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Discussion of v1.1.15’s changes to handling of rating field in ID3v2, [posts #6–13 split from final release thread]
Sandrine
post Oct 20 2012, 20:59
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The question remains - which to choose? ... see post #24.
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BenB
post Oct 20 2012, 22:35
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It's a matter of preference/necessity.

If you want or need ratings portability/compatibility with other media players, then do nothing and allow foobar to continue to write WMP-compatible POPM frames in your MP3s (WMP will see them and various other players can import them).

If you're in a multi-user, shared media environment where someone else uses WMP and writes their ratings to file (i.e. global ratings are enabled in WMP), then I personally suggest choosing to have foobar write ratings to TXXX frames in your MP3s (by changing the setting in Preferences > Advanced > Tagging > MP3 > ID3v2 revision and quirks, as of 1.1.16 beta 1) so that you eliminate the possibility of overwriting one another's ratings. Other than for this reason, I don't really see any need to change the setting.

A note of caution:
If you use any custom tags (i.e. tags written to TXXX frames by foobar, external taggers, etc.), altering any metadata tags in WMP or Windows Explorer will garble those custom tags and render them useless. They cannot distinguish between the tag's description (aka name) and the tag's value. They rewrite the tag's value with the description partially clipped and lose the actual value. (Some COMMENT tags are rewritten this way also).

This post has been edited by db1989: Oct 21 2012, 18:40
Reason for edit: clarifying “garble those tags” to “garble those custom tags” by request
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trelain
post Oct 22 2012, 23:02
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QUOTE (BenB @ Oct 20 2012, 12:20) *
foobar 1.1.16 beta 1 has been released and the following is listed within the changelog:

ID3v2 tagging compatibility improvements:
Option to write “rating” as TXXX for the few people who want it.



THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU !!!
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roc
post Nov 6 2012, 01:53
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+1, I'm sure that would help out a lot of people who have the POPM field used by other software that is less flexible / amazing as FB2K

As a DJ / music producer, I can definitely see the benefits of using a Mac OS (a whole other discussion), but the ONLY thing keeping me to windows is FB2K. (Praise the lord of such programs!)

As I have a few days off work I am looking to future proof my setup

Current situation:
I use FB2K 1.1.13 (no revised Rating tagging in that) for music organisation and Native Instruments Traktor Pro for DJing (1 of 2 leading digital/timecode DJ software, the other being Serato [not counting Rekordbox here]). All music is in MP3 format.

Traktor uses the POPM field for it's Rating tag. The format is as follows:
If the song's rating = 5 it populates the Popularimeter (POPM) tag with => "traktor@native-instruments.de|255|0" (without the quotes)
rating = 4 => traktor@native-instruments.de|204|0
rating = 3 => traktor@native-instruments.de|153|0
rating = 2 => traktor@native-instruments.de|102|0
rating = 1 => traktor@native-instruments.de|51|0

I do all my ratings in FB2K v1.1.13, then use a MP3Tag script to export the Rating field to the POPM field of the MP3s. (Every few weeks I re-run the script, so that Traktor has my latest Rating changes)

Now when I load up my MP3s into the latest FB2K version (v1.1.16) (with the "Option to write rating as TXXX" enabled) I see multiple ratings (separated by a comma) for many of my songs.

After many hours/days of research and testing (which I see no need to detail here at this time), I have concluded that FB2K 1.1.16 looks at the usual "rating" tag, as well as the "rating wmp" tag and the "popularimeter" (POPM) tag.

I removed the "rating wmp" tag from all my mp3s to simplify matters (I created them myself previously but they are redundant now in my current setup)

The remaining 'multiple' ratings that can be seen in FB2K 1.1.16 is a combination of the Rating tag and the Traktor POPM tag.
BUT I think FB2K 1.1.16 reads the POPM tags as follows:
traktor@native-instruments.de|255|0 => rating = 5
traktor@native-instruments.de|204|0 => rating = 4
traktor@native-instruments.de|153|0 => rating = 3
traktor@native-instruments.de|102|0 => rating = 3 (not 2)
traktor@native-instruments.de|51|0 => rating = 2 (not 1)

So FB2K reads 'properly' only the ones rated 3, 4 & 5. (I understand that POPM is more of a favourites/popularity 'meter', and just because Traktor assigns the values as it does doesn't make them 'right')

Also, it seems FB2K writes to the normal Rating tag when the "Option to write rating as TXXX" is ticked (as expected), and the Rating WMP tag when it is unchecked?

