Behind the scenes

Did you ever have some questions about Audio-4U releases? Structure of folders ‘n stuff? It’s probably the place you need. And also a good chance to suggest your ideas that can improve my system.

Date: 2014-Jan

1) Tagging:
a) Basic rules of tagging: Original case, language etc is preserved. In the most cases japanized characters (“&” instead of “&”, “(” instead of “(“, “3” instead of “3” and the like) are replaced with the latin analogues. Japanese spaces are replaced with latin ones in japanese-free text (“ ” instead of ” “). Space is added before the brackets in japanese-free text (eg “Transparent(original mix)”). No specific spacer usage is determined (&, feat., / etc), the one that is stated on the official site/booklet is used.

b) Tags:
ARTIST – there are two different approaches: 1) Artist name, when the album has various artists or when the artist is specified. Vocal prefered, then composer or arranger; 2) Circle (group) name when no artists were specified. It’s also applies for many non electronical circles. Featuring artists are always included in this tag, not in the TITLE tag.
TITLE – what it says, 曲名 – track name.
ALBUM TITLE – just the album name, nothing more.
EVENT – short event name: comiket, M3, 例大祭 and so on.
CATALOGID – official catalog number, when available.
COMPOSER – 作曲 – what it says. No ZUN, because it’s obvious enough.
PERFORMER – arranger or performer (編曲).
VOCAL – or just voice sometimes.
LYRICIST – 作詞 – when the info is available.
ALBUM ARTIST – Circle or group name. Sometimes company name for commercial (primarily eroge) companies.
TRACKNUMBER, TOTALTRACKS, DISCNUMBER, TOTALDISCS are always used. With 1-digit settings from 0 to 9.
ORIGIN – title of the game/work where the song is originally from (for arranges).
ORIGINALTITLE – original title of the track (for arranges).
ARRANGE – used for popular categories of arranges like 東方 or Key.
CHORUS – used if stated.
MASTERING – used when it’s stated and I’m not too forgetful.
COMMENT – used for additional info like “Opening of </anime/game name>”, “second album” or something.
BASS, GUITAR, PIANO, DRUMS and dozens of other tags are used, when available. no more, because I’m too laz– I mean, it saves helluva lot of a time
DISCID – preserved if it’s available in the source rip.
REMIXER – when it’s not obvious enough from the TITLE tag.
2) Folder structure.
a) Folder name.
‘[‘Audio-4U’]'[ ‘(‘%event%’)’] %album artist% — %album%[ ‘(‘%arrange%’)’][ ‘[‘%catalogid%’]’] ‘(‘flac+scans’)’\\\\%filename%
this foobar script is used for single albums. It is pretty easy, see TAGS part for more information. Sometimes “(%artist%)” tag is added after %album artist% for solo albums on big labels.

[‘[‘%date%’]’] %album%\\\\%filename%
script is used for discographies, sometimes %date% is replaced with %catalogid%. Sometimes %artist% tag is added (primarily for solo releases on big electronic labels).

%album artist% – %album%[ ‘[‘%catalogid%’]’][ ‘[‘%event%’]’]
is old folder structure used only for J-core compilation.

b) Folder structure:
Scans (all scans are renamed for the best identification. Back, Back_inner, Booklet** (** – 2-digit system is used here), Obi, Card**, Disc and more sometimes. “Front” and “Front_inner” are used when the front side picture is not folded (well, when it’s not booklet). See self-rips section for more info.
audio files (flac lv.8, ogg q6, mp3 when no lossless source available, no transcodes ever. No replaygain. Original sample rate and bit depth are preserved.
Additional script is used for windows-forbidden characters in the filenames:
$replace(%track%. %artist% — %title%,*,*,?,?,<,<,>,>,:,:)).
cover image (jpg or png only, with some limitations to the maximum size. If the size of the cover is bigger than 1mb, I’m renaming original pic to “Artwork” and downscaling it to “cover.jpg”. Original images are preferred with the biggest possible resolution. In the case when no original cover art is available, edited (improved) scan is used instead.  All possible covers are saved in the folder when more than one cover work is available. All attached covers are deleted).
m3u8 playlist (script is used to create the playlist using folder name (album name)).
EAC log (When available. Encoding is changed to UTF-8 for old non-unicode logs).
DVD isos when available, but I have no idea what to do with blu-rays, just because they are way too big – probably the biggest problem at the moment.
Additional data like wallpapers or html-sites whatever.

c) Discographies.
It’s always a difficult task to decide what kind of folder structure should I use for big discrographies (See Shimotsuki Haruka, Chata etc). In the most cases it is like “Albums”, “Singles”, “Doujin”, “Game songs”, “Anison”, “Other”. Playlists are available for each folder separately and for the whole discography. Serial number identifier is used and every big update gets +1.0 to the number.

3) Self-rips.
I’ve used to rip and scan a lot of albums, not too much now, though. I’m using the latest EAC with 100% compatibility with, waffles log needs. Scans are getting special treatment: manual FFT-transform, selective and simple blur as anti-raster measures, Levels and sometimes hue-saturation editing to restore the original colors. Png only. 400-600 dpi.

4) Seeding.
I’m seeding discographies for a month or more. Less for single albums. Sometimes I’m re-seeding them, but mainly only when someone asks (or on holydays, haha). J-core compilation is getting permanent seeding. And I’m seeding event batches from time to time (every few months for a week or more).

12 thoughts on “Behind the scenes

  1. Lovely.

    Too bad that I end transcoding everything to my own personal messy standards :D

    Also I wonder why Japan still stucks to it’s outdated Shit-JIS crap and their non-standard characters (one major nitpick here is “~”). But ah well, UTF-8 FTW!

    Also… care to recommend any good scanner?

  2. >manual FFT-transform
    Any reason you do it manually? I assume you do this for descreening. There are free gimp plugins that do this, and even better paid Photoshop plugins, I imagine those would probably work better than manual editing, but maybe not?

    1. Well, it is FFT plugin for gimp. I mean I don’t use scanner anti-raster features.

      1. Ah, that makes more sense.
        Thanks for all the info, cool to see how other people run their operations.

  3. I don’t think I have anything to add, so far I’ve been favoring your tagging conventions a lot, only changing small details sometimes for my own personal unreasonable reasons haha.

    One thing that I have been wondering about though, why are the spaces left out in some of the custom field names? For example ‘ORIGINALTITLE’ instead of ‘ORIGINAL TITLE’ and ‘CATALOGID’ instead of ‘CATALOG ID’. Is there a technical reasons behind this or just personal preference?

    1. There are lots of standard tags like “TOTALTRACKS”, “DISCNUMBER”, “TOTALDISCS”, so I didn’t even think about this.

  4. This is quite comprehensive!

    I’ve always found your organizational standards to be immaculate, so no suggestions here!

    Keep up the great work!

  5. Folder structure:
    CircleName\\Date [catalogueID] AlbumName [Event]
    ShibayanRecords\\2012.12.30 [STAL-1202] マジコカタストロフィ – Magico Catastrofe [C83]
    UI-70\\2014.05.11 [ui-0027] Rest in peace [例大祭11]

        1. Well, I won’t say that TLMC’s pattern is bad, but it’s not suitable for my releases, since:
          1) it has too much information that isn’t necessary for batch folder structure → not the best user perception.
          2) different batches need different folder structure, TLMC is a massive that can be easily structured – in many cases you cannot use straightforward pattern like this.
          3) Most of Audio-4U users are using Windows (including me) and NTFS’s 255 characters limitation is a sufficient factor, TLMC’s system is a priori path length-unwise.

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