Uniti Core Metadata

I've just bought a Uniti Core and have started ripping my classical CD collection.  For at least half of the them the metadata it finds is incomplete, wrong or unhelpful (e.g. "The CBSO Years Volume 23" rather than "Haydn The Creation Disc 1").  The second CD of a box set often has data unrelated to the first CD.

In particular, the composer is frequently missing.

My dealer who set it all up for me showed me how to change the album title, artist and genre, but I can't seem to change or add the composer.

Browsing this forum implies this is not possible.  I find that so hard to believe I'm posting possibly the same question again: is it really not possible to edit or add the composer?  If so, what do other people do?  I have a large collection of CDs and it is just intuitive for me to find the piece I want to listen to by starting with the composer.

Incidental second question: I'm setting up playlists for pieces that go over multiple CDs (such as The Creation) but a Playlist seems to have a title and no other data.  I assume I'm not missing anything, and I'd be interested to know if there are other, better, ways of dealing with such things?

Sorry if this is just repeating an existing question yet again.

Original Post
Frances posted:

I've just bought a Uniti Core and have started ripping my classical CD collection.  For at least half of the them the metadata it finds is incomplete, wrong or unhelpful (e.g. "The CBSO Years Volume 23" rather than "Haydn The Creation Disc 1").  The second CD of a box set often has data unrelated to the first CD.

In particular, the composer is frequently missing.

My dealer who set it all up for me showed me how to change the album title, artist and genre, but I can't seem to change or add the composer.

Browsing this forum implies this is not possible.  I find that so hard to believe I'm posting possibly the same question again: is it really not possible to edit or add the composer?  If so, what do other people do?  I have a large collection of CDs and it is just intuitive for me to find the piece I want to listen to by starting with the composer.

Incidental second question: I'm setting up playlists for pieces that go over multiple CDs (such as The Creation) but a Playlist seems to have a title and no other data.  I assume I'm not missing anything, and I'd be interested to know if there are other, better, ways of dealing with such things?

Sorry if this is just repeating an existing question yet again.

The UPnP server of the Uniti Core offers very poor support for classical music. If you are interested in classical music, you can probaly use the Core as a storage device and run MinimServer or any other server that well supports classical music on a Raspberry Pi connected to your LAN.

Welcome to the strange world of Naim UnitiCore metadata editing.!

Unfortunately you can't currently edit the composer (nor conductor) on the Core. Naim have promised to fix this in due course. I believe they are looking at the next Core firmware update at the end of October but the firmware revision isn't out in beta yet so I don't know what it will and won't fix.

The problem you mention of classical CDs showing up as part of a different set is a very well known limitation, although it did seem to catch Naim by surprise at launch, which suggests that there aren't too many classical music fans in the Naim software development team or the staff beta test team, come to that.

You can sometimes fix it by using a different metadata source. You do this by going into metadata editing, hit the "lookup metadata" link and then when it has returned the answers, selecting each tab in turn to see whether one is better than the other. If not then you have to edit what you can now and wait for Naim to make it better in the future. Even so it can be a challenge to get all the discs of a set to show up together in album view and in the right order. It's best to do this at the time you rip because otherwise the task may overwhelm you! Also after a rip sometimes it is nearly impossible to find where it has gone to and that is where the "Newest CD" option is very helpful because your Mahler symphony which now languishes as a piece of religious music, presumably with "Various" as the composer might never otherwise come to light again!

I'm sorry I can't help with playlists. I don't use them and have never bothered to find out how they are supposed to work. But others can advise you on that.

best

David

Richard Morris posted:

From the linked thread above, mid-June:

"...composer, conductor and genre are planned to be added shortly and other indexing fields can be added as required"

Instead of adding indexes that not every user might need or want, it would be better for users to be able to add whatever index they wish to populate. This is how MinimServer works and it works very well indeed. For classical music, for instance, I very much use "composer", "work", "ensemble", "conductor" and "form" (populated by values like "piano sonate", "symphony", "serenade", "string quartet", etc.). But for other genres I use other indexes. And other users will have yet other ways of organizing their music collections. Just give them a simple means of doing so. Best, nbpf 

nbpf posted:
Richard Morris posted:

From the linked thread above, mid-June:

"...composer, conductor and genre are planned to be added shortly and other indexing fields can be added as required"

Instead of adding indexes that not every user might need or want, it would be better for users to be able to add whatever index they wish to populate. This is how MinimServer works and it works very well indeed. For classical music, for instance, I very much use "composer", "work", "ensemble", "conductor" and "form" (populated by values like "piano sonate", "symphony", "serenade", "string quartet", etc.). But for other genres I use other indexes. And other users will have yet other ways of organizing their music collections. Just give them a simple means of doing so. Best, nbpf 

but can you use minimserver with the core?   i doubt...

