“The ID3 tag is an integral part of the mp3 or wma file for a good reason: being able to search and catalog your files by artist, album, genre, or song title.”
Yes in theory, however the slightest variations in tags causes songs to sort improperly. I guess if the player had a built in mechanism for recognizing tags that are similar to an existing tag and ask you if it should be modified to that tag it would help. How to deal with missing tags is even more difficult. For classical music, what should the artist tag have? If it has the performer then where should the composer be placed, in the genre tag? Where would the soloist be placed?
While tags might in theory be great, they lead to great frustration in practice due to their inflexibility and very poor handling of missing tags or tags with very slight errors. With folder browsing, a file is either in a folder or not, while with tag browsing an error with just a single charachter in the tag can cause very unwanted results.
Then there is the time to update the database when tags are used. This can be quite long if there are many files.
I guess those who devised the tag scheme thought everyone just listens to rock music, and not to classical music or audiobooks or podcasts. The tag scheme works okay for pop/rock music, but fails miserably for audiobooks, podcasts, and classical music. Having tags as just an option, and having the option to disable tag browsing and eliminate the waiting time for database updates is the best solution.
“Download and install MP3Tag, or another ID3 tag editing utility, and correct your audiobook track numbers. With MP3Tag, you can use the auto numbering wizard to do the entire book in one easy step. Be sure to tell it to add leading zeroes for tracks 0-9 (01, 02, 03…) and you’ll have no problem with your tracks.”
I use mp3Tag to edit the tags for files on my Clip, however editing tags for a steady stream of podcasts that I will listen to only once then delete from the player is so annoying. I also at times make mistakes editing tags when using mp3 Tag, and files on the player are misplaced. Browsing by folders is the solution, although even with the folder browsing on the Clip+ and Fuze, I still can’t listen to some podcast files in folder mode, listen to some music files, turn off the player, then have the player remember which podcast file it was playing last. It will only remember which podcast file it was playing last after playing some music and turning off the player if the podcasts were played in album mode. I wish this would be fixed to include playing by folder mode as well.
I am also hoping for a firmware update for the Clip that allows folder browsing. It was already developed for the Clip+. How hard is it to modify that to work on the Clip?