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Song Tagging and Metadata Blog

Friday, 29 March 2019

SongKong 6.0 Fumes, now with Profiles - released 29th March 2019

SongKong 6.0 Fumes Released 29th March 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of SongKong 6.0 Fumes on 29 th March 2019. This new release is named after the album Fumes by american pop-folk duo Lily & Madeline, similar to First Aid Kit but less well known & better. We have cheated a little, favorite album is their eponymous debut  but that album does not match the self-imposed one word album name rule for SongKong releases.


Profiles

A long requested feature has been the ability to save multiple SongKong configurations, and then be able to switch between them to perform specific tasks. Now we have added them, they are called Profiles




You can modify an existing profile or create a new one with the Clone button based on the current profile. Any modifications made to your configuration will be made to the currently selected profile.

If you want to delete or rename a profile, this can be done from the Preferences page, we have added some predefined profiles.


Rename Masks

When we looked at profile masks it was clear that if you created a new filename mask it would make sense for that mask to be available to all profiles. So we have now moved the created and editing of filename masks into Preferences.



and within the Fix Songs task, there is now just the option to select the rename and compilation rename masks.





Update of Reports

We have now updated all reports so that they no longer use html framesets as these are no longer supported in Html 5. And we have updated the style so that they match the pages of the Remote User Interface.



Create Support Files

We had an issue with potential customers uploading their support files before they had a license, and therefore we had no idea who had sent the support files! So we have now added an email field, this will be auto populated for customers who already have a license.



Full details of all improvements can be found here

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

SongKong 5.15 Crocodiles Released 5th March 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of SongKong 5:15 Crocodiles on 5th March 2019. This new release is named after the debut post punk album by Echo & The Bunnymen from 1980. Great tunes, guitar, vocals and image on one of the best debuts ever.


Compilation now means Compilation 

Originally the definition of a Compilation that was used by SongKong was the same as the one used by MusicBrainz. This means that both Various Artist Compilation albums and a Single Artist Compilation are considered to be compilations and have the Is Compilation field set. But most of us consider these two cases differently, and only really consider the Various Artist album as being a compilation.

So now only Various Artist compilations are marked as compilations, and we have added a new field called Is Greatest Hits  for a single artists Greatest Hits albums, this makes more sense.

Things are slightly different for Classical music  because it is difficult to determine the distinction we have for now continued with Is Compilation for all types of classical compilations.




File renaming for HD albums

We have added some new filename masks that will put HD albums in a separate top level folder called HD. They make use of a new addHD() javascript function, and we have also added similar addCompilation() and addGreatestHits() functions.


Improvements to Song Only Matching

SongKong always tries to match logical groupings of songs to one album, if this is not possible then it does song only matching, in such cases we only update song only fields such as Song Title and not album fields such as Track No. But often it is the case that all but one song was matched to the same album, and there is just some minor problem preventing all songs being matched. 

If subsequent Song Only Match matches the groups of songs to recordings that have links to the same MB Release then we also add some basic release information such as Album Name, Catalogue No and Cover Art using the most popular releases for the songs. So for each song we use the most popular release that the song is linked to.

And we know that Cover Artist a key piece of metadata customers like to have. And it is much easier to remove an incorrect piece of artwork then manually search and add artwork yourself, but we only add album data when songs are missing that data we don't overwrite exsting data.


And we only add album data for albums that are not compilations. The reasoning behind this is that we cannot be sure we have the correct album because we cannot match all songs to the album, but if it is an original album there is a good chance it is the correct one, or a variation of the correct one. But if it a compilation then because popular songs can find their way onto many compilations there is a good chance that this is actually the wrong one.



Improved Matching

We have extended Albunack DiscId matching so that it can now work for multi disc albums as along as each disc in your collection is stored in a separate folder under the parent folder. 

We have increased the fuzziness of Discogs Albunack DiscId matching to find more potential hits. And we have fixed a bug when using Albunack DiscId matching with Mp4 files.

Plenty more fixes, please see here




Thursday, 31 January 2019

Jaikoz 10 Released:Improved Matching

We are pleased to announce the first release of Jaikoz 10, in this major release we have concentrated on improving probably the most important feature of Jaikoz - matching your music collection to MusicBrainz.

