general directions

I am totally new to this whole subject, but only need to know how to use the editor for tagging cd's that I burn to my computer in order to transfer them to my mp3 player. I've been told that this is what I need to do so that my player recognizes what each cd is and what it belongs to. I read the directions, but they don't mean much to me - the terms are unfamiliar and I don't have any context for them. I've played around with the editor a bit, with a book I had already burned, that had 9 discs. I'm just not sure what I should put in what field, etc? I need a VERY basic 1-2-3, if that's possible.


Please see the First Steps, the Help files, and the Frequently Asked Questions.

Kind regards,

Florian - I have done all of those things, but as I said, the terminology is unfamiliar to me and the directions don't help at all. I don't know what they mean. That's why I'm asking for just very basic, step by step directions. I had a box come up to edit the tags, with headings like title, artist, and album. When I copy the discs from a book, all the track ones, twos, threes, etc. group together so I, and I guess my mp3 player, can't tell which track one goes to which disc etc. So do I put the book name in the title block or the album block, and which block do I put the disc #, and is that even the way for me to do it? I just don't have a clue, and am not just being "helpless" by not reading for myself!

I really would appreciate the help. Thanks.


So you have mainly audiobooks? Which mp3 player do you have?
This is what I would put in the tag panel on the left:

Title: Chapter names
Artist: Reader or writer of the book
Album: Name of the book (maybe + Disc Number, depends on your player)
Track: Track numbers starting new for each cd

If your player understands it, you can edit the Discnumber tag with Menu View > Extended Tags

Carol, first off before you try any of this stuff make an extra copy of the audiobook and keep it safe in another directory. It will be easier to fall back on that instead of having to reimport then entire book again.

Here are a few suggestions. First set up folders on your hard drive organized by Author name (this will be the Artist field in the tagger). Then put the books in subfolders underneath by book name. However, if it is a multibook series, first make a subfolder for the series name and then put folders for the individual books underneath that. I keep books in series order by putting a number in front of the folder name. So lets take the Dune series.

Make a folder named Frank Herbert or if you like Herbert, Frank depending on how you like to see it. I tend to like to see it as first name last name even though it messes up the alphabet. So the folders look like this.

Frank Herbert

   Dune Chronicles
         01 Dune
         02 Dune Messiah
         03 Children of Dune

Notice I used leading zeros in the folder name since the computer gets confused with the numbers 1 and 10 and puts them together out of order.

Now. Use the Artist field for the author, always. Be sure not to mix narrators and authors both in that same field, since it will make it hard to locate them later on in your media program. You'll have to decide about whether you want the last name first or last, but keep it consistent with your folder names.. It will make your life easier later on. Album should be used for the book name. I use the composer field for the narrator. I think I had to make a custom field for it, but I did it so long ago, I don't remember anymore. I thought I was so smart to think up this use for composer, and then I found that a lot of people did it. I actually put the right genre in genre field (Science Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, etc.), you can type in what you want, or you can also permanently modify this field with the new genres, but you don't need to.

The title field (track name) can be the chapter title and number if you have it. Or it can be an intelligent sequence because you can't always know the chapter. I'll show how I did Dune. First I have to differ with the poster who said never put numbers in the title field. With an audiobook with hundreds of tracks, that's the only way to distinguish multiple tracks within the same chapter or keep them sorted right over multiple discs.

Always end the chapter name in the title field with a number (again using leading zeroes) because it will aid in renumbering the tracks all consecutively and help finding your place in the book. Now Dune doesn't have chapter numbers or chapter names, so I just used the track number appended to the Book Title (I'll explain later). There is a nifty tool for renumbering tracks which is imperative in an audiobook. If there are 20 CDs, there will be 20 tracks with the number one and they will not sort right. They will sort with all the number one tracks and then all the number two tracks, etc. However the only way to get the order right is to have numbering in the title field or use my trick with disc number below.

