Last.fm-like multiple tag system

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Wouldn't it be great to have a multiple tag system like in last fm (or with firefox3 bookmarks) (or with your add-on download page ;-P). For example, I could tag a song with "soundtrack" "classic rock" "movie" and "60s" cause all these are relevant. I think the easiest way is to handle the genre field. Tagging a song with "soul, funk, rnb, female vocalist" would make it appear in genre "soul", "funk", ... I think it will greatly integrate with tag cloud add-on. I was lacking this feature in iTunes and had to use the multiple fields they offer (group, genre, comment...) to do the same thing. With great library, it will definitely make browsing easier.
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Posted 7 years ago

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tylerstyle, Champion

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There already was this kind of discussion and I too think that music sorting and tagging needs to be the next big feature. But I think it should be rather the Tags on the files, that should be updated, rather then making it a media-player based thing. Interoperability is always a concern to me.
I don't want to spend hours of tagging my library, only to loose that information, when I switch players, or the code basis of songbird gets changed dramatically again and I have to start with a new profile.

No. For me, the gain would be less then the usage, if it would only be possible in the bird.
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I totaly agree with you. That's why putting them in the "genre" metadata field of the id3 tag of the mp3 would avoid loosing everything while changing media player or updating songbird. It's just the way it should be handle like I said in my example (multiple genres separed by commas)
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tylerstyle, Champion

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Problem then is, what happens, when you open that "modded" file in some other program?
It isn't that unlikely to cause problems, I guess.
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Well it depend, if it has to create new metadata fields there is a compatibility problem I guess. But that's not how I see the things. For me, you would tag your song genre like this : "classical, soundtrack, movie, 80s" and that's how would the other mediaplayer see it but intelligent songbird would parse the string and see the four different genres as separate.
In fact I think it's just a regular panel filter view with a string parser to distinguish multiple genre separed with commas in a single field (well said like this it seems simple but I'm sure it's not that simple)
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Carlos K, Champion

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I like this idea, you could use the comment field considering the stuff that usually goes there is mostly pointless stuff that doesn't matter so much. (And if you really wanted to you could use that stuff as tags)
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tylerstyle, Champion

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Sounds plausible. You're right.
Any dev care to elaborate?
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Ali Rayl

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Cool idea. As far as metadata storage goes, tags aren't in the IDv3 spec, but we do have ways to store non-IDv3 data and associate it with particular tracks. We'll pop this one into the feature suggestions bucket.
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tylerstyle, Champion

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Nice!!! Really sounds like something. I really think, digital music lacks in this area, right now. Something the People behind creating the ID standard should think about for Version 4.
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Happy to see that my idea is raising interests. I hope it will be integrated one day or another
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Doom0r

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I've brought this up once before also and one key thing to add is the ability to use something like a checkbox table to filter playing from library. i.e. being able to uncheck "explicit" or "holiday" if you had files you tagged with those

Hopefully, someone can see the implied use in that availability.
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If I remember correctly you can't have multiple Genre values in IDv3, but maybe the Comment space could be used for that (Comment would be displayed correctly also by other players).
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Carlos K, Champion

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My thoughts exactly
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I also think this is a good idea. It is easier to use the comment field when creating smart playlist in other media players like winamp or in media servers like firefly. Moreover the tags should be wrapped by some "special chars" so that they could be used beside other information (e.g. "found this on a blog [tags-begin] explicit, holiday, rock [tags-end]")
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More interesting to me would be the option to assign a song to multiple Albums/ Artists. Take a sampler. I like to keep my samplers whole, but that means that a song that is on this particular sampler gets into my library twice, for Example "To the world" by Strike Anywhere is in my Library once as part of Rock Against Bush I, and once as part of the album Exit English. And it's not even a different recording, it's the same song. I Also got a few songs that are joint ventures between bands, and I'm always unsure where to put them. I'd love to see the possibility to separate them by commas, as mentioned above, maybe the more mainstream players would pick it up someday... But one issue: What about Bands like "Defiance, Ohio"? maybe a comma isn't the best idea after all, maybe it should be either an exotic symbol or a combination of symbols, like &+ or something.
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faaaab

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1 - Concerning the "multiple album", I had this issue too, for example, when you have an album and the "best of" of an artist, you have tracks which are on both so you have only two options, ripping both versions (which cost space memory for nothing) or having missing tracks on one of the album which is indeed really sad.

2 - As said Ali rayl, it is possible to store metadata in file beside the idv3 standard. Just look at the amount of data iTunes is storing on files. So what would be interesting would be the possibility to store as much entry of one field as wanted (well almost as much ;-P). The first entry would respect the IDV3 standard and the others would be non IDV3 data exclusive to Songbird. So if you open your file in another browser you will be able to have info (but not as many). The problem is Songbird could be a lot slower to browse your library and it seems really complicated.

