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m-TAGS repository by VGSB at 4:23 PM EST on February 23, 2020
For anybody who isn't yet aware, m-TAGS is the best way for tagging VGM song title/artist name/etc. without altering the original files. It is currently available as a component for foobar2000 and droidmjt is going to look into adding it to Droidsound-E:

For an example of extensive use of m-TAGS, copy column A of the m-TABS tab of my public Super Smash Bros. series music Google spreadsheet:

Would joshw, hcs, or anybody else be willing to have a repository of m-TAGS files that people could download in addition to the VGM archives? I find it to be such a trial and error process to find a specific song in each videogame, and it would be nice to start opening up vgmstream formats to community tagging.

Also feel free to share your own thoughts about the m-TAGS format in this thread.

edited 4:49 PM EST February 23, 2020
by bnnm at 5:17 PM EST on February 23, 2020
Also note vgmstream natively support tags via .M3U in foobar and winamp, created with very concrete design goals different from m-TAGS though.
by VGSB at 3:25 PM EST on February 26, 2020
Thanks bnnm for the info, most of the m3u playlists I came across in the joshw archive were in typical standard "extended" M3U format that wouldn't allow for tags beyond basics like title/artist, so I wasn't aware there was a further special extension of M3U format that vgmstream supports. Anybody who is interested can find details here:

Unfortunately through my testing I've found two main problems with the special M3U extension for vgmstream in foobar2000:

1. When you play a file in foobar2000 then later update its tag in the M3U file, the updated tag information doesn't show in foobar2000. Refer to:
updated tagging in m3u doesn't refresh for previously played files in foobar2000

2. m-TAGS supports both adding/editing tags using a text editor and adding/editing tags using foobar2000 itself. But for the M3U format, it's not currently possible to edit tags from foobar2000 directly. Refer to:
[Request] Allow for updating tags in m3u playlist from foobar2000

But in spite of these two problems, if people would rather continue using the special M3U format for their tagging, I believe it would be good to have some sort of repository for these files that isn't dependent on re-downloading archives from joshw to get metadata files. There are tons of streamed albums that don't have any tagging information whatsoever, and it would be great to empower a larger group of people to contribute tagging information.

This is the main reason why I still bother with downloading mp3 conversions of files so that I can easily find songs I liked in the games I play without trial and error. I just wish people who converted to FLAC/MP3 included the source filenames, but alas, that's probably not going to happen.
by bnnm at 4:48 PM EST on February 26, 2020
I thought before about making some tags repository, maybe like a wiki or something easy to contribute, but vgmstream is very niche, and tagging like this even more.

m-TAGS seemed useful, but it didn't fit what I envisioned, so thats how the format came to be. I wanted something easy to edit and share (a text file with very simple commands), that could document rip info (using comments), that allowed custom "OST-like" song order (doubling as an .m3u), that could be extended with commands (see "virtual txtp" or "$autotrack"), that was easy enough to implement in multiple plugins, and so on. People should use whichever works better for them, though.

If you want some personal tags examples:
by VGSB at 12:01 AM EST on February 28, 2020
Thanks for sharing your personal tag examples! For anybody who reads this thread, the first link is "!tags.m3u" for "Valkyria Chronicles 4 [Senjou no Valkyria 4 - Eastern Front] (2018-03-21)(Media.Vision)(Sega)[PS4]", which is a file that isn't currently in that 7-zip from joshw. The other two are !tags.m3u that are already in the latest joshw 7-zips.

bnnm, I love the idea of a wiki! You might be surprised on the number of people out there who would be interested in contributing tags if it's easy to do so with less barriers of entry, as evidenced by the plethora of vgmstream rips to mp3 soundtracks with full tags.

Until then, maybe this thread could be renamed by hcs to be "share your VGM tags here" and pin the thread, or you could create a new thread, so people could find it. Then people could start sharing tags, not organized alphabetically like a wiki, but at least better than nothing.
by hcs at 1:27 PM EST on February 28, 2020
By the way, this kind of metadata wiki is one of the things I had in mind when I registered, if a domain would help. by VGSB at 7:47 PM EST on February 28, 2020
Thanks hcs!

bnnm, hcs, or others: anybody have experience with deploying a wiki system for that could be used for tag files and possibly other?

I'm also reaching out to other places that might be interested in hosting such a thing, but I think would be best place due to policies of other sites. I've copied my discussions below:

vgmpf discussion:
"This page nicely describes one method to add tags to standard music formats, but could be expanded to give information about how to tag ripped source files with techniques such as m-TAGS or vgmstream's expanded M3U format (refer to []).

Could these tag files that would supplement ripped audio files be shared on this wiki as part of a community tagging effort?

If so, I see this wiki is currently focused mostly on chiptune formats due to filesize concerns and the 10 year date rule, but would it be okay to provide a metadata file separate from the ripped files for newer games?"

VGMdb Discord:
"Has there ever been any discussion about expanding the scope of vgmdb to include tags for the songs from the video games themselves, not just the ones that were released as part of physical/digital soundtracks?
There are a number of ways to distribute meta data for the actual source songs in videogames without sharing the actual songs, such as m-TAGS and vgmstream's expanded M3U format
I'm trying to figure out where the best place would be for such an effort to take place. Refer to:"
by Lunar at 4:04 AM EST on March 2, 2020
Personally I prefer to use External Tags in foobar2000 (foo_external_tags), as unlike m-TAG files they do not proliferate as additional media library items, rather they work transparently, merely changing the reported value of %__tagtype% to "External Tag" in any media that uses them. Another benefit is that if you use a file extension column for sorting, you'll retain the original extensions, which is more practical than everything being reported as "m-tag" (I've forgotten if %codec% also did this with m-tags, I think it did, but there's other reasons why I don't use %codec% anyway.) M3U definitely doesn't cut it for me either, I desire 100% transparency vs. ID3, and external tags provides that. The only time I keep M3Us is so that I have timers for formats that don't support them in any other way.

Other than that this is a decent idea as more often than not the sets on joshw do not have any metadata. I often tag soundtracks myself with the aid of Masstagger, OSTs, Youtube uploads and so on, but I seldomly share those tags around here or elsewhere, often because they're somewhat personalised with my own genre hashtags, playcounts and track ratings, but also because there's no easy way to submit them; I would probably have to re-upload the entire sets and not just the tags because I've changed the filenames in almost all cases, so how would third parties know what tag corresponds to what original file, etc. And also I just don't think to do it, would have to make efforts to check every set here to see if it has tags first before sharing mine, don't have that kind of time, etc.
by Nisto at 8:50 AM EST on March 2, 2020
I'm with Lunar. External Tags also supports using Alternate Data Streams (ADS), which further eliminates the clutter of tags, by writing tags into a separate NTFS stream assigned under the same filename. It's not the most portable solution, but it's a step in the right direction imo.
by hcs at 8:28 PM EST on March 2, 2020
What if it could look up tracks in the wiki automatically with something like CDDB?

(not that I am volunteering to implement this, and yes I know CDDB works on entire album TOCs)

edited 8:29 PM EST March 2, 2020

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