An Accurate ID3 Tag Database?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the battle-of-the-genres dept.

Music 139

Andy Le Couteur Bisson asks: "Can anyone suggest an ID3 tag database that doesn't label everything from Gabber to Ambient as Electronica & Dance, or worse? I am currently ripping more of my CD collection and it is annoying to have to review and edit almost all of the tags after every session. The odd error or difference of opinion is understandable, but I struggle to comprehend the logic that categorizes The Liberators and Luke Slater as R&B (for the uninitiated they are Techno). I guess I'm looking for a more UK centric database but Googling hasn't helped much, thus far."

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Yes I had the same question. (0, Flamebait)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544895)

An Accurate ID3 Tag Database? What the fuck is thata?

Re:Yes I had the same question. (1)

Synic (14430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544911)


Tag & Rename (5, Informative)

panic911 (224370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544905)

Unfortunately Tag & Rename is shareware, but it's a GREAT application. You can select a whole list of mp3s and have it search for the albums on and automatically generate ID3 tags. I've done my entire collection of 150 albums in a couple of hours (I believe you have to do one album at a time). The link is []

By the way, there is another program that IS freeware that does the same thing with, but I can't remember the name :/

Re:Tag & Rename (5, Informative)

Rytis (907427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544988)

By the way, there is another program that IS freeware that does the same thing with, but I can't remember the name :/

Mp3tag? []
That's a diamond, IMHO.

Re:Tag & Rename (1)

maccalvin5 (455879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545360)

By the way, there is another program that IS freeware that does the same thing with, but I can't remember the name :/ Yep. iTunes [] does the trick.

Re:Tag & Rename (1)

shaun3000 (870041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545536)

Unless I'm just blind, iTunes only does that when you rip a CD. If your songs are already MP3s, etc., then you can only rename them manually. YOu can't cull artist info, etc., from Amazon or anywhere else.

Re:Tag & Rename (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545594)

Not only that, but iTunes is not any significant amount more accurate in genre classification than cddb.

Re:Tag & Rename (2, Insightful)

jaseparlo (819802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546350)

Do you reckon that might be because iTunes gets its info from CDDB?

iTunes and Tagging (1)

SeanDuggan (732224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547689)

iTunes is still somewhat on my shitlist because it has a tendency to truncate my tags. If you have the automatic directory organization, it will also truncate the filename as well. Suddenly your "Leonard Philman - You Stole My Heart, You Stole My Life, But You Ain't Stealing My Pickup Truck.mp3" file becomes "Leonard Philman - You Stole My He.mp3" and the tag is changed correspondingly. If you manually set the tag in iTunes, it keeps the full name, but if you're importing, they get truncated. And then there's iTunes's tendency to choke on special characters...

Re:Tag & Rename (4, Informative)

Klaruz (734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545630)

The GodFather [] is one of the best windows taggers, and it's free.

Re:Tag & Rename (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546722)

I know that this might sound like a troll, but sour and BOSS tags all my mp3s ^_^

Re:Tag & Rename (2, Interesting)

frosgate (609341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545781)

I have to say that this is IMHO the best application out there for tagging serious amounts of mp3s. I've done over 1,200 full albums with it now, and can't say that I've ever found anything better. For the record, I have no affiliation what so ever with the company who produces this software

In regards to having to do one album at a time, this isn't true. You can change the view to list the contents of all subfolders. Then, you can select which songs from which albums you wish to label as what.

Unfortunately, I still have not found a reliable source for category information for mp3 tags. I end up just choosing myself which category is appropriate. With Tag&Rename though, it's very quick to re-tag a few files, an album, or even dozens of albums.

Re:Tag & Rename (2, Insightful)

shadow0_0 (59720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546539)

Does anyone know an applicatioin that handles songs that are not in English? e.g. Chinese or Japanese.

Re:Tag & Rename (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547075)

When I was ripping my database, I decided to tag "styles" manually for the reason the original poster is exposing. CDDB is just a messy try at an attempt to that. Nothing I could find did match my expectations, by far.

The problem you will soon encounter is that even you will not be able to clearly categorize some of your music. There is always stuff in between styles, and depending on your mood-of-the-day you will categorize some of your music more in one or the other style.

It is a weird subjective problem, and I haven't found a solution as of now. Even tagging manually didn't do it 100% for me.

Krazy Kat []

Multiple Genres (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547663)

My solution, in iTunes anyway, is just to use multiple Genres in the tag.

So if I'm not sure if a song is (for example) Metal or Alternative, I just tag it "Alternative Metal". That way searching for either "Alternative" or "Metal" in iTunes will bring up the song.

I'm not sure what the character limit is for the Genre field, but it's been enough for me to get several tags in there at once, on my more eclectic songs.

The obvious shortfall of this method is that if you SORT by Genre, as opposed to Filtering/Searching, then the song will only appear once in the sorted list, by whichever genre you put first (so in the above example, it would be Alternative). However I've found that most people, especially once they get a few thousand songs, find it more convenient to filter for a specific genre than sort and scroll for it.

