What Are The Best Music Database?​ ​

The Grabber

You already know that I am a music addict. I can honestly say that I have had my experience with various music databases. When you have over 6,000 songs in your library, and keep finding up to 20 - 30 songs on a weekly basis, the music database grows!! Thus the reliability of an accurate and complete music metadata becomes very important. Trust me. I have spent hours upon hours just to determine a songs complete metadata, the less work I have to do the better. iTunes can only identify so many songs, with their AAC music audio metadata ID, so I have had to look at outside music databases to find a complete history of metadata for my music files. I want to recommend to you, some good resources.

What Is Music Metadata? Why Is It So Important?

Metadata is the DNA fingerprint of a music file, be it audio, video, or visual. The basics of metadata one might be looking for is Song Title, Artists Name, Album Artist, Album Name, Genre, Track Number, Year Published/Composed. The more extensive tags include Its Key, BPM (Beats per Minute)/Tempo, and Mood. Your average music database does not always have each of these pieces, so I am going to recommend some to you from my experience.

The Go-To List

These are just a few resources that I can personally vouch for as useful when identifying music metadata. If I miss some that you find useful leave comments below to add to this list.

1. iTunes

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This is where most of my music is. The music software already installed in iTunes is an AAC version, which identifies the all the basic metadata. Sometimes the music file has no identifiable markers for iTunes to detect, usually because it is not in the database. Except it could also be that the current metadata is incorrect.

2. YouTube

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If on the off-chance, the songs of choice are a fusion based and are mixed and remixed versions of songs only found on YouTube than the basic info present. The title song, artist name, year placed on YouTube, and if you are lucky the genre is featured. In addition, there is a decent more song that are displayed through YouTube but might not be sold through iTunes. So this another great resource.

3. Wide Angle Software TouchCopy, Tune Sweeper, and Music Tag

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This software's are great and work well with iTunes rather well. They all use the same type of metadata analysis, but they also can detect issues and errors of those music files. Not to mention that TouchCopy provides a back-up for your iTunes device by making copies of that music and placing it into the computer’s hard drive, USB, external hard drive, or computer file/folder.

4. APM Music

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I have used this website multiple times when sites like Shazam, and other tune finders failed in finding the song I required. It has wonderful tags and filters to find the correct tune and metadata along with it. I recommend it for anyone who has a hard time when no other site can find that song.

5. Shazam

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When you are on the go and hear a song you just cannot miss, this useful app makes it easy to identify the song within less than a minute. Although if there is any interference in the background it will pick that up as well, so it does not always detect the music, or the sample it detected supplies a song that is wrong based on the sample it heard. Overall, it is rather reliable.

6. TuneFind AND What Song

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Click here to enter What Song website

These are both wonderful sites to figure out a TV show, or film soundtrack and they usually lead to sites such as Amazon and iTunes where the music can be purchased, and more information can be found.

7. MuseScore

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The main use of this software is to download and view sheet music, which can help to confirm the basic metadata, but it can also help with a number of things.

  • Key detection

  • BPM/Tempo

  • Timbre aspects (sound patterns & instrumental family, orchestration)

  • Acoustical parameters (rhythm and pitch)

  • Melodic motion (conjunct vs. disjunct)

  • Melodic range number of notes used – based on key

  • Harmonic attributes (level of harshness, dissonant vs. consonant, diatonic vs. chromatic, static [lagging/stalling] vs. active/dynamic [moving forward]

  • Rhythm (tempo and meter)

  • Dynamics (relative loudness and quietness)

  • Texture number of individual melodies and their relationships

Complexity vs simplicity of the piece

​8. MusicBrainz

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It works similarly as iTunes, but I prefer iTunes to this software, mostly from habituation and familiarity.

9. Jaikoz

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Jaikoz works similarly to both iTunes and MusicBrainz.

10. beaTunes

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beaTunes as you guessed it is highly compatible with iTunes, but it will determine the mood, color, key, transition, and basic metadata. The mood is the emotion and feeling that the music file has, usually it is based on its key. The color is just a way to identify similar music, and the transitions can detect any specific changes such as an increase tempo and other timbre aspects. It is not 100% accurate with its key and BPM detector but it does a decent job.

11. Mixed in Keys

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Mixed in Keys is one of the better key and BPM detectors I've used in a good while, it has an 81% BPM and key detector accuracy, together with beaTunes it makes a good combined effort to identify those aspects. The other things beaTunes detects is the energy level and basic metadata.

The End Goal

There are few things I would like you to walk away with. Good sites to explore when trying to find metadata of music files. Some difficulties and reliability of theses sites and finally just how difficult and tedious music metadata is. Oh! Remember, if you have any other suggestions, comments about the resources I use or want to add some please leave your comments below.

#Metadata #MusicDatabse

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