Standards for Mix Artist tagging


#1

I'd like to properly tag remix artist and types and I'm wondering if anyone has created a standard for this yet. I found the %mixartist% field which is helpful, but it's certainly not enough.

How should I deal with:

1) Storing the "type" of remix.

John Smith - Diddy (Abe Lincoln Remix)
John Smith - Diddy (Abe Lincoln Dub)

Where would the "Remix" vs "Dub" go? Ideally it would be something like this:

%artist% = John Smith %track% = Diddy %mixartist% = Abe Lincoln %mixtype% = Remix
2) Storing multiple mix artists?

John Smith - Diddy (Abe Lincoln & Mr. Waldo Remix)

Where would Mr. Waldo go? I don't want to put him into %mixartist% because then I won't be able to keep the artists separate, but I don't see a way to add a second %mixartist% value. Ideally it would be something like this:

%artist% = John Smith %track% = Diddy %mixartist% = Abe Lincoln %mixartist% = Mr. Waldo %mixtype% = Remix
3) Collaborations

John Smith vs. Abe Lincoln - Diddy (Mr. Waldo Remix)

How do I split up the original artist value? Ideally it would be something like this:

%artist% = John Smith %artist% = Abe Lincoln %track% = Diddy %mixartist% = Mr. Waldo %mixtype% = Remix

Does ID3v2.4 support multiple values of the same field? If not -- do they have a solution proposed for these cases?

Thanks for your help.


#2

The question that I would like immediately: which player is supposed to evaluate these fields?
And then: I doubt, that MIXTYPE is a standardized field - my version of MP3tag knows MIXARTIST but not MIXTYPE.
In MP3tag it is fairly easy to create a multi-value field - simply add a double backslash between the data that is supposed to end up in separate fields. the next time you read these files you will see several of these fields.
BUT: does your player support multi-value fields?
E.g. WMP uses the semicolon to separate multiple entries (or even the single slash like in AC/DC) - which MP3tags does not interpret as indicator for multi-value-fields.
To cut this story a little shorter: I would consider a different kind of meta language in the title that also makes it easier to distinguish the different versions at a single glance and make you independent from the various implementations to deal with multi-value fields.

my proposal: enclose the mixtype in square brackets
John Smith - Diddy (Abe Lincoln Remix) -> John Smith - Diddy [Abe Lincoln Remix]

enclose further artists or participants in chevrons:
John Smith - Diddy [Abe Lincoln Remix] <& Mr. Waldo>

I would not use the round brackets as they may be part of the original title.


#3

Trying to categorize between different "types" of remixes is not very usefull in my opinion.
You could argue that there is a general difference between a remix, a dub, an edit, and a version. But the differences have no clear boundaries, and the names of the mixes on the releases are often missleading.


#4

Well, ideally, all of them. Which is why I'm asking to see if anyone has created a "standard" for these cases yet. Obviously, I can come up with workarounds for myself (ie. re-purpose the composer tag, or some other tag that I don't use). But I wanted to see if anyone has thought of these conditions already.

I currently use square brackets to differentiate between remixes, but I'd really like to be able to use a player to search for an artist and get a list of all their contributions (ie. artist, mix artist, collaborating artist, etc...) Obviously, this would require the adoption of such a standard by the player first - I get that.

Why not? The boundary is quite clear. You just need to look at the name on the official label release. It's pretty common practice in electronic music to have different remix types, and sometimes they're quite explicit: ie. "Director's Cut Signature Mix", "Myon & Shame 54 Summer of Love Mix", "Instrumental Mix".

I think it would be pretty cool to be able to query all "Instrumental Mix" tracks to quickly see a collection of all non-vocal tracks in your library.

Is there an organization that sets up ID3 standards? Do they have a forum somewhere?


#5

I know at least two (fairly widespread) ones that don't: WMP and iTunes.
WMP also does not show the BPM field whereas iTunes refuses to tell us the LANGUAGE...
So even if you have filled MIXARTIST it would be information that is lost as it is fairly likely that the player won't show it.
If, in the meantime, you devise a unique naming pattern for the data you want to look for then MP3tag will help you to transfer it to the correct fields, once this has become a widely implemented feature.


#6

Your examples are exactly those where I see the prolbems. "Director's Cut Signature Mix" isn't quite clear in my opinion. Do you want a category for "Signature Mixes" and "Summer of Love Mixes"? And what is called "Instrumental Mix" could be also called "Dub" on the official label release? The boundaries aren't so clear.

http://www.id3.org/ is the most official organization that sets up ID3 standards. But it's better to test your favorite player(s) for which fields they support.


#7

I think at that point it becomes the onus on the record label to clearly define the name of the remix. If we follow your argument then we won't be able to determine a distinction between "The Rolling Stones" vs. "Rolling Stones", or "Stairway to Heaven" vs. "Stairway To Heaven", etc... Obviously there will be discrepancies such as this -- but at least, if we can separate the type of remix from the remixer - we can make the remix artist searchable/sortable/taggable, without losing identifying data for the song type.

Looking through the documentation on the ID3 site I found:

There are mentions of remix types under TCON -- but since that's the genre value, I don't really understand what the intent for RX and CR in there is. I'll post to the ID3 mailing list and see what they say.


#8

Personally I believe that if I'm going to spend my valuable time tagging my collection I'm not going to compromise based on the current limitations of what players can do with the information.

However there isn't an point capturing the data perfectly if you're not actually going to make use of it practically.

I'd recommend setting up whatever makes sense to you in "private" custom fields, and then outputting as you see fit to the filename, allowing you to leave Title "pure".

Other actions can be tailored for limited player support.

Later on there may well be players that will take full advantage of the granularity of your currently private fields.

As an example I use a "shortAlbum" field that I combine with an albumRecordedDate in building my directory trees, I store a "singleGenre", "singleAlbumArtist", "singleWriter" etc in addition to the multi-valued ones stored in my custom-backup "private" fields.

That way I capture and store the date ONCE the right way, and have the ability (thanks to MP3Tag!) to output the crippled versions of meta data required by whatever limited-but-useful software I'm currently using.


#9

I used to live next to a guy who would put the sections of the newspaper back in order and make sure that the papers were in perfect date order before he could put them out for recycling.

OCD is a funny thing, and there's a very fine line between it and tagging your collection in a useful way. Many things being meticulously tagged by individuals will never be accessible in any software.


#10

You're completely right.

However it does make me feel good to know I won't have to go back and manually add a given data point to my growing collection if/when the software situation improves in the future. If I have what I'd like to be able to use in the future stored in a standard way throughout my files, then MP3Tag will allow me to make use of it properly.

I've found the major time investment to be up-front in understanding the issues and creating a good personal standard and procedure documentation. The incremental time cost of then actually getting the (currently "useless") extra data into the files is minimal.

And I enjoy the process - after all everything about music is in the big picture "useless" anyway isn't it, all depends on how you like to spend your time.