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Music - Tag original release date (tag:origyear and/or tag:originalyear)


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On 11/1/2021 at 11:43 AM, MichielGideon said:

I stumbled on this thread and basically wrote an article on tagging software and how Emby reads tags.. Sorry if this is too much, but it might help someone..

I like the minimalism of Emby a lot. Release Date (of album/remaster/concert/single/compilation..) and Year (for say original recording date/indication of the time in history of a song) is great for sorting, and would even be better if Release Date and Year could be a different value.

How Picard, MP3Tag and META use tags and how Emby reads them
Disclaimer: I could be wrong. Just sharing what I think I have seen.
I use tagging software on a MacBook and Emby Server on WD Ex2Ultra NAS.
I switched off all fetching in the 'test' library (except Image Extractor), so Emby reads the tags in the music files. 
In id3v2.4 several timestamps are available (in id3v2.3 this is a bit more complicated)
  • Release Time
  • Original Release Time
  • Recording Time
All of these are 'allowed' to contain a full date and time, in this 24 hour format: yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss 
(example: 2015-09-26T16:08:22) 
See here: 
id3v2.4 Tags (frames): https://id3.org/id3v2.4.0-frames
id3v2 Formats (structure): https://id3.org/id3v2.4.0-structure
This is how 3 music taggers use them and how Emby reads them, as far as I can tell:
1 - Release Time
MP3Tag: releasetime, full date & time
Picard: does not use this, it uses its 'date' field (I think?) > see Recording Time
META: Release Time, full date & time
Written in (you donot notice this as end user)...
id3v2.3: does not seem to be used in id3v2.3 by MP3Tag, Picard or META (so if you remove your id3v2.4 tags, Release Time disappears)
id3v2.4: TDRL frame (TimeDateReLease.. I guess) - allowed as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss
If Release Time is available as id3v2.4 tag, Emby uses this for Release Date AND for Year. At least that is what I observed so far.. 
For compilations it would be cool if Emby would use Release Time in their 'Release Date' as the release time of the album itself, like Greatest Christmas Songs, released in 2015-12-05. 
The cool feature then could be using Recording Time or if not available Original Release Time for 'Year'.
So Release Date will sort for the time this version of the album came on the market (Duran Duran - Rio [remastered], 2008).
But Year will sort albums and songs for the year of recording or first release (Duran Duran - My Own Way, 1981 (<My Own Way is a song on the Rio album released in 1982). 
2 - Original Release Time
MP3Tag: origyear - allowed as a date yyyy-mm-dd
Picard: originaldate - used as a year only (yyyy)
META: Original Release Time - allowed as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss 
Written in..
id3v2.3: TORY frame - but only as a year yyyy (not sure if META does this too)
id3v2.4: TDOR frame (TimeDateOriginalRelease..) - allowed as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss 
At the moment Emby does not seem to use the tag Original Release Time for Release Date or Year. 
3 - Recording Time
MP3Tag: year - used as yyyy, but can be written as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss
Picard: date - as yyyy-mm-dd as far as I can tell
META: Year - only allowed as yyyy
Written in..
id3v2.3: TYER + TDAT (< by Picard!, so TYER for the year and TDAT for the date, I guess)
id3v2.4: TDRC frame (TimeDateRecorDing.. ) - allowed as yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss 
Recording Time is an interesting tag.
In MP3Tag or META you enter a year. 
In Picard you will see this year in the field Date, and you can complete it as a full date.
In Picard you will see Original Release Time as you entered it in MP3Tag or META, but Picard will save it as a year only. 
For Picard, Recording Time is the 'date' in general. So it is probably used by a lot of people as a general date of release of the song/or the album. 
For Picard the original first release of the song is in 'originaldate' (see Original Release Time). 
For MP3Tag and META Recording Time is 'just' Year - so people will use it either as year of release, or year of first release, or year of first recording. 
Picard allows a full date yyyy-mm-dd for Recording Time, whereas MP3Tag and META only allow a year yyyy. 
By the way: APE tags do not seem to be used by Emby for Release Date or Year. Remember I use a MacBook and WD NAS, there may be differences in Windows/Linux.   


Hi, that's good info, thanks. I've never heard of the META software but I guess we'll have to look at supporting some of the tags that it writes.

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