Creating Database from Music Library

Hi all,
Here is my problem: I prefer using Mp3tag for tagging my mp3 files though most of the music players support a lot of tagging options. Usually, I first clean up new album tags and then add to the music player library in an attempt to keep things clean. As you can guess, I already have a library with well edited tags, and it took me a lot of time to build up (using Mp3tag, of course!). Now, the problem is, adding new albums requires a lot of copy-pasting as I prefer following my own format of tagging. On the other hand, though the music players often mess up with my tags if I try to use them, they do have one very useful option: I can choose from my existing library to fill up most of the required fields (considering I have the same artist, composer etc. in some of my previous files). So, my question is, is there a way to tell Mp3tag to use my local music library database while editing tags? Is it possible for Mp3tag to use the music player's (MusicBee/MediaMonkey) database, or create a database from my existing mp3 files?

I hope this should be possible as we can already use custom tags for say 'genre' field (all the more intuitive with the option to show only custom tags). All I need to do is to have a way to point Mp3tag to a list of my existing artists/composers/lyricists/etc list.

As far as I know this is not very easily achievable currently........ if there is a way to do this some way, please let me know.

And yes, thanks for this very useful tool. I'd love to use it for even more....!

MP3tag does not read any databases and also does not maintain any.
Some players allow to drag&drop a file selection into MP3tag (iTunes does, WMP does not).
So building on this selection you can add the new files (press the Folder-Plus-button in the toolbar) to read the folder with the new files.

So try your players if they allow to d&d file lists into MP3tag.

I'm currently using MusicBee, and it does have the option of sending selected tracks to Mp3tag. So, it would work, sort of...... but I would have to carefully select the songs so that they cover all the tag info I might need, right? I already do something like this, only I add those previous albums manually. It is still okay, but as I know Mp3tag can look-up tag info online.... then no option for a local, offline, manually edited database?

In a way, a given collection of MP3 files is already a "database", especially if you've been consistent about structuring and filling out your tags.

Exporting this data to CSV is then the same database, just in a different form of storage.

So I'm doing what you're talking about, but with a customized database, working with DataCrow to start with - you could do the same with another, off-the-shelf database tool like MusicBee, iTunes or MediaMonkey, but they of course you're more or less "married" to that tool as opposed to having full control over your relational structural design.

But it would I admit be much easier - all you have to do is figure out how to import/export via CSV files.

If you search these forums for "CSV" and "database" you'll find many past messages with more specific suggestions, and after doing some more homework and research yourself, feel free to post back here with specific questions.

Yes, you are right that a given collection of songs is already a database, as long as you can visualize that through your preferred software... and this is what makes you 'married', as you say, to that software which works best in this case. But I think there's a bit of misunderstanding about what I actually expected from Mp3tag. I can already visualize my mp3 collection from the music player, and that database is quite good by itself. I also have the option to edit tags, keeping in sync with the rest of my library.

However, the reason I wished I could use such a database from within Mp3tag is that it would allow me to edit new files more conveniently. Now, do you think that the procedure you mentioned will allow me to do that? I did a bit of searching without much success. I can already edit tags from within the music players which also have a database with my custom-edited tags. But the problem is that I prefer Mp3tag for this job as most of the music players have their own ways of handling tag editing, and most often they mess with my custom-edited tags in some way.

P.S. The problem with what I already do, i.e. something similar to what ohrenkino suggested, is that I would have to select specific songs that I already have in my library to be able to edit new tags a bit more conveniently. If Mp3tag can support a local database, we can simply use that instead (that will also include the whole library instead of chosen tracks).

Thanks for your time and help.

I think Mp3tag's foremost role is to add information to the tags and to process a file from "blank" to "tagged".
If you used a database in the background then this database would only be useful if it could relate to existing data - but with what? This is exactly that data that has to be input (manually).
As soon has you have entered the data you can add other files to serve as some kind of template. But in general it means that you still have to know the file's details.

I'm also not understanding what advantage any direct DB integration would buy, and think such a feature would unnecessarily add to MP3Tag's complexity.

one very useful option: I can choose from my existing library to fill up most of the required fields (considering I have the same artist, composer etc. in some of my previous files)

If you just add multiple files/directories to the MP3Tag UI, a mix of already-tagged and new files, you can then easily get the data you want from the old to the new via the sidebar and/or the Extended Tags dialog, or in some cases using Actions.

I've found MP3Tag's UI features to actually be better than most database tools - maybe you just need to get to know it a bit more thoroughly.

Or just invest a bit of time up-front in setting up a well-automated standard import/export workflow - then you can do your data-entry in whatever tool you like and still use MP3Tag to actually write the tag data.

IOW you should be able to do exactly what you want with MP3Tag's existing feature set.

If you still don't think so, perhaps give some detailed step-by-step examples of what you're looking to accomplish to help us understand your perceived unmet needs.

