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How do you tag classical music?


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I'm going through the process of ripping my music collection in ALAC and I'm having a hard time finding a right way to tag classical files. I'm quite anal about tagging my music and keeping it clean, but with classical music, it seems like there's no proper way. How do you manage your collection?

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A lot depends on your output display. For instance the Squeezebox displays Artist and Album Artist so that can be used, or you may want to avoid.

One suggestion if you're on OS X, is to use Doug's Applescripts to swap tag info around, delete, add, etc. I sometimes move artist info behind song title if I want to reference it, but want the artist tag for composer, 'various artists', etc.

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The thing that annoys me the most is that I have a lot of CDs with multiple works on them by different composers and/or conductors and I'm not sure how to deal with that. I could choose to list these CDs as full albums like my rock and jazz CDs, but that means I won't be able to browse by composer. I could also list all the different works on the CDs as single works, but I would loose the "album" concept. Either way, I have to make a compromise. :rant:

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The thing that annoys me the most is that I have a lot of CDs with multiple works on them by different composers and/or conductors and I'm not sure how to deal with that. I could choose to list these CDs as full albums like my rock and jazz CDs, but that means I won't be able to browse by composer. I could also list all the different works on the CDs as single works, but I would loose the "album" concept. Either way, I have to make a compromise. :rant:

Since you mentioned ALAC, I'm assuming you're using iTunes to play or at least organize your files? Keep in mind you have Artist, Album Artist, Composer, Grouping and the Comment field to work with. They just aren't all showing by default. You could use Album Artist to keep your album concept (why it was created), and still use Artist or Composer for Composer or Conductor. Then use the other (or Grouping or Comment) for the other. Sort or find as necessary. Keep in mind if you have an iPod all fields may not be usable to sort there. The above mentioned Applescripts can be used to reshuffle everything to keep it consistant.
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I think I finally found a layout that makes sense on both iTunes and my iPod:

8cde6754.png

The only thing I don't like is that it separates the two works with a line no matter what I do, so there's no way to list them as a single album.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The main problem with iTunes is that it is very slow and not as responsive as it ought to be. On the upside, it is visually pleasing and a doddle to use.

I tag using iTunes and Foobar just reads them. For some reason, my Foobar can't quite read the 'Composer'. It works the other way round if I tag with Foobar...

Here's my foobar:

foobarln8.jpg

And my iTunes:

itunesby9.jpg

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