You are right. You can't use anything with the Core except what Naim installed, which isn't Minimserver.

The Core is a buy it and use it device for people who don't want to mix fighting with computers with listening to music.

I can do all those computer things if I want to, and I do for work, but I bought a Core to make my music listening computer-fighting free and if someone were to steal my Core in the night, I would use the insurance money to buy another one.

Best

David

French Rooster posted:
nbpf posted:
Richard Morris posted:

From the linked thread above, mid-June:

"...composer, conductor and genre are planned to be added shortly and other indexing fields can be added as required"

Instead of adding indexes that not every user might need or want, it would be better for users to be able to add whatever index they wish to populate. This is how MinimServer works and it works very well indeed. For classical music, for instance, I very much use "composer", "work", "ensemble", "conductor" and "form" (populated by values like "piano sonate", "symphony", "serenade", "string quartet", etc.). But for other genres I use other indexes. And other users will have yet other ways of organizing their music collections. Just give them a simple means of doing so. Best, nbpf 

but can you use minimserver with the core?   i doubt...

No, you cannot. That's one of the reasons why I have not bought a Core. On the other hand, if one wants great support for classical music, one can probably still use the Core and rely on MinimServer running on a networked device (a Raspberry Pi is more than enough and costs about 40 EUR) to serve the data to networked streamers. At least until Naim has improved support for metadata in their UPnP server. Best, nbpf 

I believe that the metadata issue chiefly affects ripped CDs which go to the Music Folder.  If I understand this correctly, I believe that you can use your computer's file management software, such as Apple's Finder or Windows Explorer, to find the ripped files in the Music Folder.  You can then move them to the Downloads Folder, where you can use metadata editing software (like metadatics (sp?) or dbPoweramp (perhaps?)) to make the appropriate metadata tag editing/creation.  Then you can play the properly "imagined*" (edited) music from the Downloads Folder.  

Those with greater experience with the Core, please correct me if I am wrong.

 

*From Naim's Uniti and Core promotional materials:  "Your Music Collection Reimagined:  Uniti Core offers infinite possibilities, however you want to listen to your music." (So long as your Music Collection contains no Classical or Compilation CDs.)  

Sorry, Naim, but I couldn't resist the temptation to make a gentle dig at your Uniti/Core promo materials regarding the metadata issue.  Outside of the metadata issue, I've heard the Core compared to the Unitiserve and to a NAS with Minimserver, and it sounds fantastic.

 

 

CEverett posted:

I believe that the metadata issue chiefly affects ripped CDs which go to the Music Folder.  If I understand this correctly, I believe that you can use your computer's file management software, such as Apple's Finder or Windows Explorer, to find the ripped files in the Music Folder.  You can then move them to the Downloads Folder, where you can use metadata editing software (like metadatics (sp?) or dbPoweramp (perhaps?)) to make the appropriate metadata tag editing/creation.  Then you can play the properly "imagined*" (edited) music from the Downloads Folder.  

Those with greater experience with the Core, please correct me if I am wrong.

This is right except that Naim always say that messing around with files in the Music folders risks breaking the indexing, so I would suggest that the best way is to copy the files from the Music folder to the downloads folder and then use the app to delete the version still in the Music folder.

best

David

CEverett posted:

I believe that the metadata issue chiefly affects ripped CDs which go to the Music Folder.  If I understand this correctly, I believe that you can use your computer's file management software, such as Apple's Finder or Windows Explorer, to find the ripped files in the Music Folder.  You can then move them to the Downloads Folder, where you can use metadata editing software (like metadatics (sp?) or dbPoweramp (perhaps?)) to make the appropriate metadata tag editing/creation.  Then you can play the properly "imagined*" (edited) music from the Downloads Folder.  

