Aggravating Mistagging ctnd



  • If at all possible, I dump the box set info for original release info (and extras go under "<Album> sessions" or some such). Box set ids only stay on stuff that isn't associated with original releases. I find no value in retaining the organizational source of an earlier release. But it is a pain to go through sets like that, so I'm sure I've blown off more than a few.
  • The Wipers box set I got for Christmas has been broken up into its component parts. I do it if for no other reason than I basically never listen to that many tracks by the same band in a row, so I'd almost never hear the tracks at the end of the set.

    I have a Monkey's box set from the eMu box set error day, and I've still never played the last tracks.

  • edited February 2013
    On box sets, mostly i'm with kargatron - my ideal is to ditch the box set tags and replace them with the original album tags and artwork. It actually makes me more likely to listen to them, because I am so album-oriented and never have the time or determination to plough through an "album" that has 70 tracks. That happens with the cheap big boxes from Amazon - if I don't retag them I end up never listening to them. Sometimes, however, like with the complete Herbie Nichols, where the albums are only a subset of what's on the box set, I keep both but split the box set up into its component discs with a number in the album title field (So "Complete Herbie Nichols 1", etc) so as to create listenable sized chunks. So with the Herbie Nichols set I ended up with I think five or six individual albums - the reconsituted original albums (with original playing order and artwork) and the separate discs of the box set. It's work, but it means I listen to it.
    ETA, I do the same with things like those huge Future Sequence collections that pop up every now and then - I make five separate albums out of them.
  • @karg - Same here, I only care if it's reproductions of originals like the ones I mentioned. Something like the huge Ella Fitzgerald or Coltrane sets I got from or whatever just get the box set name. The only reason I really want to reference the set is to indicate why it has more tracks than the original. Same reason I always mark things as remaster, reissue, deluxe, etc.
  • edited February 2013
    Since I use star ratings to rotate albums on the ipod, deluxe sets have to be split. Vienna by Ultravox, for instance, is a 5-star album; but the material on the 'bonus' disk of the deluxe edition is three stars. So: tagged as two albums.
  • Just noticed this discussion and makes me realize I'm in the right place. I retag stuff for various reasons, such as tagging all Christmas music as Christmas music under the genre, so I can use a smart playlist and also unmark it in iTunes outside of December. I also hate how many things are tagged as Alternative, making it a kind of "other" genre tag.
  • @cw00, totally with you on both counts. All my smart playlists have a "genre=christmas" exclusion as a sanity preserving device. And "alternative" (to what?) and "other" (how descriptive) are two of my pet hates.

    Was wondering yesterday whether it would be a big mistake to colonize the "composer" filed for something else, like "label" (why that field? Because it can be used to sort on the iPod Touch), while then for classical music (the only kind where I navigate by composer rather than artist) putting "composer" under "artist" and the orchestra etc under "album artist". (For now I have starting using "Grouping" for label, but that does not help on the touch) I think it might work quite well for me now... sort of depends whether I suddenly develop a bigger fascination with classical music in a few years and need to undo it all again.
  • All my Christmas music is also tagged as such and unchecked except for the day after Thanksgiving until a day or two after Christmas.

    I can somewhat deal with the 'Alternative' genre, because it did have some meaning in the 90s to differentiate a style of rock from tradition rock. I still don't like it, but I can deal. What I absolutely cannot deal with is the tag 'Alternative Rock' (I'm looking at you Amazon!). Depending on how you look at it, that is either redundant or contradictory.