There are three key new features:

Song Only Matching

Song Only Matching  ensures that Jaikoz can at least partially identify almost all your songs  even if it cannot match a group of songs to an album. 

We explain Song Only Matching in detail here
 

Albunack Disc Id Matching 

AlbunackDiscIds is an alternative to Acoustid matching that can be faster and lead to more matches for both MusicBrainz and Discogs albums.

We explain AlbunackDiscIds in more detail here

 

Match Directly to MusicBrainz

First of all Jaikoz looks in our dedicated Albunack server instead of directly contacting MusicBrainz. But if no match can be found we now do an additional search directly against the MusicBrainz database.

We explain Direct MusicBrainz matching in more detail here


Console Improvements


Also note the Jaikoz console now gives more information on how your songs were matched





Jaikoz, Match Directly to MusicBrainz Release

Jaikoz, Match Directly to MusicBrainz Release

Jaikoz does not do most of it searches directly from Musicbrainz or Discogs, instead it uses Albunack. Albunack is a single database containing both MusicBrainz and Discogs datasets. It is specially designed for tagging your music and hence allow matching much quicker and much more reliably than if Jaikoz had to use MusicBrainz and Discogs directly.

Albunack is updated regularly from MusicBrainz and Discogs with the latest data, but there can be a delay of up to one month. So if you are tagging the latest releases or have added a release yourself to either of these databases it will not be in Albunack immediately.

With Jaikoz 10  we have added an extra search to MusicBrainz itself when we are unable to find a match in Albunack. This ensures you always have access to latest releases as soon as they are added to MusicBrainz.

Jaikoz Albunack Disc Id Matching

Albunack Disc Id Matching 

When you have a complete album stored in one folder with no missing or additional tracks, and the track order can be safely determined from either existing Track No metadata or the filename we can generate an AlbunackDiscId for your album. We can then look for a MusicBrainz match in the Albunack database, if we find matches we double check by looking at any existing metadata and/or generating AcoustIds for the first track.

This has three advantages over fingerprinting all songs and then finding matches based on fingerprints/acoustIds:

1. It is faster

Generating Acoustid fingerprints is a cpu intensive task, even on a fast machine it can take about a second per track. This might not seem much but it can become a bottleneck, especially on a machine with slow cpus, or only one cpu.


2. It finds more matches

Sometimes your album may be in MusicBrainz but there are no acoustic fingerprints linking to tracks on the MusicBrainz release. If you have no existing metadata then we cannot find a match based on fingerprints/metadata but we may be able to find a match based on AlbunackDiscIds !


3. It can match Discogs releases

The AlbunackDiscId is not just for MusicBrainz releases, it can also be used to match Discogs releases. This is very helpful, since we cannot directly use AcoustIds to match to Discogs.

Do I need AcoustIds for All My Songs ?

If you get an Albunack match then an acoustId fingerprint only needs to be created for one track. However there are occasions when you may want to get acoustIds for each tracks regardless.

AcoustIds are one way of finding Duplicate files so if you are using one of these options you may want to add AcoustIds for all songs.




Also the Filters menu lets you filter by variations of AcoustIds.

You can ensure AcoustIds have been added for every song before running Delete Duplicates by using the Retrieve AcoustIds Task 



Jaikoz Song Only Matching

Previous Method

Jaikoz always attempts to group song that belong to one album to one album. If it cannot achieve this the the songs remain unchanged, you can override this by disabling the Only Allow match if all songs in grouping match to one album
option.


But then this can cause a grouping of songs that do actually represent one album to be split up if the album simply does not exist in MusicBrainz yet.

Song Only Matching


Song Only Matching works differently. If Jaikoz fails in its attempt to match a group of songs to an album it then just attempts to match the songs via AcoustId. Having found a match it add song details such as Title, Artist and MB Recording Id but not album details such as Track No and MB Release Id .


We can add some album information

But its a bit cleverer then that. Firstly when an AcoustId is linked to some MusicBrainz Recordings, we look at the MB Releases that these recordings are linked to. And if the groups of songs have recordings that have links to the same MB Release then we also add some basic release information such as Album Name, Catalogue No and Cover Art using the most popular releases for the songs. So for each song we use the most popular release that the song is linked to.

