Furthering consistentcy


Providing the right tags proves absolutely essential to the use of the Media Server on my NAS-box, so I'm grateful for MP3Tag and use it a lot. Yet, there is one feature I am sorely missing and unless I'm much more of a weirdo then I thought I'd say others who take 'tagging' seriously must miss it too.
My recurring problem is that various sources of tags (be it already in place or downloaded) have very different ideas about naming, spelling and 'genres', this combined with my own inability to exactly remember what I did last time.
This leads, for example, to me having music from a range of Beethovens: there is 'Beethoven', 'Ludwig van Beethoven', 'Ludwig von Beethoven', 'Beethoven, Ludwig van', 'L. van Beethoven' to name just a few. Of course, the same goes for almost any other composer and even more for pieces composed by several people. Same thing, or worse, for 'artist'. I gave a simple example, but the problem goes much deeper: tags like 'artist', 'album', 'albumartist' are vague by themselves and often interpreted differently (in fact, the whole idea of 'album' stems from the old days of vinyl and CD and is increasingly unavailable or even non-existent).
All this leads to a discouraging chaos in my Media Server, where I very often can't find what I'm looking for in the modern way and have to revert to the option of browsing 'folders'; these at least reflect my way of organising music but are but a (poor!) substitute for 'the old fashioned way' of arranging vinyl or CD's in cabinets.

MP3Tag could help me enormously, even by fairly simple means, to make my tagging more consistent and therefore more useable.
I'd say we look for music in different ways, depending on genre: for classical music it's the composer, in popular music it's the band or the lead artist and quite often the 'genre' tag is important.
To start with the latter: a list of 'genres' is provided but I bet it will satisfy few people. The option of providing my own list (and limiting the displayed list to those) is a big improvement, but it's clumsy to work with. I'd like to be able to add a genre by simply typing it in the field; after the question "Do you want to add 'xxx' to the list?" it then is added. (Or NOT, since it is precisely such a reminder which can make me remember that I added similar music under a different 'genre'.)
In the same vein, under 'artist', 'albumartist' and 'composer' lists could appear which work the same way: displaying names previously used with the option to type in a new one and a warning when a new one is added.

Such options furthering consistency would completely transform the way I access my Media Server; they could finally provide the promised access by various search criteria as opposed to the old fashioned way of arranging CD's in a one-dimensial order in 'folders', the logic of which is not only very personal but also verry difficult to maintain over the years.

I'd gladly pay money for a version with such 'advanced features' and even more if it would use use search algorithms to look for 'similar items' (e.g. filling in 'L. van Beethoven' I am made aware that I have previously used 'Beethoven, L. van'.)

Creating drop down lists for artist, composer, album name

Here is a thread about user-defined lists:

and another one:

or here:

It may be worthwhile to have a look at the filter feature:

The filter would find most of the Beethoven with the filter expression
%artist% HAS Beeth


I just do not understand: what is keeping you from manually finding all of the various fields that happens to have various Beethoven-names? Starting with the most crucial one, the ARTIST?

If you do this once, than all you have to do in the future is to just remember / use that one "code word" for various Beethoven cases. And if you ever decide to switch e.g. from Ludwig van Beethoven to Ludwig von Beethoven, then you will simply select all of the files and perform a simple action applied to all of the fields [however: in this example that would potentially rename Ludwig van Beethoven in an ALBUM tag, thus leaving you with "no existing" / "fake" / "erroneous" / "whatever-you-wanna-call-it" name - for me personally it is not a problem, as my problem is inconsistent names in ALBUM tags, which I change and re-arrange as I please. You can start by making a column and adding some clearly visible marker for all of the files [ideas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_Shapes]

If you do then I suggest working on it on a daily basic, taking 50-100 files per session, changing a chosen marker to some other to indicate valuated files. And after doing all of them: repeat the whole operation, to get all that mistakes you have made. And if you have too much time: do it a third time. And that marker thing is crucial: as at the end you will be left with all of the cases of Beethoven that you did not though before

Of course there is possibility that you will make a type now and then- so I guess that is where a drop down list [at least for the ARTIST] would come into play, to prevent such errors