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Organizing classical music

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Beethovenian, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. Beethovenian

    Beethovenian
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    This is a wonderful forum in which there seems to be a good number of classical music fans who care about gapless playback, which I consider critical for the serious listeners who doesn't want to lose track information (which aria is that?) and the ability to jump to a specific track in an album (something particularly useful when you're listening to an opera or a big choral work or when you're comparing different interpretations of the same piece). So I thought of starting a thread about the also critical issue of organizing classical music for a portable player.

    The problem is of course that digital music ID tags are limited, and the players are even more limited in the way they read them and let you navigate through them. My suggestion, based on how Sony's HD5 interface works, is to do this:

    - Use the album name field to put the works you're including, and here I would suggest the mention also of the composer (the interpreter as well, if you have different versions of the same works). For instance, Syms 5&7 - Beethoven - Kleiber. This method will organize better the folders that will be created in your PC.
    - Use the artist field to put the name of the performer.
    - Use the genre field to put the name of the composer.

    That will give you these options for browsing music:
    - Album > Tracks (Ex.: Syms 5&7 - Beethoven - Kleiber > 5th:I Allegro molto) If you let the title scroll, you'll have the basic information about the album.
    - Artist > Album > Tracks (Kleiber, VPO > Syms 5&7 - Beethoven - Kleiber > 5th:I Allegro molto) This way, you can choose your favourite conductor or soloist and still know quickly who's the composer.
    - Composer (Genre) > Artist > Album > Tracks (Beethoven > Kleiber, VPO > Syms 5&7 - Beethoven - Kleiber > 5th:I Allegro molto) This is the best hierarchy in my opinion. You can refine your search by all the relevant factors.

    My suggestion is also to abbreviate as much as possible. Gramophone and the Penguin Guide use, for instance, these abbreviations:
    Cello Suite - Vc Suite
    Violin Concerto - Vn Conc
    Piano Sonata - Pf Son
    Clarinet Quintet - Cl Qnt
    String Quartet - Stg Qt
    Berlin Philharmonic - BPO
    Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields - ASMF
    And so on.

    Of course, you have to rationalize and omit informations about certain performers sometimes, otherwise your database becomes unmanageable. But Vaio Pocket users have the alternative of using the lyrics view. You can arguably use it to display the names of the soloists in an opera, for instance. The Walkman series and most of the other players in the market won't let you do that, though.
     
  2. ak47wong

    ak47wong
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  3. Beethovenian

    Beethovenian
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    Yours is a good system, Andrew, but I think it's limited for people who have multiple recordings of the same work. For these, it's necessary to have some way of refining the search by performer. That's where most of the UIs fail, including the iPod's, which reads the composer tag but from there goes directly to album.
     
  4. Steven

    Steven
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    Not just classical music, half of the albums I own don't have gaps

    But Sony seems to have made life hard for classical fans!
     
  5. Beethovenian

    Beethovenian
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    Not only Sony. All the digital music revolution has forsaken classical music. The iPod supports composer tags, but that's it. It doesn't display the composer name in the current playing screen, nor gives you the option to refine search. And every other player does the same, or worse.
     
  6. IanPM

    IanPM
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    At least Sony allow gapless!
     
  7. shadowritten

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    I've gone for a simpler system:

    Artist field: [I only use composer's surname - which I appreciate creates problems with the likes of the Bach and Mozart families, but I'm not bothered!]

    Album field: [I start with the composer's name(s), then the major work(s) on the disc, leaving off any smaller works to stay under 60 characters. I also add the record label to the end of the album title, in case I've got more than one version of a work(s).]

    Track field: [I leave out keys, but include opus numbers - and I don't abbreviate work titles, but simply reword longer ones i.e. 'Variations On An Original Theme: Enigma - Variation X - Nimrod', becomes 'Enigma Variations - Nimrod']

    Genre field: [I just use Classical - nothing more complicated. Though I realise I could go by period, or type of music such as Chamber, Orchestral, etc.]

    Year field: [I wipe this - HD5H can't see or use it anyway!]

    Composer field: [As above ...]


    About the only thing I leave 'as is' is the track numbering. A pleasing system for me, though I realise it won't suit everyone (particularly the purists). If the screen was bigger and could cope with more characters scrolling, I'd be more thorough (and correct). But why bother? I'm listening on the move or when working. So I'm not looking at the screen too often, anyway!
     
  8. Pottsy

    Pottsy
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    How about..

    1. Organise in a logical folder structure (possibly as is already on your HDD).
    2. Purchase an Iaudio X5.

    Or am I in a Sony forum? :rolleyes:
     
  9. shadowritten

    shadowritten
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    If only DAP manufacturers made that possible for classical lovers. Sadly, they don't ...
     
  10. Pottsy

    Pottsy
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    Apart from the X5... I can only deal with folders, so I have an X5 (and a Dension DMP3A in the car).
     
  11. shadowritten

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    Aaaah yes - one of the lucky ones. With ID3 tags, life ain't so easy sometimes ...
     

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