3 - I think the easiest way is to had tag as metadata on the file totally aside the idv3 system and have a "view" which allow to browse them smartly (for example to look to something like (song tagged "rock" or "jazz" and which are not tagged "soundtrack")). It would introduce a brand new way to browse your music, closer to what's currently done on internet (as i said, with last fm or firefox 3)
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Doom0r

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Keep in mind that this is a "media" player, not an "mp3" player. Many file formats are not ID3 capable, let alone video. A tagging system would need to be handled by Songbird explicitly unless a container was used for all files which would break the ability to use them on other devices without support.

Hmm, just made me think of another reason to have multiple libraries again..... separate video and music.
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Well, all modern music formats have Tags, right? ANd all of them got spare space to add Songbird exclusive metadata wirthout corrupting the file for other files. So I don't see any problems with that.
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faaaab

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I totally agree with flatten the skyline, I don't think the multiple filetype support is a problem as many other mediaplayer which custom datas on file without looking to its type.
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Doom0r

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Two thoughts on that. First, what about video?

Second, does "Songbird exclusive" metadata really benefit anyone by not simply being stored elsewhere? Pros/Cons storing in metadata vs an external db?

Only thing I can see is extra overhead on the actual files. If you have a license that allows you to send that file to someone else, is the extra info you added able to be extracted by the receiver, let alone useful to them?

Thoughts?
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With metadata stored in the original file, if you move the file, you mantain your metadata (think about moving your songs to your laptop). If you store the metadata into an external db you should move the db also (and eventually import that db into another application)
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faaaab

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Well, I think you're totally right Doom0r (Why do I think everybody's right?). If the tag's readable only by songbird, why should it be stored on the file. A db would be fine and, furthermore, it will solve the problem of video. As tags are usually personal, you don't really want everybody to get yours when you share your music (I mean free music). So database seems to be the best solution. the only inconvenient is that when you lose your songbird configuration file, you lose your tags and if your library is 10 000+ you could be a bit upset. Anyway, I'm sure that if such a fonctionnality pop up, their will be sooner or later an add-on to sync tags with your last fm tags so it would solve the problem. That's why, I'm totally for the database now ^^
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I still don't see the problem in the metadata solution. Only perhaps that other programs would like to write their stuff at that particular point we started with ours, but if everything runs smooth they might even include compatibility. I envision a world where this is standard procedure, and where being limited to one of each tags is like only having 8 characters to name your file like in DOS.
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faaaab

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Rah venelux and flighten the sky are right too ^^. Well as long as tag system is available, I should be able to manage with either solution.
It's true that metadata is the best way if you want to move your data. on the other hand, most of the video formats don't support metadata (AFAIK) so db would be better. both have pros and cons.
Maybe the best solution is a mix between both. Media which can store metadata will be writter, others will have entry in db. I haven't try video on songbird since 0.2 but I supposed it's how it happens actually. If you fill metadata for an mp3 it writes it on the file but for a video it should be on a db, isn't it?
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musicfreak

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The problem with using the metadata is some stupid players like WMP might screw it up if you edit the song details outside Songbird. But I think it's a great idea, this is the reason I wanted Last.fm to make a media player, but they apparently don't have the time. :( But having it in Songbird is even better.
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Are you sure Video formats don't have room for metadata? I mean some video players show info like composer and such, that must be in the file in my opinion (I think the dreaded WMP does it...) I guess songbird cannot control what non songbird-players do to the file, but neither should we care. Better to have this than to leave it out just because it might screw up at some point. Maybe we could have both in and outside of file solutions, and set priority to one of them...
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faaaab

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I guess programmers are the best people to choose what solution to adopt as they really know their subject. Can someone throw light on this topic please?
Anyway, as long as there is a tag system, that'll be fine with me ;-P
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Yes! I'd love to be able to tag like this with checkboxes (like Firefox 3's bookmarks):

"Rehab" by Amy Winehouse:

tags:
- British
- Motown revival
- White lady soul singers
- Artist's 1st big hit
- Songs about drugs, drinking
- Addiction
- Mark Ronson
- Peer pressure
- Songs that don't do the whole album justice
- Artists that have been arrested
- Songs that I have seen performed live

"Valerie" by Amy Winehouse:

tags:
- British
- Motown revival
- White lady soul singers
- Cover song
- Included on a compilation
- Songs by girls to other girls
- "Thinking of you" songs
- Artists that have been arrested
- Mark Ronson
- Great song on "so so" album

Et cetera, et cetera... Unlimited personal tagging = the future. C'mon Songbird!!
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Love the discussion. We've had lots of similar thoughts internally and talk about doing many of these things. Please, keep up the conversation! Try to keep in mind that powerful, but simple features are most likely to make it into the application in some form, someday. Also, I'd be very happy to help any addon developer interested in prototyping some of these things.
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Wurstmann

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Great idea! This feature would Singbirg become the killer application!

Also, I agree with faaaab's point, that tags are personal and should be stored locally. You can also think of tags like "heard in summer of 99" or something like that.
I think for the same reason, the rating information in singbird is not saved in the metadata (windows media player does that).