Those with greater experience with the Core, please correct me if I am wrong.

 ....

According to Phil Harris you are wrong, see his answer to question #2 in http://forums.naimaudio.com/to...uestions-and-answers. Perhaps Naim will add support for indexes typically used for classical music in an upcoming software upgrade of their UPnP server?

Phil doesn't say you can't do it. In fact he says you can do it if you want to. But it's not officially "sanctioned".

But copying the files across (as he pretty well suggests) and then deleting the original using Naim's app (which he doesn't mention but is of course completely fine) is the way to do it.

best

David

David Hendon posted:

Phil doesn't say you can't do it. In fact he says you can do it if you want to. But it's not officially "sanctioned".

But copying the files across (as he pretty well suggests) and then deleting the original using Naim's app (which he doesn't mention but is of course completely fine) is the way to do it.

best

David

One can edit the metadata in the downloads folder as one wishes, of course. But Phil's asnwer to my question Nr. 2 suggests that changes to "composer", "conductor" and "genre" are not going to be honoured by the Core's UPnP server. I understand this as meaning that the Core's UPnP server simply ignores these indexes, but I do not have a Core to double check. Perhaps you can give it a try and confirm or confute my understanding? Best, nbpf

David Hendon posted:

You are right. You can't use anything with the Core except what Naim installed, which isn't Minimserver.

The Core is a buy it and use it device for people who don't want to mix fighting with computers with listening to music.

I can do all those computer things if I want to, and I do for work, but I bought a Core to make my music listening computer-fighting free and if someone were to steal my Core in the night, I would use the insurance money to buy another one.

Best

David

Yes, that's exactly why I bought it (except I don't do those things for work).  I just want to rip all my CDs onto it and listen to them when I want to.  I bought a streamer at the same time (not Naim so I'm keeping quiet about it here).

So I don't really want to set up a whole separate server and cataloging process - it's not the cost, it's the hassle.  Having had my suspicion confirmed, I guess I'll just wait for a NAIM update.

The good news is that it does sound great!

nbpf posted:

One can edit the metadata in the downloads folder as one wishes, of course. But Phil's asnwer to my question Nr. 2 suggests that changes to "composer", "conductor" and "genre" are not going to be honoured by the Core's UPnP server. I understand this as meaning that the Core's UPnP server simply ignores these indexes, but I do not have a Core to double check. Perhaps you can give it a try and confirm or confute my understanding? Best, nbpf

The Core doesn't ignore the Composer, in that I can list or select my music by composer (for pieces where it has been identified) but I can't add or edit the metadata.

It's truly weird. I've been involved in some IT projects over the years, and why you would allow editing of some bits of metadata but not others is just strange as far as I'm concerned - I would have thought it was more work to restrict the editing ability!

Frances posted:
nbpf posted:

One can edit the metadata in the downloads folder as one wishes, of course. But Phil's asnwer to my question Nr. 2 suggests that changes to "composer", "conductor" and "genre" are not going to be honoured by the Core's UPnP server. I understand this as meaning that the Core's UPnP server simply ignores these indexes, but I do not have a Core to double check. Perhaps you can give it a try and confirm or confute my understanding? Best, nbpf

The Core doesn't ignore the Composer, in that I can list or select my music by composer (for pieces where it has been identified) but I can't add or edit the metadata.

...

I do not understand. Once your files are in the download folder (not the music folder) they shoudl be read/write visible across your network and you should be able to edit them using a third-party software of your choice. Any decent metadata editing software will allow you to edit the values associated to Composer, Conductor, Genre, etc.

Thus, the relevant question is then whether the Core's UPnP server will index those fields or not. My understanding (following Phil's answer to question 2 in http://forums.naimaudio.com/to...uestions-and-answers) is that the answer is negative but I cannot check it out since I do not have a Core.

Given that you have a Core, just try to edit the Composer, Conductor, Genre field of a file in the download folder and you will find out whether I am correct or not. In you do so, please let me know.

I have been away from my Core today so not able to engage with this discussion. I think the you can edit whatever you like in the Downloads folder, but the upnp server in the Core and the Naim app will only allow you to access certain fields and to edit metadata in only some of them. As we know we are promised some improvements but these have not manifested themselves yet.

