Young people have given up on quality vs. convenience, accepting MP3 as their main format for listening to audio. However, serious music lovers and audiophiles have been waiting for better quality sound and metadata to enjoy the unquestionable advantages of the digital audio.
The availability of computer audio devices and download portals supporting lossless digital formats such as FLAC that equals CD quality and others that even surpass CD quality (FLAC Studio Master 24 bits -96/192KHz) have increased the interest for quality computer audio.
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 that 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 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)
Style = Example for the Jazz genre: Bop, Latin Jazz, Cool Jazz, etc. But this is very rarely supported by the majority of database suppliers.
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 (high resolution) computer screens or large flat screen TVs.
THE METADATA ISSUES
Most databases (free of license issues) lack consistency in the Artist field: sometimes this is used for the composer, sometimes for the conductor or the soloist/s, etc. Important fields of information are missing such as Orchestra, Conductor, Soloists or Singers; or Period, Style or Instruments.
In addition, low resolution cover art prevents reading the small characters when using large flat screens TVs.
Classical Music requires much better metadata information to attract true music lovers to digital audio.
DigiBit has solved once and for all the endemic problem of properly tagging classical music in digital formats.
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 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 recognizes +95% of any typical classical collection.
- 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
Fortunately, today there are several computer audio devices in the market that support and take advantage of the DigiBit Classical extended database, providing a unique experience to classical music lovers, such as being able to select and find in seconds, among thousands of possibilities, CDs that meet the most complex search criteria such as; Find CDs of piano recitals from the romantic period played by Maurizio Pollini. DigiBit´s aria Music Servers ariamusicserver.com support these extended metadata fields that are finally delivering the performance that all classical music lovers have been waiting for.