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Friday 25 March 2016

Tagging DSD Files with Artwork and metadata

What is DSD?

Direct-Stream Digital (DSD) was the name used by Sony and Philips for their system of digitally recreating audible signals for the Super Audio CD (SACD),  But more recently it  has gained traction as a way of storing computer-based audio, especially for playback on hi end audio systems.

Most digital audio use a form of  pulse-code modulation (PCM). But DSD is different in that its underlying audio storage is pulse-density modulation (PDM).

This is how Paul McGowan of PS Audio describes it

1-bit audio is simple to understand in concept.  There are no samples, there are no words, there is no code.  Instead there is a continuous streaming “train” of single identical bits that are either on or off.  The more bits that are on, the higher the eventual output voltage becomes.  The more bits that are off, the lower the eventual output voltage.  We refer to this type of scheme as Pulse Density Modulation because when you have a greater number of on bits it appears as more densely populated.  
The speed of the bits is 64 times the sample rate of a CD and some DSD schemes run at 128 times faster than a CD.

Here’s the interesting part of this: if you take a DSD stream and run it through a simple analog lowpass filter to smooth out the on/off transitions, you get music!  This is amazing considering that if you do the same with PCM you get only noise.

DSD is a lot closer to analog than PCM ever thought to be.

this simplicity and direct relationship with analog provides for a potentially better listening experience. 

Converting Super Audio CD to Computer Files ?

When we convert a Super Audio CD to computer files to store on a computer there are two options, DSF and DFF

DSF supports ID3 metadata just like MP3s, but DFF does not and requires use of an separate database. 

So it is always best to convert to DSF not DFF, if you already have DFF files then it is simple to convert to DFF using an Audio converter application.


Adding artwork and metadata to DSF files

I said earlier that DSF support the ID3 format, this means that tagging software that support DSF files such as SongKong can add the rich depth of information from MusicBrainz and Discogs that it already does for other formats.

1. Select your DSD folder(s)

2. Start Fix Songs

3. SongKong will identify your songs and add lots of lovely metadata, when it has finished
 a summary dialog will appear

4. Then a Song Changes report is open which details exactly the metadata that has been added, even with two screenshots we cannot fit it all in

5. Now you can properly manage your DSD music with the Music player of your choice.

Monday 14 March 2016

A Discogs Tagger

If you have digitized your Music collection, then there is a real boon in not just identifying your songs but maintaining the links to the Music database they have been matched to. For example you can list your collection on Discogs, you might want to just share your music preferences or you may be interested in trading some of your records.

This is why SongKong and Jaikoz do not only store basic metadata like Artist, Album and Title, but also fields that identify the correct MusicBrainz/Discogs data such as the artist(s) and release.

With previous versions of SongKong songs an attempt was always made to match to MusicBrainz before matching to Discogs. But now in the latest 3.24 release you can disable MusicBrainz matching and only match your songs to Discogs, just disable the Search for a MusicBrainz match.

Now you can even disable the Acoustic fingerprinting stage, but even if you are only matching to Discogs then SongKong can still make use of  acoustic fingerprints, so we do not usually recommend it.

And of course you can just match to MusicBrainz and not update or match to Discogs by disabling Update from Discogs and Search for a Discogs Match.
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