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Wolksby

Composer's name on each mp3 track

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Hi,

I've used Poweramp from the outset, because it seems the most appropriate programme for playing a CLASSICAL MUSIC collection on my mobile phone etc, and particularly because it is compatible with Android Auto - big plus in my eyes.

When I originally went for the full version of Poweramp, one of the words mentioned - Composer - attracted me most. So many similar apps assume that you have a non-classical collection, and don't cater for the specific way Classical collections are assembled.

Here's my question - and it actually involves the 'Composer' issue.

Firstly I use mp3 tag to get all my tracks/downloads/rips formatted as mp3s, and I catalogue as follows:

The collection is made up entirely of single CDs, which will then include as few as three tracks, or over 50, depending on content. Mp3 tag allows me to add the composer's name to each track, the artist's details, the musical genre, the title of the CD from which each separate track comes, and the single CD cover for each track included.

For me, I have no need for the separate 'Album Artist' field, simply because I only want to see the name of the main performer at any one time when in Poweramp.

This marries up perfectly with Poweramp, and I can sort my collection as Albums, Artists, Genres, Composers, and Playlists, which is just want I want here.

But when I actually play a track - either in the view that has the cover picture towards the, to, the pransport buttons below, and the name of the specific track, the performer, the the title of the CD that track has come from (which the cover shows, anyway) - or in the expanded view (cover at top, with the linear representation of the musical shape of thew track - neither place tells me the individual composer of the specific track I am currently listening to. 

Now, if the CD is entitled 'Chopin's Mazurkas', and I just land on a separate track, I will immediately know that, while the the track might show 'Mazurka No 3 in C', clearly the composer is Chopin, because only his works are on this particular CD.

But say I land on a track called 'Ballade', and I can see that this comes from the CD 'Albanian Piano Music', and the pianist is Marsida Koni - it still won't me who is the composer of this particular piece, which is annoying. Poweramp has the information, as I can sort and select CDs by Composer, but there doesn't seem to be a way to incorporate this when the CD, or specific track is playing.

I looked at copying the Composer field in mp3 tag to the empty 'Albumartist' field, and I could seem to get the composer's name into main, and extended displays, but, and as the note pointed out, this did have an effect on the way the Albums were sorted.

It would seem a real labour of love to try to get each composer's details added to each individual track name, but I don't want to replace the original information, just add the extra details

This does seem to be taking a sledge-hammer to crack a nut!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated - the collection is around 65Gb!

Many thanks, in anticipation!   

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You are correct that PA is designed to show three pieces of information about the current track - the Track Title, the Artist (mostly likely performer or orchestra in your cases), and the Album Title. The exact same information is presented, as two lines, in both the player screen and the library views. The Album Artist tag (if present) is used internally to ensure that whole albums containing tracks by various different artists remain grouped together as one album, so you shouldn't change that tag track-by-track within one album.

There is a Feature Request (that goes back a while now) to make those two information lines configurable, which would probably be exactly what you need - for example replacing the default "%artist% - %album%" formatting with something like "%album% - %composer%". I don't know if this update is something that's especially imminent though.

You could switch from using the Title tag in the top line to using the filename instead, using Settings > Library > Lists > Filename as Title, and ensure that the composer's name appears in the filename. Perhaps not ideal, but you would be able to see the information you require. Or append the Composer's name into the Artist tag - for example as something like "London Symphony Orchestra ; Chopin". That could be done as a batch process in MP3Tag, so would be a one-off task for your whole collection.

Andre

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Hi Andre,

Many thanks for such a prompt reply, which, in fact, did confirm my own thoughts. I certainly do recall thinking about this before, and did, I'm sure, come across the same Feature Request which you kindly mention. As you say, that would seem to be exactly what I'm after.

Meanwhile, I was very interested to read of your work-arounds.

I tried using the filename instead, but, and as you mentioned, because I had thought to include the composer's name, this made no noticeable difference.

The other options, especially the one involving a batch process in MP3TAG, appealed most, because of its expediency.

Here is how a line reads for a single track in MP3TAG

Filename           Title                                                            Artist                 Album                                                                        Genre                           Composer

1.mp3                Piano Trio in E flat, Op 13 - I Allegro     Musica Viva     Alabiev, Arenksy & Medtner: Piano Quintets       Chamber Music         Alabiev, Alexander

I recorded each composer's name in the format shown, as I had hoped that this could have been the way I might have then seen in in PA.

