בסיעתא דשמיא

Writing

  • Poetry

Tweets


Respecting Provenance with Metadata

Fontgoddess has posted twice on her affection for metadata, providing examples of how others, even librarians, are tagging their files.

I started out tagging with the quiet and devout rigour of a monk gilding the dome of the basillica, but I eventually gave up with the genre field of id3 because it felt dishonest to tag entire albums according to a single genre style, and I was too lazy to tag different genres to individual tracks in an album. But isn’t that what it comes down to, laziness? Not in the seven mortal sins concept of laziness, but more so in finding the balance between the strict control of information and the freedom of the music to wander into one’s listening queue like a free-radical crying “Serendipity!”

All Music Guide does a nice job of identifying genres and flavors and styles of music, and I value the meaningful typology of genre classifications as useful and more than academic. However, for now I’m keeping my musical associations in my head and not in my tag, and using (the free and open source) Albumlist to listen to and shuffle my mp3s by album whilst listening through Winamp. It’s enough (and actually necessary) for so many of my music files to remain associated with their respective (concept) albums when I listen to them.

mp3s may have liberated individual single tracks from their Albums, even leading some people to question whether Albums are now a quaint anachronism, and while this may be true for some short and sweet pop tracks, so many progressive, classical, and electronic pieces are lost without the provenance of their album. The whole, in these cases, is greater than the individual track, and that’s what makes Albumlist and plug-ins like it (are there any others like it?) so useful.

Below, an image of LuigiHann’s Adventure for Atari 2600 skin for winamp, with the Albumlist and Cover&TAG plugins.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

Leave a Reply

בסיעתא דארעא