Re: [Rhythmbox-devel] Total Tracks?

On Mon, 2003-10-13 at 22:31, nils wrote:
> I have tried to develop some consensus about this and see if
> some official recommendations can be made:
> - I contacted the mailing list, in the hopes
>   of sparking discussion. You can follow the thread at:
>   starting with my email at:
> Unfortunately, it degenerated into a tagging flame-fest,
> mostly due to one poster (Segher) who believes that tagging
> is an abomination, and should be eradicated in favor of an
> (as yet non-existent) metadata stream.

That was an annoying thread to read.  The people arguing against using
Vorbis Comments for metadata are misled, I think.

Vorbis comments as they exist today provide 99% of what music players
need for basic operation.  To import a new song, all you really care
about is:

Song Name
Track Number/Track Total

That gives you enough to implement a useful browser such as Rhythmbox
has.  All of these fields already exist, they are human-readable (and so
fail to succumb to the criticism of "looking like a database").  They
aren't rigorously defined (for example, is "Artist" performer or
composer?) but they don't have to be -- what you know is that whatever
appears as "artist" will be used for the "artist" pane of the browser.

To support more thorough metadata (composer, year, conductor, cover art,
etc) IMO the right way to do this is to have each song have a unique id
that links into some centralized database.  And lucky for us, this
already exists: Musicbrainz!

So the idea is: the tags on a file give you enough information that you
can browse your collection.  For more information, the player can look
up the song in the musicbrainz database, which has the benefit of being
constantly updated.  It doesn't make sense to try and include every
piece of potential metadata in a stream, since it will always be
incomplete or potentially erroneous.


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