Would you / should you change anything in the digital files

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Pandemonium
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Would you / should you change anything in the digital files

Post by Pandemonium » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:44 am

Hey guys, we had a lenghty discussion about the title, Brian and me, so we want your input :)

- it goes something like this, - example from the latest fsoldigital release:

The 'Principles of Motion EP' was released in 1991, the first track was named 'Drive'.
FSOLdigital.com re-released it digitally in 2015 - the website says the first track is named 'Drive'.
You purchase the files, you see the first track filename is 'DRIVE FINAL'.
You play the track, the player reads the ID3-Tag of the file and displays 'Drive'.

(same goes for the other 3 tracks)

So, you have: Drive / Drive / DRIVE FINAL / Drive

Would you change anything here? Why? (or Why not?)

Should you change anything here? Why? (or Why not?)
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by dell1972 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:59 am

I noticed that when I unzipped the download. I guess the only thing that came into my head at that point was wondering if what they just released was actually the same as what came out back in 1991. I've not wondered long enough to actually check it out yet, beyond actually comparing the timings mind.

I don't bother me, as Bert Jansch once sang. Not as much as them buggering about with Environments 4/Environment Five, FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON/Future Sound Of London/The Future Sound Of London etc. That's just me, but I know I'm not alone!
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Pandemonium » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:12 am

Here is the whole discussion, if you'd want to join in:

Panda: BIG Like that both Intell Comm releases are ripped with LAME 3.98 encoder in the MP3 versions

Panda: A little criticism for the file naming...

Image

- why all CAPS? and FINAL FINAL FINAL on every track...

instead of something like this:

Image

Brian: Well yes indeed. - that's one you should take up with graham. - left my desk some time back
Haha. Quite funny

Panda: what?
the names or me with my OCD ?

the Drive single looks even worse

Image

Brian: Typical fsol - mix up / confusion /
Actually they both look fine to me. -
MR OCD

Panda: ... ... if you say so

Brian: I suppose you want everything to look the same. - that's cool. - u can change it. -

Panda: they are perfectly written on fsoldigital.com
of course I'll change them :)

Brian: But then. Surely your changing the art. If you had a Dali painting would you change it to suit yourself. - ??? - kind strange behaviour don't you think ?

Panda: you can't / shouldn't change a physical release -- digital on the other hand -- I wouldn't say the filename is part of the art.
-- you can't have two different names in the filename and in the music-tag on the same filename - I mean you can - it's just not good practice, in general, for customers... I know you get what I mean - why am I writing this

Brian: Ha ha I do. But in this world of increasing digital downloads surely all aspects of it are unique. I mean if u buy from iTunes and only sell through iTunes then u can expect a uniformity - however art sold else where should be treated differently. - I mean I don't like alphsatka 887f - by APX but I wouldn't change it to suit myself.

Panda: there is a certain uniformity on all the big stores I've seen, AFX sure is a special case -- but in the end, they are your files and you can name them what you want -- I thought it was an overlook and someone forgot to write the proper names, that's all...
what would happen if 10% of the artists name the tracks KLUFCGJ 72e^6 like AFX, well, ... that would be an interesting case to observe

Panda: I did make made-up names for ENV1 long-tracks for easier navigation - and everyone fell for it

Brian: Yes I saw that. - the album was like that for a reason. - everything is done for a purpose - whether it's an accident or premeditated - titles artworks music - all come to a final conclusion point - whatever happens then is what it is - as with any art. - my feeling is don't meddle - but as you say with the click of a mouse you can change to suit yourself. If that was a painting on your wall would you be so quick to change it. ? Is it just the value YOU put on music that allows you to do this. ?

Panda: I already said - I wouldn't change the physical release - this is why some collectors hunt misprint rare 12" ... I get all that

Brian: So it's a value thing. ££££
That wrong

Panda: with the digital - it's more like - I need a system to navigate thousands of files...
no it's not the money.. if there is a value here - it's TIME -- I need the fastest system to navigate to what I want to listen

Brian: You should change the way you view digital art. What I or Richard or any of the bigs released a track but only one download - yes it cost $$$ but it was absurdly unique. Would still change it. - you were the lucky winner. - you paid 3000£ - the only copy - but the title was not to your pleasing. - would u change it. - ( gasps )
It's about how you perceive art

Panda: hmm...
I shall meditate on this.

Brian: :) :) :) :) :)

Panda: btw the ENV1 tracks were just a joke - I explained everything over there

Brian: I know it's cool but you could have just used times :D but cool. - you should open our discussion up to the board. - see what the feeling is. I'm interested.

Panda: Hmm... I will. I'm interested too

Panda: - just some thoughts: [about the initial filename discussion] -- getting the right audio with the right name inside but "wrong" filename - is like getting a Dali framed in a baroque picture-frame -- would you change the frame??

