ID 3 Tags help!!!!!

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by drones, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. drones

    drones Guest

    Are ID 3 Tags only associated with MP3 files or can they be encoded on to a regular standard red book CD. How are these encoded? Only through itunes?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Check out freedb or CDDB.
  3. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    This brings up an interesting are folks (mastering people, that is...) embedding CD text info that's readable for MP3 players, including I-poods?

    I've become a grudging fan, (er...user) of iTunes, and I have some issues with it, including it's inability to read standard embedded CD text. (Gotta include the ISRC code, for starters.) I'm registered with RIAA for getting my own codes, so that's not an issue for me, but still, I want my tracks to show up properly in itunes and everywhere else (Winamp and MS Media Players), including non-commercial releases that I (or my clients) have no intention of registering. (demo versions, rough drafts, etc. etc.)

    I've heard about a work-around with WinAmp (using a plugin or patch) that will let it work with EYE-Pods; showing all the track info, etc., and another program from a company called "Red Chair" but I haven't actually tried either yet - assuming they work as stated. Anyone?

    Anyone else dealing with this?
  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised and a bit disappointed to see no response to this question for some time now.

    I have done more work/research, and what I know so far for sure is the following:

    All current popular MP3 readers/players/rippers will attempt to read the disc first, then (depending on the software and web settings), go out to the web to search for title/track information. This can be services like CDDB and RIAA, MSN, ITunes, etc. So far, so good.

    Depending on the reader/ripper's software, discs I have created in Samp/Sequoia can indeed be read "as is" right in the reader. Real Audio, surprisingly, can and does read any CD Text that I create in Sequioa WITHOUT going out onto the web to find or retrieve the data. VERY COOL! I like this a lot, and it will probably make Real Audio my MP3 reader of choice until I find out why THEY can do it, and no one else seemingly can.

    I wanted to know (here via this thread) if there's any special trick or text needed to make this happen consistently with all of these software apps. Apparantly, creating/adding as much text info (per CD and per track) is the best advice, as well as "Saving" the info as a *.CDT file (in Samp/Sequoia), and making sure "include CD txt" is selected in the burn menu.

    I have no idea if this is the same data as ID3.v2 compatible info, (with data packets preceeding each track, ignored as audio, but detected by the readers) but it's clearly good enough for Real Audio to decipher.

    I have had mixed results with MS Media player 10, (some work, some dont) and even less desirable results with iTunes, WinAmp and the like. They ALL need to "go out" to the web to figure out what's on my Sequoia-mastered CDs, even the 'commerically" mastered stuff on replicated discs. (If I turn off my web connection while using these apps to read the discs, all I get is numerical track ID, and NO information, regardless of the source: CDrs or commercially replicated discs. So clearly, the fault isn't necessarily with Samp/Sequoia.)

    For now, I plan to proceed as usual, create the most detailed CD & track information I can, save it as a CDT file, save the VIP file again, then create the master.

    At this point, the question remains as a "Mastering House" operation - do I have to contact EVERYONE out there with my client's CD info? (And, is this the smartest way to go?)

    In other words, WHERE do these companies draw their CD info from? Is there any kind of pool of data web-wide, or are they all mutually exclusive? I'd be happy to make my clients info available to all, but HOW does one do that? (Someone suggested just listing the disc on or CDbaby with the track info, and it should begin to show up on all of the other lists, but I think this may be a lot of extra - and needless - work.)

    I suppose I could load the disc in (after Real Audio has successfully ID'd it,) and then "expose" it to these other readers so they'll now auto-add it as well, or...? This could get labor intensive, with manually adding tracks for each software vendor per CD, or it could happen automatically depending on the software/reader.

    The reason I'm being such a PIA about this is for my clients: I want to say to them: Pop in any "professional" commercial-release disc we do for you, and any of the big four players will either read it automatically or get info we've already uploaded to the webservers for you.

    Is that so much to ask? I'd be very greatful for any info that anyone has already gleaned regarding this procress.

  5. GregP

    GregP Guest

    I'm no pro, but here's the skinny:

    Most burners will allow you to put data onto your disc. It is a standard commercial-grade (dunno if that means Redbook or not) process. This data normally contains an autoplay for the masses who never disable autoplay on their systems. Then an embedded "webpage" (basically) fires up.

    The tracks themselves cannot have this information embedded, by redbook standard. However, it's easily possible to include a playlist (ie. .m3u) in the data sections.

    HOWEVER-- this is not an industry standard, and there's no way to guarantee that it will happen. You'll have to find out if WMP, Real, iTunes, or other "jukeboxes" look for certain kinds of playlists at particular sectors of the disc, or even just by filename. Then include all of them in the data section. Your burning software must include the ability to include Mixed audio/data information.

    Finally, most people are accustomed to just seeing "Track 1, Track 2, Track 3" on computers that are not connected to the internet. No worries. It's not like anybody "in the know" will say, "What the.... where are the track names...." If someone has a computer that's not connected to the internet, they've seen unnamed tracks a LOT and take it as par for the course.

    Now, once you've made a master CD, which will have its own unique identifier, you can take it upon yourself to use a program to submit the information to CDDB and freedb so that any of the jukeboxes (they all seem to use one or both of those) on an internet-connected computer will fire up the right track names and info.

    Once the player has retrieved the info from CDDB/freedb, THEN it can ADD the information to any MP3 files or OGG files created in the ripping process. The information isn't embedded in the files themselves, but rather is retrieved from an online database.

    I've ripped my entire 300+ collection, and ALL of them have required internet connection to have the names automatically appear, the first time they're inserted into the computer. Depending on your settings, once the info has been downloaded from CDDB/freedb once, you won't need internet next time, it'll retrieve the info from a separate location on the hard drive. The information might SEEM embedded on the disc when that happens, but I'm fairly certain that even the major players in the "Jukebox" game initially retrieve their info from an online database.

  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Greg; THANK YOU for such a clear, detailed explanation. It's taken me a little time to grasp it all (much less explain it), but I think you've nailed it and described it perfectly. This does indeed seem to be the "state of the industry" - at least for now.

    Web connections are everywhere, and sometimes lightning fast, doing things you don't realize are happending. I just tried out a few more "commercial" CDs with iTunes, and BAM! - it found the info (on the web) in seconds. To be honest, it doesn't LOOK like it's doing anything, it's that fast, but obviously, this feature bogs down if you try it WITHOUT the Internet connection running.

    I've also heard back from Magix/Samplitude/Sequoia and they confirm this: Real Audio apparently seems to read the data from the disc and not to retrieve the data from a database. As you have already said. The others just don't care what's on the disc itself, and rely on the metadata found in the database where they can't find any, apparently and are catch22. there we have it: For now, it's a crapshoot as to IF your MP3 player will read the metadata locally. But it's ok, as long as you've got a web connection to go "fetch" the info somewhere else. Got it.

    And it's in the best interest of any mastering facility to go out ahead of time and "plant" that info to as many places as you can. Sooner or later, it'll show up on everyone else's database too, and the issue is (almost) moot.

    Clear enough, I guess! ;-)
  7. BigRay

    BigRay Guest

    hmm... do I include this info on a cd, and have any cd player read it(one that is NOT connected to the internet, say my car stereo)

    i am very confused with the whole title/embedded track info thing..
  8. GregP

    GregP Guest

    You can't, that I'm aware of. Like I said, some media players (including your car!) MIGHT look for playlist types (ie. m3u), but that would be up to the hardware/software. There's no way to intrinsically make a CD that will intrinsically have its titles recognized.

    When you take a commercial CD and pop it into your car's player, does it show the titles?


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