Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Foobar2000

My new favorite piece of software if Foobar2000. Foobar Website

When I download live recordings, they typically arrive as a set of music files in one of two lossless compression formats: '.shn' (people say 'shorten') or '.flac' (which stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec). Neither of these formats is playable on an iPod and while compressed, still take up a lot of disk space. Included with the music files is usually a text file that contains the information about who played, the date, the setlist, etc. Before Foobar, I would download the files, convert them to mp3 or m4a files using two different applications - one for .shn and one for flac - and then import the compressed files into iTunes. Next, I would have to manually label and 'tag' each track and album ... a very time consuming process to say the least - especially once I got a 20 mbps line at my house!

Enter Foobar ... Now, I load the lossless originals into Foobar and, using a plugin called "Live Show Tagger", I can automatically parse the accompanying text file and almost instantly tag the whole show. I can then use Foobar to convert the files into a lossy compression format for import into iTunes and my home entertainment setup.

My only problem has been that the "album" field is not making it from Foobar into iTunes. Even with this shortcoming, I have just cut down the time that it will take me to get the huge backlog I have into my library by an order of magnitude or two.

I've heard of people having issues with different versions of mp3 tagging causing issues like this ... I haven't ever had this issue myself, but now I do and I fear I'm about to learn more than I ever wanted to know about MPEG meta-data ... I'll let you know what I find out.

1 comment:

Jeremy Payne said...

I figured out all the weird kinks with Foobar.

Albums now get correctly added to the mp3 tags.

Hard to explain, and certainly not intuitive. I may post on the details at some point.