-- or the case where I got broken CD packs on a few CDs on a fsoldigital delivery -- and I changed the broken packs with new ones -- are you saying I changed the art and don't own the original anymore?? -- or that I shouldn't have changed the broken packs at all?? -
how about all those lossy MP3 [compressed cut-of frequencies] releases on fsoldigital? Sure, they are cheaper than physical, but we're not talking about values, we are talking about art and how it shouldn't be touched/changed. -- but in this case, wouldn't you say I buy incomplete audio art ??

[THE NEXT DAY]

Panda: more thoughts this morning -- after a rather sleepless night

Brian: Haha.

Panda: you can't really compare a Dali painting with digital art -- or any painting for that matter -- music industry treats art differently from the rest of the arts -- it sells copies or clones of the original art piece, -- and it can be argued that by changing the filename one makes a more unique copy for oneself, while keeping the original sound

and what you said about you/Richard selling digital art for 1 download only -- that would be different then -- it would be THE original -- still not the same as a painting where you take the original from the artist (while you could keep a digital clone for yourself -- or delete it forever and let the buyer have THE original) -- in that case I wouldn't touch anything in the file -- but having 30.000 digital releases -- I still need my system and fast approach -- so that file will be put in another folder that will be named 'the unique track by xxx' or something...

Brian: Nah. Don't like that. Art is art. What ever the format.
If you choose to change then that's up to you. But you are changing what the artist has done.

Panda: yes we have established that yesterday - now we are taking the philosophical point of view -- what is right or wrong in what circumstances

Brian: Banksy. The artist sells prints of his original. Would u change it because u didn't like a part of it. - music is the same. It about how you perceive the art. Music has become a throw away commodity - wrong. Music has value and should be respected.
What am I - a charity.

Panda: I'll still think about this, even I don't want to -- it's stuck in my brain now...

Brian: Ha. Sorry. See what others think ....

Panda: I don't think we on the same page here - I (think / hope) I get what you're saying -- and you're right -- but changing filename doesn't effect the outcome of the art - the file still has ID3-Tags inside -- it's like changing a broken CD-case with a new one, or getting a new frame for a painting...
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by dell1972 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:45 am

I can see both points of view I guess, but ultimately it's down to what you're comfortable with. In the case of Monday's releases, the ID3-Tags look fine, it's the actual filenames that are bothering you. I don't sit there looking at the filenames all day so it's not bothering me, though you do see the tags when you play the music, which is more of an issue.

It's a lot tidier than it used to be, back in 2007 when they released about 6 million things, the Artist Title would be capitalised and the track names would be lower case. That said, it was always nice seeing a little message in the comments from Brian, so there was an element of it looking like it was done by the band themselves. Also it was nice to see extra art tagged in there with the EBS series for example - back covers and what have you.

The individual genre tagging (putting something like "Headcrush" for example for one release, or "Uncategorisable") I find a bit annoying and bullshitty as you end up with about a thousand genres which defeats the object of it. I realise that's me being picky though and avoid searching by Genre! You'd never get any agreement on something like that anyway.
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by mcbpete » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:58 am

Back when I was first ripping my own CDs (or downloading tracks) I was incredibly fussed about mp3 naming (not gonna say 'OCD' as that always seems belittling to those that actually have the condition) - Was always 'Track## - Name of track(possible remix name in brackets)' and nothing else! But over the last few years I really haven't worried as it doesn't affect my listening experience at all, 99% of the time I'm not even looking at the screen that lists the filename or id3 tags.

As long as it doesn't affect the listening experience (which is the only reason why I flagged up the gaps between tracks and mp3 bit rate back in the day) then it doesn't bother me at all...

Richard (D. James) was the same with the recent reissue of the Caustic Window album when he supplied the id3 tags to joyrex, they were all over the shop but was explicitly told not to touch them when they're sent out.

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Akkya » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:05 pm

Taoism wins

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Ross » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:21 pm

Fuck's sake I wrote a huge, huge long reply and then my computer crashed. I made loads of good points about function vs. art, accident vs. intent, whether art remains belonging to the artist once released or if it becomes part of public perception, lots of great stuff. I suppose a lot of it is easy enough to infer from Pande and Brian's conversation, but it made me look clever.

Ah well, down to where I brought in concluding points that actually involve opinions rather than just being philosophical about art.

