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How I do it
Authored by: Quantum Panda on Apr 10, '03 02:41:11PM

As other posters have said, all this does is create a zillion combo-genres. What I'd like to have is a subgenre tag.

See, how I do it is by giving everything a broad main genre, then a colon and subgenres delimited by forward slashes. Main genres are strictly by musical style: Rock, Jazz, World, Folk, Orchestral, Spoken, etc. Subgenres have the details. For instance, Weird Al's "The Brady Bunch" is tagged as "Rock: New Wave/Novelty/Parody" (with a note in the comments that it's a parody of "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats and the TV theme song of "The Brady Bunch"). This lets me set up smart playlists better than just tagging the song "Novelty" or "Comedy".

(I use Orchestral rather than Classical because for my listening purposes, I usually don't want to differentiate between film scores and "traditional" classical music, but I do want to differentiate between music for orchestra and music for other instrumental ensembles. So I have things tagged as "Orchestral: Film Score" or "Orchestral: Modern/Ballet" or "Instrumental: Baroque/Chamber" or whatever is appropriate. (I'm still not satisfied with how I'm classifying that last type and similar types; "Instrumental" is broader than I'd like to use for it, especially because I also use "Instrumental" as a subgenre (like "Rock: Instrumental" for Joe Satriani), but I haven't come up with a good equivalent term for "classical" music that's not orchestral.))

This method still results in many combo-genres in the pop-up, but since everything gets a main genre (and some tracks get no subgenre), related combinations are still grouped together.

What iTunes *really* needs is user-definable tags. IIRC, the current ID3 spec allows for many more tags than iTunes makes use of. If they would allow the user to add tag categories, we could ease the overburdening of the genre and comments fields. For instance, I'd love to be able to set a specific field for Lead Vocalist, so I could readily mix songs by, for instance, Eric Clapton, Cream, and Blind Faith. Right now, I have several of this kind of datum that I'm tagging in comments with various key tags that I can set up Smart Playlists to parse, and so my Comments fields look like novels.

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