Metadata
© República Argentina

DJ Matías

Collector, connoisseur and DJ of Argentine tango music

Metadata tagging

Probably one of the most time-consuming and laborious steps is to supply the ripped audio tracks with comprehensive metadata based on the correct discographical information for each recording.

Already during the ripping procedure, the most important track metadata are written to the FLAC audio format as Vorbis comments using advanced EAC compression options:

  • Artist (e.g. “Orquesta Aníbal Troilo”);
  • Title (“En esta tarde gris”);
  • Genre (“Tango”);
  • Track number (“13 of 24”);
  • Album name (“Obra Completa en RCA - Vol. 1”);
  • Album artist (“Aníbal Troilo”);
  • Disc number (“1 of 16”);
  • ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) of the recording (“ARF039701566”);
  • Version of the ripping program (“EAC V1.0 beta 3”);
  • Version of the FLAC codec (“FLAC V1.2.1b”);
  • CRC checksum (“4CCEAF20”).

The album covers are scanned with a professional photo scanner (Epson Perfection V750 Pro) at a resolution of 1.200 DPI (Dots Per Inch). The images are carefully cropped and corrected for scanning flaws using Adobe Photoshop. Before the images are added to the metadata of the audio tracks, the scans are scaled down to 300 DPI in the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format to keep the resulting size of the compressed FLAC files as small as possible. The original loss-less images are preserved for archival storage. An example for the quality of the high-resolution scans is shown here.

The metadata editor software Mp3tag is employed to perform the following tasks:

Despite its generic name (“Mp3tag”), this powerful tool allows to display, edit, modify and convert the metadata structure of virtually all known audio file formats. In the case of the FLAC digital audio format, the metadata container consists of so-called Vorbis comments.

In addition to the metadata tags attached to the FLAC files during the ripping procedure, the following discographical information are carefully researched and added to the metadata of each track:

  • Singer (e.g. “Francisco Fiorentino”);
  • Recording date (“1941/7/18”);
  • Composer of the music (“Mariano Mores”);
  • Poet of the lyrics (“José María Contursi”);
  • Name of the original shellac record company (“RCA Víctor”);
  • Matrix number of the recording (“59583”);
  • Catalog number of the shellac disc (“39348A”);
  • Name of the CD album series (“Obra Completa en RCA”);
  • Record label of the CD release (“BMG Ariola Argentina S.A.”);
  • Date of the CD release (“1997”);
  • Catalog number of the CD release (“BMG 49726”);
  • GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) and/or former
  • EAN (European Article Number) of the CD release (“0 74321 49726 25”), etc.

Finally, the meticulously tagged recordings are ready for careful listening, evaluation, cross-inspection and verification.

Recommended reading

Comparison of audio formats and codecs