And we know that Cover Artist a key piece of metadata customers like to have. And it is much easier to remove an incorrect piece of artwork then manually search and add artwork yourself.


We do not add MusicBrainz Release Ids

Because we are not sure if this is the correct album we do not add any MusicBrainz Ids that affect MusicBrainz released based tasks, so we don't add MusicBrainz ReleaseGroup Id, MusicBrainz Release Id or MusicBrainz Track Id
 

We do not replace existing album data

But we only add this additional information if these fields are currently blank for your songs, so we don't overwrite your existing data as we cannot be sure its 100% correct. 

We do not use Compilation album data

And we only add album data for albums that are not compilations. The reasoning behind this is that we cannot be sure we have the correct album because we cannot match all songs to the album, but if it is an original album there is a good chance it is the correct one, or a variation of the correct one. But if it a compilation then because popular songs can find their way onto many compilations there is a good chance that this is actually the wrong one.

We can use User Submitted Metadata 

There are many tracks in AcoustId database that we cannot find in MusicBrainz, there are currently 45 million unique recordings in Acoustid compared to 20 million in MusicBrainz.

 

In these cases we can at least make use of the basic user submitted metadata provided by Acoustid. This allows us to add artist, song title and sometimes album for these songs. For album we try use metadata from original albums that rather than compilations.

All these features of Song Only Matching should ensure that Jaikoz can at least partially identify almost all your songs without requiring modification to the default settings.

 

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Hint and Tips:How to install SongKong database, logs and reports in a different location on a PC

SongKong stores a cache of the songs loaded and an audit of the changes made in its own database. It also creates comprehensive reports and detailed logs. With al this details there is no denying that over time these can eat into your disk space.

On Windows they are stored within

 C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\SongKong

where username is your Windows user.


Recovering Disk Space


All can easily be removed and the space recovered by using the correct menu item:

Database: Empty Database
Logs :Empty Log Files
Report: Delete Reports 

but what about if you want to keep them, but just store the files in a different location in the first place ?


Windows Junction Points

With Unix and MacOS this can be easily done using symbolic links but these are not available with Windows. 

However Windows has Junction Points. these can be applied to make a folder link to a different location. For example here 

MKLINK /J C:\Users\Paul\AppData\Roaming\SongKong E:\SongKong

I have pointed 

C:\Users\Paul\AppData\Roaming\SongKong 

to actually point to

E:\SongKong
 
e.g



Full Procedure

  • Shutdown SongKong
  • Create new SongKong file location (e.g E:\SongKong)
  • Copy the contents of old location to new location
  • Start command prompt (search for cmd) in toolbar search
  • Create Junction Point (mklink /J JunctionPoint  Folder)
  • Restart SongKong

and that should be it.

Monday, 14 January 2019

SongKong MusicTagger 5:14 Sister, Improved Matching and Metadata Release

We are pleased to announce the release of SongKong 5:14 Sister on 14th January 2019. This new release is named after the album by Sonic Youth from 1987. Sonic Youth have a great sound but can sometimes be a bit self-indulgent for my liking, but this album is full of sharp angry tunes plus the classic Schizophrenia


 

Improved Albunack DiscId Matching

Six months ago we introduced our own additional album matching algorithm that we call AlbunackDiscIds. When you have a complete album stored in one folder with no missing or additional tracks, and the track order can be safely determined from either existing Track No metadata or filename we can generate an AlbunackDiscId for your album. We can then look for a match in the Albunack database, if we find matches we double check by looking at any existing metadata and/or generating AcoustIds for the first track.

This has two advantages over fingerprinting all songs and then finding matches based on fingerprints/acoustids:


1. It is faster

Generating Acoustid fingerprints is a cpu intensive task, even on a fast machine it can take about a second per track. This might not seem much but it can become a bottleneck, especially on a machine with slow cpus, or only one cpu.


