As my recent posts have indicated, I’m getting ready to do some serious work re-ripping and cataloging my CD collection. It’s about a 600+ disc effort, so I want to do it as efficiently as possible. One of the things I am having a lot of difficultly coming to terms with is whether to contribute my efforts to the public domain.
By public domain, I mean submitting highly-detailed metadata to an online database, probably MusicBrainz. From what I’ve read and understood, this seems to be the workflow I’d have to perform:
- Search MB for album on website
- If not found, enter the new album on the website, if found, add additional data
- If new album, wait for submission approval
- Rip CD
- Use MB Picard to get DiscID for CD
- Search MB for album (hence the wait for approval) then submit the DiscID for that album
- Use Picard to update the metadata in ripped files from MB
The part that keeps nagging at me is the part where the metadata has to exist in the MB database before Picard can do its (only one) thing. I am pretty sure Picard is supposed to be a database consumption application, tagging MP3 files from the MB database. The DiscID and audio fingerprint features feel like they’re tacked on.
I was already resigned to the two-step process of ripping and then metadata cleanup, but I’m now looking at metadata entry, then ripping, then metadata refresh. This is where I can’t tell if it’s worth the extra effort. It’s probably worth something, because someone can use that metadata sometime. After all, if I searched for the album and didn’t find it, someone else surely has, too.
There’s so many potential apps out there, but nothing does everything I want, and I don’t think there’s a lot I want. The ideal application would:
- Look up metadata from MusicBrainz based on DiscID from CD in drive
- If data does not exists, prompt for it, otherwise display it and allow for editing
- If data changed, submit it to MusicBrainz.
- Submit the DiscID if not already there
- Rip the CD and include the metadata in the files
Some apps do 1, 2, and 5, some do 4, some only do 5, none seem to do 3.
These are the times I wish I could have a clone of myself that would be able to do nothing but this task for a few weeks. This is why sudden obsessions are so difficult for me.
… And I did some metadata editing on MusicBrainz. I don’t think it’s for me. There’s so much ambiguity, I don’t want to add any more confusion to what they have. In my few edits, I came across a album they didn’t have – a classical compilation (damn it). I entered the basic info and they said that my entry looks like this other album. It was, so I copied the tracks. Then after saving, I thought “Why didn’t I just edit the original after I learned it was there? (and why couldn’t I find it in the first place?)” I looked at the original and it may or may not have been the same album. It might have been released by a different company. So, on one hand, I could duplicate data; on the other hand, I could screw up another person’s release. Yeah, not for me.
So I guess my decision is made. My data is mine alone. Selfish. But cover art… that I can contribute, which is different post altogether.