If you wanted to be slightly more anal retentive, just consider the first genre you put down the "primary" one, and then the others as "secondary" ones; therefore having it sorted by its primary genre seems more logical.

Limited Suggestion (5, Informative)

Saige (53303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544942)

For tagging music files with properly spelled artist names and song names and the like, I find the MusicBrainz [] tagger to be quite useful. It's also got the advantage of being editable by the users, and easier to clean up than other places.

However, you'll get no genre info there. That's something that's just really, really hard to do well. Especially because of the overlap that some artists have between genres, and how specific someone wants to be. Is VNV Nation EBM? Futurepop? Or just Electronica? How about Dead Can Dance? I think they've hit a dozen different genres over the years, how do you pick one?

For the most part, I've tried to just give up on genre entirely. It rarely says anything of value anyway.

Re:Limited Suggestion (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545044)

Not to mention the fact that cddb only defined 11 genres originally way back when all of this ripping stuff was a new fad, and everything became either "rock", "soundtrack" or "misc".

Re:Limited Suggestion (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545060)

The real problems lay in the limitations of the ID3 tag format. Sure, you can put anything you want into some fields (like genre) but the fields have insanely short length limits. How many times have you tried to ID3v1-tag your MP3s only to find out that you have to use ID3v2 because the name of the song or album is too long? Happens to me all the damn time, anyway. But regardless, the tag needed an entirely different format. In particular it should have allowed selection of multiple genres...

Re:Limited Suggestion (3, Insightful)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545247)

Why on earth would you want to use id3v1? id3v1 has the goofy single-byte genres. id3v2 supports strings of arbitrary length. Some software (like Slimserver) lets you have multiple genres per track, using the delimiter of choice.

The real catch is defining your genre set, but that gets very tricky to do in a way that you'll be satisfied with.

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Gord (23773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547990)

>Why on earth would you want to use id3v1?

One reason I try to use v1 where possible is that id3v1 tags are stored at the front of the mp3 in defined length fields. This makes them very easy to update without having to rewrite the whole file.

id3v2 has the tags stored at the end of the file and (in my experience) requires reading/writing through the whole file to make the update.

This isn't really a problem unless you're connecting to your media over a slow network connection. Compare updating a v2 tag over a 10meg connection compared to a local disk and notice the speed difference. Now try the same comparison with a v1 tag. The v1 update is almost instant over the network where at the v2 update can take upwards of a minute if you've got a large mp3.

Things may have been improved somewhat, but this was my experience using iTunes (v4?) and a variety of other tagging software.

Of course it's best just to get the tags right in the first place...

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545771)

ID3 is definitely way too limited, in all its forms.

If I have music, I'd like to be able to associate lyrics, cover art, performer names, composers, etc. So if I want a playlist of music with Vanessa Carlton, Counting Crows' "Big Yellow Taxi" will show, for Bono, "Children of the Revolution" off the Moulin Rouge soundtrack will appear, etc.

Perhaps the genre classification is best done with multiple adjectives describing tempo, etc. But soundtrack definitely should not be a genre for music by itself.

Re:Limited Suggestion (5, Informative)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546228)

id3v2 supports lyrics (even synced) [the USLT tag for unsynced lyrics], cover art [APIC], performer names [TIPL, TMCL, TPE1-4], composers [TCOM for composer, TEXT for lyricsist]...

The problem is that very little software supports most of that other than cover art.

Perhaps you should look at see the id3v2.4 specs.

The problem isn't the tagging methods, it's the lack of software support.

(That said: obligatory plug -- slimserver supports lyrics, cover art, performer names and composers.... perhaps you need a Squeezebox.)

Re:Limited Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546597)

The only problem is the company that sells the Squeezeboxes--they act all nicely nicely but will sell you something that doesn't work as advertised then send you endless junk mail advertising a newer model that (supposedly) fixes the problems with the older model.

Evil evil! Download the free software, but get a Roku or something else that uses the SlimServer software. Their player works correctly out-of-the-box.

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14548207)

Point well taken, it looks like there's a lot of good design in the actual tagging format.

Re:Limited Suggestion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545078)

Dead Can Dance? Easy. Just make a 4AD label and you're covered. : p

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545474)

I use Genre in Itunes to facilitate smart lists and auto updading. So if you have an idea what music goes together well with pther music. use it simply as a sort label how does MusicBrainz integrate with iTunes?

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Lord of the Wazz (636849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547349)

iEatBrainz [] ? OS X only, but it works pretty well.

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545512)

Is VNV Nation EBM? Futurepop? Or just Electronica? How about Dead Can Dance? I think they've hit a dozen different genres over the years, how do you pick one?

Well, you don't HAVE to tag every single song the same way just because it's the same artist...

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

colanut (541823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545949)

For the most part, I've tried to just give up on genre entirely. It rarely says anything of value anyway.

At first I thought this way, but the predefined genres are the things that are not helpful. It sounds kind of stupid, but before I started ripping my CDs I came up with a schema for genre before hand that made sense to me. Ok, please hear me out on this.

