09 Dec

concerning music

Having a portable music player is still sort of unusual for me, canalphones basically act like earplugs and block out a lot of external sound, so that’s one of the five senses sacrificed for the sake of entertainment.

Thoughts on the ipod nano “fat”: 8 gigs is not enough. Especially since most of my music is at a comfortable bitrate of 192 (or vbr averaging about the same) which is probably much too high quality to be played on dinky headphones in a noisy street, and so my 8 gigs are full after 1000 songs (vs the advertised 2000, I guess that’s if you’re using lower bitrate AAC). Transcoding everything is out of the question, so I guess that’s that. Of course, the ones with more storage have moving parts (no) and are big and bulky (double no).

But seeing as how they had microSDHC cards with 8 gigs this summer, it shouldn’t be hard to fit like 4+ of those chips in a similarly sized casing for a more usable amount of storage. People would pay out the nose for it, too, I bet.

After a day of downloading album art and tagging and sorting and reencoding (who the fuck thought musepack was a good idea anyway) and pain, I’m left overwhelmed with the giant amount of metadata we assign to our music, and yet feel a sick desire for more. For example, album art is delicious eyecandy.

One problematic part was the Genre field, which gets abused a lot. Many game/movie/anime soundtracks get categorised as “Soundtrack”, which is way too broad, since details about the actual music aren’t there. Then there’s a bunch of minute detail (is that band “Symphonic Metal”, “Symphonic Power Metal” or “Gothic Metal”?) that’s too much information.

The genre field could be split into three tiers, like Context, Genre and Subgenre. The first would basically be “album” or “single” or “compilation” or “movie soundtrack”, stuff like that. Then Genre could have the actual musical style, so a game with chiptune music would be categorized differently than one with, say, an orchestral soundtrack. Finally Subgenre could get the exact detailed artfag description of “Ambient new-age post-psychedelic tribalcore technotrance with a cherry on top” or whatever.

Then again, it’s just too much, and all the micromanagement is a pain in the ass already. I see a zillion different fields in ID3V2, the majority of which are unused and unneeded. Not to mention how many genres overlap ambiguously, so there is no right information to put there anyway – a lot of the time it’s subjective and just unnecessary.

(giant wall of text attacks you for 9999 damage)

Oh – also got a ticket to see Nightwish live in January! They have a new singer and I haven’t seen them since like 2005. I’d also like to go for Dream Theater but they’re playing exactly one day after I arrive back after christmas break, so I’d be jetlagged to hell and back and probably fall asleep during the concert.

Edit: I also remembered a Reg article on the music biz in China, about the exact opposite, the prevalence of pirated music with no metadata:

Music online is rarely searched out or bought according to genre. In fact, not only is your average MP3 not sold as part of a genre, it is also almost certainly pirated, completely DRM-free, with no meta data attached and, in a huge number of cases, doesn’t even have a file title. You are left with a completely ‘naked’ piece of audio. China simply never went through the age where music was bought at a premium on vinyl, cassette or CD, then lovingly horded, categorised and put on display for all your dinner party guests to see, encouraging in-depth dinner discussions about prog-rock or jazz.

One Response to “concerning music”

  1. 1
    kz Says:


    nemtom, en azt a megoldast szoktam kovetni, hogy az osszes fajlra vonatkozo infot berakom a fajlnevbe (artist – album – track songtitle.ext), a tobbi meg kiderul a konyvtarstrukturabol. albumkepeket kidobom.

    aztan amikor ez hopelessly deficient, akkor kicsit morgok.. aztan egyszercsak nemerdekel 🙂

    rajottem, hogy az mp3sale.ru jo (15 centert egy szam? :).. de a museek szerver + museeq kliens megjobb.

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