I think the Core does index genre, composer and conductor, but you can't edit them in the app yet, so the Core will respect edits of genre, conductor or composer in the downloads folder but those have to coexist with whatever sense or nonsense the metadata lookup databases the Core consults come up with for those fields for CD rips.

best

David

David Hendon posted:

I have been away from my Core today so not able to engage with this discussion. I think the you can edit whatever you like in the Downloads folder, but the upnp server in the Core and the Naim app will only allow you to access certain fields and to edit metadata in only some of them. As we know we are promised some improvements but these have not manifested themselves yet.

I think the Core does index genre, composer and conductor, but you can't edit them in the app yet, so the Core will respect edits of genre, conductor or composer in the downloads folder but those have to coexist with whatever sense or nonsense the metadata lookup databases the Core consults come up with for those fields for CD rips.

best

David

Why should internet metadata databases have any impact on the values that have been set by users for the files in the downloads folder? That would make little sense! At this point I am not anymore sure that I do understand how the Core's UPnP server handles the metadata of the files in the downloads folder. At least, it seems that I am not the only one in this situation. I wonder if anyone at Naim could bring some light on this issue. Someone must somehow know how the product that they sell does actually work. Until then, I can only refer to Phil's answer to my question #2 on http://forums.naimaudio.com/to...uestions-and-answers. It clearly states that " ...composer, conductor and genre are planned to be added shortly and other indexing fields can be added as required.". To me, this suggests that composer, conductor and genre are currently not accouted for. But I am not a native speaker and I might have misunderstood what he actually meant to say, of course. Good night, nbpf

David Hendon posted:

You should read my answer again. I am saying the opposite of what you seem to think I am saying.....

best

David

I think that I understand what you are saying, my understanding of how the Core works is mainly based on your reports.

The crucial question for the OP here, however, is whether the Core's UPnP server will present to the Naim app the changes that one makes to the Composer, Conductor and Genre fields of files in the downloads folder or not. If the answer to this question is positive, the OP obviously has a simple means of solving his issue: just transfer all the files to the downloads folder and edit their metadata with a third-party app there. If the Core's UPnP server does not index the Composer, Conductor and Genre fields of the files in the downloads folder, however, such edits will have no effect.

Phil's answer to my question Nr. 2 in the above mentioned thread suggests (to me) that the latter is the case. You say that you think that the Core's UPnP server does in fact honour edits of Composer, Conductor and Genre in the downloads folder. This would be a very good new for many Core users, I guess.

A simple test could provide a definite answer, but I cannot run such test because I do not have a Core! Perhaps you can try editing the values of Composer, Conductor and Genre for a single file in the downloads folder and check whether the Core's UPnP server honours the edits or not. Then the question would be settled.

Just adding to the above, you can currently search on composer, conductor or genre in the app and you will get a list of results which includes your correctly edited files in the downloads folder and  the ripped files in the Music folder, which may or may not be correctly labelled. At present you cannot edit these field in the Music folder but as you point out, Phil has confirmed that editing of these fields will be added shortly. When Phil says that other fields "can be added as required",  we don't know yet whether this means that Naim can add them as required or that an end user can add them as required, but I suspect it is the former.

The problem at the moment isn't just metadata on rips that is wrong, but metadata is inconsistent. To take an example, the composer Franz Schubert can show up as Franz Schubert, Schubert Franz, Schubert, Schubert F, F Schubert etc. The two discs in a two disc set may have different variations on each disc so that any search doesn't bring them up next to each other. So searching on composer in the app is quite frustrating. These are some of the issues we need to be able to fix and the upcoming firmware update should hopefully do that (but there are other more important bug fixes on Core that we are waiting for.)

best

David

I tried to do the test suggested above last night. I copied a ripped CD into the Downloads folder, then downloaded a metadata editing app onto my PC, then I discovered it wouldn't work on .wav files (even though its website said it would) and then decided it was dinner time.  (I've never actually downloaded music before - I've been happy with a combination of iplayer, internet radio and my CD collection).

I think David's answer above answers the question anyway.  So I can solve my problem by copying everything over into Downloads, finding a different metatdata editing app, and fixing it that way.

