Displaying the YEAR tag on iPods...

Hello to all this is my first post. I have begun using this app after years of using Tag&Rename. I have to admit that the level of sophistication with this program is truly amazing and I'm only scratching the surface of what it can do since these expressions are all new to me.

I used to have an Empeg/Riocar in my vehicle and it was a masterpiece of an mp3 player. Needless to say it displayed the year and I'm used to it being there. Having an iPod is nice because it's portable but I really can't stand the fact that it does not support the year tags and display them :angry: I finally came up with a solution/workaround and that was to add the YEAR data to the end of the ALBUM title in parenthesis. I was reluctant because I didn't want to 'clutter' up my files but since it's so simply reversible I figured why not give it a go? Just in case I needed the original Album titles I first copied them to a custom 'ALBUM_NO_YEAR' field. I figured out how to do this using Format Value Actions from the toolbar and 12,000 mp3's later here I am. Now an album title looks like "Houses of the Holy (1973)" instead of just "Houses of the Holy."

An interesting side-effect of this is that on compilation or soundtrack discs I can change the YEAR tag to reflect each actual songs' year of release. It really comes in handy when cooking up smart play lists in iTunes for releases like "The Who's The Ultimate Collection" that came out in 2002. The music is from the 60's and 70's. If I was cooking up a Classic rock play list these tracks could easily get excluded when using a filter for say, 1964 to 1978. This may work for you or it may not, it's just something to consider. What I am also going to do for compilation discs now is add a 'RELEASE_YEAR' tag as a backup for the reasons I covered earlier.

I have two questions:

  1. What I need help with now is how to reverse the process in case I need the mp3's for use in another device or who knows, maybe one day ipods will support year tags. I know that I can simply overwrite the new 'ALBUM_NO_YEAR' to the ALBUM field. What I would like to know is how do I simply delete the last 7 characters/spaces from within a specific tag?

  2. Can an expression be written to do the following: Compare the ALBUM field EXCLUDING the trailing space and year in parenthesis with ALBUM_NO_YEAR field. Then if there is a difference, update the ALBUM_NO_YEAR field (without the year of course) if there is a change?

Reason for this is that if I make a tag change in iTunes I need to have a quick way to update the backup tag.


have a look at this thread