How To Rip A Cd And Keep Meta Data

I think that I've always hated filing and organizing stuff. Equally, I always hate it when I tin can't find something because I haven't filed or organized it well. When it comes to enjoying my music, these two contradicting tendencies tend to show up when I try a new music role player that can't figure out how my embrace art is stored, can't notice the correct cover image online considering the anthology is unusual, or the version I take isn't correctly named. Unusually for me, though, I have invested a off-white flake of time (grumpily) in trying to organize my music, meaning I structure it well on disk and brand sure the tags and cover images are consequent.

Lately, as I've been exploring new players and new playing environments, I have had the chance to effort a few unlike music tagging applications. I've summarize my experiences and then that others might benefit.

What is a music tag?

Before diving as well deeply into the why and how of tag editing, consider what a music tag is and why you apply information technology. Whatever given tag is data about the music contained in the file, which makes it metadata.

Wikipedia'southward article on tag editors mentions a substantial number of music formats and on the format of tags themselves carried inside those formats. The site's open FLAC music format article tells u.s. that FLAC "uses the aforementioned organisation as Vorbis comments" for storing metadata. Wikipedia's Vorbis comments commodity further informs u.s.a. that tags are intended to store brusque Unicode strings as well as (binary) cover art. The general format is FieldName=Information. As for the MP3 format, its tags are stored in ID3 format. MP3 is not really open up, although it is commonly treated as such and has had some its patents apparently expire (see the section Licensing, Buying and Legislation). And by the manner if the description of patent shenanigans in that article aren't enough to convince everyone to start using FLAC or Ogg Vorbis, I'm not certain what is.

Also all that technical stuff, music tags or metadata are put there for our convenience, so each file carries effectually enough info to place itself. Many music players maintain copies of this metadata in a "music database." Of grade, in doing so, the music database and the metadata can get out of sync, which can lead to all sorts of irritating disorganization. Annotation that there is a further opportunity to disorganize, since a music file volition have a name (inside the computer's file organisation), which could reflect, amid other things, the name of the vocal, the track number from the anthology, the artist'southward proper name, and other information. This data may be found too in the tags and the music database. And, of course, all iii can be out of sync.

The three stages of music tagging

There are iii stages of managing one'due south music collection where tag management (and here I'm including sorting out cover fine art) can happen:

  1. When the music is ripped (doesn't count for music downloads)
  2. One time the music is ripped (or downloaded) only earlier it is put in the music library or libraries
  3. Once the music is in the music library

Based on these stages, aside from full general-purpose tag editing tools, we tin consider:

  1. Music ripping software that enables good tag management right from the beginning
  2. Music players that contain tag editors for fixing issues while listening
  3. Music players that facilitate both ripping and tag editing

Considering that metadata occurs in three obvious places (within the music file itself, as a function of the file and directory names in the file system, and in the music player's music database), what first seems elementary—editing music tags—can get suddenly quite complex and involved.

Music ripping and tagging

In this calendar month'south article, I'thousand going to take a look at readily available open up source music ripping software, equally seen from the perspective of its ability to manage tags. I spotted several music ripping tools in my distro's repositories: asunder, goobox, ripoff, ripperX, audio-juicer, crip, and ripit.

Too getting the tags right, one critical business when ripping CDs is getting the best rip possible. The open up source tool cdparanoia is acclaimed by many as the best tool for CD ripping on Linux. Withal, getting the best rip possible is not the only office of the story, and most ripping tools also organize the ripped data, convert information technology into a target format, and tag it.

Considering all of that, I have had a soft spot for disconnected for quite some time at present. Asunder provides a decent GUI-based feel, uses cdparanoia for ripping, converts to FLAC (and many other formats), organizes the ripped files in a configurable directory structure, and—to some extent, anyway—manages tags by looking up the CD in question on the CDDB music meta database.

asunder music tagging

Disconnected with its preferences window open up to the file naming tab, showing its flexibility in organizing ripped music.

Two things I have not been able to do with disconnected, which I would love to have: the ability to attach encompass art during the ripping procedure and the power to deal with a few more tags, like "composer," for example. Disconnected is pretty skillful at dealing with "artist" versus "album artist," which I seem to recall was a major pain in the neck at some indicate in the past.

Every bit a music rippers become, asunder is pretty great, simply information technology forces me to do the terminal tag and album cover adjustments either in a tag, editor or in a music player—non quite what I desire.

I decided to give goobox a endeavour. One time started, the application looks clean and GNOME-similar. Nice. I thing immediately jumped out, equally compared to asunder: goobox knows about encompass art. The simplicity apace had me wondering, could I instruct goobox where to put tracks? (In my example, considering of disconnected's limitations mentioned to a higher place, I stage them in ~/Music.rips.) Just I could not set up the directory structure, nor the file name layout, although the directory structure and naming convention used by goobox were okay with me. Moreover, I didn't seem to be able to save the cover art every bit a "cover.jpg" file in the generated directory. Finally, I could not tell whether goobox was using cdparanoia or not, and if it was, with what parameters.

Therefore, I would say that if goobox meets your needs, by all means employ it, but don't await to bend it to your will.

I took a quick await at ripoff. The documentation suggests that it can exist made to use cdparanoia; however, information technology did not seem to notice any encoding plugins, so I did not investigate further.

I as well gave ripperX a try. This application is the complete opposite of goobox, at least cosmetically. The icons are big and non very smooth looking. It offers a fair bit of configurability, including the layout of results and the use of cdparanoia, merely I saw cipher obvious near cover art. I don't see it every bit being much better or worse than asunder.

If I am not incorrect, I used sound-juicer in the past (in GNOME-ii days, perhaps). I seem to recall that audio-juicer uses cdparanoia, but its settings are not accessible from the sound-juicer GUI. Moreover, I don't see anything almost encompass art in its settings.

Crip and ripit are concluding applications (meaning their UI is non graphical). While I am not averse to such things, they seem unlikely to support the cover art thing, so for now I'g non bothering with them.

In summary, none of the currently available CD ripping software meets all my requirements. I'll stick with asunder for now and hope that something comes along to address ripping, full tag editing, and cover art downloading and direction.

In my adjacent article, I will talk about some music players and their ripping and tagging abilities.

And the music...

It'south already February 2017 and I haven't bought whatsoever new music yet this year. Withal, over the Dec holidays, I did rip some classical CDs that were languishing away in the cabinet, and I thought I'd pass on some thoughts on that.

For quite a few years now, I have been a fan of Jordi Savall and the ensemble he formed in the 1970s called Hesperion XX (now Hesperion XXI). This video gives a fine idea of this kind of music, and this interview, with the Castilian newspaper El País, tells u.s.a. more almost the homo and his interests (you might demand to ask your favorite search engine to interpret the article for yous).

At the end of 2016, I ripped two works directed by Savall. The starting time is El Cant de la Sibil·la performed by the Capella Reial de Catalunya, and the second is the Cancionero de Medinaceli performed by Hesperion 20. These are wonderful performances of unusual music of 500 or so years agone.

Too in the "unusual music camp," is the album Officium, performed past the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek. The choral music and the atmospheric saxophone class an interesting juxtaposition. This album can be heard online on diverse streaming services and has two follow-ups, Mnemosyne and Officium Novum.

Concluding is a "best of" album given to me as a present some years ago: The Best of Andrés Segovia. If you like classical guitar music, this recording is a diverse compilation of various music styles transcribed for the guitar, including some well-known pieces. I peculiarly enjoy the performance of Albéniz Asturias on this album. It doesn't have the manic speed of some interpretations and is, to my way of thinking, more expressive because of that. I likewise really like the voice of his instrument!


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