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library_metadata_rewrite_using_taglib

Summary

Status: This specification is finalized. Please do not edit this page.

Mixxx's metadata parsing is error prone, does not always handle encodings properly, and doesn't support all tag formats for a given container. This design document describes an effort to replace all of Mixxx's current format-specific metadata parsing code with the use of TagLib, a cross-platform library that provides an all-encompassing API for parsing many different metadata formats. Currently it supports both ID3v1 and ID3v2 for MP3 files, Ogg Vorbis comments and ID3 tags and Vorbis comments in FLAC, MPC, Speex, WavPack and TrueAudio files.

Metadata to Extract

The new metadata extraction system will extract the following metadata from every file regardless of file format:

  • Artist (string)
  • Title (string)
  • Album (string)
  • Comment (string)
  • Genre (string)
  • Year (integer)
  • Track Number (integer)

Additionally, the system must extract the following properties of each audio file for use in the GUI to present to the user and for use by the mixing engine.

  • Bitrate (int, best estimate) Only used for GUI purposes.
  • Length in Seconds (int, best estimate) Only used for GUI purposes.
  • Samplerate (int, must be correct) Used for various calculations within Mixxx
  • Channels (int) Not used. All SoundSource's upsample mono to stereo in SoundSource::read()

Extra / Non-Standard Metadata

Some metadata formats have standard (or non-standard) ways that people have gone about storing extra metadata such as the harmonic key of a song or its average beats per minute.

When possible, Mixxx SoundSource's must extract the following additional metadata from available tag structures:

  • Average BPM

BPM

  • In ID3v1 tags, there is no possible way to store the BPM.
  • In ID3v2 tags, the BPM is stored in the 'TBPM' frame. This is part of the ID3v2.3 standard.
  • In Xiph comment tags, the BPM is conventionally stored in a field with the key 'TEMPO' but has also been seen as 'BPM'.
  • In APE metadata tags, the BPM is stored in an atom named 'BPM'.
  • In MP4 tags, the tempo is stored in a 'tmpo' atom. This is part of the MP4 standard.

Harmonic Key

  • In ID3v1 tags, there is no possible way to store the key.
  • In ID3v2 tags, the initial key of the song is stored in a 'TKEY' frame. This is part of the ID3v2.3 standard.
  • In Xiph comment tags, the conventional way to store the key is currently unknown. Is it 'KEY'?
  • In APE metadata tags, the conventional way to store the key is currently unknown.
  • In MP4 tags, the conventional way to store the key is currently unknown.

Cover Art

TagLib makes it much easier to load cover art from the formats so this is a good avenue for a sideproject. It is not a requirement of this specification.

Integration with Other Software

  • Serato Scratch Live
    • Stores and reads BPM and key tags from the 'TBPM' and 'TKEY' frames in ID3v2.
    • Handling of Xiph, APE, and MP4 is unknown.
  • Traktor Pro
    • Reads BPM and key tags from the 'TBPM' and 'TKEY' frames in ID3v2.
    • It is unknown if it writes to these tags.
    • Handling of Xiph, APE, and MP4 is unknown.
  • Mixed In Key
    • Configurable to write key tags to the 'TKEY' frame in ID3v2.
    • Handling of Xiph, APE, and MP4 is unknown.
  • Rapid Evolution
    • Writes to 'TKEY' and 'TBPM' frames in ID3v2 by default.
    • Handling of Xiph, APE, and MP4 is unknown.
  • iTunes
    • Reads 'TBPM' frames from ID3v2 by default.
    • Does not support FLAC or OGG.
    • Does not support the 'TKEY' frame.
  • beaTunes
    • Supports 'TKEY' and 'TBPM' frames in ID3v2.
    • Handling of Xiph, APE, and MP4 is unknown.
  • MixMeister BPM Analyzer
    • Supports 'TBPM' frames in ID3v2.
    • Handling of Xiph, APE, and MP4 is unknown.

Work Breakdown

This work breakdown structure (WBS) will become more detailed as the design above becomes more thorough and complete.

1 Use TagLib to process the metadata of every file format we support
  1.1 Implement parsing for TagLib's generic Tag interface.
  1.2 Implement custom parsing for ID3v2 tags
  1.3 "" APE tags
  1.4 "" Xiph comment tags
  1.5 "" MP4 tags
2 Verify that nothing broke
  2.1 Verify new duration handling works
    2.1.1 In particular check MP3 VBR files
  2.2 Get a copy of every file format we support with a BPM tag attached. Verify BPM loads on library scan.
  2.3 Test the library on Albert's Library From Hell.

Current Progress

This feature was implemented and released in Mixxx 1.9.0

Team

  • RJ Ryan
Translations of this page:
library_metadata_rewrite_using_taglib.txt · Last modified: 2011/02/22 23:13 by rryan