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Linux Multimedia Hacks by Kyle Rankin

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Hack #31. Clean Music Metadata at the Command Line

Use Lucene-based tagging in MusicBrainz to automagically scan and tag all your MP3s from the command line.

Most people never understand the importance of clean metadata (e.g., ID3 tags) in their music until they shove their haphazard music collection into an iPod. If you have no tags or inconsistent tags in your music collection, it's nearly impossible to really enjoy your shiny new iPod. To help out with this dilemma, MusicBrainz has been working on creating intelligent tagging applications that take the pain out of fixing your music metadata (for an introduction to MusicBrainz, see [Hack #30] ).

MusicBrainz offers a full-blown GUI application code-named Picard [Hack #32] that provides a visual approach to tagging your music. Musicbrainz also provides pimpmytunes for people who prefer to work on the command line. MusicBrainz tagging applications use the Lucene engine (http://lucene.apache.org) behind the scenes to identify tracks. This general-purpose text indexing engine, when applied to music metadata, allows tagging applications to perform metadata matching based solely on the incomplete metadata found in the source music track and a separate index file. MusicBrainz used to match a song to its online metadata by using acoustic fingerprints that attempt to identify music on the actual audio characteristics, but this was slow and inaccurate. These new tools are much better but do have one downside: they require very large index ...

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