The vast majority of CDs do not contain information in their metadata (data about the CD data), they just deliver information on the number of tracks and their duration so, when ripping a CD with a computer program, an external (local or by internet) database must be used in order to identify the CD and retrieve the its metadata information.
Unfortunately, when the first commercial and free CD databases were created in the late 90´s there were no tagging standards and all the database providers thought that 4 or 5 fields of information (known as metadata) and low resolution cover art would be enough for the MP3 devices to classify a CD, and this would satisfy most of the target users, normally the youngest generation, who mainly listen pop/rock music.
All music databases generally provide the following fields of information about the CD (metadata).
Genre (Pop, Rock, World, Classical, etc.)
Album = The Album Title
Artist = The main artist/s performing in the album
Track = The name of song/work is the track name
Year = Year of release
Only available in some cases:
Composer = Composer of the Album/Tracks (but not generally available yet in most databases) and generally only written by “first name, name”, i.e. Arcangello, Corelli, but this represents a serious problem as most search tools of media player organize the music library using that norm: “first name, name”, but only serious classical lovers would know the first names of a composer, so frustration is guaranteed for most users when they’d try to search Corelli in the “C”, they won’t find it because it is saved as “Arcangelo”.
Cover art of the Album. When available, these images are mostly available in low resolution (300 x 300 pixels) that make them nearly impossible to use with large HD computer screens or large flat screen TVs. SonataDB mostly offers 1000 x 1000 and even 1400 x 1400 images.
DigiBit has spent a great effort and creativity in formulating the specifications required to satisfy classical music lovers.
After a significant effort and with the help of musicologists, we now have the most advanced and unique Classical Music Database in the world – SonataDB – of classical CDs perfectly tagged with up to 18 fields of metadata information and with HD cover art. No other database provider can today match the quality, accuracy and quantity of perfectly tagged classical music with extended fields of information that would recognize +90% of any typical classical collection.
SonataDB is available under license to developers wishing to provide a best in class metadata lookups results for their users.
Over 70,000 classical albums will provide a very high identification of ripped CDs and will automatically tag the extended fields in compatible media players (see Partners).
SonataDB supports up to 18 fields of metadata and the categories of fields: Genre, Period, Style & Instrument) are offered in English, French, Spanish , German and Italian, example: Romantique (French) or Romantic (English) , Chamber (English) or Chambre (French), etc.
SonataDB includes high resolution images of CD artwork to allow for the best possible image on PC/Mac, Tablets and TV displays. Lower resolution images provided by second generation databases result in poor images when displayed on large displays such as TV’s. By scanning our own artwork, we can insure the highest resolution and exact matches to the CD/DVD. Typical resolutions are: 1000 x 1000 pix.
Webservice API Design
DigiBit provides an easy-to-implement webservice for access to SonataDB. A simple webservice can be implemented by any operating system and does not require any special tools in order to start development. SonataDB is available via a web based API or can be licensed to be hosted locally on the customer servers.
THE METADATA ISSUES
Most databases (free of licensed) lack consistency for classical in the Artist field: sometimes this is used for the composer, sometimes for the conductor or the performer/s, etc. Important fields of information are missing such as Orchestra, Conductor, Soloists or Period, Style and Instruments.
Classical Music requires much better metadata information to attract true music lovers to computer audio.
- Composer (First name, name)
- ComposerSort (Name, first name)
- Soloists (First name, name)
- SoloistsSort (Name, first name)
- Conductor (First name, name)
- Conductor Sort (Name, first name)
- Period (Ancient, Romantic, etc. [in 5 languages])
- Style (Chamber, Concerts, Symphonic, etc.) in 5 languages.
- Instrument ( Piano, Guitar, Strings, etc.) in 5 languages.
- Label (EMI, Decca, etc.)
- Catalog number
- Custom (for customer input)
- Audio format
- Album title
DigiBit has solved once and for all the endemic problem of properly tagging classical music in digital formats.
In order to take advantage of the extended metadata fields available in the tags of the music file, it’ll be required to use a media player with a database that allows to organize and display such extended fields, there are a number of products available that will automatically populate the extended fields and will display them in their apps and/or supported displays, the Gallery tab you will find some examples:
- dBpoweramp dbpoweramp.com
- JRiver Media Center jriver.com (Views only) (Desktop and JRemote App)
- Foobar Mobile 2000 mobile.foobar2000.com (mobile devices, iOS and Android)
UPnP/DLNA Servers (DMS):
- Asset UPnP dbpoweramp.com/asset-upnp-dlna.htm
- In principle, any DLNA Control Point (DMC) will show the extended fields provided by Asset UPnP
Few examples are:
- mconnect Player Lite
- Creation 5 (C5)
- Bubble UPnP