Step 2.1 of the “MP3 Manufacturing” Workflow: Finding the titles of the Chinese MP3 files.When you want to rip a Chinese music CD using EAC, you will face the challenge of obtaining a proper list of well formatted Chinese song titles. The reason is that EAC uses freedb and is not exactly the best in the business for Asian songs (as far as I am concerned). Of course, you can use iTunes to rip but even Gracenote (the database that iTunes references) is for Traditional Chinese usually. I am a Simplified Chinese person and also I don’t use iTunes to rip my music. Then lastly, if you downloaded your songs, unless you are lucky to find a good source, usually it is in a messy format due to the lack of Unicode formatting in the source of the files.
Hence, usually, there is a strong need to find the full list of all the songs in an Chinese CD album that are properly formatted in the correct Unicode characters.
One good source is the VeryCD web site. When you searched and found the album in the web site, you get good information that are very critical for your MP3 ID tags. For example:
You can see (if you understand Chinese) useful information such as CD Title, Date of Release, Artist Name, Country of Release etc. But that’s not just what we are looking for here. In the same page, we can also get a list of the songs titles in Simplified Chinese as well as in the exact sequence (with the correct track number):
We can then save this to a text file for use later in our MP3 ID tag formatting process. First, copy and paste the data into a Notepad file:
Next go to File->Save As:
And save it as a Unicode enabled text file:
With that, we will have a file with the titles of each song as well as the track number. We will use this in a later stage when we do the updating of the ID tags for the songs using MP3tag.
Another great web site I previously used is mojim.com. Similar to VeryCD, it has information that are important such as the release date too. It is a great web site as you can see ALL the albums released by the artist which is great for sourcing and researching when did a song first appeared. It is also a great web site as there are lyrics provided for each song which you can then easily copy to your MP3tag software or your iTunes software.
However, the Simplified Chinese portion of the web site seemed to be down for a couple of weeks at this point (June 2008) and I can only reach the Traditional Chinese part. Many parts of the Asian world do use the Traditional Chinese so it is just as useful for my readers:
A quick update on 22nd June 2008: Although you still cannot go to the Simplified Chinese main page, you can bypass that by going straight to the listing of the singers and you can still find your Simplified Chinese version ! Here is the link that takes you directly there: “Direct Link to Simplified Chinese of Mojim.com”
I will talk more about using the file we created today to update the ID tags for the MP3 files in my next posting.