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MajorFubar's picture
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Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

I’m not a huge classical fan. Out of about 400 CDs, I have about 10 that are classical, and other than my Planets CD, they’re compilations of mainstream popular classics.

Anyhow I started ripping them last night and compared to the other CDs I’ve ripped which are rock/pop/mor/compilations, these are a nightmare. iTunes downloads the tags from Gracenote, but there’s just no consistency regarding what info is in what field. For example sometimes the ‘Artist’ is the conductor and orchestra, sometimes it’s the composer. Sometimes where it’s the orchestra, the wrong orchestra is quoted. On a few tracks on one CD (but not consistently across the CD), it says ‘Various Artists’! Then with the track titles, sometimes they quote the composer before the title, sometimes they don’t, totally at random on the same CD.

Anyhow I just wanted to say, if you’re heavily into classical music and you’ve got something like 200 or more classical CDs to rip, then based on my experience, you have my sympathy. I did just four double albums last night in the space of about three hours, because I had to correct about 90% of the Title / Artist tags.

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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

When ripping classical CDs, I put the composer down as Album artist, set the genre to classical and pretty much leave it at that. For compilations I use the label or album series as the album artist.

Ripping and tagging can be a nightmare for classical and compilations (particularly if you have OCD tendancies for organisation). Probably the most annoying though, is when you are ripping a collection or box set and the tag data is inconsistent across a single CD, never mind the rest of the box set. It's down to laziness when the tracks are dragged and dropped to create a CDs worth for mastering.

The tag data really should be a lot better than it is in a lot of cases.

It is a major PITA if you have a large library with incorrect tags, entire albums can be lost.

MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

Yes exactly.  Upto last night, and having ripped over 300 CDs upto now, I barely had to make any corrections. It would be a faction of a percent. But ripping those classical compilations was a pish-take.  And yes, it amazes me when they can't even get the tagging correct or consistent across the same CD, let alone a boxed set.

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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

That's the problem with compilations, classical or otherwise – all too often the tracks carry their tagging markers from the original album from which they're taken, and the only solution is some heavyweight tag-editing

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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

Andrew Everard wrote:

That's the problem with compilations, classical or otherwise – all too often the tracks carry their tagging markers from the original album from which they're taken, and the only solution is some heavyweight tag-editing

Which also screws up the album art. :doh:

MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

True but it certainly seems to be worse with clasical albums. I must've ripped 30+ compilation albums of one sort or another and only had to really intervene with the classical ones. Tell you what else, finding the album-art can be hit-n-miss as well. I gave up relying on iTunes to find the correct album-art long ago, because I seem to have too many albums it just doesn't have the art for (or the correct art, where different covers are used). But usually Google comes-up trumps, or www.cdcdovers.cc.  Yet for two classic CDs tonight (both on Decca, so not exactly a barely-known label) I've had to use the scanner, because the album-art just isn't available anywhere in a decent size ( >= 500x500)

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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

As an aside, Puddletag is perhaps the best tag editor that I have come across, but it is Linux only as far as I know.

Is there any way to selectively scan certain albums for retagging? iTunes won't do it, as the albums that I need to rescan were pre iTunes rip. I also only want to change the artist and track name data, not everything else.

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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

I use Mediamonkey and Mp3tag, both freeware for windows.  I get album art from Amazon, save it to the folder then add the artwork and change all the tags.

I have been doing this for over a year now and I still haven't finished to my satisfaction.

But when it's done it will be done for life and allow me to sit back and listen to my hearts content, not that I haven't been listening to music already.

You are right though, classical music is the worst offender of all the albums ripped.  Good luck.

Anonymous
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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

I share your feelings, having started to encode my fathers' classical collection: approx 1600 CD's, good for somewhere around 40k tracks. Have been busy on it for 3 months now and got a little 300 CDs done so far.

Issue with the tagging found in online databases for classical music are indeed the various styles used, which oblige one to intervene quite heavy in after-rip tagging. I had to create my own administration to keep track of all varieties i had to cover in the song name.

Now i'm a bit more familiar with it, it all goes a bit quicker, but still i spend any time between 5 to 30 minutes on every CD. Of all types, i find Opera the worst : a lot of tracks and lot's of data to put in track title : scene, part, opera title, song code, music type, characters singing and finally title of the song.

So far i only lost courage for a week or 3 in which i didn't edit anything (it may hardly be a surprise that this occured when the next 10 CD's or so were Vivaldi's operas), but i expect it to be something that'll keep me occupied till end of this year at least.

Very satisfied with the work done till now though : finally i can discover that collection without making a mess in the (quite strict organised) CD storage.

Also didn't have a clue there were so many classical composers: not at 25% of the collection and already 150 composers passed...

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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

That sir is absolute dedication. I salute you. I lost the will to live after having to edit 90% of the tags on just 10 CDs.

I'm back to ripping more mainstream stuff now, so much easier.

MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Ripping classical CDs! OMG!

I ended up ripping 15 CDs over 10 albums totalling 226 tracks, and I can honestly say without exaggeration I needed to correct more than 200 of them.  Spelling mistakes, wrong info and inconsistent info.  Glad most of my CDs aren't classical, I think I would have just given up.  Maybe it's because most of my classic CDs are compilations.

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