Aggravating Mistagging ctnd

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  • I think everyone should drop the quaint idea that 'genre' can be "accurate" and just stick with "useful". It can be personally useful (in terms of listening organization), and socially/culturally useful (in terms of communication), but I don't think it can extend too much past that. Music historian/analysts can't rely on cladistics like biologists can.
  • edited February 2013
    Depends what your threshold for "accurate" is. If one is an arch-modernist and thinks there should be an incorrigible one-to-one correspondence between the label and the object then yes, there are big problems. But it's still more "accurate" to call Iron Maiden "metal" than to call them "folk" or "ambient". Genre can be "fitting" to a useful degree, as long as you remember that there's always slippage. Another complication is that "accurate" and "useful" are not completely separable - part of the "usefulness" is the degree to which the genre tag can help me find things sharing certain broad features (how many of you go looking for the sex pistols on your ipod under "classical"?).

    I agree that genre tagging is not an exercise in naturalist realism. Apart from anything else, the current widely shared system contains incommensurate categories - "ambient" for instance is usually (thanks to Eno) defined in a way that refers to a mode of listening rather than a set of musical properties, while "folk" seems more rooted in a mode or locus of production, all of which ought to mean for instance that something can happily be both "folk" and "ambient" without any need for a hyphen. (example: Gareth Dickson)
  • It's not so much accuracy with the genre choices (that's not Alternative/Punk, it's Alt. Rock!) but using it for non-genre related items (ECM artists may tend to certain styles, but ECM is not a genre), and more so using fields like Composer or Performer for labels, etc. For me any discussion about genres is more about how to make them more useful.

    If I really wanted to start an argument over the accuracy of genres I would go after those lumping ska under reggae when it should be vice versa...
  • I wonder if an answer to some genre issues, like sub genres of jazz ,is to use the comments field in iTunes. I believe you can make smart playlists that look for such tags. I haven't used it much, but I started tagging cover songs with the term cover.
  • Too true on the ska/reggae thing, thom.

    Craig
  • edited February 2013
    I'm reluctant to jump in myself because I spent an enormous amount of time re-ripping my entire CD library to lossless files -- finished about a year ago. The effort needed to revise genre tags for all those tracks is more than I care to think about. Besides, I don't even know what some of these tags are supposed to mean. Of the dozens of rock-oriented genre tags Craig mentioned, I use a few: Rock, Garage Rock, Power Pop, Southern Rock, Punk, Post-Punk, Metal, Psychobilly, Ska, Britpop, Glam. I try to avoid Alternative because it seems pretty meaningless.
  • edited February 2013
    A contributor to another forum posted this enjoyable list of ambient subgenres:
    Ambient Subgenre Definitions

    Foambient = folky ambient
    Piambient = ambient based on piano sounds
    Jambient = ambient with an improv element.
    Dambient = dark ambient
    Dimbient = slightly less dark ambient
    Smarmbient = Intelligent ambient
    Dumbient = Unintelligent ambient
    Indumbient = industrial ambient
    Skambient = idm-type ambient
    Shambient = shamanic ambient
    Clambient = classically-tinged ambient
    Trambient = traditional ambient
    Grambient = ambient your gran might like
    Mumbient - ambient your Mum might like
    Flimflambient = insubstantial pretentious ambient
    Harmbient = hard ambient
    Oh!mbient = surprising ambient
    Amnotbient = ambient for Nihilists
    Arebient = ambient for Pluralists
    Isbient = Ambient for the third person
    mbnt = Minimal ambient
    (marginal: Wambamthankyoumambient = a taxonomic domain into which you may conveniently place anything in a post-Bowie vein)

    Others added e.g.:
    spambient: ambient music you don't want
    crambient: music for studying (not to be confused with exambient, music for when you actually take the exam).
    boombient: ambient music with lots of bass
    lambient: music to accompany your flight from the law

    - there are lots more at the link.
    (ETA, there's a more serious list here)
  • lol nice How about Ambien Ambient= music for using Ambien
  • OK, remember how I said I get pop songs stuck in my head prompted by things I've heard or read? Well, since the discussion about Rock/Alternative subgenres, there's this.