By the way, the NAIM app does allow me to edit genre, which I've been doing (although personally I'd like more categories as I'm only using about 6 of them and would love to split 'Classical - Chamber' out further, for example)

@David Hendon: thanks for the clarification, the fact that the Core's UPnP server does not ignore the Composer, Conductor and Genre fields of the files in the downloads folder is certainly good!

@Frances: I do not have a Core but if I had one I would probably keep all my files in the downloads folder and in the .flac format. I know that the Core does not actually support transcoding .flac to .wav but I am pretty sure that Naim will add this functionality, at least if enough users ask for it. In my classification scheme I clearcut distinguish between Genre and Form. Genre is populated by values like "classical", "jazz", "rock", "electronica", "vocal", "instrumental", "pop", "chamber", etc. Form, on the other hand, qualifies formal aspects of a piece of music and is populated by values like "adagio", "andante", "berceuse", "etude", "fugue", "cantata", "cello concerto", "concerto", "symphony", "nocturne", "requiem", "sonate", "toccata", "scherzo" and many others. What I find particularly useful in classical music is to index my files by Work and an Ensemble. I can then take advantage of MinimServer's support for "intelligent browsing" to nail down a piece of music through Composer > Work > Album or even Period > Composer > Album searches.

Thanks for the advice.  I am currently ripping to .wav as that's how my dealer set it up for me, but there's plenty of information I can find online to understand why perhaps I should be using .flac

I suspect overall your collection is bigger than mine is (at least at present); to be honest simply being able to search by composer and/or genre will be all I need, although in the long run would be good to identify different composers to different bits of a CD

Frances posted:

Thanks for the advice.  I am currently ripping to .wav as that's how my dealer set it up for me, but there's plenty of information I can find online to understand why perhaps I should be using .flac

I suspect overall your collection is bigger than mine is (at least at present); to be honest simply being able to search by composer and/or genre will be all I need, although in the long run would be good to identify different composers to different bits of a CD

I actually have a rather small collection, about 500GB. Most of these are prestoclassical, hyperion and qobuz downloads, the rest are rips of my own CDs. They are all in FLAC format.

In my view, it pays off to invest some time in thinking about how your collection looks like and which indexing schemes best fit your needs. As a rule of thumb, it pays off focusing on indexes that are most populated. For listeners of classical music, these are often (but not necessarily) Composer, Work, Artist, Conductor, Ensemble and perhaps Period.  But if you are particularly focussed on, say, vocal music, other indexes might be more relevant for you. In practice, I have found that I rarely use Genre and Artist in browsing my collection. And I have found it very useful to have an IncDate index that tells me when I have added a given album or set of files to the collection. This allows me to select my recent purchases directly. I have a Gramophone subscription and I found it very useful to look at the criteria (indexes) that the magazine uses to organize classical music. Just buy an issue and have a look at their table of contents.

Relevant criteria for selecting data formats and storage options are editability (of metadata) and portability. I do not have a Core but my understanding is that if you rip your CDs on the Core (in .wav or in .flac format) your files will land in a so-called "music folder" and the associated metadata will be stored in a proprietary database. According to Phil Harris' answers to my questions about the Core in http://forums.naimaudio.com/to...uestions-and-answers, there is no supported way of exporting the files of the music folder together with their metadata to an external drive in a non-proprietary data format (e.g. .flac with embedded metadata), see his answer to question 1. In practice this means that -- if you rip your CDs with the Core -- you will be locked into a non-portable, proprietary system with very limited support for metadata editing. This is, in my view, unacceptable. Thus, if I had a Core (and if the device would actually work in that way) I would avoid ripping my CDs on the device. Instead , I would rip using well-established OS X, Linux or Windows software on a computer and then them move the files to the Core's downloads folder.

A further aspect of organising and managing a music collection that you might want to consider is recovery. Dependable backups are of course mandatory, but if you have a small collection and if you put some efforts in cleaning up and editing your metadata, you might want to be able to restore a previous version if you are not satisfied with your edits. This is particularly true in the beginning when your collection is small and there are more chances that you will rethink your choices. I am not suggesting that you put your music collection under a versioning system. But if you might considering using a time machine or keeping a few external drives (1-2 TB drives are quite cheap) with two or three versions of your music library. I have found rsync based scripts a very versatile and efficient way of managing backups and recovery schemes.

