METADATA: Additional Fields?

Ok, so as a collective group of random recordists, sound editors & designers (& therefore metadata users) what fields are currently missing from the spec? Hang on, which spec? Well, I am going to suggest SoundMiner only because it is thus far definitive & the developers are responsive… If all we achieve is a bit of (informed) crowdsourced opinion then even thats valuable….

So here is the question:

If you’re tagging your files (eg recordings, samples etc) with metadata, what fields of data are currently missing? Which ones have you reached for, only to find they don’t exist?

Lets try & keep this platform agnostic, although inevitably a suggestion will require checking if the app you use supports it already – I use SoundMiner Pro so I’ll inevitably only ask for things it doesn’t already support…

My first additional field would be for GPS coordinates. I’d like to tag every recording with GPS, in some standardised format, so that I can use the field’s data with as many different apps & devices as possible eg from google maps and google earth through to a Navman (eg say you want to go visit the place in Indonesia where those amazing frogs was recorded…)
Is there a standard for GPS data?

Recording so many ambiences this year I almost wish there was a descriptive field for LOCATION (or is there already?)

I also wonder if there isn’t an advantage in having at least two timecode fields; one for duration 00:03:03:00, one for timestamp 01:13:10:00 (but would that also require a TC frame rate field? ARG it gets complicated fast….)

I also think there is still a need for timestamped markers within a file – remember Sound Designer 2 and its exportable playlists/region markers? So could that work as a series of metadata fields? Cue01: 00.00.20.15, Cue02: 00.00.30.15 etc but then you’d also want to name the markers = another field for marker name….

Hmmmmm……

9 Responses to METADATA: Additional Fields?

  1. DW says:

    Photos taken from GPS equipped smart phones are tagged with GPS data. Its available in photo exif tags. See this for an app that accesses that data.
    http://ilektrojohn.github.com/creepy/

  2. pepe lopata says:

    maybe the picture associated with the sound file can be expanded to a max of 10 pictures. where we would be able to select the sound file and then flip through the pictures like a fan (ie: i tunes). that way we could add multiple shots of the location we just recorded.

    P.

  3. Great idea. While travelling I’ve often wished to have GPS built into recorders. To have it as metadata would be fantastic.

    Timestamp could also be improved, I agree.

    I think it would also be great if there was an industry standard for categories and subcategories, and to have this built into pull-downs in metadata apps.

    • max says:

      There has been an attempt to standardize categories and subcategories by Larry Blakes in SMPTE (at least so I heard). That didn’t work out, and I don’t think a typical tree-like structure will ever work for SFX, it has to either be smarter than that (too complicated, at least so far) or be very basic (and thus not very useful to many people) to allow this structure.

      I am actually very interested in this: does anybody here really use the categories in Soundminer to browse SFX?

  4. Timothy says:

    I like the idea of having a general object in the metadata. Similar to that in the iXML Audio File Metadata Standard. That way you can add in any ‘user’ field you wanted at anytime. Something like;

    GPS: xx’xx’xx.xx.S, xx’xx’xx.xx.E,
    LOCATTION: The middle of the Atlantic ocean.

    And then if the library tool(SoundMiner, etc) could then automatically pick up these new fields and display them, that would be awesome.

    • Timothy says:

      It appears my formatting of the USER example was stripped out by the website. Here it is again in a different style.. (hope this works)

      [user]
      ….GPS: xx’xx’xx.xx.S, xx’xx’xx.xx.E,
      ….LOCATTION: The middle of the Atlantic ocean.
      [/user]

  5. Alex Noyes says:

    I’ve wanted timestamped markers (like Sound Designer) for some time – even better if you could show or hide (edit them?) in a sound editing application (ProTools or whoever wants to step up to the plate)

  6. Jasmine says:

    “I also think there is still a need for timestamped markers within a file – remember Sound Designer 2 and its exportable playlists/region markers? So could that work as a series of metadata fields? Cue01: 00.00.20.15, Cue02: 00.00.30.15 etc but then you’d also want to name the markers = another field for marker name….”

    To avoid the naming problem, I see two things one could do. One would be to make a syntax to begin a list of markers and a subsequent end (or a count at the begin marker), or, simpler, just allow an infinite number of markers. To prevent them from all being equal or anonymous, they could be given an additional label string.

    E.g you would have: prior-meta-data, marker:time:label, marker:time:label, marker:time:label, end-or-other-meta-data.

    I think either way will require a step in an API or any application to use, but both are fairly trivial. The first requires parsing the list definition token, while the second requires parsing, looping, and building an array. I personally prefer the latter, as for the end specification it’s more succinct and simple, and either way essentially the same work has to be done somehow.

    On only caring about keys that an app recognizes, part of the standard could be to simply ignore unrecognized tags. This avoids the problem and so if an outdated app can handle everything but the markers, it can just ignore them (and hopefully keep them around in a buffer so when the file is saved unrecognized things are put back in so they don’t get stripped).

  7. Pingback: The noise of Norway » Wave Agent metadata

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.