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Cultured Perl: Fun with MP3 and Perl, Part 2
By Teodor Zlatanov - 2004-04-08 Page:  1 2 3 4 5 6

Usage

I have used autotag.pl for over a month to catalogue and retag my MP3 collection (it used to have only ID3 1.1 tags). I'd like to think that using autotag.pl is easy, but it may be that I've become so used to its inadequacies that I don't notice them anymore. Don't be afraid to suggest improvements to autotag.pl, especially to its command-line switches and text UI.

If you have some MP3s with "good" tags and just want to rename them to a common format, use the -ro option.

If you have some MP3s with incorrect track numbers, use the -g option to get the track number quickly. The track number is just a guess so you'll get a chance to confirm each guess.

If you have some MP3s with incorrect comments, use the -sc option to strip the comments. It's also possible with mass tagging by explicitly using "COMM=" but -sc is more convenient.

If you have some MP3s that all come from a single album and you know the tags you want to set, use the -m option and set the tag entries the way you want them. The -help option will print out the list of supported tag entries (frames in ID3).

Conclusion

Writing autotag.pl was grueling but fun. I used fuzzy string matching, FreeDB searches, ID3 versions 1 and 2, and lots of text-mode user interactions. It all came together in an application that I tested thoroughly over the course of a month.

The most difficult part of writing autotag.pl was picking the right modules for the job. In the first article in this two-part series, I mentioned all the modules I rejected for autotag.pl. I did not reject them by simply reading the documentation; the documentation is not always right, and sometimes it is simply wishful thinking. The best test for each module was to write for it, and see how well it worked. Thus, every choice I made for autotag.pl is battle-tested, and I hope you will find those choices alone useful if you ever do ID3-related Perl work.

I plan to offer autotag.pl for download permanently and to keep improving it, so feel free to suggest features or improvements for it. Bugs spotted will be gleefully terminated, so do let me know if you notice any bugs.



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First published by IBM developerWorks


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