I like your idea of appending the Composer's name into another field, as in 'London Symphony Orchestra : Chopin'.

Would it, though, be equally possible to append, or even prepend the Composer's name to a different field?

I was think of something like this:

Could the composer's name be appended to the Title, so that I would have, for example from above:

(Option 1)     Title: Piano Trio in E flat - I AllegroAlabiev, Alexander

If this were feasible, would it be possible to batch process in some form of separation between the two amalgamated  fields, like so:

(Option 2)     Title: Piano Trio in E flat - I Allegro Alabiev, Alexander - just a single space could do it - or even better, a space and brackets?

(Option 3)     Title: Piano Trio in E flat - I Allegro (Alabiev, Alexander)

Option 3 would visually do the trick best, I think.

I appreciate that this is really an MP3TAG issue, but clearly you are also well versed in this, so if what I seek - shall we say, Option 3, can be relatively simply achieved, I would so much appreciate knowing how to set any batch process up to achieve my objective.

Thanking you, in anticipation!

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2 hours ago, Wolksby said:

Hi Andre,

Many thanks for such a prompt reply, which, in fact, did confirm my own thoughts. I certainly do recall thinking about this before, and did, I'm sure, come across the same Feature Request which you kindly mention. As you say, that would seem to be exactly what I'm after.

Meanwhile, I was very interested to read of your work-arounds.

I tried using the filename instead, but, and as you mentioned, because I had thought to include the composer's name, this made no noticeable difference.

The other options, especially the one involving a batch process in MP3TAG, appealed most, because of its expediency.

Here is how a line reads for a single track in MP3TAG

Filename           Title                                                            Artist                 Album                                                                        Genre                           Composer

1.mp3                Piano Trio in E flat, Op 13 - I Allegro     Musica Viva     Alabiev, Arenksy & Medtner: Piano Quintets       Chamber Music         Alabiev, Alexander

I recorded each composer's name in the format shown, as I had hoped that this could have been the way I might have then seen in in PA.

I like your idea of appending the Composer's name into another field, as in 'London Symphony Orchestra : Chopin'.

Would it, though, be equally possible to append, or even prepend the Composer's name to a different field?

I was think of something like this:

Could the composer's name be appended to the Title, so that I would have, for example from above:

(Option 1)     Title: Piano Trio in E flat - I AllegroAlabiev, Alexander

If this were feasible, would it be possible to batch process in some form of separation between the two amalgamated  fields, like so:

(Option 2)     Title: Piano Trio in E flat - I Allegro Alabiev, Alexander - just a single space could do it - or even better, a space and brackets?

(Option 3)     Title: Piano Trio in E flat - I Allegro (Alabiev, Alexander)

Option 3 would visually do the trick best, I think.

I appreciate that this is really an MP3TAG issue, but clearly you are also well versed in this, so if what I seek - shall we say, Option 3, can be relatively simply achieved, I would so much appreciate knowing how to set any batch process up to achieve my objective.

Thanking you, in anticipation!

I also use mp3tag, and what you are seeking to do can be easily done using the current tags you have. But note that once you make this change it is permanent.

I would post this same question on their community forum, you should get a pretty fast reply. Their group is equally as active as this one.

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Hi MotleyG,

Many thanks for your advice.

This is what I have done as a temporary measure on the wone single CD which I was using as an example above.

Manually, I appended the composers' names to each of the individual track titles, just to see what this would look like on my phone, and via Android Auto, and I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome

Here again is the first track with the tags as above:

Filename           Title                                                            Artist                 Album                                                                        Genre                           Composer

1.mp3                Piano Trio in E flat, Op 13 - I Allegro     Musica Viva     Alabiev, Arenksy & Medtner: Piano Quintets       Chamber Music         Alabiev, Alexander

Physically, all I did was to open the Title > add one space, then open brackets, where I just typed in the composer's full name as shown, and closed brackets.

Hence: the title now looks like Piano Trio in E flat, Op 13 - I Allegro (Alabiev, Alexander)

This appears, preceded by the track no - '1' - and then scrolls back and forth, to reveal everything. 

