Can you do more to support classical music?
Well done Strawberry team - a Linux player that, because it has a 'file' tab, can be used with classical music! I don't use playlists - I'd like to play a multi-file work such as a symphony or concerto simply by selecting the first file in the file-list and pressing 'Play'. This is how JRiver works, and when you listen to classical stuff, it's very intuitive.
In a wider sense, I'm interested in hearing other users' experience on managing large collections where classical is a significant component. (My library has 40,000 files split across 12 genres; 12,000 of the files are classical.)
With classical, the 'Collection' tab is too cluttered (with random performer names) to work. Instead, one uses the file menu, which in turn has forced me to manage my collection with separate folders for each genre. In 'Jazz' or 'Rock' and other artist-based genres, each artist has a folder, within which there are sub-folders for each album. For 'Classical', I organise first by composer, then by album or major work. Do other users put this amount of effort in? I tried Roon 5 years ago, but gave up because I couldn't find anything, and I'm becoming frustrated by JRiver's regular version updates which are just an excuse to drip-feed money to their development team.
@johnwalker I too struggled with finding a player that could adequately handle classical music - where we have "works" rather than albums, "movements" rather than songs and composers take precedence over artists.
My collection is mainly classical but has other genres as well. Given that without separate implementations we cannot have a Classical Library and a Rock Library etc. we have to find a way to make them live together.
My implementation is different to the OPs and does require a bit of curating.
Each CD/download goes into a separate folder (merely to make finding the original easier if I have to re-rip of upgrade ogg to flac etc.)
Each Work is an "Album" (Different performances are suffixed by "Soloist, Orchestra, date")
Each Movement is a "Song"
The Album title is prefixed with the Composer's name (Surname, Forename) or with the Artist's name for other genres (name - as known - Jagger, Mick looks pretentious go it's Mick Jagger etc).
I then arrange my collection by an alphabetical sort, grouped "by Album".
Compilations are a mess and don't really fit the above so they will usually be saved as a playlist and then split down by Composer/Work or Artist/Album/Song.
How would I like to see this improved?
- Be able to switch between Libraries arranged by Genre - or have a top level filter (for me by genre) separate from the existing search. Each Library can then be differently curated.
- To be able to sort by Composer / Work in the Classical Library (avoiding having to prefix works with the composer's name - database denormalising!). If you use the current Advanced Grouping to Group by Composer then Album, you get a dull looking closed list where the Works(Albums) (and covers) do not show, making selection more difficult.
- Could playlists be made to show in the Collections list? This would make handling of "composite works" (e.g. the Four Seasons - 1 work or 4 works?; likewise Brandenburg Concertos - 1 work or 6 works; Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Violin - 1 work or 6 works?)
At the moment I have them separately in Collections and as playlists (with one playlist per composite work - performer combination)
Classical metadata formatting is a bit of nightmare. You can't just run it through Picard and expect good results, sadly there's just legwork involved.
For me, I will have this sort of directory structure:
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- St. Matthew Passion
- The Bach Collegium Japan and Masaki Suzuki
- The Vienna Philharmonic and Herbert Karajan
- Goldberg Variations
- Glenn Gould
- St. Matthew Passion
etc. metadata usually looks like this:
Performer/Album Artist: [Solo Performer Full Name, The [Name] Orchestra and [Conductor] with [Soloist, Concertist]
e.g. The New York Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein with Van Cliburn
Album: [Composition Name]
e.g. Piano Sonata No. 32 Op. 111
Here Beethoven and Maurizio Pollini are implied from the Artist and Album Artist Fields
Filename: Whatever, just keep it short enough so filesystem isn't mad.
Track Name: Piano Sonata No. 32 Op. 111 - Movement 2 Adagio molto e cantabile
Something like that. Consistency is key. I wish it was less of a pain in the ass but in the absence of recognized standards, you'll be translating things out of German, flipping around Artist/Album Artist, etc.
Foobar2000 and JRiver (Windows) both have good regex tools for standardizing things but like I said it's just tedious. I think it's worth it though.
- Johann Sebastian Bach