In my collection there are some varying degrees of Electronica/Techno what have you. Because it one of the biggest parts of my collection and I listen to that large genre in different ways (chill out, coding grooves, techno freak out, etc...) but in my mind hip-hop is just one thing. Or at least the hip-hop I buy generally falls in to the same kinds (Run DMC, Pharcyde, Beasty Boys and then a bunch of turntablists). But to me its hip-hop when I'm in the mood for it. I'm sure to someone else, there are some very important distinctions to be made in that category, but my collection isn't that deep.

Now for the largest part of my collection: Rock and/or Alternative & Punk. Ok, the Vandals and DK are punk- no two ways about it. But Nirvana? Is Nirvana all that different from The Who? How about Yo La Tengo and the Beetles? But sometimes I want to segment Bowie from AC/DC from Beck from Galaxy 500. Or do I. Ok, I did fudge on Industrial/Goth, and in my mind Tom Waits goes with Blues.

At this point you may think I'm a pretentious music snob (or my collection runs an absurd range) but the point I'm trying to make is that only I can make genre work. And I by work I mean for making "smart" play lists (coding grooven, hipster party, real R&B, etc...)

For fun, some of my other genres: New Wave (or is it Pop or Brit-pop or synth-pop, but not j-pop), Thrift Store (including Hawaiian, Novelty, Tom Jones and scratchy George Jones singes), Drum and Bass (for some reason I can't bring myself to include it with other electronica - and it is a specialized/limited collection). Where does Fatboy Slim go? I don't think of it as hip-hop nor as techno, but its not quite the same electronica as Stereolab.

Then I asked my wife's thoughts on genre. Oy vey!

Re:Limited Suggestion (2, Insightful)

NoStrings (622372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546229)

This brings to my mind a very interesting point. In my mind, genre is not something that should be assinged by artist. There are many artists in my collection that play many different types of music. I'm in the process of re-tagging all my music so that each song is assessed on its own merits. eg. "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is a lot different than "Give It Away", and I don't think that they should be classified the same. This makes it a lot easier to create playlists that have similar music. The only thing that would make this even easier would be if iTunes would set up keywords (similar to iPhoto). This method does make for more work setting up the database initially, but makes it a lot easier to manage once it is all set up.

I also think that there is no ideal third-party solution for this problem. Everyone has different tastes, and different ideas on how things should be organized. Any music collection will need some tweaking, at a minimum, to get things the way you like.

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Furry Ice (136126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546274)

Actually, RHCP has one of the best examples of multi-genre I can think of: Love Rollercoaster. I've always loved that song, but it was quite some time before I found out it was RHCP. At first I just didn't believe it, but when I listened to it the next time, Kiedis' voice was quite clear. I just never expected that song out of them.

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Frnknstn (663642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546721)

That may be because it is a cover. []

Re:Limited Suggestion (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547720)

As I suggested in an earlier post, one possible route you can take (and perhaps you've already thought of this) is just to use multiple words in the Genre field. So essentially, use it like a Keywords field rather than a specific Genre.

It's not quite as convenient as a iPhoto-style keywords selector would be, but if you've used the particular combination of keywords that you want to enter on another song before, iTunes will auto-complete it. (So if you've typed "Alternative Goth Metal" on another song, iTunes will offer to auto-complete once you've typed enough of the entry so that it's unique).

You'll want to put some thought into which categories you put first, if you actually like to view your music library as a list sorted by Genre (since it will sort based on the first genre in the field), but if you just search and filter by genre, this works well. Typing either "Alternative" or "Goth" or "Metal" will bring up a song that's tagged "Alternative Goth Metal".

This won't work if your songs have ID3 v1 tags, though, since I think those were limited to one byte in length or something. Or rather, if you do this to a song with old tags, iTunes will silently update the file to the new tag format -- only a problem if you have a very old MP3 player or something.

Re:Limited Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546342)

This one doesn't hook up to CDDB, etc.. but lets you bulk update ID3 tags quite easily (for Windows): []
There's lots of other apps like this but most are pretty tedious. iTunes isn't bad, though, if you're on the Mac.

The best source of info is... YOU! (4, Insightful)

GWSuperfan (939629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544949)

Everyone's musical tastes are different, and this extends to how we classify the music we listen to. Would you classify US3 as Jazz? Acid Jazz? some variation of Rap? It depends on how YOU percieve it. No online databse is gonna be perfect. Just suck it up and label everything how you think it should be labelled as you are ripping your CDs. Even then you will have to deal with crossover bands that blend elements of different musical styles. I've alost completely done away with this kind of classification for some of my music, as once my collection gained any depth, classifying some songs/artists/albums became next to impossible.

Re:The best source of info is... YOU! (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545119)

Gotta agree that YOU are the only one who's going to classify genres the way you want them. I used to either ignore or strip out genre info from mp3s because I found it generally useless [most of my stuff was tagged rock, rock/pop, indie, indierock, indiepop, etc]. Since I got my iPod, however, I went back through my entire collection and tagged things by the general record store categories [rock, jazz, classical, country, electronic]. This makes it a lot easier to browse/sort stuff depending on what I'm in the mood for. If you DJ or something you may want to tag tracks by BPM or something. It all depends on your own habits and needs.

Re:The best source of info is... YOU! (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546740)

If that works for you, lucky you. I have so many tracks needing genre info that sorting by genre isn't really useful yet, but someday it will be as I slowly make my way through them.

When I'm done though I won't always want Johnny Cash lumped in with Guns & Roses, so I've got lots more genres separating Classic Rock, Rock, and Alternative. For when I want calmer sounds there's Slow Rock for Stone Temple Pilots' Creep. Also got a catch-call genre of Smooth for Sting, Norah Jones, and stuff I'd like to differentiate from Rock or Pop.

Re:The best source of info is... YOU! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545904)

There is a difference of opinion, then there's a blatant miscategorization in the posted example.

The best source of info is... TAGGING! (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546400)

Would you classify US3 as Jazz? Acid Jazz? some variation of Rap? It depends on how YOU percieve it.
Why not all of the above? If only ID3 could do tagging...

MusicBrainz (5, Informative)

deezilmsu (769007) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544968) [] Haven't used the new picard looker-upper, but I know the original works wonders. Check that out.

MusicBrainz != genre (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547409)

It's important to note though that the original poster was having a problem with the genre classification of his tagger. MusicBrainz has explicitly stated that they despise the notion of genre and do not go out of their way to support it. I use MusicBrainz to tag all my mp3s and ogg files but I've noticed oftentimes the genre just contains a bunch of junk and sometimes isn't populated at all. Just a caveat.

uhm this already exists in freeform (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544977)

this service [] already exists by musicbrainz [] , and if you use amarok [] then you have already witnessed it in action.

seriously, do people google before they ask slashdot?

Re:uhm this already exists in freeform (2, Informative)

arb (452787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545122)

Too bad Mr AC - you fail it! Musicbrainz does not do genres.

Manually editing, checking is not too bad. (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544978)

I finished ripping my 300+ CD collection and I manually checked every CD. CDDB and other databases usually have different spellings of bands like "Smashing Pumpkins" vs "The Smashing Pumpkins", even song names are spelled differently across albums. On the live album you got a song spelled one way, on the studio version another way and so on. There is also the 3-4 versions of the same album, all spelled different way. Of course different spelling spells doom for library programs who think that 2 albums from same artist is different because name spelled a bit differently.

I ripped my CDs once in FLAC, keep em on two jumbo hard disks (manual raid 0). It was long, but well worth it. I have a lot of weird CDs, tried musicbrainz, Amazon tagger for MediaMonkey, all worked to a certain extent. Some unknown metal bands don't show up at all on musicbrainz or amazon, amazon gives me a rap album instead of Symphonic Pink Floyd ... I said screw it, do it manually!

Re:Manually editing, checking is not too bad. (1)

snarlydwarf (532865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545230)

If they don't show up on MusicBrainz, then import them from FreeDB if they are there, and then add the record to MusicBrainz. This is how their database grows and gets more accurate.

Certainly MusicBrainz isn't perfect: I periodically find duplicates, but it is editable, and there are procedures for combining duplicates into one record.

CDDB Not ID3 (4, Informative)

Mendy (468439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544986)

What (I think) you're asking for is an alternative CDDB source for track information when ripping your CDs? If this is the case then, to my knowledge there are only two CDDB (now Gracenote and commercial) and FreeDB. Both of these accept submissions from the general public so you can't guarantee that what they choose to clasify the artists as will be in line with your own opinion.

You can always edit the tracks afterwards, I use the already recommended Tag&Rename myself however there are a number of open source utilities which are just as good especially if you're not using Windows.

Another alternative might be to try Musicbrainz [] which identifies individual tracks using some kind of hash of the song itself and might have "better" genres assigned to artists.

Re:CDDB Not ID3 (1)

IIH (33751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547301)

Both of these accept submissions from the general public so you can't guarantee that what they choose to clasify the artists as will be in line with your own opinion.

Are there any guidelines on either regarding keeping the basic album information consistant? By that I mean, some compilatons are listed under "Various", others "Various Artists". Multi CD sets are sometimes "CD1 of 2", sometimes (CD one) - sometimes these happen within the same album! Bands aren't consistant either, some albums return "The Beatles", others just "Beatles". Very annoying!

Surely for those with direct access to the database, these changes would be mostly trivial?

Alternative & Punk (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545030)

Does anyone dislike the genre "Alternative & Punk"? Why join them? Anyway, I think it would be more convenient if multiple genres or tags were allowed, eg. "Rock", "Instrumental", and "soundtrack" for one song.

Re:Alternative & Punk (1)

Evil_Way (220281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545725)

You can have multiple values for a single tag, but sadly most programs and databases don't support this.

(Quod Libet [] does.)

