[Hpr] I ain'tnt dead yet: quick question (well, a couple)

Ivan Privaci epicanis+hpr at dogphilosophy.net
Mon Feb 9 11:36:24 PST 2015

On Monday, February 09, 2015 06:14:06 PM Mike Ray wrote: 
> Showing my ignorance a bit...by metadata do you mean text embedded into
> an MP3, in the same way that commercial music tracks often have artist
> name etc?

Exactly that - id3 (v1 and v2.3, mainly) for .mp3 and vorbiscomments for 
.opus, .ogg, .flac, and .spx (and a few others).

The short version of the drama is that HPR1393[1] was me talking about the 
topic, and the files for that episode were "engineered" by me to use most of 
the metadata features I discussed, including quite a few that aren't often 
included (but are in the standards). There was some risk (very little, I 
maintain, but it's a debatable point) that buggy firmware or software could
have choked on those files for one reason or another. The idea of including it 
all was so that downloaders could then examine the file itself to see examples 
of the metadata discussed in the audio. (Not sure it was useful - I made a 
joke about the id3v2.3 "TXXX" field being for audio-codec-themed erotic fan-
fiction and have been mildly disappointed that nobody said anything when I 
actually used it for that (SFW, I promise...) .  Point is, I'm not sure 
anybody ended up using the file to examine the metadata anyway.)

I was also very enthusiastic in that episode about encouraging people to cram
as much relevant metadata into their audio as possible as standard practice. I
still feel that way, but in retrospect my presentation seems to have gone 
beyond that, and may have sounded like I wanted gratuitously unusual
things included (whole wikipedia entries and reviews were mentioned in the 
comments after the show, for example, and I don't think I actually said 
anything to make clear that multiple attached pictures should really be an 
uncommon thing).

Between the blatant excess of metadata in those example files and the 
enthusiasm, I think there was some concern that my question was really a 
prelude to a messy revolution starting with "see, there's no problems, I 
insist we start including all of that data in all HPR files from now on too, 
and to the hell of their choice with those third-worlders and their RCA Lyra 
mp3 players!" (or something equivalent).

There actually are a couple of additional bits of somewhat useful metadata I'd 
prefer to see HPR's output tagged with, but it's nothing urgent (a license 
tag, for example).

[1] http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1393

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