    Help.
  • edited February 2013
    Mistagging is one thing, software that does not support the standards fully (or like iTunes, does not support the latest version) is quite another. The later version added the concept of some of the fields holding multiple values, as well as adding some new fields, this would go a long way to resolve things, if only the software supported it.

    These deficiencies really become a right pain when it comes to classical music - so we get various different work arounds that are used to address this. Which you adopt, will vary depending on your needs at the time - and will inevitably cause frustration with having to re-tag new music to fit your scheme, and previously tagged music as your needs change.

    None of this is helped by some of the publishers/distributors/labels taking such little care with the contents of the tags that they often can't even get the artist right, Batik being just one example (no mention of Jack DeJohnette other than on the cover)...
  • I was just thinking again about one of my minor tagging peeves and it reminded me of this thread, which I enjoyed rereading.

    I always have a small internal debate with myself when the title of an album or song includes descriptors that to my mind don't seem to be part of the actual title. The dilemma is that I understand the practical reason for having an album called (say) "Neck of the Woods" and "Neck of the Woods (Deluxe Version)" or "Blue Moon" and "Blue Moon (Album Version)", but another part of my brain is complaining that the album title is just "Neck of the Woods" and the rest is packaging information.

    Then I get stuck between not wanting what is basically marketing verbiage in the title and not wanting to delete relevant information. I usually delete it or add it to the comments field, but as amply documented above, there are enough deficiencies to the tagging system to make comments field sometimes crowded.

    I am resigned to retagging everything I buy in my own weird system. But I guess I'd like a "version" field.
  • For me, I usually get rid of the extra detritus of packaging info or new and improved or extended jargon, because it's usually of little subjective use to me after the product has been purchased. I'll make an exception when a version is, for example, a 12" version of a tune - making it longer and possibly a club friendly version. For a radio show or podcast, I may mention that a particular album has been re-released with extra tracks and sometimes why that may matter, but, again, packaging info seems to me to be for those contemplating buying something.

    My slight pet-peeve is the constant use of "feat." under artist or song.
    I usually change this to "&" and try to put it in the "artist" area.
  • Re &, I have struggled for a long time to be completely consistent about whether to use "&" or "+" or "and" or whatever, which results in me regularly getting slightly differing versions of artist combos when I add new albums and don't check what I did last time...
  • I typically dump that extra stuff, or at least, if it's an "expanded reissue" type of thing, dump the 'versioning' with the old stuff, and maybe keep it with the new additions, if it makes sense to me at the time.

    Since I rely on 'album artist' to group variants of a given leader, I don't worry so much about & vs and, but will standardize them if I notice or find them later.
  • Well that new, free Stick Men album that was posted a day or two ago is a classic offender. The album title is tagged as "KONNEKTED (Free Download)", which offends against two pet peeves at once (extra stuff that should not be in the title, and ALL CAPS).
  • Oh dear. I am catching up with tagging the Neotantra compilation series. They have release ten good compilations, titled:

    tʌntrə
    tʌntrə II
    tʌntrə III
    tʌntrə IV
    etc up to
    tʌntrə X

    But they went and titled the ninth one:

    tʌntrə VIIII

    Ugh.

    This is going to annoy me just a little every time I play it, triggering the little argument in my head about whether the tag should follow what the label said the title was or whether, absent evidence that it is doing something intentionally creative, it should be linguistically correct. (I spent ten minutes the other day researching a track that had what looked like a typo in its name that was also present on the bandcamp track listing, before eventually finding evidence that satisfied me that it was really a typo).
    #languageteacherproblems
  • 1. mp3rd-world problems
    2. Tag as a 9-disc set
  • edited October 6
    Doofy said:
    1. mp3rd-world problems
    2. Tag as a 9-disc set
    :-)
    They have made it hard for me to unknow that whichever way I do it will have an element of incorrectness.
  • Then I cannot recommend you buy the Miles Davis Complete Plugged Nickel, which is a 7-disc set but includes a disc 2a (because the 1st night/second set was too long to fit on a single disc), so it's actually an 8-disc set
  • Doofy said:
    Then I cannot recommend you buy the Miles Davis Complete Plugged Nickel, which is a 7-disc set but includes a disc 2a (because the 1st night/second set was too long to fit on a single disc), so it's actually an 8-disc set

    You know I've never bothered to look into that even though a 2 watt light bulb of curiosity goes on in my head every time I play it.
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