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You'll find hereafter Metatogger documentation in English, organised as a Frequently asked Question form. Before asking for support, please check that the topic hasn't been addressed and solved in these pages.


Installation

Metatogger requires preliminary installation of .NET Framework (x86) (version 4.6 or higher). Metatogger also requires Visual C++ 2015 runtime, XAudio2 2.7 and SQL Server LocalDB 2012/2014/2016. All these prerequisites are automatically installed with the main software installation. The user doesn't have to take care about it.

Metatogger works on all Windows versions supporting .Net Framework 4.6: Windows 10, Windows 8.x, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista Service Pack 2.

Metatogger is available in French and in English. By default, Metatogger starts in French on a French Windows version and in English for all other languages. Language displayed can be changed at any time using software options that are accessible in Application tab.

Adding a new language in Metatogger is very easy and doesn't require to recompile the software. Those who are interested in adding translations, may contact the technical support. Thanks to its volunteers users, Metatogger is also available in Espanol, Italiano and German.

Initial goal of Metatogger was to promote open standards, like Xiph foundation (Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, etc.), this is the meaning of “ogg” in the product name. The first version was only able to read these audio file formats.

Today, Metatogger supports the most popular audio file types: Ogg Vorbis, native FLAC, MP3, M4A (AAC and ALAC) and Windows Media Audio (including lossless professional versions)

Metatogger is using the open source library TagLib to read and write tags in audio files.

Metatogger has been started in 2005 by a single author, Sylvain Rougeaux.

Its vectorial interface is based on WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). Metatogger also uses the TagLib open source library to read and write tags in audio files.

Metatogger has several tools (acoustic fingerprint recognition, covers or lyrics downloads) that are requiring an Internet connection

If a Proxy is required to connect to Internet, it is necessary to enter its parameters within the advanced settings, setting the argumentUseProxy to true and by configuring proxy settings: ProxyAddress and ProxyUserName - ProxyPassword as appropriate.

Metatogger settings may be reset by selecting corresponding button in the Application tab.

Please note that this reinitialization will void all personal settings (workspace configurations, predefined tags, etc.). In addition, all defaults scripts will also be reset.

Workspace use

Unlike other tag editors available in the market, Metatogger is not based on system file tree. This is the reason why it is needed to load audio file into the workspace. The advantage is that files that are not stored in the same directory can be manipulated in a central location, the workspace.

There are five methods for adding audio files to Metatogger workspace:

  • Command Add Files of the ribbon, to select one or more files;
  • Command Add Folders of the ribbon, to select one or more folders containing audio files to add. If there are sub directories in the selected directory, Metatogger will ask whether included files have to be imported or not;
  • The opening of a M3U playlist to load its file reference content;
  • Drag and drop one or more pre selected audio files from the Windows file explorer to the workspace.
  • Command Open in Metatogger from the folder contextual menu displayed in the Windows file explorer.

Several methods may be used to remove files from the Metatogger workspace:

  • Command Remove All remove all files from workspace;
  • Command Remove selected items or a key press on DEL, after selecting one or more files (Shift/Ctrl + click);
  • Command Remove checked items;
  • Command Remove missing items removes missing (deleted or moved) items.

Metatogger functions are only active on checked items. It is therefore necessary to be able to perform this correctly to get best results.

All required commands are available in the ribbon:

  • Check and Uncheck selects or deselects all highlighted items;
  • Check and Uncheck Other and Uncheck and Check Other allows checking (or unchecking) all selected items and unchecking (or checking) all non selected items;
  • Invert allows to check unchecked items and to uncheck checked all selected items.

Checking and unchecking tools are closely linked to selection.

Multiple selection works in Metatogger like in most software: keeping Ctrl key pressed-on, allows adding or suppressing the selection of another items, and keeping Shift key on, allows selecting or deselecting all items between the interval of the two most far highlighted items. Finally, it is possible to select other items by encircling items in a rectangle with the mouse.

Other functions of Metatogger are taking into account selection for action: removing files from workspace, saving or cancelling changes, deletion of files, opening containing folder in file explorer, etc.

If items are grouped by tags within the workspace, click on the group name allows the selection of the entire content of the group including sub-groups if any.

Hereafter there is a short video showing usual manipulations:

It is possible to filter items that are in the workspace, using the filter line (first line of the grid). Doing so, only items corresponding to the active filter of the user will be displayed. Filters are not case sensitive: flac will allow data containing “FLAC” or “flac” to be displayed.

The command Show Search Panel, available with a right click on column heading, displays a search field which filters items of all available columns.

