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Thread: Details and metadata

  1. #1
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    Details and metadata

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    We're preparing to self-release our 1st official album. I feel like I'm missing a step. I'm trying to create the final files to send off for reproduction and download. I've exported my session to stereo 44100 24 .wav files. I then used mp3Tag to fill in all the details/metadata including Artist, Album, Year, Title, and Track No.

    Everything is going great, however when I add the folder to iTunes, iTunes only sees the file name, none of the "info" (as iTunes call it). All of the details are blank, and the album doesn't show up in the Albums list, etc.

    I'm not concerned with iTunes specifically. I was mostly vetting the album to see how it looks and works everywhere and it's not looking correctly somewhere.

    Is there a file finishing step? Should I be making Cakewalk handle more of this for me?

    Thanks,

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    WAV files don't hold that info. MP3 Tag *might* somehow embed it into the header, but nothing will read it and it could cause issues with players. And if you're going to CD, you're going to want 16-bit.

    FTR, you *can* embed such info into FLAC and MP3 - even AAC if you're going MFiT - although they don't actually use your AAC reference files for encoding.

    Long story short - How is this going to be released? If CD, then it would be embedded into the master DDP or CD-R (go DDP if at all possible, of course...). If digital, the aggregator will need that info and it'll be included at the right point when added to the database.

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    Thanks Massive, that was an incredibly concise and helpful response! That explains a lot.
    Now I have a few more questions:
    1. Why 16-bit? Is more bit not better?
    2. What shape dithering do you recommend?
    3. We are going to CD with the Atomic Eco-Pack. However, We're also offering a download. I was planning on making the download .WAV. Is that recommended or should I go straight to .mp3?

    Thanks!

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    1. 16-bit @ 44.1kHz is the standard for CD-Audio.
    2. Heh... That's a rough question... Go with what sounds best.
    3. Another rough one. If it's pretty normal stuff, a well-encoded MP3 at 256kbps or higher will usually do the trick. If it's exceptionally high-quality "audiophile" type stuff, use FLAC in either 16 bit (more compact) or 24 bit (about the same size as 16-bit PCM, but higher resolution with no dither noise unless you add it).

    All that aside -- Found the site.

    1. Didn't see anything about ISRC codes, which is probably something you should think about.
    2. They *do* accept DDP -- Something you should most definitely think about, as all your meta-data is embedded and connot be screwed up or changed. You don't have to worry about gaps, you don't have to worry about tracks ending up out of order - What you send is what you get. THAT SAID -- Make damn sure it's assembled properly from files that are formatted properly. Don't have your first purposeful oscillation right up against the start markers (that's hopefully a given), no clipping or what not (another one), etc.

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    Oh, the rabbit holes...
    So, DDP. I've been reading up on it. Are open source DDP creators worth-while or is it type of thing that you get what you pay for?
    What's worse, open source or skipping the step?
    Thanks!!

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    Alternate solution: Hire Massive for it. Your CD will sound great, and I bet if you ask nice, he can probably send you a master CD that's formatted correctly.

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    I may take that advice for our next project. This is a big year for us. We're self-releasing a live album now, but also putting 2 studio albums together. I'll need someone to master the studio albums for me

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    Tricky one where I don't want to sound wrong here ---

    Maybe in this case, make sure your files are to spec (44.1/16), make sure there are at least 8-12 frames from the start of the file to the first oscillation, make sure your gaps are built-in to the end of the file (INCLUDING the LAST file) and tell them that your gaps are included (otherwise, they're likely going to insert a blanket 2-second gap between each track) and send them in.

    The creation of the production master isn't necessarily rocket surgery, but many of the parameters are very precise. If you aren't in the "100% certainty" range - let's just say this isn't the time for experimentation. I've seen how it can turn out too many times.

    [EDIT - as I've missed posts while typing] Thanks, VHSteve! And yeah, I'm generally not one to "show my wares" around here, but if it means anything, I'd sock you for an hour and supply you with a properly formatted DDP (along with an app that would allow you to play it, extract PCM and MP3 files and author discs directly from the file).

    On software - I think even Reaper does DDP export (I think it even does DDP import). But again, it's not something I'd recommend doing in a rush unless you *know exactly* what's going on with it.

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    Yeah, I think Reaper reads DDPs. It opened the last project you sent me with it.

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    STUDIO ONE does Burn, Image, and DDP from the project page.

    as well as any kind of lossy format like mp3's and flacs and etc.....

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