  • Gp, I use checked-unchecked to bar membership in playlists (as choiceweb implies) - it's cleaner than a smart playlist exception, since all playlists have the 'only checked' option. When the holiday season is done, all are unchecked, then rechecked post-Thanksgiving. Pretty clean and easy.
  • Amazon is terrible at genres. Just try using the genre navigation to find ambient music (that isn't meditation music) or experimental electronic music. Taylor Deupree, for instance, is "Dance & DJ", as is just about anything else vaguely electronic. Including that recent Billow Observatory album!
  • @kargatron, that could work, though my playlists are not really functioning as playlists (I don't listen through them), more a sorting devices that control rotation of music onto the ipod Touch; as such some of them are pretty large, and going through them manually adding/removing things sounds like work. I find setting up a smart list that does all the including/excluding for me cleaner/easier. Just add a smart list that is genre=Christmas and check one box to add it to syncing and those songs get added to what is available to listen to.
  • For one playlist I guess there's not much difference, but for more than one, the checkbox is definitely easier imo. (There's no manual adding/removing - this is via a bulk 'uncheck selection', and just making sure any playlists use the 'checked-only' box). I use it not only for holiday music, but also music I want to keep in my library for reference but not for listening, and also when I add a bunch of music at once: I'll uncheck some of the new batch and feed it in gradually (by checkboxing), so I don't have a huge batch of new music all at once (useful for box sets). Anyway, ymmv.
  • edited February 2013
    What I absolutely cannot deal with is the tag 'Alternative Rock' (I'm looking at you Amazon!). Depending on how you look at it, that is either redundant or contradictory.

    BUT what if you wanted to do playlists with different types of "Rock"? Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, etc. I don't know, what the hell, I don't do it either. I do use the "Alternative" tag, even though it's essentially meaningless --> I rather (no, completely) arbitrarily apply it to pretty much all rock music by new artists ever since Nirvana. Can it really still be "alternative" after 2 decades? Of course, the point of tags is ultimately to group the music the way you want it, rather than what it really "is."

    ETA, another useful trick: Just tag all World or International music as "Reggae." I learned that from eMusic!
  • Doofy - A sampling of my genres that could be considered rock: Alternative (the goal is to eventually destroy this one, but it's a long process); Britpop; Celtic Rock; Classic Rock; Emo; Experimental; Garage; Glam; Grunge; Hair Metal; Hardcore; Indie Pop; Industrial; Jam Band; Krautrock; Lo-Fi Rock; Math Rock; Metal; New Wave; No Wave; Noise Pop; Noise Rock; Post Hardcore; Post Punk; Post Rock; Power Pop; Prog; Psychedelic; Punk; Rock; Rock 'n Roll; Rockabilly; Shoegaze; Ska; Slowcore; and Southern Rock.

    There are also some that I have under a pop umbrella, but some folks would put under rock.

  • @kargatron, seems like a wash between the two approaches. Once my lists are set up all I have to do is click once to add or remove the Christmas stuff. I have lists within my ecology of smart lists that control the influx of new music based on date added and/or number of plays.
  • Gp, of course this is getting particularly pedantic, but don't you need, in selecting a playlist as another playlist's criterion, to add then search for the playlist (in this case the Christmas one)? That's much slower than the 'match only checked items' box (well, mostly because I have the detritus of maybe hundreds of playlists). I'm only going on because I'm interested how other people handle the daily mechanics of itunes organization.

    I used to use playlist combinations more, but have reduced that dependence once I found out about the OR playlist function (where you can group criteria with the alt-+ function).

    I stopped trying to manage the pop/rock genre label continuum. I have a smart playlist that just gathers them all, named 'Popular', in case I want to browse excluding others. I do actively use 'jazz', 'avantgarde', 'ethnic', 'classical', 'holiday' as functional distinctions.
  • edited February 2013
    to add then search for the playlist
    Not sure I follow. I have about 10 playlists total that I actually use for sorting. All I have to do when I add a track to iTunes is make its genre be Christmas and it automatically gets added to the Christmas playlist and excluded from all others - I don't have to interact with the playlists at all. All I have to do around Christmas is go to the "music" tab on the ipod sync page and check that the "Christmas" playlist (genre=Christmas, limited by size, selected by random) should be synced, and voila, the collection of tracks on the ipod now includes Christmas music. I virtually never use the lists for actually selecting listening - I listen almost entirely by album, so the playlists are just a syncing mechanism.
  • Ah, I was referring (and thought you were) to playlist creation/modification. That's the part I think is made easier using checked/unchecked. Specifically adding a criterion based on rejecting another playlist is significantly more burdensome.
  • A sampling of my genres that could be considered rock: Alternative (the goal is to eventually destroy this one, but it's a long process); Britpop; Celtic Rock; Classic Rock; Emo; Experimental; Garage; Glam; Grunge; Hair Metal; Hardcore; Indie Pop; Industrial; Jam Band; Krautrock; Lo-Fi Rock; Math Rock; Metal; New Wave; No Wave; Noise Pop; Noise Rock; Post Hardcore; Post Punk; Post Rock; Power Pop; Prog; Psychedelic; Punk; Rock; Rock 'n Roll; Rockabilly; Shoegaze; Ska; Slowcore; and Southern Rock.