I think many (most?) people would view the lack of uniformity as being unprofessional, certainly in comparison to other digital music platforms. Whether this is something that bothers the band is the important question. It definitely matches up with their CD sleeves, which in their own way lack a uniformity, with odd capitalisations and layouts that don't match those of other CDs (when the Archives series got to 5 and it all changed, for example). I've been told a few times that I have a natural eye for typography, and certainly for me the CD sleeves can be difficult to look at first. Some of the break all the 'rules' of how to do a layout, particularly if you have a series of related releases. Over time, though, I've learned to accept and even expect this. FSOL have always had a very DIY perspective on their own stuff, and these mistakes have crept in right back to the '90s (the stories in the ISDN booklet have odd spacings and punctuation, for example). In their own way, these 'errors' begin to resemble the band's personality. Ok, so the sleeves aren't constructed by The Designers Republic, but their idiosyncrasies make them very FSOL. The only one I can't deal with is the Environments 3 tracklist, with everything capitalised except 'Repetition Is A Form Of change' - I don't mind the grammatically incorrect capitalisation of 'is', 'a' etc., but why the lower case 'c' in change? And then to use that particular title with the same capitalisation in the booklet too?! I actually have OCD and also Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (the symptoms of which include what most people refer to as OCD - the need for orderliness, tidiness etc.), and this one definitely gets my OCPD going.

Anyway, from this we can extrapolate that id3 tags and file names that seem odd, or full of mistakes, are simply an extension of that. The band doing their own thing without the need to bow to the accepted standards of uniformity. In some senses, the older designs of FSOLDigital probably suited this better, as the new one has everything tidied up to look more uniform.

I wouldn't presume to tell FSOL what to change, but in terms of my own personal experiences, I do change the artist name and album names to give a sense of uniformity and so they sit arranged in my iTunes library correctly. This enables me to enjoy them a lot more, and navigate more easily. The titles I leave as they are, as that's how the band put them together, whether they are right or wrong. File names themselves get looked at once when I unzip the download, so they don't bother me. I sometimes notice oddities (like the first track on Drive) but I never seem them again.

So in general I don't have any issues with all that. When I get a FSOLDigital release, be it digital or physical, I have the expectation that it will have a certain 'look' to it, like it's literally just come from the Earthbeat Central Computer without passing through a corporate proof-reading system. The one thing I do find a bit difficult, however, is the occasional inconsistency between particular releases. The original Archives suffered most with this - Stomach Acid was originally called Lifeforms Acid, if I remember correctly - but there are other examples such as Neuru Device Send / Nuru Send Device, Cosat / Coast etc., that really do suggest that one has to be a pure error that should be corrected. I haven't really noticed this in a while so it might be something that's been sorted anyway, but in general I think a consistency between the title on the site, the id3 tag and the CD sleeve is something that should be expected.

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Pandemonium » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:37 pm

I should mention that we talked with Brian about OCD (same as concluded here on the Board) that it's not a joking matter, and that most of us don't have OCD and are just very pedant instead. But we use the OCD term about these stuff anyway.

Another thing, the question isn't "are you bothered by xxxxx inconsistencies" - but rather would you / should you / did you meddle with purchased digital art to suit it your way ? and is this meddling with the art ? -- stuff like that.

- And yes I agree fsoldigital.com is a lot tidier than it used to be. Ross put it nicely, there are differences between indie-look and obvious errors.
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Ross » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:50 pm

The most interesting point that got lost from my original post was about how digital files are the first medium in which the name & info come directly with the art itself. No booklet, case, sleeve, information card by the side of a painting - the file name is required for the music file to exist, and any tagging is intrinsically tied up with the same. It opens up new possibilities for potential creativity (i.e. Richard's requirements to Joyrex with the Caustic Window tags). So comparisons to other forms of art aren't ever going to be entirely accurate, because other forms are antiquated, and this is a whole new thing.

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Pandemonium » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:10 pm

Brian Dougans wrote: @Ross
" I like your point on the board however I disagree it exactly the same as a painting or a sculpture it's just how you are perceiving it - to u its just a file - to me - that's a sculpture / with all it delicate forms - no different to a physical form.
U are correct in this time of digital when we want to give you cover designs and words - what we provide is what we have concluded - that's the painting - that's the sculpture. - if you with to change it then that's cool. - it's further progressing the art. But u have changed the statement. "
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by seedy » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:44 pm

interesting but at the same time kinda nit picky and intense for what i would view as "first world problems"
i don't have a game in this as i simply do not listen to digital files - 100% of my collection ends up on CD
it's easy to see both points here and i'm not sure an agreement can really be had so instead i'll address both sides:

brian - surely what you deliver is the final product - it should be in theory exactly what you wish to deliver in your expression.
that said to me it wouldn't make sense if the ID3 Tags are not matching exactly the intended track title (as seen on the file name itself or perhaps associated artwork). that "drive final" to me would have been viewed as an error - oops someone forgot to delete at the last minute the "final" in there.
furthermore i just have a hard time thinking that minor tweaks to tags etc. is that big of a deal that affects the integrity of the art etc. the art clearly is first and foremost the music which isn't getting altered. and it's not like we're renaming this track to something completely different, nobody is changing the title to "walk" for instance haha.

pande - the uniformity totally makes sense - especially when considering your world which is jam packed with so much music that strict cataloging is really necessary. that said i think you would agree that we shouldn't expect any time soon for all artists and companies to be held to the same standard - or that there really is a big justification for it for that matter. surely the idea makes perfect sense but in the end like brian says - this is art and it can be delivered however the artist chooses - to say otherwise is to compromise the integrity.

