It is generally acknowledged that metadata works well for non-classical music but that it has limitations for classical music.
I have a mixture of music (rock, blues, jazz and some classical). Nevertheless although classical music is not my primary choice I wanted to tweak the metadata to best present it. In another thread some users disliked the work and concept of changing metadata whilst others thought it easy and even enjoyed it. However improvements cannot be made without manipulation of metadata.
There are several components involved in making, storing, indexing and retrieving music files with metadata:
a. Folders and files for storing music files and the metadata held in them.
b. Server software/devices for storing, indexing and presenting the files and metadata (AssetUPnP, Serviio, Twonky, Core, etc.)
c. Apps for accessing the server and indexed data (which may have differing features and limitations).
(the server software/device is the key ingredient).
As I found variations in my classical metadata I sought standards and conventions for the metadata to improve the presentation. The main issue is to achieve consistency. Does not matter so much what standard/conventions you adopt as long as you are consistent.
I use dBpoweramp’s ID-Tag editor. Others like MP3Tag.
I use AssetUPnP and Serviio servers, and Kazoo and BubbleUPnP apps.
I have seen different metadata standards between record companies and downloads and sometimes even within same album, so often unreliable to rely on metadata supplied but it can be improved.
CLASSICAL WORKs v. PHYSICAL FOLDERS
The first issue is that many CD’s or downloads contain several classical works. i.e.
Piano Concerto Nos 4 & 5 - Philharmonia Orchestra - Emil Gilels
I split them into individual classical works by changing the album title for the relevant tracks. i.e.
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G (Op.58)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor Concerto” (Op.73)
Note some collections may have 10 or more works
EXPANDED WORK AND MOVEMENT DESCRIPTIONS
I add the composer to the album (work) tag i.e.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major (Op.92) not Symphony No. 7 in A major (Op.92)
and I add both the composer and work (as above) to each track title (movement).
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major (Op.92): I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace not I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
I do not have hundreds of files just called “Allegro” !
In the composer tag is it Bach or Johann Sebastian Bach (when indexing they are obviously not the same). Is it Frédéric François Chopin or Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin or Frédéric Chopin - language spelling issue. (Frederic Chopin is not the same as Frédéric Chopin).
However I decided on “last name, first name” i.e. Chopin, Frédéric.
When you are looking for Vivaldi do you know his name is Antonio Vivaldi?
This make presentation clear and easy to use. I made a text file with my composers in and can easily copy them and use as metadata. (I will post my composer text file separately).
As I was updating the composer on all my classical metadata I decided to add birth/death and nationality as I find it informative i.e.
Debussy, Claude (1862-1918) - French composer
OTHER CONVENTIONS I HAVE ADOPTED
No. 1 (not No 1 or Number 1 or Nr 1) i.e. Piano Concerto No. 1
E major (not E Major or e Major), E minor (not E Minor), B-flat (not B-Flat or B Flat or b flat), C-sharp
Work number (BWV1067) not BWV1067, and (Op.61) or (Op.8, RV269)
I. II. or III. et seq. for movements.
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major (Op.92)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major (Op.92): I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
The relevant tags for classical music are:-
Album (or work)
Title (or movement)
Artist (a.k.a. Contributing artists - note the plural)
(There are also “Work” and “Movement” tags but are not widely used by servers, so I avoided them).
I have therefore added Conductor and Soloists to orchestra in the artist (a.k.a. Contributing artists) and AlbumArtist tags so they are displayed.
New Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Otto Klemperer
Philharmonia Orchestra. Conductor: Leopold Ludwig. Soloist: Emil Gilels (piano)
AssetUPnP will index and search by composer, orchestra, conductor, soloists and chorus. It has a nice configuration option which allows nested selection of genre and then composer, conductor, orchestra, soloists, chorus - excellent for separating classical music.
Amending metadata can be a lot of work and time consuming but is not difficult when you get familiar with it. My results are very encouraging and I am listening more to my classical music.
JUST BACKUP YOUR DATA BEFOREHAND IN CASE YOU HAVE A MISHAP.
Composer list selection
Selected composer (showing works)
Selected work (for the composer)
Selected work (for different composer) showing the Conductor and Soloist included in the Artist/AlbumArtist at the top.