Music Metadata Meltdown

March 5, 2012

by — Posted in Personal Writing

A little over a year ago I was almost done with getting my mp3 metadata into shape.  I had a few stragglers but the majority was complete and I would get to it eventually.   Over the last year my collection has grown a lot.  That small part that was probably under 10% of the collection had ballooned to 25-30% with all the new items that I was too lazy to update.   For those curious I have a ton of classical and video game music.  The local library has also helped my collection grow.

Last night I finally sat down and fixed them.  I fixed them all.   I have 100% metadata done in my Itunes library.  All albums have an artist.  All albums have cover art.   Genres are consolidated down to about 15 different types.  Each artist only has a single listing (I’ve fixed typos and spelling differences). Albums with multiple CDs have now been consolidated under a single name instead of having album names ending in CD1 and CD2. It actually looks good.

I do have to admit that some of the albums I had no idea what the true genre is though.  So these items got lumped together under Rock or Pop depending on how I felt at that moment.   I don’t really use the genre tab too much, so it’s just a guideline anyways.  If anyone wants to spend hours sorting out proper genres they are more than welcome to.

This cleanliness does come at a price.   It took me about 6 hours going through and removing duplicate tracks, consolidating information, and downloading cover art and applying it.   It is not a job for the weak of heart to power through.   Watching Breaking Bad while I did this is probably the only reason I could maintain my sanity.  I still have to do with other digital media also.   It makes everything prettier and easier to find.  I just wish that it didn’t take so long.  Even with automation tools it takes tons of time.

After I got the metadata “masters” done on my desktop I deleted all the earlier non-perfectly cleaned tracks out of the file server.   I set the server then to reimport all the tracks again.  I was going to bed when I was done anyways so it didn’t affect me at all.

I thought briefly about re-importing them to the laptop.   The problem with this is that it will screw up all of my playlists.   I wish there was a good way to sync metadata updates between computers.   I do know the “hacks” using a central repository, but that doesn’t fix the problem of keeping an archive at home and having one to take with you at the same time.

Now if I could only fit all the music into a single Google Music account.   I’m going to start uploading tracks there soon.  The only reason I have not done that is the screwed up metadata.   I guess I don’t have much of an excuse now.

Onto to mixing the metadata on the DVD rips……

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