Help with metadata for "Release Date" using "Audio Request" media player

Friends,

I would please appreciate advice with "release dates". Specifically, I have a media server I use for FLAC files called "Audio Request" wherein my metadata is tagged with the usual album, artist, genre, year and also the "release date".

I have been entering this release date manually in the "Audio Request" system itself in this format: "January 1, 2020".

I have thousands of new albums I am trying to add to the "Audio Request" and I prepared metadata information with mp3tag and the program works beautifully.

I would like to prepare the "release date" metadata information in mp3tag so that I don't have to enter it within "Audio Request" - but I am having trouble with this and would appreciate advice. Here are the details:

When one opens "Audio Request" the release dates for albums are always shown in this format: January 1, 2020.

From looking at metadata of tagged media that was in Audio Request, it appears that this "Release Date" is using a metadata field "release_time". I created a custom field in mp3tag for that. For the purpose of testing I created a small 5 second FLAC file and gave it the release date of "January 1, 2020". This file is uploaded here:

01 Music Sample Tagged by mp3tag.zip (424.0 KB)

When I load this prepared file into the "Audio Request" my release date does shows up, but it is not showing up in the same format viewed in mp3tag. Instead the release date shows up as numbers and time: 2020-01-01 00:00:00

I deleted the release date field within the "Audio Request" and manually re-entered and saved the release date "January 1, 2020". This information holds correctly in the proper format as "January 1, 2020".

I have attached here the file after it has been re-saved by "Audio Request". I believe it has some different metadata written into it after re-saving.

02 Music Sample Tagged by Audio Request.zip (424.4 KB)

Summary: There is undoubtedly something different in how Audio Request is saving the "release date" metadata, but I am not technically adept enough to understand what that difference is or what I need to do in mp3tag to accomplish this.

I do hope the uploaded files provide a clue. Any recommendations on how I might solve this are most appreciated.

Wishing you all a safe week,
Lodum

Always store dates as CCYY-MM-DD (i.e. numeric year, month and day)!

Software can then parse and display it in a different format and may let their users change the details.

There is a field in MP3Tag called RELEASETIME, usually used for podcasts.
This has the format
YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ
if you want to seperate the date when a medium was released from that of the original release, it may be worthwhile to have a look at ORIGYEAR.
You find more information about fields in the help:
https://help.mp3tag.de/main_tags.html

There are lots of differences in the metadata between your 2 files.
For example:
"02 Music Sample Tagged by Audio Request.flac" has ID3v1 tags and Vorbis Comments where Release Time = January 1, 2020
"01 Music Sample Tagged by mp3tag.flac" has only Vorbis Comments and Release Time = Jan 1, 2020.
So it is difficult to do any detective work because there is too much extraneous information.

NB: Mp3tag does not expose ID3v1 tags in FLAC files: ID3v1 tags are not identified in FLAC files

I would start over like this:

  1. Create 2 identical FLAC files with no metadata.
  2. Use Audio Request to write only the tag field that concerns you into file #1.
  3. Load file #1 into Mp3tag and use "Extended Tags" to copy the field name and value. Don't edit file #1.
  4. Load file #2 into Mp3tag and use "Extended Tags" to create a new field. Paste the information copied from file #1 for field and value.
  5. Load file #2 into Audio Request and observe.

If there is still a discrepancy, you will now have 2 files that can be used for further investigation.

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Thank you all for your help and suggestions. Most appreciated.

  1. I started over and created 2 identical FLAC files with no metadata.
  2. I used Audio Request to write only the tag field that concerns me (release date), written as
    January 1, 2020
  3. I then loaded file #1 into Mp3tag and used extended tags to copy the field name and value.
  4. I loaded file #2 into Mp3tag and pasted the information from file #1 for field and value.
  5. I loaded file #2 into Audio Request and observed.
    _
    In step 5, I observed that Audio Request shows the correct data, but changed the format to this:
    2020-01-01 00:00:00

I have uploaded the files from my tests here:
FLAC Tests 3 files 15Mar20.zip (1.2 MB)

There are 3 files:
01 is the FLAC file after step 2 described above. (It also appears to me that although I only edited the "release date" field in Audio Request, Audio Request automatically adds other types of metadata, such as naming the artist as my NAS drive and naming the track as the test folder the file was in.)

02 is the FLAC file after step 4 described above. In this step I copied the field concerning release date from file 01 into a copy of the FLAC file with no metadata.

03 is the FLAC file after putting it into Audio Request. (It appears to me that when Audio Request scans files on the drive it is automatically adding some metadata, as I described above.)
_

Observations when looking at files 01 and 03 (viewed within mp3 tag):
01 shows the release date as January 1, 2020
03 shows the release date as 2020-01-01 00:00:00

The files show up in Audio Request the same way:
01 shows the release date as January 1, 2020
03 shows the release date as 2020-01-01 00:00
_

In summary, there still seems to be something I am missing in regards to getting the metadata in a format that Audio Request will show correctly as January 1, 2020 - but the methodology in which this new test was done based on the good advice I received might help to narrow down what is wrong.

Even when I copied the release date metadata and saved it into another FLAC file using Mp3tag and put it back into Audio Request it didn't translate correctly for Audio Request . So, hopefully that oddity of having the correct field but it showing up in the wrong format helps narrow down what might be the problem here that needs to be solved.

(Additional note: there is no setting in Audio Request to change the display format for any of the fields, i.e., YY-MM-DD, etc. I also tried other standard fields to get the release date into Audio Request - but the software only appears to show anything in the release date if the field defined as "release_time" is used in the metadata.)

Thank you for your time.

Best, Lodum

It seems that Audio Request automatically added metadata to the file when it was scanned, including ID3v1 tags, without user interaction.
But it also rewrote the release date metadata in a different format: from "January 1, 2020" to "2020-01-01 00:00".

From your earlier description, it sounds as if Audio Request will display "January 1, 2020" if it is written when the file is already in the server.
And it seems the date can be read, even if in the "January 1, 2020" format, when scanning new files.

If its true that Audio Request rewrites the date, then you probably have no way of using Mp3tag to do what you want.
But maybe there are some settings you can change on the server.
For example:

  • Change the default date format used by the server (maybe that's different than "there is no setting in Audio Request to change the display format for any of the fields")
  • Disable automatic writing of metadata when scanning new files.

I'm just brainstorming here: I have no knowledge of the server software.

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Please note that 1 January is never a good test date, because software may just default to the first day of the first month when it discovers a year number.

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Thank you very much for looking at these tests.

I am exploring how to change the date format in the server itself (and also trying to use a different date that is not January 1 for date tests).

You stated that the Audio Request is writing ID3v1 tags and also you noted that in the first test there were also Vorbis Comments. How does one identify ID3v1 tags in FLAC files? How does one note that there are Vorbis Comments? Does one use a different program to analyze the files?

If I could locate and better identify those types of details in the metadata it might help me to identify a solution. I am assuming that Audio Request is writing the "release_time" field in some way that has different information in it, or is even possibly writing some invisible "end of transmission" block at the end of the "release_time" field it is using which I have not figured out how to identify accurately or write on the end of the "release_time" field within Mp3tag.

As shown in the tests, I am copying and pasting "release_time" field from one FLAC file to another FLAC file and when it is saved by Mp3tag it is being read back differently by Audio Request. I am surmising there might be additional "invisible" information embedded into the "release_time" field generated by Audio Request that might not be getting copied and saved into the new FLAC file when using the copy and paste function in Mp3tag.

It seems that if I could identify that data (if it in fact exists) and duplicate it then I might have this worked out.

Best, Lodum

To analyze the metadata in a file:
I use Exiftool, by Phil Harvey. https://exiftool.org/
It can read many types of metadata for many types of files, including Vorbis Comments and ID3 tags in FLAC files.
It's a very flexible and powerful command-line application, with a steep learning curve facing most users before they become comfortable with it.
But it's relatively easy to use for simply displaying metadata, one file at a time.

You could also use a hex editor, if you're comfortable dealing with a file on the bits and bytes level. I'm not.
For example: HxD https://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd/

Vorbis Comments, ID3 tags, and FLAC files:
As you are probably aware, Vorbis Comments are used for the metadata in FLAC files and ID3 tags are used for MP3 files.
It is unusual to see ID3 tags written to FLAC files, but it occurs at times with certain software.
(I believe Exact Audio Copy (EAC) allows it, but I also believe it is usually user error when it happens.)
Other software, like Mp3tag, will not write ID3 tags to FLAC files.
Mp3tag is smart enough to recognize ID3v2 tags in FLAC files and report their existence (%_tag%), even though it does not read or write the metadata.
Unfortunately, Mp3tag is not smart enough to recognize ID3v1 tags in FLAC files.

Based on the example files you provided, it seems that Audio Request writes ID3v1 tags to FLAC files.
At least, that's what Exiftool shows.
But this is probably unimportant to this "Release Date" problem you are having.
I merely mentioned it because it is unusual and I consider ID3 tags in FLAC files undesireable.
But for all I know, Audio Request does it on purpose for a specific reason.
Your files have no mention of the "release_time" field in their ID3 tags.

Thank you very much.
I appreciate the input and I am studying those tools you suggested.

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