Re:Alternative & Punk (2, Insightful)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546988)

I dislike genres in general - what is it, 200+ different genres in some implementations of ID3v2 (not counting free-form)? It seems that the industry has to create a new genre for every new band, just so they can market them as "different".

Or maybe it's a fan problem - after all, the Industrial you listen to is better than the Industrial everybody else listens to, so it *has* to have a new genre, right? ;-)

Personally, I think there should just be 3 different genres - "sucks", "doesn't suck", and "I'm not sure"...

Simple solution: just wait. What you call "Alternative" now will be "Pop" in 5 years time, and "Easy Listening" in 20...

Multiple 'genre' tags per track (1)

TPJ-Basin (763596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547651)

I agree - multiple 'genre' tags would be ideal for me. I listen to many different styles of music, but for ease of use, my 57GB collection is broken down into 'pop', 'alternative', 'easy', 'rap', 'metal', and 'rock'. That's about it. (I do it this way so that I can choose 'Play Genre' on my MP3 player and end up with plenty of music - anything that wouldn't surprise me if heard on a true alternative station goes under 'alternative') If I run across an artist that fits into multiple categories, I'm screwed. Why not allow 'The Streets' to carry both the 'alternative' tag and the 'rap' tag, for example? That way, I'd hear that artist when playing a random selection from either genre.

on genres... (1)

Falcon84 (699812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545039)

genres itself are wide and varied on its own, and depending on which site u r basing on, you will get alot of different types for the same artist. Ive seen so many different sites [Yahoo Launch, Amazon, HMV, etc] rating Madonna from R&B to pop to dance to rock. As long as the artist has released a track in that genre, it screws everything up. Paul Van Dyk the pop king? Libertines the R&B boyband? My advice, find 1 single site [Launch is nice] and stick to their genre recommendations. Sourcing from multiple sites will just give you the headache. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545047)

the algorithm used to derive the cddb id is crap, so it leads to loads of collisions - just download the db and find all the files which have the same name (named after the id). the algorithm used to derive the musicbrainz style id (cdindex id in cdda2wav, i think) is much better and vastly less likely to collide.

also, musicbrainz has a community moderated thing going on, so mistakes get corrected :)

AllMusic (2, Informative)

Atario (673917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545053)

I don't know if you're familiar with it, but a good source of music data is [] . They have fairly good genre/style info. You'll probably have to roll your own screen-scaper around it, though, if you intend to automate at all. This guy [] seems to have taken a stab at it. (Of course, I understand Tag&Rename can pull from there as well...)

Re:AllMusic - Oh, yeah, *great* (1)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546158)

Oh yeah, *great*.
As a previous person asked: "Is VNV Nation EBM? Futurepop? Or just Electronica? "
Well, according to's *great* genre info, they belong in the "rock" genre...
And so does every other EBM and electronica band I looked up.

Sheesh (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546378)

Well, Sarcastro, you might wish also to consult the styles listed right in front of your fat face:

        * Industrial Dance
        * Electro-Industrial
        * Dark Ambient

They even have a bunch of moods listed:

        * Provocative
        * Reflective
        * Confrontational
        * Confident
        * Energetic
        * Passionate
        * Stylish
        * Theatrical
        * Brash
        * Brooding
        * Hypnotic
        * Intense
        * Intimate
        * Enigmatic

Still not good enough? Classify 'em yourself, lazy.

Re:AllMusic (2, Informative) (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546392)

IIRC Windows Media Player uses AllMusic to look up album information. Works quite nicely (along with WMP being one of the least worst CD rippers available).

Re:AllMusic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546850)

Although it's a great resource, I wouldn't trust the data from AMG 100%. I find errors (usually small) every time I use it, but for some reason, my emails pointing them out fall on deaf ears. A friend of mine is listed there, and the biography is really poor (in quality, not quantity); they've even got his name completely wrong, but they won't believe me (and I've provided them with lots of links to state my case).

If it's for ripping cd's (1)

Jaknet (944488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545074)

I would try for their music converter. Freeware and you can select genre etc before ripping and change any titles as you wish. When you start it checks on freedb to see if it reckonizes the cd and so far I have found it very good. Also if you have a cd that is not on their database you can submit it thus helping to keep it up to date. Or for editing mp3 you already have I use Moosic. Basic straight forward and can do batch converts, extracting from filename, freedb intergration as well and freeware again. Not the fastest but I can do 2-300 mp3 in a batch with no probs. Hope this might help

Updating (1)

countach (534280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545091)

I think the real problem is the ease of fixing problems in these databases when you find them. Most of the software I use either doesn't fix the originating database when you make a correction, or it makes it hard to update it, or you can't even tell if the database was updated or not (thus discouraging updating). Then who the heck knows if the database accepts the changes, or accepts the wrong changes? Somebody needs to re-think the whole system.

