Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

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Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by timg982734 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:27 am

Using 9.5.1, I'm finding that having a dash in the artist name or song title causes the converter to check the "Compilation" box in the UI, which makes iTunes do stupid things when there's a mix of dash-containing and dash-less files within an album. This is reproducible and consistent. Note that I meticulously define and manage my own metadata, and there is no such flag in any of my files. It's the converter checking it based on a dash in the artist or song name. I guess it could also be the filename. For example, one of my Aaron Copland recordings has the first song "Fanfare For The Common Man", and the second song and thereafter are like "Appalachian Spring Suite - 1. Very slowly". The first song does not get "Compilation", but the second and the 18 following it do. All AC-DC tracks get "Compilation" set. And so on. OTOH, I've yet to find a single file lacking a dash get "Compilation" set. Is this a known issue?

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by poiko » Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:40 am

It's not a known issue until now. Thanks for notifying me.

I will take a look into it. Are you absolute sure EZ CD Audio Converter puts compilation tag to the file metadata ? (I.e. iTunes does not mark it ?)

I will test it and see if it happens here and also go thru my code to see if there's such a "feature" left in the code (there shouldn't be).

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by timg982734 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:28 am

Are you absolute sure EZ CD Audio Converter puts compilation tag to the file metadata ? (I.e. iTunes does not mark it ?)
Yes.

After seeing iTunes weirdly split that Aaron Copland album into a 1 song Compilation set and the remaining songs in the expected album format, I performed a fresh conversion, and I checked those newly converted files in Mp3tag using Alt+T and also MediaInfo without dragging them into iTunes. The tags are present in the converted files but not the originals. The only difference I could see was the absence of the dash in the first song WRT the remaining ones, and that's when I experimented with other artists and songs as I described.

BTW, all the originals were already in iTunes, and again, none of them are marked "Compilation". I'm converting them because they're lossless, and I'm needing to make lossy copies.

Anyway, the workaround for now is to load the converted files into Mp3tag, select them and press Alt+T, clear the Compilation tag, save, and then they can be added to iTunes without the Compilation issue.

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by poiko » Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:59 am

I've tested all possible file name combinations with Audio CD Ripper and Audio Converter, and found out that EZ CD Audio Converter never automatically sets "Compilation" tag.

I've also searched and checked the C++ code for the tag handling and there are no functions that would check the metadata for " - " or set Compilation metadata tag or Compilation checkbox mark automatically.

Can you share me the original lossless album and I will test with your files ? (poiko | kolumbus | fi) I will delete the files afterwards when I've tested them.

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by timg982734 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:03 pm

OK, I think I see what the problem is. For unknown reasons, some of my files do have the "Compilation" tag with the value 0, as reported by Mp3tag Alt+T. However, when I do a "Song Info" in iTunes, the "Compilation" box is unchecked in the iTunes dialog box for these files. Making a copy of the file, setting the value to 1, and adding it to iTunes causes the iTunes "Compilation" box to be checked. So it's the value that matters to iTunes.

EZ converter differs from this by checking its "Compilation" box when this 0 value tag is present in the file, and when it writes the new file, it sets it to 1 instead of propagating the 0 value. So it's the presence that matters to EZ.

IOW, iTunes seems to use the value of the Compilation tag as a boolean to determine whether the song is part of a compilation, while EZ converter seems to use the presence of the tag as a boolean, and its value doesn't matter. I would suggest checking the box only if you find a non-zero value for the tag. That will avoid the problem for me, and I wouldn't care if you didn't write zero-value Compilation tags at all. I don't know where they came from and have never known they were there before now.

I'll send you a OneDrive link to the two files I mentioned earlier so you can experiment with this. The "dash" business I was talking about was just a coincidence so please disregard it.

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by timg982734 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:40 pm

Just to be clear, the first file I sent you doesn't have a Compilation tag. The second file has the Compilation tag set to 0. This inconsistency is what led me to think about the "dash" red herring, but it's really only the second file that is of interest per my last message.

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by poiko » Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:36 pm

Ok. Thanks for finding it out.

So if there is a compilation tag that is set to zero or 'false' then EZ CD Audio Converter thinks the compilation tag is set ? Now, that is something I can check and fix.

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by timg982734 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:21 pm

So if there is a compilation tag that is set to zero or 'false' then EZ CD Audio Converter thinks the compilation tag is set ? Now, that is something I can check and fix.
Yep!

Part of my initial confusion about the "dash" was due to using MediaInfo in addition to Mp3tag, which I mentioned in my second message. MediaInfo does not indicate the presence of the Compilation tag when it has the value 0, while Mp3tag Alt+T does. MediaInfo only reports it if has the value 1 (probably any non-zero value, but I haven't checked that).

Checking just now, Windows 10 File Explorer reports a 0 value as "No" for the property "Part of a compilation", while the complete absence of the Compilation tag leaves the field blank.

So, while programs report the Compilation tag differently based on value/presence, all of iTunes/MediaInfo/Mp3tag/File Explorer seem to agree that it "counts" only if non-zero.

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Re: Dash in artist name or song title causes the Compilation box to be checked

Post by poiko » Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:52 am

It's fixed now. MP4 (M4A) metadata reader just checked if there is a "Compilation" tag not checking its value.

Checked all other file formats. They all handle compilation tag value set to 0 correctly.


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