Well, then let me first be more elaborate on what I want to do. As I said, I already have a well-edited collection, and I think even for new albums, I can get most of the info (artist, composer, etc, or even original album for collections) from my existing library.
Now, no matter whether the tag fields of the new files are empty or not, there is a chance that I would end up with duplicate entries as a result of spelling mistakes, use of initials, etc. E.g. for an artist name like A. R. Rahman, I might end up with AR Rahman, Rahman, A. R Rahman or such slight variations unless I copy paste the exact spelling I use in my existing library. It may not be an issue for many names, but for others it is a big issue. So, there are two problems actually: I have to type the names (as auto-complete won't in Mp3tag without a database) and there might be duplicate entries for the same artist/album etc. The only solution is to copy-paste, as I said. But with too many files and too many fields, it would be a real pain (batch edit may not always be the option, though that's the only relief now for certain albums).
Now here is what I can do with a database, for example of MediaMonkey: no matter which field it is, artist, album, composer, original album, etc. I can simply pick the name from the drop-down list (like with genre field in Mp3tag) or if I type a few letters, auto-complete option completes the rest (esp. with MediaMonkey, auto-complete works with separators too). So, with the simple option of using my existing library, I can bypass all the problems: I won't have to type everything, I need not copy-paste a bit, and the bonus, which is more important, I won't end up with duplicates.

Then, what's the problem with using the media player, you might ask. First, they handle tag editing a bit differently than I am used to with Mp3tag. I end up with multiple entries sometimes (multiple year, artist etc.). Also, I have a lot of duet tracks, and the separators those programs use create multiple lines which makes it impossible to see the latter half from say windows explorer and such, and also, sometimes those fields get omitted if I convert the file.

Also, as you people mentioned Mp3tag is quite good to work with, as I have a lot of flexibility as to what I want to do and how. The only problem is that there is no way I can use my existing database.
One thing though, as I mentioned earlier, if I add previously edited folders to Mp3tag to help with this, that does not work exactly the way it should. E.g. if I have a duet with artists AA and BB, I would have to find another file with those exact artists. If I have them separately in my library, that won't work.

I hope this would help in understanding the exact problem and what I want to achieve. I hoped that others might have faced similar problems and might have some kind of a workaround. Somehow, I could not find any yet, though I do use the 'actions', etc often.

HansBKK, bother explaining what you meant by this?:
"Or just invest a bit of time up-front in setting up a well-automated standard import/export workflow - then you can do your data-entry in whatever tool you like and still use MP3Tag to actually write the tag data."
...and if that would help me with my problem

And, ohrenkino, you are right that I still have to know the file's details, but the above explanation should make clear my exact problem. A database will not only make tag editing faster, it would also be accurate. If I get tags details from elsewhere, for Rahul Dev Burman, I might end up with R. D. Burman, R. D. Barman, RD Burman, R.D.B., etc. etc. Now I know they are all the same, but my computer does not. So I do it my way and try to keep things synchronised, and that is where the idea of a local, manually edited database comes in.

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.

So you know all the artist's names by heart?
If you are not sure and simply see "Barman" as suggestion from other sources - how do you know it is Rahul Dev Burman? One of the entries is found at "R", the other one at "B".
Is "Earth & Fire" correct or should it be "Earth, Wind & Fire"?
So proabably you have to do a little resarch beforehand.
And then you load the well tagged tracks from your collection, add the new ones, select all the new ones plus one from the well tagged ones and use the drop-down lists for Artist and perhaps Albumartist - all the other fields will be different, I guess.
So, there you have your (little) database.
It is not quite what you want but it relieves you from copying an pasting.

Just one footnote: I do not know, how large your collection is - but scrolling through a list of e.g. 60 or more entries starting with "Chris" would be rather annoying ....

Hi, thanks for looking into this, I somehow didn't get notified of the reply.

Certainly not all, but still quite a few I would say. :rolleyes: But in this case I am talking about known tracks/artists where I want all the entries to be similar so that just like me, my music players are also able to identify them well. :laughing:

Yes, you are right. But that mostly happens when I encounter a name which is similar to a known artist - I might check if they are the same or not. So, in this case, if I encounter a name say R. D. B. I might check whether it is R. D. Burman or someone else. If it be him, I would like to make sure that I change it to R. D. Burman so that in my library I can find him easily. However, most of the times I can guess from other info available to me, such as time (year), the type of song, the other artists he has worked with in the track (in this case he is a composer and I know very well most of the artists he has worked with). So, you can see, it depends.

This is actually how I need to do now. But if I could have a pre-built database that Mp3tag can use, I won't have to select previous tracks, etc, etc.......... I would just have to choose from a list. And if you have ever noticed how this works in music players, you would know that it is far more user friendly than it may sound.

Yes. This would probably be the only annoyance, presupposing that you do have that many names similar. But it would still solve my primary problem: it would get rid of duplicate spellings. So when I want to listen to R. D. Burman songs, I won't have to select all the other alternative spellings, etc.... :music: