Mapping of tag fields - is it really needed at all?

From the online help available at

The problem is this: Winamp 5.666 is not able to read [or at last display] content from made up tag fields- apparently it has imprinted a limited list of processed fields. [They are listed and described under the "ATF Help" which clearly names their sources: "Provided by Winamp", "Provided by ML", "Provided by ML or input plugin", "Provided by input plugin"; and so apparently no provided-by-user fought came into the minds of its designers]

To bypass that issue I can create in Mp3tag my own tag field named YEAR-ORIGINAL or use the already existing "legit" tag field named ORIGYEAR. I would use it for storage of information of the first publication of a given song [and not merely a YEAR of an album on which it was released]. But if I do, then such data will not show up in Winamp, as both fields YEAR-ORIGINAL and ORIGYEAR are not listed by it as proper ones. So I thought I could use the DATE tag field- and so I checked the Winamp list. Unfortunately DATE was not on it. But then I remembered that in spite of that it is already mapped in Mp3tag. I checked my Mp3tag setting and there it was. And yet somehow it was also displayed in Winamp without a problem

So first two questions would be: is this a mistake on account of Winamp- they missed the DATE field and that is why it displays it? Or is it how mapping works [at least in Mp3tag]- it will not only substitute one field for another in Columns and Tag Panel [but not in Extended Tags] but also store mapped information in such way, that a third party software [like Winamp] will see YEAR instead of DATE? After all, my FLAC files under the the Extended Tags icon do not show me YEAR tag field but date

Next I made a test. I deleted mapping for DATE and created a new FLAC file without any data in its tag fields. And then I filled in YEAR with "0000" and saved it. As a result my Winamp displayed "0000" as a YEAR information

So now the questions are: can I just use YEAR field in FLACs instead of its DATE [and without mapping DATE to YEAR]? What is then the mapping needed for? To accommodate some other players than Winamp, which cannot be fooled into seeing DATE as YEAR?

And now I remembered my problems when I was searching for more lossless formats that would behave in the same way as FLACs and WavPacks [and MP3s]. Back then I had to dismiss them on the account of various issues. Most important here I had to deem the WMA format as unusable for me because of the problem with a single dot in the TRACK tag field [/t/17714/1]. But in the light of those above findings of mine, it seems that I could just create for example YEAR-UNIVERSAL field, map it in Mp3tag as the YEAR and no longer have issues with a >>.<< in TRACK among the WMA format. Because there will be no longer a problem with putting such data in a made up by me field of YEAR-UNIVERSAL [although there still could be some other issues]. And this workaround also shows potential for dealing with other format with issues of that kind

So the last questions would be: is such mapping even possible for WMA at all? And if yes, then how do I do that? What do I put in the File > Options > Tags > Mapping > Tag? Both "VorbisComment" and "ID3v2" do not work, while my guesses at using "Advanced Systems Format", "AdvancedSystemsFormat" and "ASF" are not accepted [remembered] at all

[ I also posted a version of this post on the Winamp's forum but it awaits moderation, so it may be, that this knowledge will see the daylight only here]

This Advanced Title Formatting in Winamp has serious limitations

It seems that users are confined only to the very basic fields:

  • YEAR
    as they are used by various formats

And by confined I mean a set up like this: I use FLAC, MP3, TTA and WV files. I need them to have [if needed] the exact same values in a given tag field. As long as I am tempering with data only within Mp3tag [2.86] there is no problem- I can create and store whatever I want [but I need to use a little of mapping for FLACs]. But the moment I want to see my data in Winamp the problems arise

Long story short: I ended up using tag field COMMENT for my The-Year-Of-Original-Recording-Or-Of-The-First-Live-Performance made up field ["Original Year" for short]. Because only COMMENT tag field is being read and displayed via the Advanced Title Formatting in all of those four formats. I could not use the PUBLISHER because it is not displayed for TTA files and could not use PRODUCER as it is not displayed by files stored in TTA and MP3 format. And of course the ORIGYEAR tag field is only displayed by less formats- only the WV ha no problem with it. And the rest [BITRATE, CATEGORY, DIRECTOR, FAMILY, KEY, MOOD, PLAYCOUNT, RATING, STREAMTITLE, TOOL, TRACKNUMBER, TYPE, VBR] was a total useless mess

It seems that the overall winner format for ATF is the WavPack. Beause WVs files in my Winamp [5.666] displayed data from almost any field that I threw at it

Or is it not a case of an option being limited [the ATF] but of the whole software [Winamp]? After all, the Mp3tag allows for creating made up fields and mapping, thus allowing for bypassing of formats limitations and for a user friendly unification of the nomenclature for cross-format system

But my original questions are still pretty much relevant

If you add DATE in an ID3V2 tag then it becomes a user-defined field.
If you want to avoid that, you need the mapping.

From the help topic you've linked above:

And so I did create such mapping

  • Tag:
    • WMA
  • Source:
  • Target:
    • TRACK

And it did do the trick of allowing me now to put dots in WMA files in the TRACK, as in other formats that I use; analogical to how I use YEAR in spite of FLACs using natively the DATE field. Unfortunately, Winamp was not fooled by this and does not display a mapped TRACK field for WMA. And something strange I have noticed during this, some of which has nothing to do with Mp3tag [but might be relevant in the broader context]. As this might be hard to follow so I will try to brake it down. Please note that in CAPITALS are denoted the name of tag fields. And that I am talking about years in regard to FLACs and about track numbers in regards to WMAs

1] Winamp has two ways of displaying tags: via the aforementioned Advanced Title Formatting and the File Info Component. ATF is displayed in 3 different places, but it does always follow in all of those places the code I feed it- and obviously you have to specify within the code for ATF what fields you want to process

2] When in mapping options of Mp3tag, VorbisComment [the Tag] maps DATE [the source] as YEAR [the target], FLAC files have years [via the Tag Panel Year box] written in YEAR tag field. The Extended Tags icon will not show having them the DATE field filled up- it will not even show the DATE field existing as empty [with no data]. And Winamp shows such "fake" YEAR via ATF and FIC; and also Winamp shows it in the File Info > Basic Info > Year box and in the File Info > Advanced [which shows all of the data just like the Extended Tags icon in Mp3tag]

3] When I delete that VorbisComment mapping [DATE as YEAR] I can still use the Year box to write into FLACs- and the data still is saved in them as YEAR. And Winamp displays it, but this time only in ATF, FIC and File Info > Advanced - but does not display it in the File Info > Basic Info > Year box

4] However in the long run, while using Winamp and Mp3tag, not having DATE mapped as YEAR will cause glitches to accumulate, if the year information will be continually upgraded [changed]. Like for example having two fields described as DATE, aside also a YEAR

5] If I were to use in the first place the Winamp to change the year of a FLAC file [via Year box in the File Info], the data would be saved as DATE. That is logical as it is the Winamp who is doing the writing and does not know what settings a third party software like Mp3tag has [all that mapping or lack thereof]. But here is the strange part: Winamp no longer reads the YEAR and uses the DATE. Mp3tag show via the Extended Tags the file as still having both YEAR and DATE [as I wrote it with different values, to make it distinguishable]. But Winamp via ATF displays now DATE instead of YEAR- how is that possible if I have only YEAR in the ATF code mentioned? In spite of this Winamp somehow shows via the ATF way the DATE! And via the File Info Components it does not- it just skips the Year line [that is how FIC always behaves if there is no data in a given field]. So Winamp substitutes automatically DATE for YEAR in ATF but in FIC it does not; and it is aware of both field as having data as it communicates this by showing both YEAR and DATE filled in [with different values] on the list available at File Info > Advanced

6] When in mapping options of Mp3tag, WMA [the Tag] maps MADE-UP-BY-ME-FIELD [the source] as TRACK [the target] I can use it freely- in that it no longer gives me any trouble in Mp3tag. But both ATF and FIC in Winamp do not see it at all. And the File Info > Basic Info > Track box in Winamp is also is empty, while the File Info > Advanced shows MADE-UP-BY-ME-FIELD a being filled with data. But most important, the ATF and FIC do not display that MADE-UP-BY-ME-FIELD as TRACK

So it seems I kind of do not need mapping for FLACs [3] as long as I do not attempt to temper later on with DATE [4-5], but even with mapping the WMAs will not act like the FLACs [5]; and Winamp has some weird inconsistent behavior that disregards users choices [5]

I shall post these findings also on the Winamp forum, but first, do you @Florian can add some info on the behalf of Mp3tag-code-runner about that difference between WMAs and FLACs? You have already told me not to cross-post, but this is very relevant in this discussion [and there was nobody back then who answered to this]:

What you're noticing here is, that the WMA input plugin of Winamp apparently has no support for user-defined tag fields. Otherwise, your MADE-UP-BY-ME-FIELD would be listed here. Compared to the Winamp WMA input plugin, the Winamp FLAC input plugin supports user-defined tag fields.

This again, has nothing to do with Mp3tag and only stems from different Winamp input plugins behaving differently.

Coming back to your initial question: yes, mapping of tag fields is needed in Mp3tag. But it's not helpful for the problem you're describing, which is something related to Winamp and needs to be solved within the constraints of this program.

Thank you for clearing that out

Those statements are also consistent with the facts established by us in that other topic about that other problem, which I cannot evoke here, because no cross-posting is allowed

I can now use all ofthat info now on the forum of Winamp

Please stop this. It's enough that we need to discuss those things in great lengths via PM.