The command Filter Editor…, available with a right click on column heading allows the user to fine tune the content of filters he wants to use for filtering:

Advanced filter settings window

The workspace of Metatogger is highly versatile and fits to most of the user's needs.

Indeed, all items that are in the workspace may be filtered or grouped:

  • When clicking on column headings, items may be sorted by ascending or descending order; when using Shift with the click action, several columns can be sorted together;
  • Items may be grouped by dropping columns headings on the corresponding bar; sub-groups can also be created using the same method.

It is also possible to change the display of columns in the workspace:

  • Columns can be displayed or hidden when clicking on command Show Column Chooser;
  • Columns may be moved by drag and drop;
  • The width of a column can be automatically adapted to its content by double clicking on its right border in the column heading; the command Best fit (all columns), allows automatic setting of width to their content for all visible columns in the Workspace.;
  • Left or right column of the workspace can be frozen to remain always visible, no matter the position of the horizontal scrollbar; this is done by right clicking in the column heading and selecting one of the proposed Fixed Styles (left or right).

When workspace is as the user wants, it can be saved and later be recalled. It is then possible to prepare different workspace configurations according to different tasks to perform. The initial workspace that is launched on starting can be defined using the Application tab.

Various default configuration are existing in Metatogger. Unlike “user's” configurations, default configuration cannot be deleted.

When the workspace configuration is saved by the user, Metatogger asks for the details he wishes to save: columns visibility, columns position, grouping, sorting, fixed column count, columns width.

When a configuration is called back, only saved aspects will replace the previous one displayed.

Herafter is a demonstration video:

Selected items of the workspace can be exported in a spreadsheet using cut and paste functions. Use keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+A for selecting all items (Ctrl+Shift+Click for multiple selections), Ctrl+C for copy, Ctrl+V for pasting data in a spreadsheet.

Data can also be exported in Excel (.xlsx) or CSV (.csv) format using command Export data in the Application tab. Excel format export keeps groups and filters active.

Work sessions can be saved and that includes, audio files loaded, non saved changes and the workspace configuration. The session can later be recalled when clicking on Save As or Load in the Application tab.

Work sessions files of Metatogger have .jms (JSON Metatogger session) extension. In the unlikely event that Metatogger crashes, such a file is generated in order to avoid running work losses. The file is located under <LocalApplicationData>\Luminescence_Software\Metatogger_recovery.jms.

To play audio files, use Play, Pause and Stop buttons. The name of the audio file being played is displayed with a purple background in the workspace

Editable data, like tags, are displayed in black. Read only data like technical information about files, are displayed in colour. Unchecked items, modification protected, are displayed in grey. A purple heading warns that the file is playing in Metatogger.

Changes highlighting

Tags management

All text based tags are supported by Metatogger. The only binary tag supported by Metatogger is the tag Cover, made up of an image.

Each tag is inserted into a dedicated column in the workspace. Metatogger dynamically adds necessary columns in order to handle all tags in the same manner.

A column used to edit any user defined tag can be manually added when right clicking on a column heading and selecting command Add a user tag… in the contextual menu displayed.

As Metatogger automatically adds a column per each new tag it reads in an audio file, the number of column can be important including unwanted ones for instance after having deleted corresponding tags. To clean columns that are left, use command Clean Columns in the same contextual menu to remove all orphan columns. Standard columns like Artist, Title, etc. are however never deleted.

Multi lines tags are tags with a CR (carriage return) character. All tags in Metatogger can be multi lines. For consistency and readability reasons, only the first line of the tag is displayed in the workspace.

Full tag value is however displayed in the Property pane. If you double click on the concerned tag in the workspace, the focus will be set automatically on that tag in the Property pane.

Multi tags are tags having multiple values. For instance the song “The girl is mine” from “Michael Jackson and Paul Mc Cartney” duo might have two Artist tags: ARTIST=‘Michael Jackson’, ARTIST=‘Paul Mc Cartney’.

As there is only one column per tag in the workspace, multiple values are concatenated and separated by a semi-colon. The above mentioned tags would then be displayed like this: “Michael Jackson; Paul Mc Cartney” in the Artist tag column.

Metatogger handles tags ID3 v1 (read mode), 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 (read/write mode). ID3 v1 tags are converted in version 2 when saved.

Its is however possible to force conversion of tags to ID3 v2 standard. This is controlled by two settings in the advanced settings file available by clicking on the Edit advanced settings… link in the Application tab where MinID3Version is set as id3v23 and MaxID3Version is set as id3v24. This means that by default, ID3 v2.2 tags will be converted in v2.3 format while ID3 v2.4 won't be modified. By changing values of these settings to id3v23 or id3v24, the conversion can be modified to these standards.

Be however careful, even if ID3 v2.4 standard is now more than 13 years old (released in 2003) it is still not always correctly handled by some audio players, starting with Windows Media Player or Groove (including the latest version embedded with Windows 10). If you want to continue reading your tags with Microsoft software (e.g., Windows file explorer), you should keep the parameter MaxID3Version set to id3v23. Be aware that following tags can only be recorded in ID3 v2.4 format because they are new in this version: RELEASEDATE, TAGGINGDATE, MOOD, PRODUCEDNOTICE, ALBUMSORT, TITLESORT, ARTISTSORT. Consequently, Metatogger will ignore the parameter set if it leads to saving failure.

For technical reasons linked to XAML use and/or for complying with the standard Vorbis Comment, following characters cannot be used:

. " ' [ ] ( ) / =

On the other hand, it can be used as a tag value.

All changes brought to tags are only saved when the user decides to do so and clicks on the button Save… all items, selected or checked.

In the screenshot, modified tags are displayed in bold. When passing over a deleted tag with the mouse cursor, previous value of tag is displayed in an information bubble.

Highlighting changes

Changes can be cancelled at any time when pressing button Revert… all items, selected or checked. This action reverts all changes brought to the concerned items.

It is also possible to cancel a change of a particular tag on previously selected items. In order to do so, select Revert current tag or press keys Ctrl+Alt+Backspace after having focused the concerned tag and selected the concerned items.

Adding a tag which is not offered to modification is asking for a new tag creation using a click on the link Add a user tag… in the Add or modify tags tool. Add then a column in the workspace using the following dialog box.

La fenêtre d’ajout de tags utilisateurs

Metatogger can be set to fill only missing tags.

This can be set by unticking the box Overwrite Existing Tags in the dedicated tool pane.

Keeping existing tags in tools pane

When the dedicated pane doesn't exist, Metatogger asks the user what is the desired option.

The window to keep existing tags

Identifiers used in specific tools of Metatogger are environment variable having the value of the tag that they define. They are made up of the name of the tag with “|”: |name_of_tag|. They'll be later replaced by the corresponding tag value. Identifiers are not case sensitive, consequently; |ARTIST| and |artist| will call the same tag value.

On top of tags values, other information can be extracted using identifiers:

  • |codec| returns codec name (e.g., MP3, FLAC, Vorbis, etc.);
  • |codec version| returns codec version;
  • |sample rate| returns sampling rate (e.g., 44100, 96000, etc.);
  • |duration| returns song duration;
  • |seconds| returns song duration in seconds;
  • |bitrate| returns audio bitrate;
  • |bits per sample| returns sampling bit rate (e.g., 16, 24, etc.);
  • |channel mode| returns spatial distribution (e.g., mono, stéréo, 5.1, etc.);
  • |channels| returns channel number.
  • |filename| returns file name without extension.

The identifier |fake| can also be used to mention an information that Metatogger doesn't have to take into account.

Identifiers are mostly set as patterns. For instance, indicating that file names are composed like the pattern |artist| – |fake| – |title| the file, named Coldplay – whatever – Viva la vida.flac, will tell Metatogger that the artist is “Coldplay” and the title is “Viva la vida”.

Identifiers can be inserted into conditional blocks, recognizable with characters “<” and “>”. If a required tag in a block is missing, the entire block is ignored. If a block requires to rename files according to the pattern <|artist| – ><[|album| #|tracknumber|] >|title|, the name could be Coldplay – [Viva la vida #07] Viva la vida.flac, but will be Coldplay – Viva la vida.flac if the tag ALBUM or TRACKNUMBER is missing. This avoids having separating characters with missing informations in the name of the file like Coldplay – [ #] Viva la vida.flac.

A contextual menu activated by a right click eases pattern writing by proposing most common/frequently used identifiers.

An embedded cover is stored in a binary tag within the audio file while an external cover is stored in an independent file located in the same directory of the audio file. Metatogger can handle both types of covers.

An embedded cover can be copied as an external cover and vice versa using right click on the cover in the Properties pane. The same contextual menu allows image deletion or export.

The name used for cover search by Metatogger is configurable in the Application tab. The default value of that name is folder.jpg as it is the one used by Windows Media Player.

When the cover search tool is used to save images in file format in the audio file folder, two options are possible:

  • Either automatically save the image using the defined name as an external cover;
  • Or leave Metatogger asking the user to chose a personalized name with every single cover. When more than one cover have to be recorded into the same folder this is the only possible option.

Some tags are having very small anomalies, discreet and not easy to find like mistyping or spelling mistakes. Human vision is very weak to retrieve a “George Michael” within several “George Mickael”, or “Fools Garden” within several “Fool’s Garden”.

Therefore, Metatogger is able to highlight identical tags with the same underlining colour which makes it a lot easier to help finding differences. In order to do so, click the Underline Tags in Colour button.

Tags which have to be underlined can be modified through the JSON ShowUnderlineColorForTags setting in the advanced settings file available by a click on the Edit advanced advanced… link in the Application tab.

Manual edition of tags

Adding or modifying a tag on multiple items is done using the tool Add or modify tags.

Clicking on the name of the tag is activating or deactivating the edition of that tag. If the tag field is left empty, that clears the content value of the tag.

For the tag GENRE a scroll list allows the selection amongst 124 most frequent musical genre. This is an editable list, a new value can then also be entered.

Metatogger handles multiple tags. Different values have to be entered and separated by semi-colon: Artist 1;Artist 2 in tag Artist will create two tags ARTIST, each containing “Artiste 1” and “Artiste 2”.

An alternative is to untick the box Overwrite Existing Tags in tool Add or modify tags. Tags will then be added to existing ones.

Identifiers can be used in fields like for instance Original song of Pink Floyd, played by |artist|, identifiers are then replaced by corresponding tags.

A list of choice in the field Track Number, allows selecting Automatic, which will automatically increase tracks number of a same album. Tracks are numbered with their position in the workspace.

The tool Delete tags removes useless tags that might be:

  • All tags;
  • All common tags;
  • All non common tags;
  • All tags different than commons or not commons;
  • All embedded covers;
  • A user's specified tags list.

Whatever options is selected, user can always exclude the tags he wants.

Commons tags are: artist, title, album, track number, date and genre.

The following tags are considered as not common: artist of the album, disk number, lyricist, composer, languages, original album, original artist, original date, album (sorting), artist (sorting), album artist (sorting), title (sorting), recording studio, comment. Lyrics are also considered as a not common tag.

Automatic tags edition

The tool Tag from file name or path retrieves tags from file names or paths.

In order to do so, details on how are built names (without extension) or path file trees using adequate patterns have to be given. Patterns are made up of identifiers.

When using path file trees, only directory names containing tags are to be specified (no need to start from root partition), then each upper directory until reaching the directory where files are saved. Each directory name has to be separated using backslash character (“\”).

Preview on the results can be obtained by selecting an item in the workspace for test.

Even if path or file name don't have indications about the content of the file, tags can be found using an acoustic fingerprint algorithm. Metatogger embeds Acoustid acoustic fingerprint technology.

Identification process starts with a click of Tag From Acoustic Fingerprint button. It can be stopped at any moment with a click on Cancel in the software status bar.

Metatogger uses a tool that is looking after lyrics posted on website Wikia.com, which means that an internet access should be active. Lyrics search is using tags ARTIST and TITLE which have to be exact.

The search is started with the click on Search for lyrics button. It can be stopped at any moment with a click on Cancel in the software status bar.

The tool Edit tags with C# scripts is allowing a personalized process on tags. This tool uses C# scripts, executed by Roslyn.

This feature adds to Metatogger a very high versatility, removing limits of processing possibilities.

By default, Metatogger has the following C# scripts, ready for use:

  • Find & Replace: swaps a sequence of characters by another one;
  • Capitalize first letter: puts the first letter of first word in capital letter ;
  • Capitalize All Words: puts first letter of each word of the tag in capital letter;
  • Use two digits for track number: inserts a 0 behind a one digit track reference;
  • Trim: deletes useless characters before and after the text (spaces, for exemple);
  • Remove from values: deletes tags having a specific value;
  • MAKE UPPERCASE: puts all letters in upper case;
  • make lowercase: puts all letters in lower case;
  • Split track number: 3/10 –> 3: split track reference without taking into consideration total number of tracks.

All default scripts can be modified but not renamed nor deleted. If an unwanted modification is done, click on the Reset link to recover one or recover them all with resetting all settings of the software.

Click on the + button, to the right of the script name, to create a new script then name it. The core empty structure is automatically created collecting tags values without modifying it.

Variable files, to use in scripts, is IEnumerable<AudioFile> type. AudioFile class is having different properties and methods to manage tags of checked items in the workspace.

Default scripts can be seen on Metatogger GitHub scripts repository. Feel free in contributing to this referential by proposing scripts improvements or submitting new scripts through “pull request”.

USe database to tag

Sometimes information about the album from which the audio file is extracted are known (track title, artist name, or album title), without having them mentioned somewhere.

In that case, a database can be questioned about albums that have been published in the world. This would then serve to tag audio files with data directly extracted from that database. The tool Get tags from database performs this function.

Metatogger has a LocalDB database having about 1 500 000 disks records. Data are provided by MusicBrainz.

Database can be downloaded from Lumisoft website and it is locally installed with the application. Doing so, the tool can be used offline too.

The database is updated about every 3 or 4 months. The button Update Database in the Application tab will download and install database updates when available. The number of artists, records and covers in the database are displayed within the same tab.

Database statistics

Metatogger downloads and installs its database from internet with a click on the button Update Database, in the Application tab. Obviously, an Internet connection is required for initial installation or for updates.

The database may also be installed offline when proceeded as follow:

  1. Download the database from here;
  2. Check that Metatogger is shut down, unzip database file in the %LOCALAPPDATA%\Luminescence_Software, replacing existing files if any;
  3. Start Metatogger then click on the Application tab. There must be a message indicating that the database has to be optimized in order to improve requests performances;
  4. Click on the Optimize now link and wait for the process to end. Software must be running during database optimization process.

The tools Get tags from database and Get covers are now functional. Regarding the tool Get covers, you'll have to use an internet connection but if you already have cover in cache memory. The database doesn't have the cover itself in the database but just its internet link.

Making a request to the database is sending information (key words) to the database about the searched album: these may be title, artist name, or the track name. The Import Tags as Keywords command allows to automatically import the relevant tag as keywords in the tool when an item is selected in the workspace. All criteria are additives. For instance, when entering Dire Straits in the field Artist and Sultans of Swing in the field Title, Metatogger will return all Dire Strait's albums having a track named “Sultans of Swing”.

Wild card characters “%”, which stands for “any characters sequences” can be entered, or the other wild card “_” which stands for “any character”. For instance, entering %goldman as Artist will send back all “Jean-Jacques Goldman” or “J.J. Goldman”. With %goldman% input, Metatogger will also include “Fredericks Goldman Jones” trio albums.

It would be useless to identify an album without powerful functions in Metatogger for matching it with items loaded in the workspace.

If the selected album in the database has tracks that are not in line with the selected items in the workspace, for instance because they were not copied, it is only needed to click on its title in the result window. Tracks that are no longer activated will be displayed in grey and will be skipped when trying to match.

Metatogger has four matching methods “tracks of the selected album in database” <–> “checked items in the workspace”:

  • Track duration: Metatogger will match tracks having identical duration. As exact duration of a track may vary with versions, Metatogger will test several times increasing time difference tolerance of plus and minus 1 second, within a limit of up to four seconds plus or minus;
  • Audio file name: Metatogger will consider two tracks as being identical if title of the track is in the name of the file;
  • Appearing order of items in the workspace: the first checked item is associated to the first track of the album, the second checked item to the second of the album, etc. This is very handy when audio track names are track01.mp3, track02.mp3, etc., it is only required to sort them by ascending value.

The tool Get covers allows to search for covers that might later be either embedded within a tag of the audio file or be saved in the folder where the audio file is located.

A right click on the thumbnail allows to export the image.

Images may be chosen with a click on the Open covers… link or using drag and drop directly to the tool.

Files management

The tool Rename and sort files allows name and path file change of audio files.

It uses patterns, made up of identifiers and conditional blocks, showing how and where they have to be stored.

The user who wants to organize his audio library may at his choice, either move files, copy files, or make symbolic links (Windows Vista and higher only when software is run with administrator rights). If required, folders and sub folders used for the reorganisation will be created by Metatogger.

An immediate preview can be generated when selecting an item in the workspace.

Since version 4.1, Metatogger has a tool looking after potential duplicates of audio files using the acoustic fingerprint technology. A click on Search Duplicates will group items by similarities, each duplicate being in a distinct group.

When file name is different but Title and Artist tags are identical, there is an easy way to find them. Group items by ARTIST, then by TITLE. But if there are duplicates, there should only be one item per group. A click on command Close Groups With One Item, that is in the contextual menu of the group zone, will then immediately highlight what has been identified as duplicates.

It will then be very easy to delete duplicates after verification.

For deleting selected audio files loaded in the workspace, click on the Delete selected items or Delete checked items button.

Actually, files are not permanently deleted, they are sent to the Windows bin.


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