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Old Feb 2nd, 2012, 01:00 PM
Nelson Minar Nelson Minar is offline
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Default Exactly which id3 metadata tags does Sonos use?

I've been a happy Sonos user for about three years now. Great product. Recently I'm reorganizing all my music collection starting with a clean set of m4a Apple Lossless CD rips from ReadyToPlay, along with a bunch of Amazon MP3 purchases. I'm trying to get the .mp3 id3v2 tags and .m4a metadata right. It mostly works, but..

I've been surprised several times by how Sonos interprets some of the metadata on my music. Has anyone worked out exactly which tags Sonos uses and how? I've tried asking support and they say it's not documented anywhere.

The thing that surprised me most recently is handling of Artist. I have a .m4a of a ripped CD with Artist tagged "Dawn Upshaw", Album Artist tagged "Kent Nagano", and Composer "Joseph Canteloube". This CD doesn't show up under "Dawn Upshaw" anywhere in Sonos; you can't even search for it. I understand that Album Artist is favored, but it seems odd they're ignoring the Artist field entirely. (I have "Group using AlbumArtists" for compilations turned on. I've also added "show contributing artists", which helps in some places).

More generally I'd like to understand what tags Sonos uses so that when I go through and hand-edit tags via iTunes I set the right ones. I recognize metadata is complicated, particularly for Classical music, just looking to understand how Sonos uses it.

Last edited by Nelson Minar; Feb 2nd, 2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: clarify m4a
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  #2  
Old Feb 3rd, 2012, 06:42 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Welcome to the forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Minar View Post
I've been a happy Sonos user for about three years now. Great product. Recently I'm reorganizing all my music collection starting with a clean set of m4a Apple Lossless CD rips from ReadyToPlay, along with a bunch of Amazon MP3 purchases. I'm trying to get the .mp3 id3v2 tags and .m4a metadata right. It mostly works, but..
There have been reports of MP3 tagged with ID3v2.4 causing problems, so if yours are then try converting to ID3v2.3.

Quote:
I've been surprised several times by how Sonos interprets some of the metadata on my music. Has anyone worked out exactly which tags Sonos uses and how? I've tried asking support and they say it's not documented anywhere.
Tag support probably isn't much different from FLAC (apart from volume adjustment tags) but then I don't use MP3 in anger.

Quote:
The thing that surprised me most recently is handling of Artist. I have a .m4a of a ripped CD with Artist tagged "Dawn Upshaw", Album Artist tagged "Kent Nagano", and Composer "Joseph Canteloube". This CD doesn't show up under "Dawn Upshaw" anywhere in Sonos; you can't even search for it. I understand that Album Artist is favored, but it seems odd they're ignoring the Artist field entirely. (I have "Group using AlbumArtists" for compilations turned on. I've also added "show contributing artists", which helps in some places).
Check for any kind of rogue data lurking in the ALBUMARTIST tag value. A non-null value would have pushed the existing ARTIST value into Contributing Artists, which currently isn't searchable. See if the tracks appear in the Folders view and whether what appears in the Now Playing display for them looks reasonable.
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  #3  
Old Feb 3rd, 2012, 02:31 PM
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renowden renowden is offline
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Default Sonos and ID3V2

This is the lowdown on MP3 ID3V2 tags and how Sonos uses them. This description applies with the options "Compilation Albums - Group using AlbumArtists", "Show Contributing Artists in the Music Library" and "Sort by Track Number" which I regard as the most useful. I have had no problem with sub versions .2, .3 or .4.

TIT2 [Title/songname/content description] - commonly called Track

On the Sonos this is called "Track" and is available in an index and on the controller screen when the track is playing.

TPE2 [Band/orchestra/accompaniment] - commonly called Album Artist

On the Sonos this is called "Artist" as an index but does not appear on the display at all when a track is playing.

TPE1 [Lead performers(s)/soloist(s)] - commonly called Artist.

On the Sonos this is called "Contributing Artist" as an index. It shown on the display as "Artist" when a track is playing. In theory multiple artists can be put in this field (separated by a "/" but some tag editors show it as a ";"). In practice the Sonos sometimes shows only the last one on the list. I haven't been able to determine why.

TALB [Album/movie/show title] - commonly called Album

On the Sonos this is used as an index. It also shows on the display when a track is playing.

TRCK [Track number/position in set]

This is not displayed anywhere but is used to determine the track order in albums.

TCOM [Composer(s)]

This is used as an index but does not show on the display during playback.

TCON [Content type] - commonly called Genre.

This is used as an index but does not show on the display during playback.

COMM [Comments] {iTunNORM}

This is written by iTunes and is discussed at length elsewhere. In summary it can, in the right conditions, be used to level the volume of playback.

There is another tag written by Windows media Player which performs a similar function to iTunNORM but I haven't discovered what it is.

As far as we can tell no other tags are used.
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Now 7 zones, 3 controllers + iPad, iPod, iPhone, Windows & Mac controllers.
Hi-Fi is Cyrus/Quad/Rega/Linn connected to a zone in the record loop.
Computer is a Mac but with Windows running under VMware for some purposes - e.g. MediaMonkey which I prefer to iTunes.
Music is on a ReadyNAS Duo.
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  #4  
Old Feb 4th, 2012, 09:52 AM
Nelson Minar Nelson Minar is offline
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Thanks for the replies. That detailed list is exactly what I was looking for, renowden. Only after posting this I realized most of my music is m4a (Apple Lossless) which has a different metadata format. The Sonos seems to treat it about the same way it treats the MP3 ID3v2, so the info carries over.

I've ended up using the Group using iTunes compilations option instead of AlbumArtist. That's what ReadyToPlay recommends for the metadata they generated for me on my rip, and it seems to work out better for my library. It probably depends on how your music is tagged.
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