Re:Updating (1)

deezilmsu (769007) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545220)

The program in my reply (above|below, depending on your page layout) does allow for changes to it's database. In the top half of the program you have the files you are working with, in the bottom you have the web database, and if something isn't right, you have the ability to "moderate" the listing for consistency (just like we have the meta-moderate function on here)

OT: Bug Report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545129)

On section stories on the front page, it will sometimes say x of y comments, where x>y.

genre is useless (1)

doofusclam (528746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545156)

As others have pointed out, defining a tune by a single genre is at best useless and worse incorrect. It takes no account of mood, tunes that straddle >1 genre and doesn't help with the context a song was made in. Is 'britpop' a genre? Are Spearhead 'hip-hop', 'rap', or 'funk'?

No service offers this - the nearest is AMG who provie multiple styles, genres, moods and instrumentation per artist. As far as I know there is no official automated tool which rips this information.

You'll be better off with your own rips using APEv2 tags which allows multiple genres and no retarded 32 byte limit on field lengths. Foobar2000 works great with ape tags and allows fine control over how your sound comes out.


Genre is not entirely useless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545270)

Genre can't get specific (as you mention, it can't take mood or other things into an account), but if you've got 3000 songs and you want say, a "progressive metal" playlist that you want to hear in your car, genre can help you cut out a lot of those 3000 songs, leaving fewer for you to pick through.

Re:Genre is not entirely useless. (1)

mabinogi (74033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545406)

> genre can help you cut out a lot of those 3000 songs

Or would do if ID3 had a "Progressive Metal" genre....gah! You end up having to decide whether it'd be more appropriate to mark it as Progressive Rock, Metal or Heavy Metal.
The biggest problem with automated tagging is the bizarre and usually limiting selection of genres.

Re:genre is useless (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546335)

I've got to agree that APE is waaaaay better than ID3. Unlimited meta data makes tagging things super easy.

I can have something tagged as genre: punk rock, genre2: american hardcore, genre3: So-Cal first gen, genre4: OC, genre5: Oxnard, etc...

Any tag I want to add to a file I can, and as mentioned, there's no size limit. I've found this to actually be really beneficial by tagging songs by my bands with an email address to contact if people want demos, or want to know anything about us. Although I suppose that could just be added into the "comment" field.

What portable supports APE, though? (1)

TPJ-Basin (763596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547661)

Nice, but how many portable devices support APE tags?

MoodLogic (1)

Cryolithic (563545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545322)

Although they appear to be more dedicated to mixing your music based on the mood of a song, MoodLogic also has a huge database of user identified songs. You have to pay to use the feature, but you can download it for free and see how it would tag them before you pay. []

Re:MoodLogic (1)

PatchCR (887119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546517)

The newest versions of Winamp contain a limited version of Moodlogic technology. They will mix a 20 song playlist given one song you know you want. It works pretty well and has a slider in the settings for diversity. It isn't nearly as functional as the real Moodlogic program but it's free and it does what it's supposed to. I just hate using Winamp's library because it's so slow and often gets stuff wrong.

Re:MoodLogic (1)

pyropunk51 (819247) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547199)

I've been using Moodlogic for years. It works well for mainstream music. Some of the more rare items it does not recognize. Also it's got way of classifying music by tempo, year and feel (happy, sad, etc.) which should overcome some mislabeling of music.

Godfather (1)

bsytko (851179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545495)

Godfather [] would be your best choice. Rip, then tag with this. It can get its data from, which is way better than the ID3 tag databases.

MusicMatch (1)

ipodlinux (938947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545745)

MusicMatch has a supertagging thing that works so incredibly has album art and everything....its the best of all. even iTunes.

Hey, Ingrid D.J. (4, Interesting)

Jimekai (938123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545769)

I've been working on this problem for a long time now and the last thing I want to do is to edit individual songs. The best solution I've come up with is to create a folder called "genre" under which I created individual genre folders. I then moved my artists and loose mp3s into those folders. The freeware I used to inspect the artists/paths in my collection is called "Mp3 Explorer". I should point out that I am only interested in the 148 genres of the ID3v1 tag because my BPM based player software uses this to select drum sets and grooves. Of those genres the major headache is the Blues (0), Other (12), Unknown (255 - hex(FF)), and Classical (32 - i.e. ASCII space). During the last year my Winamp front-end has been speaking the track details before and after the song plays to aid me in cleaning up my folders. I've also been using to check up on artists and my collection is pretty stable now. I am now ready to code a routine to reset these main problem genres to their folder name. When that task is done I'll be able to use a tagger to work through individual folders, looking for anomalies. The freeware Winamp front-end that I wrote, called Ingrid, is a quantum computer emulator that is capable of detecting vary diverse musical signatures. When my collection is clean enough I intend to overlay mood shapes onto those signatures to generate accompaniment using more than just drums, e.g., guitars and piano rolls. []

Re:Hey, Ingrid D.J. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545894)

"quantum computer emulator"


I know how quantum computers work, and unless something is escaping me there's no point in classically emulating them. Why are you trying? If you have some complicated explanation involving angels or perpetual motion, please just reply with "I am a crackpot."

