[Discussion] Best way to handle Year tag for movie scores/soundtracks?

So I'm wondering the best way to handle the Year tag for scores/soundtracks.
When I'm browsing, I really prefer to use the year tag for the release year of the movie - but that doesn't always coincide with when the soundtrack is released.
Do you guys use year for movie year, and origyear for soundtrack? Other way around? Add movie's release year to the album title so that it's " ()"?

Sorry if this is the wrong place by the way, wanted to post in the off-topic section, but can't create threads there yet.

Not exactly how you do it, in that I always reference the soundtrack release date rather than the film release date, but I used to add the original release year of an entire album to the Year tag and changed my habit a while back.

Now I use the Year for the release date of that version of the music (eg: a remaster from 2017), and a separate originaldate custom tag for the original release date of a track/album (eg: 1982).

Reason for this stemmed from a few things. First was a similar desire to mark the original release date of tracks which for things like compilations may differ from the release date of the album. Additionally because if I instead kept the Year tag for the original release date and used a separate Published tag then for many releases I'd have identical values in two tags which I feel is a bit redundant (personal taste, it may change)—but also it would have created an issue for per-track original release dates which I was wanting to begin adding, that would have really messed up track grouping in all but the most advanced of music players :stuck_out_tongue:

In my use I should probably use three tags: one for the published date, another for the entire original release date, and yet another optionally for per-track original release dates (to document the year each track originally was released). Maybe when Mp3Tag has a version of the UI which enables improvements to the horizontal Tag Panel layout I'll add more fields (since it takes up quite a bit of room at the moment :wink:).

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There is also the field ORIGYEAR for the year of the original release - most players don't show it but it may add some more sophistication to your collections.

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I am a score buff and most of my music is what you can call a score music. And your question is something I was struggling for years, changing the rules governing my info storage system; and this is what I have settled on and believe it cannot be done better:

YEAR: the year of first release of the album; not some re-release and not of the premier of the movie or of the recording session

ALBUM: if this is some later re-release ["special edition" or "complete recording session" and such] then I add the year of that release in here [as well as description of it]

YEAR+ / ORIGYEAR [or however you wanna call it or whatever you want to or can utilize]: the year of the movie premiere or recording session- if you happen to that they happened earlier than the release of the movie

PUBLISHER: this is where I put the name of the parties involved with publication of the album

ALBUM ID / DISCNUMBER: this is where I put the number [code] of the release - if I combine this with the PUBLISHER info then I know for sure what release I am listening too

TITLE: here I can store information about the year of the mix or version

That YEAR+ I most often leave empty. As it is often a case when a movie was from 2000, while the recording took place in 1999, thus I always think such when I see "2000" and "score" [I suspect 1999]. It is also not so seldom that the score is released a year later than the movie- but one year

And if it had taken place in 1999 and 2000, then I would place "1999-2000" [if I would take time to check it out]. But if the movie was a remake and the piece is some theme from the original from 1975, then I would use that field for denoting that info by putting "1975". And if there was a combination of "earlier years", I can put "1975; 1999-2000". Or I could just create yet another field to distinct between these two but that kind of situation is rare and I prefer to just use that YEAR+ for years of the first know recording [e.g. 1975] of a song that was later on covered [e.g. in 1999] or remixed [e.g. 2000]. And if that is not enough I can always use the TITLE do be very precise. Theoretically every piece of music from some "special edition" should have such mix info put in the TITLE [along with the year info], but that can be read by me from the ALBUM- to simply put: if the situation does not require it, I do not put year in the TITLE, as it would lead to abundance of very long titles, thus creating overall obscure of the readability

Of course I say "movie" but mean also series, videogame, stageplays and others. And rules for OSTs are the same- but even easier, as there is rather no cases of remastered OSTs or theirs special edition- and if there is more than one I can always put a number to it, counting them onward from the very first one [although in the world of anime that could be unfortunately a higher level math]

And of course there is the issue of a given player abilities to display less popular or made up fields and / or of signs like ;. I for sure had to start using COMMENT instead of the legit ORIGYEAR or made up YEAR-ORIGINAL, because Advanced Title Formatting in Winamp would not see them or display them wrongly for some or all of the audio file formats that I use. You can read rather thoroughly about it here:

But all in all I always viewed such issues in such way: there is precise managing of at in Mp3tag and there is the display of that data outside of it [that may suffer from various restrictions]

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I'm leaning more and more towards using "Movie Title (Year)" as the album title, "Year" for release of the specific soundtrack CD, and "OrigYear" for the original release year of the soundtrack, if the current is a re-issue.

But at the same time, I have a nagging feeling that I'll change my mind later on for some reason.
Not that it's a big issue, as long as I pick a style and stick to it consistently, changing it later on will be easy with batch tagging and regex.

Guess I'll just have to tag a few hundred albums and see how it looks to really get a feel for it.

Do you know if this also supports ISO 8601 (eg: YYYY-MM, YYYY-MM-DD, and optionally time appended) officially, as Year does? It's something I appreciate about Year since I can add the full date and even the simple players I use can reduce the date to just the year if they don't support displaying the full date.

It probably wouldn't matter though, given the limited player support, more just curiosity.

Reading the id3 spec, it does not seem that ISO 8601 is supported, but I suspect that most half-decent software either "fails gracefully" by cutting off the 5th+ characters, or decides to display it all regardless.

The 'Original release year' frame is intended for the year when the original recording, if for example the music in the file should be a cover of a previously released song, was released. The field is formatted as in the "TYER" frame.

The 'Year' frame is a numeric string with a year of the recording. This frames is always four characters long (until the year 10000).

It is for ID3v2.4 which maps to TDOR. Mp3tag doesn't enforce the format, which I found most practical given real-life usage.


Try this as modus operandi:

1] Locate extreme cases: long names, double names, uncertain year info, lack of proper info, albums with more than one version [lie some re-issues / remasters]; and some of your favorites that you can easily recall from your memory

2] Mark them with something like ???? in some made up tag field like SAMPLES

3] Copy the original [current] data to some backup fields

4] Implement the new system for those selected cases

5] Run along with them for a couple of weeks

7] Add some completely new files with that new system imposed on them; and do not forget to mark them also with ????

8] After another couple of weeks evaluate the system

9] Adjust the system and repeat 1-8; or adjust the rest of the files to this already tested and accepted system

10] Leave the backup fields and markers intact for a couple of months, just in case