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Friday 16 May 2014

Improvements to Match to Recording Only section of the report in SongKong 1.26

SongKong 1.26

Today we release SongKong 1.26 this has a number of refinements to the matching process, testing has shown some very nice improvements to matching accuracy and coverage.

Full details here

Match to Recording Only

 There are also some nice improvements to Match to Recording Only section of the report, and I thought I would use this as an opportunity to explain this section further.

Songs are usually distributed as a release, be it an album, a compilation , an e.p. or a single the songs is part of a larger release. This also applies to digital downloads, although it is easy to purchase tracks they are still distributed as part of a release - even if the release is just a one song digital single.

With SongKong ideally we want to match group of songs to a release, but here are many reason why it might not be possible to do this all of the following problems could prevent a match:
  • The release does not exist in MusicBrainz or Discogs
  • You do not have all the songs of the release and you have Only allow match if all songs in folder match to one album enabled
  • Your songs for that release are distributed over multiple folders and you have  Only allow match if all songs in folder match to one album enabled.
  • The songs metadata is completely incorrect
  • The songs have no metadata and are not known to AcoustId
  • The songs match to multiple recordings by different artists via Acoustid
  • The songs length is incorrect because it has been badly ripped.
If we cannot match the group of songs to a release we can still try to match songs one by one but it much more difficult to be sure of the correct release, especially if the existing track doesnt have any release metadata. So if Only allow match if all songs in folder match to one album or
Only allow match if all songs in folder match to one album are enabled we don't do this.

But even though we cannot identify the album this doesn't prevent SongKong matching the song. SongKong can use fingerprints to match to Acoustid, then use Acoustid to match to a suitable song (or recording in MusicBrainz parlance). When Acoustid matches to multiple recordings we take into account the existing song title (if any). Then we look at how many sources the choices have, Acoustid - Recording pairs that have been matched form multiple sources (i.e users) are more likely to be correct. Finally if we cannot make a safe decision about the name of the song we don't match to the recording. If we do make a match the only fields that are updated are:
  • MusicBrainz Recording Id
  • Song Title
  • Song Artist
and the song is considered unmatched for the purposes of renaming songs so that if some songs in a folder are matched to a recording and some are not they do not get split up.

The Recording Only section of the report shows these matches. Originally SongKong simply listed the songs that were matched per artist in alphabetical order. But this was not very easy to decipher as a SongKong user myself I found I wanted the songs grouped by existing album name, this then helped me pinpoint problem recordings that were not matched often explaining the reason why the group of songs not matched to an album in the first place.

So here it is:

The MusicBrainz Recording shows the song titles that the songs have been matched to, clicking on a title will take you to the MusicBrainz page for that recording.

The Existing Info (Discno, TrackNo, Filename) column shows just that if they exist. Remember Match to Recording Only doesn't add release specific information like Disc No or Track No so these values are only shown if the song already contained them in its metadata. In this screenshot we see that songs did have Track No set but not Disc No set, so only track no and filename is shown.

Songs are grouped by existing release title of it exists, not the folder. So if  two songs from different folders with the same value for artist and release are matched this means they will be listed in the same section. Whereas two songs in the same folder with different values for release would be listed in different sections.

Any songs matched to recording will always have an Artist field because this is updated when matched but they may not have a release field, in this case they are just grouped by the artist name

Both these points can be seen in these screenshot:

Although both songs are in the C:\MusicUnmatched\The Tea Party\Splendor Solis folder they are split into two sections because only one has the release field set as we can see with the help of Jaikoz

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