Re:Hey, Ingrid D.J. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546053)

From the website:
"1) an Online / Session Manager (2) a Website Reader / Text Parser, (3) a BPM learning AutoDJ Drumkit, (4) a visual 3D chess game and story teller. (5) all on top a multi-monitor 2D-3D animated graphics screensaver based around a Networked WebDiary powered by PCA feature vectors with an error recovery and registration email client providing inbuilt HTML, XML, Print Preview, Encryption, Compression, FTP, UDP, NTP and HTTP facilities."

Dude, what the HELL?

Re:Hey, Ingrid D.J. (1)

dascandy (869781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546631)

> is a quantum computer emulator that is capable of detecting vary diverse musical signatures

You can write a quantum computer emulator but you can't be bothered to spellcheck or self-check your typing?

Re:Hey, Ingrid D.J. (1)

Jimekai (938123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546706)

I beg your pardon for my poor eyesight. I did a spell check and ran it twice through my TTS proof reader. In both cases "vary" and "very" passed my test. That doesn't happen often, but in any case, why can't Slashdot provide post editing?

Re:Hey, Ingrid D.J. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14548265)

I'm sure it's impressive on its own terms, but that has got to be the *UGLIEST* GUI I have ever seen...

Shell scripts. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545808)

This is what I used to do back when I cared about ID3 tags:
  1. Find a command line ID3 tag editor. There are several out there.
  2. Put each album in its own directory. Name the files appropriately (put track titles, track numbers, etc) so that a shell script can extract the relevant fields and set the appropriate ID3 fields.
  3. for i in /path/to/album/*.mp3; do id3_tag_edtior [args]; done

OK... WTF is Gabber? (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546108)

Yeah, I could google for it.

But I guess I'm just an old fart, because while I've at least *heard* of "Ambient", I don't know WTF "Gabber" is...

Re:OK... WTF is Gabber? (1)

kordaff (899913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546334)

It's the gnome Jabber client. -- ie: IM

Re:OK... WTF is Gabber? (1)

goaty_the_flying_sho (861224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546427)

Does "Invasion of the Gabber Robots" ring a bell?

Must have been before your time.

Re:OK... WTF is Gabber? (1)

dutchd00d (823703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546853)

Trust me, you don't want to know what Gabber is.

Re:OK... WTF is Gabber? (3, Funny)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547296)

A gabber is someone who talks too much, but has nothing important to say. Examples include politicians, salespeople, and myself.

Re:OK... WTF is Gabber? (3, Interesting)

hamishmorgan (652803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547498)

Gabber is a kind of techno/house music, i think its made by Dutch producers mostly. Anyway it is IMHO the most god awfull noise known to man-kind and should be avoided at all costs.

Re:OK... WTF is Gabber? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547583)

Yep, those whacky Dutch invented it.

Very fast music. Has that speedcore, junglist, drum and bass sound to it. Very, very fast - did I say that already?

genres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546115)

The AllMusicGuide [] has a wide number of "style" categories which albums are classified into, but the number of actual genres are surprisingly sparse. Most /.ers' music collections will all fit into Electronica, Jazz, Latin, R&B, Rap, and Rock.

Why so few genres? Because AMG's real purpose is for music stores to display consistent information about an album. When a record store buys a truckload of albums, they need to categorize them somehow. If you're looking for Fatboy Slim, for example, you're going to look in the Rock/Pop section.

Imagine if record stores had a "Funky Breaks" section (the primary style that AMG gives for Fatboy Slim). It would be a nightmare trying to find any music that you weren't already familiar with. That kind of categorization makes sense for an obscure independent store where you probably haven't heard of most of the music there, and so you'll look for a style you're familiar with and pick out something that looks good. But it doesn't work when people are looking for a particular CD first.

What bearing does this have on the question? Well, in my opinion, any respectable music tagging site should classify music according to the AMG genres. You lose a bit of information, but the system will never fail; music will never be misclassified, just insufficiently classified.

Besides that, it would be nice if ID3-using programs supported styles (so that you could designate New Order as both post-punk and synthpop, for example), but if they don't, then I'd just recommend that you attach the most relevant style by hand. I classify New Order as "Rock: Post-Punk", where the first part is the genre and the second part is the style that is most relevant for me. This has the added advantage of keeping the record store genres next to each other in an alphabetical list, so that depending on my mood, I can choose to play all of my rock albums or only the post-punk ones.

Of course, lately I haven't been genre-tagging my music at all. It's very rare that I don't know exactly what album I want to listen to at any given moment. And shuffle mode is right out. Albums are meant to be listened to as a whole...

Genre is overrated (3, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546156)

Genre, in my (very large) collection, only serves one function: to distinguish "classical" (which in fact encompasses probably 20 genres) from "nonclassical" (even more). Even then it fails with a few borderline cases (think Edgar Meyer/Bela Fleck collaboration). Genre is too imprecise a tool to use for searching, so why bother?

Don't bother with ID3 databases, either. Even if one were "accurate," it would not be right for most individual listeners. Here's a small list of the problems I encounter when trying to use tags pulled from a database, even when there are no obvious typos or fuckups...

