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Genres... thoughts and orginization  XML
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dkoh

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Joined: 05/06/2010 15:02:29
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So I've been thinking about how to organize genres lately, mainly in preparation for an HTPC and/or jukebox where you can sort by genre.

I've been looking at AllMusic and they break it down as 11 main genres (Pop/Rock, Jazz, R&B, etc.), and all "styles" (Stoner Rock, Black Metal, Smooth Jazz) are under those 11 genres.

If you look at an album, AllMusic labels that release with a genre and 1 or more styles. Looking around at several albums, I think they have it more accurate than most places I've seen. (Anyone have a better place?)

So when it comes to tagging - and I'm not sure how HTPC/juke softs will look at the genre fields yet - is it better to put the genre and all styles on one line (the same field)?

ex:
1. Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Funk Metal

Or is it better to have 3 separate genre fields that still maintain the hierarchy?

ex:
1. Pop/Rock
2. Alternative Metal
3. Funk Metal

Ooooooor... would it be wise to just stick with the most specific style? And if an album has more than one style, would you then use 2 genre fields?

Any thoughts?

What's in my head is:
Say you want to get to a variety of Death Metal, so (in the software in my mind) you click on Pop/Rock. Then that expands to the sub-genres, click on Heavy Metal. That expands the styles and you can select Death Metal.

...or am I just over thinking this?

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paultaylor

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This is very much like Discogs that Jaikoz already uses which has Styles and Genres. In the Preferences/Remote Correct/Discogs there are various options allowing you to add multiple values/single values/just use genre field/use grouping field as well.


thanks Paul (Administrator)
dkoh

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Holy jeez, so it does!

I never knew what those options were for, and now that I had a want for them, I totally forgot about them. Damn Jaikoz is good, knew what I wanted before I wanted it!

I was dreading manually correcting all these, but now I'll just have to keep an eye on those funny genres. I wish I knew about this sooner.

So, is grouping just another field with a different format, in case some app can't read multiple genre tags?

<edit> OK, I've found out how grouping is used. Now set to style and 1. Back to tagging!

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dkoh

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Eh, turns out Discogs genres are shite. I'll use them as a baseline, but most I'll edit to the allmusic style. Much more consistent. Plus, they have a comment for every release I've seen so far.

Back to manual tagging!

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greengeek

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This is one of the few areas I have to break away from jaikoz and use a 2nd additional program (one of the very few areas I like how last.fm does their genres, err tags. They give far more variety and are typically more accurate as it uses crowd sourcing to tag the music. This is very true on some of the sub genres of metal, rap, and electronic which can vary greatly.

To grab their tags I use mediamonkey with a last.fm plugin. The plugin allows me to specify blacklists/whitelists as well to only grab tags with a certain weight. This is nice as I can then say, I want all genres for this song or album, but only ones that 70% or greater of the people have tagged it as. That way I can limit the really odd tag that one or two users might have used. The blacklists are a must though, as it allows one to also restrict certain terms, like "albums i have" or "seen live" which i find useless.

The only downside of using this plugin, is it divides multiple genres with a ";" instead of a null character which isn't correct for the standard. That is where jaikoz comes back in to the rescue, to allow me to do a quick find and replace on the ; in the genre column and put back the null character, so that multiple genres will show up correctly on all programs that support them.

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paultaylor

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dkoh wrote:
Eh, turns out Discogs genres are shite 

Really, the MusicBrainz ones are but I thought the Discogs one were ptretty decent , how about an example comparing Discogs with AllMusic

thanks Paul (Administrator)
greengeek

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lol, its hard not to find an example of bad ones on discogs. Most any popular artist will have a bunch of garbage thrown in as genres. For example, lets do the country group Alabama. Since they have a fairly distinctive country sound, they would make a good example. Discogs has them as "Rock, Folk, World, & Country, Electronic, Funk / Soul, Pop, Jazz, Latin, Reggae, Hip Hop, , Children's"

http://www.discogs.com/search?q=alabama&btn=&type=all

Most people would classify them as country, maybe a little folk on some songs.

Now lets look at allmusic.com

http://allmusic.com/artist/alabama-p1500

They give us the main genre as Country with a little bit of pop/rock. They then further break it down the styles, or sub genres into Contemporary Country, Urban Cowboy, Country-Pop, Country-Rock.

Not perfect, but a lot closer to the actual artists representation.

Even last.fm breaks it down to Country, Alabama, Southern Rock, Classic Country.

http://www.last.fm/music/Alabama

Which is closer to allmusic.com's results and better than discogs.

I really like allmusic.com but they are very strict against using their material. They actively disable any attempts at scrapping their site. Also they are a pain to license their material out. As such very few, if any, smaller companies utilize their services. Though dbpoweramp, the cd ripper utility has managed to license them on a year subscription plan, so it might be possible

I listed last.fm as an example as it is a good alternative and they provide a nice api to access their data. See http://www.last.fm/api Having an ability to pull from there, especially if one could configure a blacklist or whitelist, would be the 2nd best thing to pulling from allmusic.com, plus its free.

I find discogs a great additional source, as it does have a lot of non mainstream music, especially in the electronica genre that musicbrainz doesn't have, so acts as a nice companion service. I would love to see allmusic.com be a possibility if you were able to work out some type of deal with them, though it might up the cost of this app, or do what dbpoweramp does and require one to pay an extra yearly subscription fee to access that additional service. I think last time i used it, it was USD$12 per year. If keeping the cost down is a consideration, or at the very least not having to worry about licensing agreements, then I would HIGHLY recommend utilizing the last.fm api.


KevinBluemel.com
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dkoh

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^ Agreed, and good example. If you're searching by genre, those weird discogs IDs can make things difficult.

I'd gladly pay $12/year to sort thousands of genres. And a year-to-year thing is kinda nice cos I might pay 12 bucks and fix up my genres within that year, then do it manually for smaller things - only resubscribing when I have another chunk to do.

I haven't played around with last.fm too much, but I'll check it out. Thx.

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craigminah


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Joined: 23/01/2012 09:18:34
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I try to keep the number of genres to a minimum and when I ran Jaikoz it sorted my music into 100+ genres instead of the dozen I had originally. I see it does blacklists for genres but what I'd like is a whitelist and some form of pattern matching. For example, I'd like to specify the a list of genres and Jaikoz will obtain suggested genres from Discog or another source and whichever of my whitelisted genres most closely matched the online source was the genre that would be selected (e.g. ALWAYS matching the online suggestion to my list). Is this feasible or is there some easy way to do this? Thanks.
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