SO.....to sum up my thoughts about something that means absolutely nothing to me :mrgreen:
i would think that it's reasonable to expect FSOLDigital to release it's music in a uniform manner.
it needs not match everyone else, because there is no solid standard by which to abide. but one would hope that when "ordering from the same company" you would expect the same level of service each time. when there is confusion between tags and track titles etc. - to me that's just not a consistent product and standard of quality.

the final point is that just as the artist should have every right to deliver his art in any way he chooses, as a consumer you also have the right to do most of anything you want to the product you purchased. it is now something you own. you can dub taylor swift vocals over it if that's how you prefer to listen to it. the artist can say "you have ruined what i created" and that's a fair statement - but essentially there is no true wrongdoing, because you sold that piece of art.
if someone wants to buy your painting so that they can throw it in the hudson river - it's your choice whether to sell that product with that associated risk or not. once you put it out there it belongs to someone else. the artist and originator and original piece of work cannot be erased from history - but once that piece leaves the clutches of the artist himself.....it is now at the mercy and discretion of outside influence.



PS - if I ever become a digital only guy - i can say without a doubt that i would rename things until my fingers bled to have the uniformity that pande strives for. when you have a really really large collection - you really need this to maintain your sanity. otherwise it's a mountain of chaos and part of the luxury of proper naming and cataloging is that feeling that you can find a needle in a haystack in an instant. pretty cool 8-)


PPS - i'm pretty damn jealous of the dialog yall are able to have with our guys. what a great gift it is that after all of these years of being "behind doors" that they now offer themselves up to this degree. i'll have to do a password recall one day and log into facebook solely for this purpose of reaching out. i guess i'll wait until my tune is done so that i can get some feedback. sigh.....when will life ever allow THAT to happen idk :(




anyway, knowing that this is being read - absolute world of love for you brian. words can't really describe the education, influence and inspiration you have given me over the years. thanks for everything - i'll forever wear my FSOL badge with massive and bold pride ;)

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Blu Mar Ten » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:19 pm

i think the point is intent.
99.999% of the time you can't have this open dialogue with a creator so you can't clarify how much was intended and how much you're projecting.
I've experienced this loads of times - for example deliberately making a bass incredibly stereo in a track (which is almost unheard of in d&b), then obsessive Russian pirates ripping the vinyl and perceiving the stereo as a mistake so flipping the it to try and get a more even signal, then releasing their version on their networks as the apparent final copy.... Or using an unusual or parochial phrase as a track title and it being so unfamiliar to people in other countries that they rename it as they think it must be a typo from a store or something - and then these versions become the reality.

There's also an interesting point about the nature of people's neuroses affecting what they desire or expect. The craving for uniformity is curious in itself. Back in the 90s, before you were able to bounce a track out of a computer and it would be the same every time, we'd attach non-keysynced LFOs to filters in tracks and they'd randomly cycle differently every time the track was played. So you'd end up with the version on 12" being different to the 5 versions that ended up on compilation CDs and also to the versions that are now on digital stores and so on, endlessly. How does the neuroses for uniformity account for that kind of situation?

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by mcbpete » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:24 pm

So I guess the question is: Is the file naming & id3 tags from Brian or Graham ?
Wasn't there a typo recently on one of the physical releases track listing that Gaz got upset about ?

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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Tito Lozano » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:39 pm

Then always be better take direct artist site thing although on 128kbps mp3 than a Flac from CD from same artists by Trackers...
But sure take a control of id3 is sign on these times of "quality" and final digital release item...all is possible into art and all must be more or less welcome as artform then is only diff point of view ...

Love all last words about coming next Mental cube,Yage ep + bonuses, if this world outside right,all of them could come in the form physical...but well, digital is the most next man doors for the time being, i hate my fucking hole pockets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Would you / should you change anything in the digital fi

Post by Blu Mar Ten » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:48 pm

mcbpete wrote:So I guess the question is: Is the file naming & id3 tags from Brian or Graham ?
Well only in this particular case, as you happen to have easy access to the artist. More broadly that wouldn't be the case.

Here's something for you to ponder. A couple of albums back whoever ripped the first pirate version misnamed a track, and that version was the one that was propagated. Compare and contrast the volume of search results for the correct title (top) with the incorrect title (bottom). If you weren't able to directly contact the artist, which would you assume the correct title is and then rename your files to, and why?

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