Have fun, nbpf

Hi David, new to forum. Editing metadata via app on Core for ripped albums, I understand and am getting on ok. However, my dealer preloaded a selection of music for me which appears in the Downloads folder. What is the correct step by step process in your opinion for editing the metadata here. For instance some of the album titles could be more accurate, album artwork could be improved and ditto track titles. Additionally, is there a method for deleting individual albums? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Mike Rivers posted:

Hi David, new to forum. Editing metadata via app on Core for ripped albums, I understand and am getting on ok. However, my dealer preloaded a selection of music for me which appears in the Downloads folder. What is the correct step by step process in your opinion for editing the metadata here. For instance some of the album titles could be more accurate, album artwork could be improved and ditto track titles. Additionally, is there a method for deleting individual albums? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Find the downloads folder on your computer, and use your choice of metadata editors for this. As a Mac user, I like Metadatics, but there are plenty of others. Delete albums just as you would for any file on your computer. 

Mike Rivers posted:

That easy? I’m encouraged Chrissu. Once changes are made do I have to reboot the app or anything? Thx for  your help here.

If the app is slow to show your changes, try clearing the UPnP cache. Also a rescan in N-Serve for OSX or the DTC, whichever one you use. 

Mike is using a Core Chris, so n-serve and DTC don't work with it.

Mike the Core/Naim app should pick the changes up within a minute or so but if it doesn't you could try restarting the Core. You can also tell the Core to rebuild the database which forces a rescan. This takes a few minutes to do depending how many albums you have on it. So it's sledgehammer to crack a nut.

I used to find the US very slow to pick up changes in the Downloads folder, as in hours sometimes, but the Core is much better.

best

David

Quite right David, I temporarily forgot we were discussing the Core here! I believe the advice re. editing the Downloads folder is the same for both devices, though. 

Good to hear that the Core is a bit faster at updating, though. My record so far on the US is about two months!

Yes the downloads folder editing is the same as US. You can either do it in a PC/Mac and upload the edited files or you can do it while the files are already in the Downloads folder, assuming you can connect to it with your PC (some people have had an issue with that since the last Core firmware update. But the imminent Core firmware update fixes that for me.)

best

David

Thought I’d post an e-mail I sent to Phil re album sorting in particular but essentially just observations on my new Uniti Core.

’Hi Phil,

Two observations re my new Uniti Core.

1) Album sorting solution

Clearly with a 2Tb SSD drive I can store a very large number of mixed genre albums. The impression I get from reading all the forums is that the firmware, whilst improving, still fails to allow even rudimentary sorting of albums.

The options at present are to sort via artist or album.

Sorting by artist presents problems as albums by that artist cannot be further organised into chronological order.

Additionally, classical music presents further problems regarding indexing by composer, orchestra, soloist, etc.

Sorting by album basically mixes albums up altogether regardless of genre, following a crude A-Z methodology which presents the likes of ‘Led Zeppelin 1’ alongside Ashkenazy’s ‘Live in Moscow’.

My solution to all of this (with the benefit of wrestling with a large iTunes library for 10 years) is as follows.

Within the metadata you introduce a further ‘sorting’ tag, not visible when viewing the album whilst browsing, which allows the album to be renamed with a prefix. eg Hunky Dory would become 02Bow03 Hunky Dory. The prefix can be anything determined by the user. I use a simple system where in this example 02 denotes classic rock, Bow - David Bowie, and 03 indicates third album. The Hollies would fall under 01 Classic Pop, The Temptations under 03 Classic Soul etc.

The beauty of the system is to put back the control of library organisation into the users hands. Albums would be presented in blocks of genres, with artists in alphabetical order and albums in release order.

2) Change album cover

The photo album lookup does not allow ability navigate to a folder within my photo albums marked CD Covers, instead defaulting to ‘Moments’ in my iPad photo library which means I have to trawl through from start to finish in order to find the album cover I’m looking for. Cumbersome is the word I’m looking for.

Sincerely hope this helps

Mike Rivers (naim forum member)’

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