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Author Topic: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
2MR2
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Posts: 1334
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Post iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 8, 2016, 09:37
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With the release of iTunes 12.5, Apple added support for metadata fields to make it easier to organize classical music. New metadata fields were added to the iTunes library for Work Name, Movement Name and the Movement number.

In m4a files, the new support was in our opinion implemented in the best way posible. The new metadata is stored in the files and iTunes reads and writes the data. Unfortunately, no "file" support was implemented for other audio file types. This means that the metadata associated with the new fields could be retained in an iTunes library but was not read or written from the actual audio files. As the new fields were mostly supported by the iTunes AppleScript interface, the values could be pushed and pulled.

In iTunes 12.5.2, Apple made a fundamental change which will affect the iTunes libraries of many users. The Work metadata is mapped to the Grouping field in supported ID3 based audio files. (ID3 TIT1 frame). This data is read and written. What this means is that any ID3 based supported audio file (mp3, aiff) will have its Grouping data appear in the Work field. Whenever you edit metadata in iTunes, you will lose the previous Grouping data stored in the files.

Aside from the general loss of data, this issue also introduces a definitive difference in the way metadata is meaningful in different audio formats. In m4a files, Grouping and Work are distinct data points. In mp3 and aiff files, there is now only really Work support. Grouping becomes meaningless as it is constantly overwritten.

Some people will note that you can still manually set the Grouping metadata in the iTunes library. That is true. In fact you can still programmatically set the Grouping data. However, you cannot save the data in the audio files.

For those of you who use Grouping there are really only two possible solutions if you are an iTunes user. The first is that Apple fixes the issue. You can always file a bug report at bugreport.apple.com. The second solution is ..... sorry there really is no decent second solution. In order to guarantee that no existing data is lost, every audio file using Grouping would have to have the metadata moved to a different field. All non iTunes, taggers and players which modify metadata would have to be modified to use a different field for Grouping.

The Yate Resources area has a Preserve Grouping download containing two actions which can be used to preserve your Grouping metadata....just in case.

Argh!!!!

ChuckClasi-
k
Beginner
Posts: 25
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 8, 2016, 12:03
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Well damn!!! I guess the best thing to do here in the meantime is copy the grouping field to Work.. Can you give a little more detail on the Preserve Grouping. Is that in the actions download area? I think that's what I'm reading.

ChuckClasi-
k
Beginner
Posts: 25
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 8, 2016, 12:05
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Found it.. Thanks.. Answered my own question

2MR2
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Posts: 1334
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 8, 2016, 12:07
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The Preserve Grouping actions only saves your data .... just in case.

If you set Grouping in Yate or any other tagger/player, the data will simply show up in the iTunes Work column. Unfortunately this also messes up the Title sometimes 🙁

2MR2
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 8, 2016, 13:20
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I think we should all hang in there for awhile and see if sanity prevails....although I doubt it.

The only semi-workable solution I can see is to have a new option called "Use iTunes Grouping Semantics" or something else just as silly.

If the option is enabled you'd have to run a Batch Processor action once to move all your Grouping metadata to a different non standard field. Yate would then use that field for Grouping which would ensure that the metadata is not blown away by iTunes. It would also cause Yate to store Work Name in Grouping as opposed to its non standard Work field. The Grouping metadata would be imported and exported to iTunes much the same as Ratings. This implementation would allow you to go ahead and use iTunes as in the past. The only problem of course is that the Grouping metadata would not be stored in the usual place. Also changing Grouping in iTunes would not save the new values to the files...much as with ratings.

This implementation would only affect mp3 and aiff files. wav is already handled out of bounds.

Implementing this is of course a pain but it is not insurmountable.

Any thoughts?

ChuckClasi-
k
Beginner
Posts: 25
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 8, 2016, 14:14
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It's not a great deal. I use a lot of smart playlist with the grouping as the base. I guess I could just do a copy grouping to work and start using that Work field from here on out. A pain, but change is the only constant on earth it seems.

2MR2
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: November 20, 2016, 16:07
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Yate v3.14.3 has a workaround via the new Preferences-iTunes-Maximum iTunes Grouping-Work Name Compatibility setting.

There is a new help topic named: iTunes, Classical Metadata and the Grouping Field

2MR2
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Posts: 1334
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: February 24, 2017, 07:48
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iTunes 12.5.4 made addition changes to how it handles the Grouping field in ID3 based files. The next release of Yate will provide further tweaks of the Grouping interaction.

downbeat8
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Posts: 32
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: October 17, 2017, 02:13
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the work/grouping debacle by itunes might be the last straw for me. what are other players for mac besides itunes that display the Grouping field? thanks

Thijs
Newbie
Posts: 1
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Post Re: iTunes 12.5.2 (or greater) and Grouping Metadata
on: October 22, 2017, 07:38
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I am a newbie, still testing Yate prior to purchasing it. So my apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong thread.
I rip using Dbpoweramp and play back with Audirvana (main set) and iTunes (iPhone). I manually rip and tag my cd's. Since I want to smooth the tagging process (Audirvana handles tags differently from iTunes so I have to adjust tags manualy since DBpoweramp cannot handle some app specific tags, I am now looking into Yate

I now have used Yate to quickly insert the Numbers of the Movement.

This gives a funny result. I have inserted and saved this number while in iTunes it does not display. Is this due to the issue mentioned in this thread?

P.S. I have a screenshot but can't figure out how to include it in this post

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