Compilations / Various Artists Issue?

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southernwayfarer
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:26 am

Compilations / Various Artists Issue?

Post by southernwayfarer » Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:20 pm

When I rip a compilation CD with MAX, the "Artist" field gets populated with the term 'Various" or "Various Artists" via MusicBrainz. The individual track "Title" field is includes the track artist and the song name separated by a "/".

However, in iTunes (via GraceNote) the "Artist" field is populated by the individual track artists and the track "Name" is only the track name. The new iTunes "Album Artist" field is filled with "Various Artists" by iTunes .

Is the problem with MAX a limitation of MAX or of MusicBrainz?

Dcislander
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 1:35 pm

Re: Compilations / Various Artists Issue?

Post by Dcislander » Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:21 pm

Hey there,
I am not a Max expert, but I have spent the last few months learning by mistake. The program is great but the tagging seems to be one of the more criticized features--but for what we paid for Max, it does not leave much room for complaint. The Various Artist issue is a MB issue. Itunes gets their tags from another source (Gracenote I think) which may be different, although I have had the same issue in Itunes before (ripping 2000 CDs). What I do is click the compilation box, and cut/paste each artist name from the track name. It is a pain, but you may as well do it right the 1st time. This is the link to my thread about a similar issue: http://sbooth.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1831

If you have already imported CDs with the various artist tags as I did, you can bring the folder into Itunes, change the tag info in Itunes then export the folder. It is a pain but it works.

Hope that helps.

Mike1
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:55 pm

Re: Compilations / Various Artists Issue?

Post by Mike1 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:57 am

Dcislander wrote:... although I have had the same issue in Itunes before (ripping 2000 CDs).
Wow! that's quite something. I reckon I've only done a few hundred. What I've also seen even with far fewer rips than you, however, is multiple returns for database queries. This occurs because more than one individual may have submitted the information. Nearly always where there are multiple returns they will differ, often dramatically. Occasionally, one also comes across a return that's in, say, Japanese.

I think in many cases the data any of the databases return are user-submissions. The OP might note that with the CDDB, which iTunes uses, it's possible for the user to submit track information--on iTunes menubar look under "Advanced" and you'll find "Submit CD Track Names". AFAIK, the various databases do have rules for how the album information should be presented, but what you get depends on the interaction of several variables--viz., how the submitter/s chose to type in the tags, what the database expects, and whether (or how assiduously) the submissions are checked and cleaned-up by anyone at the database.

Anyway, I'd say CDDB generally has the best information, but it's now proprietary and there are restrictions on its use:
In March 2001, CDDB, now owned by Gracenote, banned all unlicensed applications from accessing their database.
FreeDB seems to be the next most reliable (although it recently went out of service for a while, which is, AFAIK, why Max switched to using Music Brainz). In short, problems with tagging are not really down to Max, which is merely using what was just recently the only option available to it. But, essentially, all the databases are hit-and-miss and not everything got from them is standardized, as the multiple returns thing shows. I don't know if there's a "house style" at CDDB, FreeDB, or Music Brainz for showing "Various Artists", but if there is I doubt everything any of them sends back conforms to its own "house style" anyway.

Classical Music is particular mess. I imagine this is partly the fault of ID3 tagging standards which have the ambiguous field "Artist" and suggest it is used for performers in some genres and composers in others.

Jamie Zawinski has an old post where he points out, among other things, that a genre could get set to "folk" by mistake in the CDDB (because that's "genre number zero") and then not be correctable by anyone spotting the error and commented "It's a wonder anything works at all".

southernwayfarer
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:26 am

Re: Compilations / Various Artists Issue?

Post by southernwayfarer » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:25 pm

Thanks for the help everyone. Obviously this is a small inconvenience in an otherwise amazing program. I've been using the cut & paste work around. I was just wondering if anyone had a better solution. Cheers.

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