Tag: foobar2000

AllMusic’s Tone Intersections

In a previous post about A Flat Hierarchy for Subjective mp3 Tags, I described the arduous and marginally rewarding task of tagging my entire library with as many ‘tones’ tags as AllMusic was able to provide. With foobar2000 0.9 final now less than a week away, these tags may prove useful soon enough. But a few weeks ago, impatient and curious, I decided to put them to another use:

tones intersection chart

By creating a tones/tones tree structure in foobar, I was able to count how often each ‘tone’ intersects with every other ‘tone.’ What you see above is the beginning of that data collection, which I ultimately planned to analyze in…some way.

After Googling around for ideas on tag clustering, I came across gCLUTO, a free piece of software that would, miraculously, do exactly what I needed — namely, magically figure out how best to cluster each tag with related tags. I figured four clusters would be a comfortable number, based on earlier reading I had done on a two-axis theory of musical emotion (intense/relaxed and positive/negative).

topographical cluster visualization

Unfortunately, my computer simply couldn’t handle even constructing and deconstructing the foobar tree without freezing up for about 45 minutes each time. Plus, collecting all this data would have meant hours and hours of work, for a goal whose benefits weren’t very clear to me at all, as well as a halt in incorporating new downloads into my library. It was a pretty exciting couple days while it lasted though.

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A Flat Hierarchy for Subjective mp3 Tags

I’ve always been anal about the way my mp3s are tagged. Before the iPod, Audioscrobbler, and foobar2000, it was an irrational obsession, since I keep my music well-sorted on my hard drive. But there’s something so “official” about mp3 tags that I find appealing.

A few years ago this fixation extended to a program called MoodLogic, which applies a user-maintained database of really specific information about songs to construct playlists to match particular moods. In the end it proved more work than it was worth for me, so I abandoned it, but I’ve always wished for a similarly intuitive method of music browsing and playlist creation (come on, alphabetically?).

The genre tag has always been the most elusive. The subjective if not totally baseless distinctions between “Pop/Rock,” “Rock,” and “Pop” are enough to aggravate even the mildest case of OCD. I never bothered with this kind of categorization until recently when I realized that foobar2000 can handle multiple values for one tag field. Interesting…

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