I realise I could just stay at the current FB2K version indefinitely, so please do not suggest that. As:
1) would be amazing to have FB2K sync properly with Traktor 2 rating POPM field (ideal, but unlikely, scenario?)
2) more importantly, I am looking ahead here, if in the next 2-3years there comes a point where I am not able to use v1.1.13, I would rather have realised now and prepared for it whilst I have the time to look into it. (ie. might as well use my time off to begin preparation to move onto a Mac lol!)
3) don't know why and if it's coincidence or not, but my Rating field in my FB2K v1.1.13 has stopped showing me the rating in the playlist view (still can see the rating in the property dialog box view of the song). So instead of concentrating my efforts on fixing that (which I have tried somewhat already) thought it would make more sense to try and use the new version (which at least shows something in the Rating column of the playlist view!)
4) I will probably just make my own custom tag and just use that rather than sticking to an old version of FB2K

Questions:
1) Why does FB2K not read the POPM tags as the same as Traktor? ie. What does foobar consider the different rating values
2) FB2K seems to write to Rating (when the "Option to write rating as TXXX" is ticked) and Rating WMP (when the "Option to write rating as TXXX" is not ticked)... where does the Popularimeter come into all this?
3) Will FB2K ever work with the Traktor POPM tag in the future?

Sorry for the massive amount of info here, but wanted to give more rather than less. (I know how annoying it is when people ask for help but have given only very limited info!)

Many thanks
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shakey_snake
post Nov 6 2012, 04:53
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QUOTE (roc @ Nov 5 2012, 19:53) *
Questions:
1) Why does FB2K not read the POPM tags as the same as Traktor? ie. What does foobar consider the different rating values
POPM is an id3 frame that has a complex set of criteria it stores: an email address and a binary value between 0 and 255 (0xFF).

However, this is a pointlessly complex and rigid standard, especially when most people just desire to rate songs on a 1-5 "star" scale (especially as that is how the "rating" is exposed by the WMP interface). So, when you have a standard that is pointless and rigid, it is going to be utilized in a way that is driven by convention. So, fb2k attempts to follow the conventions followed by the most popular software (WMP: garbage email address, and a value that corresponds with a certain number of stars), so that the tag works with the most people.

It appears your chosen software uses a different convention (aka a different number from 0-255 to represent different numbers of stars).

QUOTE (roc @ Nov 5 2012, 19:53) *
FB2K seems to write to Rating (when the "Option to write rating as TXXX" is ticked) and Rating WMP (when the "Option to write rating as TXXX" is not ticked)... where does the Popularimeter come into all this?
Field names (as shown in fb2k's properties dialog) map to different id3 frames (See outdated chart here). It is another layer of abstraction, necessary by the fact that fb2k deals with lots of different formats with various tagging schemes.

So for mp3 you have the following layers, from most abstract down to the most "bare metal":
CODE
Field name                  (e.g. RATING)
          |
          V
Tag Type Standard               (e.g. id3v2)
          |
          V
Tag Type Standard revision               (e.g. 2.3)
          |
          V
id3 Frame                       (e.g. POPM)
          |
          V
Convention                       (e.g. 255=5 stars)



QUOTE (roc @ Nov 5 2012, 19:53) *
3) Will FB2K ever work with the Traktor POPM tag in the future?
You would need to convince the author of Traktor to follow the more popular convention. It is unlikely fb2k would abandon compatibility with WMP in order to be compatible with less popular software.

This post has been edited by shakey_snake: Nov 6 2012, 04:58


--------------------
elevatorladylevitateme
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trelain
post Nov 6 2012, 13:23
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You are seeing a different interpretive "spread" of the POPM numbers between software, which Traktor appear to be descending values of 255 down to 51, whereas FB2K spreads them out down from POPM 255 to 1, which is I believe fairly common, but again just convention as Shakey stated. In poking around in the past I've seen these ranges used in POPM (binary hexadecimal in file = decimal equivalent = rating):

x'FF' = 255 = 5
x'C4' = 196 = 4
x'80' = 128 = 3
x'40' = 64 = 2
x'01' = 1 = 1

so FB2K sees your Traktor POPM's:

traktor@native-instruments.de|255|0 => rating = 5
traktor@native-instruments.de|204|0 => rating = 4
traktor@native-instruments.de|153|0 => rating = 3
traktor@native-instruments.de|102|0 => rating = 3 (not 2)
traktor@native-instruments.de|51|0 => rating = 2 (not 1)

and is likely assigning 102 to Rating '3' because 102 is closest to 128 (Rating 3), and 51 is closest to 64 (Rating 2).

With all its ambiguity, POPM sucks. I've chosen "Write Rating to TXXX', and copy the simple 1,2,3,4,5 TXXX values to BPM, and use BPM to determine the "Rating" in other software, like iTunes, to avoid all the POPM crap. But as a DJ roc I understand you may need BPM for its intended purpose.

Also every indication I've seen is that "Rating WMP" always writes to the POPM frame, with a "Windows Media Player 9" as its "email address". So there should only be two possible resulting tags when toggling "Write Rating to TXXX" in FB2K, a TXXX frame of "RATING", or a POPM tag with its interpreted value, and whatever bogus email address.

This post has been edited by trelain: Nov 6 2012, 13:50
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roc
post Nov 6 2012, 16:17
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Thanks for the additional info shakey_snake, trelain.

Interesting to see your thoughts on why FB2K uses those rating values from those POPM numbers, makes sense.

In light of all this I have bypassed all of this by creating a custom tag with my rating in it (can't use BPM as that is used by Traktor / myself also) and will just continue to update the POPM field from this custom tag so that Traktor can read it, using my MP3Tag script ever so often, just as I do now.
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