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Old Dec 11, 2019, 06:18 AM
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layzee layzee is offline
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Default Track Time Discrepancies

What's the etiquette/correct procedure for adjusting track times? I've been ripping random albums lately and a few albums have tracks with track times that differ by 1 to 2 seconds (but mostly 1). Multiply the 1 second difference by the number of tracks (e.g. 20 tracks = 20 second disc time difference) and this prevents the vgmdb freedb from picking up the album. I understand that different disc drives might rip albums differently with different CD ripping programs, and different music players may display the times differently. And just because the official website for a particular album might have track times listed, it might not necessarily be technically accurate.

For the record, 99% of my rips are "accurate rips" using EAC and encoded/tagged with foobar so theoretically my accurate rips should be the same as other people's accurate rips and there should be no problem, or rather it would indeed be beneficial, if I went ahead and corrected the track times.
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Old Dec 11, 2019, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layzee View Post
What's the etiquette/correct procedure for adjusting track times? I've been ripping random albums lately and a few albums have tracks with track times that differ by 1 to 2 seconds (but mostly 1). Multiply the 1 second difference by the number of tracks (e.g. 20 tracks = 20 second disc time difference) and this prevents the vgmdb freedb from picking up the album. I understand that different disc drives might rip albums differently with different CD ripping programs, and different music players may display the times differently. And just because the official website for a particular album might have track times listed, it might not necessarily be technically accurate.

For the record, 99% of my rips are "accurate rips" using EAC and encoded/tagged with foobar so theoretically my accurate rips should be the same as other people's accurate rips and there should be no problem, or rather it would indeed be beneficial, if I went ahead and corrected the track times.
Track times from the physical source trump everything else, period. If you rip using EAC, Detect Gaps first (F4), then Database > Export CD Information To > Clipboard (Ctrl-D). Then edit the tracklist, select "Transfer length only", then paste it into the tracklist box, then delete the top 3 lines (so first line is first track) which are the album title / artist junk from the EAC clipboard, then submit.

Track times from websites, from the back scan if they're listed in mm:ss format, or other digital media (random rip you found on the internet, bandcamp, iTunes, etc.) are only acceptable as a stop gap until times from the actual physical media can be entered.

Track times should never be modified to anything other than physical source "just to get a freedb query working". i.e., if you download a rip from the Internet and want to tag it, you should never update a tracklist that already has track times to what your download has just so you can query and tag it. Input the tags manually.

Since you accurate rip with EAC you should probably be okay to copy track times from your rips but you should get in the habit of doing it from EAC as you're ripping so that you're always using physical source. I have, on very rare occassion, done it from my personal rips because I know I rip correctly and I know I use a media player that correctly rounds track times (foobar), but that is usually when I've long since put the CD back on the shelf or box and don't feel like taking the time to find where it is.

Here's some additional caveats if the release is not CD format:

- Vinyl/casette/media with no discernable "gap" between tracks: The best tracktimes will come from either the printed information on the release itself, or a website/digital version of the release. They don't really have tracktimes since it's one long track with short gaps between each and the separation of Side A/B/C/D, etc. If you line-in ripped it you'd end up just guessing at the track separations and that could vary.
- DVD/BD: You can get tracktimes from physical source for these if you rip it correctly and extract the audio but note that most DVDs and BD releases have significantly more tracks than what is actually part of the "tracklist" generally listed on the physical inserts/back of the case or on promo websites for the albums. I usually stick with the tracklist present on the physical media and use the times from the physical source when properly ripped. Also keep in mind that a lot of BDs I have ripped the chapter order does not correspond to the tracklist and you might have to reorder them correctly. The tracklist order in the database should follow the order of the release tracklist, not the chapter order. There are also a few rips I have done that have some tracks that have to be merged together because track nn is really a 2 second chapter nn plus the remainder of the track in chapter nn+1.
- Digital-only release: Using the track times from the digital release as source of truth is fine here

There is also, unfortunately, no way to prevent some idiot from coming in and changing your physical source track time updates to something incorrect. I don't know if I have any specific examples of this happening but I'm sure it has. I don't really bother trying to go back to albums I've edited in the past to make sure no one's f_cked with them. It's too much work and I don't have time to do that, nor do I want to randomly start arguments over stupid stuff. It's why I wish we could lock entries when they're close to perfectly done and only have them unlocked by Staff+, or require approval on locked entries even if you are a Trusted Editor. It's also the reason I make a pseudo-changelog in the thread for albums I update from physical source so at least if someone bothers to check it they might think twice about overwriting whatever I did.

It's not perfect but it works. There is no official standard as far as I know but this is a good start that people should be following.

Last edited by dancey; Dec 11, 2019 at 05:31 PM.
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Old Dec 11, 2019, 05:42 PM
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Also note that sometimes even putting the track times in from the physical source isn't enough and the freedb query still doesn't work. If that happens, pull the DISCID from the .cue file Action > Create Cue Sheet > whatever and put it in the DISCID field in Album Info and it should work then. I don't put DISCIDs into every album I edit but that's mostly because I'm lazy and don't feel like opening the cue file after I'm done >_>
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