For non-classical music:
- Genres are wacked (duh)
- Both artist and album names often differ from what the album cover says: shortened or on the other hand made "more informative"
- Year is wrong. I don't give a fuck when the album (or even worse, the greatest hits collection) was first sold. I care when the song was put in its final form (if I can find out)
- Song titles may be shortened, and almost always have gratuitous Caps At The Start Of Each Word whether or not the artist put them there
- Due to changes in the database over the years fields may be switched or missing

For classical music and opera the situation is far worse. I have my own tagging system refined during years of keeping digital music and figuring out how best to shoehorn orchestra/chorus/conductor/soloist(s)/ensembles/mo vement titles/opus numbers/acts/scenes into "Artist," "Song," "Album" and "Grouping" fields. I would hazard the guess that for any serious classical music listener there is no point in a database -- different information is important to all of us and we will all perform the field-consolidation shuffle differently. We can whine about the need for entirely new tagging systems but we are enough of a minority that no one listens, so in the meantime, we have to Optimize Very Highly.

In short, just type the damn information in yourself if you want it to be accurate. There is no other way.

media monkey (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14546578) it does ripping and tagging to your specs, you can then do a lookup on amazon for the album (amazon uk as well) and add the album art etc.

i've been using it for a while. it's also the only thing that can handle my mp3 collection. everything else crashes.

MusicBrainz (1)

zoeblade (600058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546729)

MusicBrainz [] is a free (libre) CCDB-like database of audio CDs.

mp3dings (2, Informative)

pffffffff (885984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14546982)

The best ID3-Tag-Editor: - Can edit ID3 v1, v2 and Filenames - Table Layout: You see all your files at the same time - Open Source and written in Java, works on every operatin system []

Bah ... (1)

straybullets (646076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547022)

Who cares about musical genre anyway ? Who needs these useless categories, they are just boxes for the mind when real music is just about the opposite ...

Are Black Flag Punk or Hardcore ? Is Ministry Industrial, Punk or ... New Wave ? Are these genre tags including a "Progressive Punk Jazz Mayhem" category for John Zorg ? I say just drop those lame classifications :)

TigoTago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14547042)

I recommend you TigoTago - tag editor which provides access to 2 internet databases: freedb & discogs. More info at []
Now available new beta []

iTunes? (1)

titten (792394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547418)

Yeah, laugh if you want to...
iTunes is free, it can rip CDs (yes, to mp3 as well), it organizes your library, you can search, you can make playlists.

iTunes uses Gracenote CDDB, which is quite good IMO.

Re:iTunes? (1)

fryke (265814) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547623)

Don't laugh too much though. iTunes lets you handle multiple files easily, so it's a good tool for correcting errors done by Gracenote. Unless you rip a couple of HUNDRED CDs a day, it's not _that_ much of a hassle, and you'll have to look through the results regardless of which database you're using, since it *could* have an opinion different from yours.

id3 genre id limited anyway (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547597)

the official standard ( [] ) only defines 80 genres.

Nullsoft added a further 45 to the list, but these remain 'unofficial' additions.

you can see the whole list at []

My solution... (1)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547598)

Is pretty simple: I make dynamic views, or playlists if you like which are based on the genre, and group them
Goes like that in pseudo sql:
metal : genre ilike '%trash %' or genre ilike '%metal %' or genre ilike '%hard %'
rock: (genre ilike '%rock%' and genre not ilike 'hard%'), etc etc
classical: genre ilike '%classic%' and genre not ilike '%trash%' and genre not ilike '%rock', etc etc

So 'classical trash' will be listed in metal, classical rock in rock, but classical music in classical... Of courses there are way more criterias than that but you get the idea...

Then i ditch the genre view in the media library and use the dynamic playlists instead of it.
It works surprisingly well, in something like 95% of the cases the playlists will be enough.
And this way you can even have sub level, like metal playlist which will categorize all metal, death, trash, you name it band, and sub playlists for each genre if you really just want one of them...

Classical Music (2, Interesting)

Triv (181010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14547668)

The major place user submitted id3 databases fall flat on their faces is in the cataloging of classical music - some of the schema people use for that stuff is quite simply insane - movement names in the author fields, a lack of comprehensive composition names in the track field (ie, naming the first movement correctly and naming the second movement ii. allegro and that's IT), a total disregard for performers, no standard for capitalization, disparity of composer name formats. There's nothing even approaching a standard for such things and you end up doing it ALL by hand.

Just saying, if all you're worrying about is changing a genre field for every album you rip, will, it could be a helluva lot worse.

I actually wrote a basic guide to get through this particular minefield; it's over here [] on E2.

Another nice tagger (Especially a good viewer!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14548460)

When editing my tags with some popular taggers, I noticed they did not view tags the same, and a few were inserting incorrect tags. Viewing what one editor inserted appeared differently on another. I found someone's free tagger at ex.php [] which has some really nice viewing features, and I have used it for editing a lot of tags without problem.
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