2. It finds more matches

Sometimes your album maybe in MusicBrainz but there are no acoustic fingerprints linking to tracks on the MusicBrainz release. If you have no existing metadata then we cannot find a match based on fingerprints/metadata but we may be able to find a match based on AlbunackDiscIds.

In this release we have increased the fuzziness of the track time matching, and in testing this has increased the number of AlbunackDiscId matches by 10%, giving a reduction in the time taken to match your music and an increase in the amount of music matched.

Improved AcoustId Matching

Conversely, there are many tracks in AcoustId database that we cannot find in MusicBrainz, in these cases we can at least make use of the basic metadata provided by Acoustid. We have now improved how we use the user submitted metadata provided by AcoustId to add more metadata to your songs, and we have also made modifications so that SongKong is more likely to use metadata from original albums that compilations.


Edit Metadata

Previously Copy Row 1 could be used to copy the metadata for row 1 to the other rows in the album, but what if you only want to copy metadata for a particular field.

In The Remote Browser interface we now have Copy Row 1 button for each column to do just this, and the old Copy Row 1 button has been renamed Copy Full Row 1


With the Desktop interface, the button is availble for each column when you right-click on a column header.

 

Fixes

We also have a number of fixes in this release. As always, full details on the News page.

 


Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Jaikoz 9.4.1:Bug Fix Release

Today we release a fix for Jaikoz 9.4.0 a fix for the following issue:

 [JAIKOZ-1208] - Rename mask incorrectly display COMMENT language and description 

Was found to cause a problem with file and folder renaming. File and folder renaming would only work if you had a value in the comment field.

This has now been fixed in Jaikoz 9.4.1 

Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Jaikoz 9.4.0 Release

It has been a while, but we are pleased to announce a new Jaikoz release today!

New Artwork Options

Music players can be very picky about how their artwork is delivered so we have added some new options to allow you to deal with this.

In the Local Correct:Artwork tab we have added two new options.


Preferred Image Format

By default Jaikoz will save the artwork in its its original format. But by checking JPEG it is forced to convert into JPEG, or by checking PNG it is converted to PNG

If both options are checked  than original image files that are either JPEG or PNG are not converted. Other formats will be converted to JPEG, and PNG only used if there was a problem converting to JPEG.


Compress artwork if size is larger than this

Remember that JPEG is a lossy format that is compressed. By making the image more lossy it can be compressed to smaller and smaller sizes but with a loss of quality. The default setting of 100,000 Kb is likely to have no effect as this sets the image size to a maximum of 100Mb, but you can reduce this as required.


Tagging Compability

We have fixed over twenty issues that affect how metadata is read and written to your music files. These improvements will make Jaikoz work better with non-standard audio files, and ensure these files are more compatible with other applications. 


Other Fixes

We also have a number of other fixes for Jaikoz, full details on the News page



Tuesday, 20 November 2018

SongKong 5.13 Gattaca release.

 

SongKong 5.13 Gattaca released on November 20th 2018


This new release is named after the soundtrack from the sc-fi film Gattaca. Fantastic thought provoking film and the soundtrack by prolific classical composer Michael Nyman capture the narrative perfectly. Nyman has also done much work with film director Peter Greenaway, so many great pieces of music.



Use Windows Compatible Name

This releases fixes an issue with the Use Windows Compatible Name option introduced in the previous release. The main issue was that is was preventing the subfolder structure being created properly on non windows systems when Rename Filename for Metadata was enabled


Renaming of MUSICBRAINZ_WORK_COMPOSITION

MUSICBRAINZ_WORK_COMPOSITION was used whenever a MusicBrainz recording was linked directly to a work. So this was not really a work in the conventional classical music sense of the work, for classical it would generally link to a movement (this would then have a Part Of relationship to an actual work ). For Pop/Rock it did link to the work for that recording, but we do not usually want to store such works in the WORK field because that confuses tools and players that always expect works to encompass movements.

So this field was simply a way of storing the MusicBrainz Work directly linked to a MusicBrainz recording. The
MUSICBRAINZ_WORK_COMPOSITION was confusing and open to interpretation  so we have now renamed to MUSICBRAINZ_RECORDING_WORK, and
MUSICBRAINZ_WORK_COMPOSITION_ID has been renamed to MUSICBRAINZ_RECORDING_WORK_ID. This effects all audio formats supported by SongKong.


Renamed some internal field mappings

This is unlikely to effect many of you but we have renamed some of the internal tag mapping fields so they are better named and have better compatability with other applications.

For ID3 format (used by Mp3, Wav, Aif, Dsf) we have renamed the TXXX:Script field to be TXXX:SCRIPT.

For WMA format we have renamed ComposerSort to ComposerSortOrder




 

Friday, 9 November 2018

SongKong at Hi-Fi show WIndsor this weekend

SongKong at Hi-Fi show Windsor, UK this weekend

We shall be doing  a series of workshops about managing digitial metadata and demonstrating SongKong with our friends at Melco.

Please come and say hello.

 

 

 

 

How do I Get Artist Consistency in my music collection

Part 8: How do I Get Artist Consistency in my music collection

Part 7: How to add metadata to your music

Before we started digitizing music each album was a separate physical item.We found the one we wanted either because we had ordered our CDs or Vinyl ordered by the main artist or we just looked at a random set of albums until we saw one we fancied listening to.
 

But with digital music got much larger, and computers are not as good as humans at realizing that slight differences in artist names actually refer to the same artist. 

Common problems are:
 

  • Artists are not always attributed the same on every release:
  • Minor differences in names, such as initials, spelling errors
  • Artist deliberately use different name e.g Prince, Logo. Hollow circle above downward arrow crossed with a curlicued horn-shaped symbol and then a short bar, Formerly Known As
  • Different language or script, e.g. Пётр Ильич Чайковский / Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

This makes it difficult to find all music by a particular artist

Tools that lookup CD such as dbPoweramp do independently of any other CD by same artist, so no consistency and with manual edit, easy to make mistakes and introduce inconsistencies 


But SongKong understands Artists as entities ( we store an Artist Id we know who they are). We use MusicBrainz Artist Entities, defacto standard used by BBC, last.fm, Google and Spotify. But our database cross references MusicBrainz and Discogs, so we can use MusicBrainz artists even when we have only matched to a Discogs release.
 

Each MusicBrainz Artist  has a Canonical Name, instead of using name on release we can use their main name for all their releases.

If their main name is not in Roman script (eg Пётр Ильич Чайковский) we can use their Roman/English version of name instead.

Both of these options are enabled by default on the Format tab 




 

Friday, 2 November 2018

SongKong 5.12 Dandelions, Compatibility release.


SongKong 5.12 Dandelions released on November 2nd 2019


The new release is named after an album by King of the Slums. Vicious violin playing against downbeat lyrical stories make it truly like nothing else, one of Manchesters unsung heroes. You can give it a listen here on Spotify


Use Windows compatible characters in filenames

This happens anyway when running SongKong on Windows but with the increase in customers using SongKong with linux based NAS servers  a potential problem became apparent. Linux allows ':' in the filename but Windows does not, so if you create such a filename on linux but then remotely view the files in Windows Explorer a pseudo filename is generated instead that bears no relation to the actual filename. The colon character is commonly used in the album title of classical albums to separate the composer from the performers so it is a particular issue with classical music.

So we have added a new option that ensures any filenames created will be visible in Windows, any characters that are not allowed will be replaced with an hyphen character.


This option is not available on Windows installs since any names created on Windows will be Windows compatible anyway.

Melco Installations

Previous versions were missing a way to halt SongKong, and a way to prevent SongKong automatically starting when your Melco started. Solutions provided for both of these now, please see the Melco Install Page for details.


Get back to Progress page if Browser reopened

A few customers have encountered this issue when running in Remote Mode. Now this has been resolved as follows, if you reopen the browser and try to start another task it will now display an error message and take you to the progress page of the currently running task.


Better Memory Usage

The most memory hungry part of SongKong is actually the report generation at the end of the task. So if you are fixing alot of songs on a low memory device there could be an issue with the report creation, this has now been rewritten so that it does not require significant memory.

There was also an issue in Remote Mode that if there was a memory issue SongKong would just shutdown  immediately instead of handling  the memory issue, cancelling the task and creation a report . This has now been resolved.




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