What I don't want to have happen is that batch process that can link the 'Title' to the 'Composer' fields, add the space and () to the latter, will still leave the original Composer field intact, so that I can still use the facility to sort by composer.

Realising that a mistake could screw everything up, and I've lavished a lot of OCD time on this, if you were able to lead me through the processes to set things up to do everything automatically, as you are well-versed in MP3TAG, then I would be ever so grateful.

My thanks, in anticipation,

Wolksby

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As has been said above,  with PC programs such as MP3Tag or TagScanner you can batch modify the tag contents for your whole collection however works best for you.

Personally, I would probably not change the Artist tag as that would make it harder to sort later. In future, PA will support multiple artist names (separated with semicolon for example) so bear that in mind if you do edit the Artist tag.

As long as all of the tracks in one album are by the same composer, you could append (or prefix) the Album tag, but the tag must be identical for all tracks that need to be considered part of the same album.

I think I'd probably prefix the Title tag, using something that you can pull out again later if you decide you want to. For example, if you set the Title to: [Alabiev, Alexander] Piano Trio in E flat - I Allegro then at some later stage if/when you are able to customise the information PA displays, you could use a batch tag edit process to remove all instances of [anytext] from the Title tags. I'm not sure of the format string in MP3Tag, but in TagScanner you would set the Title tag using the following template '['%composer%']' %title%. This is a copy feature by the way, it does not modify the existing contents of the Composer tag.

Andre

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Hi Andre,

Many thanks for your further input - somewhere else has also pointed me in the direction you're going. I wouldn't want to edit the Artist tag, although I'm not too bothered by any future facility to be able to include, say, the pianist, and then the orchestra.

 [Alabiev, Alexander] Piano Trio in E flat - I Allegro 

Some of my CDs will contain only music by one composer, but probably the majority will have a number of different contributors.

It's a personal thing, but aesthetically I would slightly prefer it if the Title were reversed?

Piano Trio in E flat - 1 Allegro - (Alabiev, Alexander)

I appreciate that either way the brackets need to be added, together with the space and '-', but presumably this could be added to either field at the point when they combine?

As I mentioned to you equally most helpful colleague, I would need to know exactly how to set up any batch process(es) necessary to achieve the desired effect.

Many thanks,

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It's probably beyond the scope of this forum to give you a full guide to using tag editors, their own websites and documents would be better.

However, as a quick start, for TagScanner:

  1. Drag your main folder containing all of your music over to the TagScanner icon and let the program load and display all of your music subfolders/filenames in its main window.
  2. Select whichever specific tracks you want to work on - probably just use Control-A to select all.
  3. In the 'Generate' tab, select 'Fill and format tag from other fields' mode and enter the layout string that you want to use - in this case %title% '['%composer%']' (the singe-quote marks are needed to create square brackets as they are otherwise special conditional-formatting characters). Set the destination tag as %title%
    image.png
    You will see a preview example as you type in the details - in the above case, an ABBA song called "Honey Honey".
  4. Finally click 'Preview' so you can check everything looks OK for all your files.
    image.png
  5. Click Generate.
  6. Sit back and let everything update.

I would definitely suggest doing this using a backup set of your music files though, just in case anything goes wrong.

Andre

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12 hours ago, Wolksby said:

Hi MotleyG,

Many thanks for your advice.

This is what I have done as a temporary measure on the wone single CD which I was using as an example above.

Manually, I appended the composers' names to each of the individual track titles, just to see what this would look like on my phone, and via Android Auto, and I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome

Here again is the first track with the tags as above:

Filename           Title                                                            Artist                 Album                                                                        Genre                           Composer

1.mp3                Piano Trio in E flat, Op 13 - I Allegro     Musica Viva     Alabiev, Arenksy & Medtner: Piano Quintets       Chamber Music         Alabiev, Alexander

Physically, all I did was to open the Title > add one space, then open brackets, where I just typed in the composer's full name as shown, and closed brackets.

Hence: the title now looks like Piano Trio in E flat, Op 13 - I Allegro (Alabiev, Alexander)

This appears, preceded by the track no - '1' - and then scrolls back and forth, to reveal everything. 

What I don't want to have happen is that batch process that can link the 'Title' to the 'Composer' fields, add the space and () to the latter, will still leave the original Composer field intact, so that I can still use the facility to sort by composer.

