Cataloguing Software for HD

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Holden Fourth
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Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by Holden Fourth » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:19 pm

I have just acquired a second hand 1Tb external HD with about 450 Gb of music on it (most non classical). The remaining 550Gb will probably allow me to put all my CDs onto this HD, something I've always wanted to do considering how much time I spend listening to music through my PC.

The cataloguing system on this HD (a Buffalo) is very primitive and doesn't allow for any functionality other than alphabetical order by track (though you can put things in folders). Does anyone know of any software (preferrably free but I am willing to pay) that could help me organise the close to 1000 CDs in my collection on this HD? One thing I do want is for this software to be able to recognise and label the contents via a link with Grace Note or similar programs.

living_stradivarius
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by living_stradivarius » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:03 pm

Have you tried (as much as I don't want to recommend it) iTunes?
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HoustonDavid
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by HoustonDavid » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:03 pm

Ricardo, I use a commercial cataloging product that has a great deal of flexibility but
can also load your CD's and associated data by scanning or typing in the bar code. You
can get a pretty good idea of its potential (and it's on sale for $24.99) at:

http://www.collectorz.com/connect/music/
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

RebLem
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by RebLem » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:21 am

HoustonDavid wrote:Ricardo, I use a commercial cataloging product that has a great deal of flexibility but
can also load your CD's and associated data by scanning or typing in the bar code. You
can get a pretty good idea of its potential (and it's on sale for $24.99) at:

http://www.collectorz.com/connect/music/
I need something like that. Problem is, I worry it might just be too complicated for my limited computer expertise, and that there might be technical problems with the product.

With regard to the latter, I fear that what the program will do is enter the same information that appears on my play screen when I play a CD on my computer via Windows Media Player. Sometimes, a whole wrong album is identified. I have had two CD sets, for example, where one CD in the set (only one) is identified by picture as a performance conducted by Karajan of the same piece. The information of each of the tracks varies widely from CD to CD. On many of them, tracks are misidentified as belonging to one piece when they are part of another. There's never a problem with what is playing on the system, just the labelling. I worry that any computerized version will enter incorrect information, and I find there is some kind of problem with the labelling with nearly every CD I play on Windows Media Player. I also worry that the system might not allow me to manually correct incorrect information entered electronically. Also, I really have no idea how to back up the files, and the program itself.

When you say "batch entry," does that mean I could enter all of, say the hanssler CBE (Complete Bach Edition) or the 50 CD EMI Menuhin retrospective with one code? Could I go through them "manually" and make corrections or additions? How does it do with recording recording dates and locations? Could you give us a little more detail? Also, I understand this product has an onlin support group where you can discuss cataloguing problems you have. I have read a few posts in it, and its scary; it seems you pretty much need the skills of a professional computer programmer to make the system work well. Can you give me any assurances on these matters?
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HoustonDavid
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:00 pm

Ricardo, I have well over 800 CD's in my music collection, representing a variety of
music, but about 50% classical and opera. People have gifted me with box sets of
classical music that contain 10 CD's of "mixed" and "best of" music of multiple composers
that would seem to fit your description of "difficult to catalog". Collectorz had no
problem with these products, cataloging them accurately and completely. They sell
a couple of bar code scanners - they're not cheap - but you can also just type in the
bar code manually.

Largely because they are international - they are based in The Netherlands - they also
recognize and are able to catalog CD's from different countries and in different languages.

Whatever information comes up in your cataloging download can be changed by you, if
you find it necessary. You can also add new information such as reviews or information
about the composer or artist in a "Notes" section. It is quite flexible.

They have a free trial offer whereby you can download the software and catalog many
CD's as a "test". If you are happy, your cataloging will be saved and you can simply
pay for your product and continue adding to your collection. They have always been
very responsive when asked for assistance, and their Users Manual is excellent. I would
strongly urge you to try the product as a free test run. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
Hope it works for you, it certainly does for me.
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ch1525
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by ch1525 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:53 pm

He isn't talking about a program for cataloging his CD collection, but rather a program for storing his music as digital files on his computer and being able to locate them. Right?

This has most definitely been discussed here in some detail by myself, Chalkie and others. Chalkie likes iTunes. I abhor it! I use MediaMonkey instead.

This is a good place to start:

http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/view ... ediamonkey

As far as ripping your CDs, you'll want to use a secure ripper and put them in a lossless (i.e. FLAC) format. Lossless means the files are identical in quality to the original CD, but take up less space. If you are on Windows, EAC is an excellent program to use. On Mac, a lot of people use XLD.

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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:54 pm

This has most definitely been discussed here in some detail by myself, Chalkie and others. Chalkie likes iTunes. I abhor it! I use MediaMonkey instead...
That's actually not the case, I can only run iTunes as I am on a Mac, BUT, I am working with a High End Audio Company to create an alternate to iTunes that will run on all platforms, we have been working on this since last October, not sure when we will have a Beta Test ready but certainly sometime later this year..
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HoustonDavid
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by HoustonDavid » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:00 pm

Chad, I was aware he wanted to catalog music on his computer. Music Collector (the
Collectorz product I'm talking about) doesn't restrict the user to pure documentation
of a physical CD library, but also music on your computer:

Cataloging your Music Files with Music Collector

* Just select the folder that contains your music files and let Music Collector find them all.
* The found files are automatically grouped into albums, based on tags and folder names.
* Use your meta tag data to create detailed album entries automatically (inc. cover art).
* Supported file and tag formats: MP3 (ID3v1 + ID3v2), M4A, WMA, OGG, APE, Flac and WAV.

In effect, you are working backwards, cataloging the music burned onto your hard drive,
then physically cataloging them with documented data from Music Collector software, and
winding up with a "hard" catalog of all the music on your computer and on your shelf. Check
out the website for greater detail.

http://www.collectorz.com/connect/music/
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

Holden Fourth
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Re: Cataloguing Software for HD

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:24 pm

HoustonDavid wrote:Chad, I was aware he wanted to catalog music on his computer. Music Collector (the
Collectorz product I'm talking about) doesn't restrict the user to pure documentation
of a physical CD library, but also music on your computer:

Cataloging your Music Files with Music Collector

* Just select the folder that contains your music files and let Music Collector find them all.
* The found files are automatically grouped into albums, based on tags and folder names.
* Use your meta tag data to create detailed album entries automatically (inc. cover art).
* Supported file and tag formats: MP3 (ID3v1 + ID3v2), M4A, WMA, OGG, APE, Flac and WAV.

In effect, you are working backwards, cataloging the music burned onto your hard drive,
then physically cataloging them with documented data from Music Collector software, and
winding up with a "hard" catalog of all the music on your computer and on your shelf. Check
out the website for greater detail.

http://www.collectorz.com/connect/music/
Thank you, this is very useful for when I finish ripping my collection.

Anyway, I've had a play with the HD and have decided to stick with the current format of folders and files as this seems to be the easiest way to do things. I've struck a couple of other problems though. I was using WMP 11 to rip my CDs to the external HD and discovered that it was also dropping a copy onto my PCs HD as well. It would even drop a copy of something from the external HD if I merely played it. I don't remember enabling this facility and would like to know how to turn it off as I've forgotten how to do it.

To get around this I went for a dedicated ripping program and came up with 'Bonkenc'. It seems very nice but I'm not sure how to set the rip rate at 192kb/s. If anyone has used this could you please advise me or, alternatively, tell me the name of another quality CD ripper I can use in its place. What I like about Bonkenc is its ability to recognise CDs that WMP11 doesn't. In fact WMP11 will actually give you a false reading. I ripped my Babayan plays Mendelsohnn Songs Without Words CD and it tried to tell me that it was a CD of the same composer played by Martin Jones. Bonkenc corrected this.

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