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Subject: Re: APEv2 tag support?
From: Fred Maxwell (rockbox_at_anti-spam.org)
Date: 2004-04-07


Magnus Holmgren wrote:

> I don't know if it is superior, but it is simpler and more flexible. A bit
> like Vorbis tags, if you're familiar with them.
>
> What you have is a list of tags, with a name and a value (a=b), and you're
> free to use whatever name you want (within a limited charset). The data
> can be plain text (UTF-8 encoded) or binary data (so you can store images
> if you really, really want to). Of course, for this to be useful, there
> need to be some standard names, but a user can add any extra fields they
> want.

This kind of "flexibility" is the last thing that MP3 files need. I
don't want everyone and their brother creating new tags. I don't want
to have to strip out weird tags from every file that someone gives me.
I don't want to find out that some kid downloaded a song on Kazaa and
then found a tag that contained an image of some deviant sex act. I
don't want tags that can store executable code - because you know
someone will use it for that and the "cool video" in the tag will turn
out to be yet another worm/virus.

What's needed is a simple standard that suits 99.7% of users. The other
.3% don't need to be satisfied. That's the problem with much of
software today: excessive effort being spent on satisfying a tiny
fraction of the users. Look at Microsoft Word: How many of us really
needed Visual Basic Scripting in our word processing documents? Was
there are real need to import video into a document?

The only real flaw with ID3V1.1 tags is their limited lengths. Double
the lengths for artist, album, and song name and that would be fine. I
don't need to have pictures of the artist, pictures of the album cover,
song titles in Mandarin Chinese, Bengali, Dongxiang, and Telugu, or
binary data of any type.

Regards,
   Fred Maxwell

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