Disc number can also be useful in getting the tracks to sort correctly. Again using leading zeroes for the discs (01, 02, 03). You can sort on the track field (and it will sort wrong, bunching up all the ones and twos etc). But then if you then click on the disc field, it will all line up properly. Then click the renumbering button and select the option for leading zeroes. This is so hard to describe online, and if you aren't comfortable with some software tweaking and prowling around menus to take advantage of features and options, it may be impossible. You'll have to make a column for the disc field. It's easy. The parameter you use to make the field is %discnumber%. The help screen should walk you through making a custom field. It is easy to follow. I think you also need to create a composer column %composer%. You can find the values for the tags in the help file.

Here is how I numbered Dune after I had the tracks numbered sequentially from 001 - 499.

Dune 001
Dune 002
Dune 003

And I did that by using the quick action function for format value, choosing the title field and typing in %album% %track%. It a simple menu selection.

Now if you have chapter numbering it might look something like this. But this is a more manual and tedious process. I'll use Harry Potter as the example. Each chapter has multiple files. The numeric is the chapter number and the alphabetic is the track number (but you can also use numbers here, I'll show the numeric example next). The Boy Who Lived is chapter 1, and The Vanishing Glass is chapter 2.

The Boy Who Lived 01A
The Boy Who Lived 01B
The Vanishing Glass 02A
The Vanishing Glass 02B

I've seen some people use lower case for the alphabetic letter which represents the track number. It doesn't matter. But be sure to use leading zeroes. When there are more than 26 tracks to a chapter, it would like following

The Boy Who Lived 01Z
The Boy Who Lived 01Za
The Boy Who Lived 01Zb

Another way would be to dispense with the alphabet entirely. Here is the way it would look then. The first number is the chapter number and the second is the track number. I think the alphabetic method is easier to read, but you don't always have chapter names or chapter numbers so you have to just number it like I did Dune. Avoid just using the generic name Chapter 01, Chapter 02, since it will be a mess when you have dozens of books all with the same chapter name.

The Boy Who Lived 01-01
The Boy Who Lived 01-02
The Vanishing Glass 02-01
The Vanishing Glass 02-03

You can also export the entire title field to a text file and edit it in a word processor like Word. I was a techie and know how to use some nifty options like vertically selecting a column to trim away part of it, and some tricky stuff for searching for special characters like the end of a line (which makes it easy to add or modify something on the next line.) If you haven't ever used these advanced functions, don't worry about it. You can still edit the file line by line and then reimport it.

I then copy the title field to the filename by clicking the tag - filename button. If you have used unique numbering it will work fine, otherwise it will blow up since you can't have two filenames the same name. You can always undo a step.

This is a power and flexible tool, but it does require moderate software ability to tease out the features and use them. There are still things I can't manage. I figure things out by clicking on them and seeing what happens.

Oh, and this is entirely optional, but I also use the group field (%contentgroup%)--another custom column. I use this to give myself an extra way to sort books. iTunes and WMP both use this field, but Real Player and some others are ignorant of it. Here is how I use it. I own both the American and British versions of Harry Potter. They both have the same chapter titles and book titles. This gets them jumbled up in iTunes. So I use that field to say "Harry Potter American" and "Harry Potter British." Then I only have to sort on that field to separate them from each other if I want to do some kind of maintenance on only one of them. I use it to distinguish other sets of books that are subgrouped somehow within a set, like the Dune prequels and sequels. It's just another way to sort things.

I was a technical architect and had to design orderly environments like I described above. But it still took me some time to learn some of the tips I gave above. I hope this helps.

Thanks very much, audiobookworm and dano. I have an insignia pilot. I'll read and follow your directions, and hopefully won't have any more problems. I appreciate your time in posting!!

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"Thanks very much, audiobookworm and dano. I have an insignia pilot. I'll read and follow your directions, and hopefully won't have any more problems. I appreciate your time in posting!! "
ditto to reply >> this was very helpful to me also as i am a newbie >> all the steps were just great :smiley: