Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Standards that aren't standards

While importing some of my CDs into iTunes recently, I've noticed that the information about the tracks that come from the Gracenote database don't always match up with what I want... on more than one occasion I've had to update the track listings because someone has entered them wrongly, but this time I've found that the actual fields don't serve my purpose, even when they have the right data in them. The problem is that the information is just too precise!

Case in point: I've just imported my Best of Saint-Saens CD, which has a lot of pieces all by Saint-Saens but performed by a variety of musicians. On my iPod, I want all these tracks to show up with 'Saint-Saens' in the artist field (cos that's how the iPod primarily lets you navigate your collection). But the person who submitted this record has diligently recorded the name of actual performer in the Artist field, leaving the Composer field to tell me it's by Saint-Saens... OK, this is technically accurate, and this is different for pop/rock music where artists perform their own work, but to navigate the tracks properly I've had to change it. Not usable, for me.....

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