    Craig, that's awesome. My version of that is pouring energy into tracking down jazz personnel, even while satisfied with a handful of Rock/Pop categories. Indeed, I lump ska together with reggae.

    Now I want to know the difference between Rock and Rock n Roll...Eg, Led Zeppelin vs Bill Haley and The Comets?
  • Basically you're right (although Led Zeppelin would be classic rock). A band like Foo Fighters is a good example of the unadjectived 'rock' category.

    I am certainly over obsessive about genre tags (I actually have 8 different reggae tags: Reggae; Reggae - Dancehall; Reggae - Dub; Reggae - Lover's Rock; Reggae - Roots; Reggae - Toaster; Reggaeton; and Ska).

    My hip hop tags need a serious overhaul, but it's going to take for flipping ever.

  • I like to shuffle by genres sometimes, so like jazz to be jazz and alt-country to be alt-country.

    For classical music I do try to put the composer's name in the album title, so it shows up when i am looking by albums. That used to be a big problem in earlier versions of iPods without album art and seeing an album called Piano Concerto No. 1.

    I like the idea about of clipping various jazz groups to say just Thelonious Monk. Great tip.
  • See, there you go - I think I need to reclaim "Rock" as a general category, because Foo Fighters "is" certainly that - yet now I'd put them in Alternative because that's where they "come from." Similarly, Bob Mould is nothing if not Rock, I still have him under Alt/Punk (although I suspect Craig would have a different category for Husker Du!)
  • Is Hüsker Dü in the category "ex-spelmannen" with the Replacements?
  • Darn right, BT.

    To me Bob Mould has such a strong pop element to his music that I tend to see him as Noise Pop, but that's me being especially picky. Hüsker Dü tends to live in the Hardcore genre because they really transcend genre, but they began as a hardcore band. It's bands like them that destroy my picky genre tags.

  • I just tag everything klezmer;skronk so that nobody can find what they're looking for...

    I was about to say that I used Alt. Rock instead of Alternative in order to distinguish it from Alt. Metal, Alt. Dance, Alt. Bubu, etc. but after sorting by genre I found out that some where along the lines most of that stuff got shifted to just Alternative. Amazon's use of "Dance & DJ" is the worst offender since eMusic's insistence that everything originating from a non-English speaking country is Reggae. Genre is probably my most poorly curated tag at this point.
  • edited February 2013
    I'm still caught between two desires re genre. On the one hand I use genre quite a lot to select listening - pull out the Touch, think "hmm, I fancy some ambient" and start browsing through the genre tag. That has got me into the habit of using genre to find things. I then find that if I have a lot of genres, I get irritated with scrolling through them and can't remember which genre I put some things in (I already have that problem with "electronic" versus "ambient"). But when I think of it more in terms of knowing what I have and library curation I really want to create a list of genres equivalent to Craig's for all the kinds of ambient. And new as I am to jazz, throwing, say, Steve Tibbetts and Louis Armstrong in the same genre already feels wrong. I keep hoping I will find some elegant solution using other tag fields so that songs can have more than one genre, one for navigation and one for taxonomy.
  • Not elegant at all, but I use Jazz/Swing for most pre-Bop jazz. Duke Ellington becomes Jazz after WWII, but Stephane Grapelli remains Jazz/Swing eternally. Louis probably should too.

    I make a few other distinctions - Eg, Jazz/Funk and Jazz/Latin - mostly for stuff that's allowed to show up in my "Shuffle" playlists. Tagging based on jazz labels (Blue Note, Impulse, ECM, etc) is also useful for album playlists.
  • It's really funny how much I look at these ideas and think, "Sure, that must be really useful, BUT IT'S NOT ACCURATE!" Yes, sometimes I am self-defeating.
  • Right, the problem with the current tagging fields/navigation methods in iTunes related environments is that there are structural barriers to being simultaneously useful and accurate.
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