Magazine article Gramophone

'I've Been Looking for Away to Control My Music Library-This Could Be It ...' Having an Extensive Music Collection at Your Fingertips Is Convenient-But When Tagging Gets out of Hand, Chaos Can Ensue. Andrew Everard Has Been Trying out a Solution

Magazine article Gramophone

'I've Been Looking for Away to Control My Music Library-This Could Be It ...' Having an Extensive Music Collection at Your Fingertips Is Convenient-But When Tagging Gets out of Hand, Chaos Can Ensue. Andrew Everard Has Been Trying out a Solution

Article excerpt

Once you have your music collection ripped and stored on a home server, it's hard to imagine how you lived without it: an entire music library at your fingertips. Finding a favourite work or track no longer involves hunting through racks and stacks of CDs--time-consuming, however well-arranged they may be--but can be achieved with a few taps of a finger on a smartphone or tablet screen. Another tap and the music plays through the audio system.

However, as your music libraries grow, so does the potential for problems: albums either ripped or downloaded can seem invisible to your network music players, tracks can default to playing in alphabetical order rather than by number, compilation albums can appear as a whole series of micro-albums divided up by artist, and album artwork can be wrong or simply non-existent.

Putting that right can be time-consuming: it's not unknown for me to have wasted an entire weekend afternoon ploughing through folders of files and typing in endless details. When quite a lot of your listening is to prereleases, many of which have long track titles, upwards of 30 tracks per disc and of course no hint of recognition from any of the familiar databases, things can be doubly annoying.

Usually either XLD or even iTunes will come up with something with some coaxing but sometimes--and it's usually with the multi-disc opera sets!--there's no alternative to typing in track names and details. What's more, not all (legally) downloaded music is equal when it comes to tagging: some sites do it well, others have their own ideas, including catalogue numbers in track titles, or tagging composers as artists, or even not including any information at all. To say the least, it's a tad frustrating.

All of which explains how I currently have a music storage system comprising getting on for 50,000 tracks--or 'songs', as iTunes would still have it (were Ito use it)--and some severe need for more time spent sorting out tagging, finding artwork and the like. Yes, you can live without an album sleeve picture staring at you, but having it just makes things a little neater.

So it was with interest that I stumbled across Bliss, a software package claiming to solve all those artwork and metadata tagging problems. Actually, my first introduction was via the free downloadable ebook published by Bliss developer Dan Gravell, which gives a brief and sensible overview. You can download a PDF copy from blisshq.com/ music-library-management-ebook.html or choose ePub or Kindle versions. …

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