Realising that a mistake could screw everything up, and I've lavished a lot of OCD time on this, if you were able to lead me through the processes to set things up to do everything automatically, as you are well-versed in MP3TAG, then I would be ever so grateful.

My thanks, in anticipation,

Wolksby

In mp3tag you can create a tag with any name you like. I would create a new tag like "oldtitle" and copy the original "title" tag there first for the tracks you are going to edit. After that you can make change to the "title" tag in any way you like, knowing you have a built-in back-up to fall back on if you don't like the outcome.

My best advice however would be to seek support from that forum, as it is well outside of the Poweramp scope and I don't think the thread should be continued here.

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5 hours ago, MotleyG said:

In mp3tag you can create a tag with any name you like. I would create a new tag like "oldtitle" and copy the original "title" tag there first

Excellent idea, sorry I don't think of that as a backup plan. You can do the same in TagScanner, there is no limit to the number of user-defined tags you can create.

Andre

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Hi Guys,

It all sounds so simple, but with regards either of your last two replies, I can seem to find where 'Generate a new tag' resides, or simply how to 'create a tag with any name I like'?

It feels like I have an idea of what to do once inside the house, but unfortunately, I can;t find the door key!

I'm sure I'm staring the answer right in the face!

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I gave pretty detailed instructions on exactly how to do this if using TagScanner a couple of posts ago. The 'Generate' tab is fairly readily visible on the top line:image.png.


Creating a new OldTitle tag, copied from on the existing %title% tags, would look as follows:
image.png

 

Andre

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Hi,

I just wanted to say I have now achieved exactly what I wanted to do, in terms of the presentation of my Classical Music Selection, on my mobile phone, as well as when in my car via Android Auto!

It just goes to show what a flexible piece of kit Poweramp is, and how, in my case, using it together with my MP3TAG, has caused me to get the old grey matter going, but something that becomes increasingly more important as we get older.

My sincerest thank to all who have so freely and generously helped me along the way to be more than happy with what I've achieved..

Thank you all so very much!

Wolksby

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4 hours ago, Wolksby said:

Hi,

I just wanted to say I have now achieved exactly what I wanted to do, in terms of the presentation of my Classical Music Selection, on my mobile phone, as well as when in my car via Android Auto!

It just goes to show what a flexible piece of kit Poweramp is, and how, in my case, using it together with my MP3TAG, has caused me to get the old grey matter going, but something that becomes increasingly more important as we get older.

My sincerest thank to all who have so freely and generously helped me along the way to be more than happy with what I've achieved..

Thank you all so very much!

Wolksby

👍

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Glad we could help. And at some point in the future, if the ability to customise the contents of the on-screen text happens, you can always use the same method to revert your Title tags back to the saved original versions.

Andre

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Hi, everything is working well within the app, and now I think it's perfectly set up to my needs, given that mine is a classical collection, where certain things which might not be addressed on some of the other players out  there, are built into Poweramp, especailly have solved the composers' names issue.

But I have a question about using the app in situ.

When in my car, I rely on Android Auto, which is connected to my compatible head unit, and where Poweramp is shown as being one of the suitable/accepted apps for AA. Controlling it manually with my 'commander', it does everything I need when driving, and in a way that does not detract from any safety aspect.

But I know that I can use Google Assistant to operate my phone, and thus Poweramp, which makes things safer still.

Yesterday, for example, I asked it to play Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1, first movement, to which it replied, 'Asking Poweramp to play Beethoven's First Piano Concerto, first movement. But on one occasion it said that either it wasn't in my collection, though it was, or that it wasn't 'available'. I tried rephrasing my question, for example checking to call it Piano Concert No 1, rather than First Piano Concerto. Do I have to tell it to 'Play' once it's located my request?

I'm sure there must be a list of commands that Poweramp recognizes from Google Assistant, using the correct syntax. It doesn't seem to be an issue with Android Auto, as it still failed to find the piece of music, even with the phone simply in my hand,

Has anyone any advice on marrying Poweramp successfully to Google Assistant's Voice Commands? It would be such a help in the car. I play music when getting off to sleep, and I recall that I can turn down the volume, and make some kind of music selection, by asking Google Assistant to intervene.

I've looked at a number of different player apps, but frankly no other one comes anywhere close to Poweramp, in terms of having an essentially classical collection.

Many thanks, in anticipation.

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