Fixing Tags on a CD Temp

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It’s important that you fix the metadata retrieved for a CD before you rip it. Here’s why:

  • Songs with non-unique names will overlap. This means, if you have two songs called "Audio Track" from the same album (Typically "Audio CD") then they may very well both rip to the same spot on your disk drive, one overwriting the other. This creates the undesirable situation of having two songs that both point to the same files. Extra bad in that when you delete one, it may succeed in deleting, but it will leave the other song that points to those files in a bad state, potentially causing a crash when you try to delete it.
  • The Cache will get confused. If you rip a song under one name, then change its name and play it again, the cache will no longer think the song is cached and will create yet another copy of the song. This is a less critical issue since the cache will eventually purge songs that have not been used lately. However, it can take up a lot of space. Update: This is in the process of being fixed now, but for now I still recommend cleaning your cache after you set meta but before ripping. [FIXME: Is this fixed by d77, Dave?]
  • The CD info will NOT be updated when you change the meta info in the library. This means, if you change song info in the library after you rip, the CD will not be aware of these changes, so next time you stick the CD in, the meta info will be out of date and will not match the cache. It's best to have the meta info for a song on CD completely match the meta info for the same song in your library. Otherwise the Cache will get confused. [I have plans to completely fix all of the underlying causes of these problems; they will all eventually go completely away. But for now, please keep them in mind. [d77?]

Getting Meta Data for Your CD

While most karaoke CDs that you purchase will have some metadata available from public music metadata sources like CDDB, sometimes the data is not what you want or it’s incomplete. Fortunately, there are free, online databases that provide this information automatically. When you put in a CD, kJams connects you to user-created online databases that contains meta info for CDs. For each CD, kJams searches for entries that specify artist, album, track title, genre and various other information. Presently there are over 1.8 million entries in these databases. kJams can automatically look your discs up in these databases so that you don't have to manually type in the metadata.

kJams searches the following databases in sequence until it finds metadata: freedb, MusicBrainz, and TrackType. If none of these databases produces any results, kJams opens a dialog for KayJay Pro, a commercial database (not related to kJams) that contains a subset of metadata for just about every single karaoke disc that exists.

kJams comes with Preferences set to allow database queries, so you don’t need to do anything to enjoy this feature. If you want to disable it, however, you will need to go to kJams → Preferences → freedb and deselect the specific databases.

Because freedb and TrackType are user-created databases, it is considered good form to reciprocate. If you plug in a CD for which there is inadequate meta data and you end up entering the data yourself, please submit that CD data to these databases.

First, you want to fill in the meta data for the disc itself

  1. Place your CD+G in your disk drive.
  2. Double click the CD or select it using File → Get Info.
  3. Wait for the display showing you information about the disc. This is the metadata kJams already has associated with the disc or album. Then fill in the data about the disc that's not already known to kJams:
  4. Enter the Artist’s name. If the album is a compilation of artists (which is more typical for Karaoke) then just put “Various” as the artist's name.
  5. For Album, enter the publisher abbreviation followed by the disc number. For example, Sound Choice 4321 would be "SC4321". This is the sort of standardized format for referring to a Karaoke album. If it's a regular CD, you can just enter the actual album name
  6. Make sure you enter a year. Zero is NOT a valid year. If you're not sure, just set it to this year. This should be the release year of the disc, but that's often hard to find out.
  7. For Genre, you can type it in if you know it, or pick from the list. It’s best to pick from the list, because you want to enter something that is legal. Again, this is the genre for the *album*, which is often a mixture.
  8. For category, it frankly doesn't matter. Pick something, anything. "Misc" is fine.
  9. Press OK. This updates the meta data about the disc itself.

[work in progress -jra]

Next, you will need to fix the meta data for the individual songs. You can select all songs or just the songs you are ripping. The Select All feature is useful only if the songs are all by the same artist or all of the same genre. Since most karaoke discs are a compilation, you will most likely have to fix the songs one at a time.

davequestion: I’m assuming from this that the album info does not carry over to the individual songs? For example, if all of the songs on the disc are Beatles and Beatles is entered for the disc artist above, would Beatles carry through as the default for each song? If so, then I can’t think of a reason you’d ever use Select All below.

If all of the songs have either the same artist or the same genre:

  1. Select all songs OR go to Edit → Select All.
  2. Go to File → Get Info, and you will see this: screenshot
  3. Fill in either the artist name or genre (or both)
  4. Fill in the year.
  5. Press OK.

You can also use the above method to update the data for a group of songs. Suppose four of the songs are by the same artist (but not all the songs). You can select those four and update the artist on all of them at once. To update individual tracks:

  1. Select track #1.
  2. Go to File → Get Info, and you’ll see this. screenshot
  3. Enter the song name
  4. If the artist is unique for this song, enter the artist name, too
  5. Press the Next button and repeat the process ‘til you wrap back around to the first track.
  6. Press OK.
  7. Now that you've entered the info for the disc, please submit it to the "freedb" so that others may benefit. Select your CD and go to Advanced → Submit CD Tracks to freedb

Once all the meta data is updated, you’re ready to rip. Go to File → Rip Selected.