The jd3lib Blog

Saturday, September 16, 2006

ID3v2 Chapters

Thanks to a comment of an anonymous poster, credits go to him. I heard from the ID3v2 Chapter Frame Addendum. This proposal for chapters in mp3 file by adding new ID3v2 Frames is pretty much what I had proposed as Enhanced MP3 Podcasts a year back. Of course since this comes from the BBC it's way more thought through and since there is already a Chapter Tool developed by them it is all ready to use. And as the annoymous commenter also pointed out:
The BBC are making an experimental enhanced mp3 (a copy of the Chris Moyles enhanced podcast that's in Apple's format) at:

I haven't tried it out yet, the problem I am currently having that my time is very limited and I can't put any efforts in my jd3lib work.
But nevertheless I can still give my 2 cents to the spec. It's complete and it works so it has all my respect, but after working for quite a while with ID3v2 Frames I have learned one thing, they are just to complex to really get of the ground. Great care has been taken to make the overhead of ID3v2 in the MP3File as small as possible, but if one starts to put images and chapters into such a file, it has to be questioned if the reduced size is worth the parsing effort. I for me would try to make a step away from the Frames forward to a ziped xml format just like OpenOffice uses. The strict framing of the ID3v2 Standard makes it unnecessarily difficult to parse the data in a streamlined fashion. And to make extensions to it that can easily be implemented by others. But I guess the ID3v2 Standard works more or less for most people. So why change it. Or the better question is: Which Tags are needed anyway? Title, Artist, Album, TrackNumber, Album Art that's pretty much the maximum that's supported by most of the players all the other cool fetures of ID3v2 aren't even supported by 90% of the players. Or are they? Let me know what you think, share your thoughts, I am looking forward to your replies in the comment section.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Poducer

Hello everybody it's October the 1st 2005 and today marks the start of development of a new subproject of the jd3lib which will be called "The Poducer". As everything from jd3lib it will be opensource and we will only develop what you want us to develop. The Poducer is planned as a Podcast production software which will allow you to create manage and publish your podcasts faster and easier. With the Poducer you will be able to have a streamlined process to create your podcast. But to make this thing really the best around, we need all the podcasters who are interested in improving their workflow to tell us what they need. Email us at and tell us what's lacking in your current workflow where would you like to see improvements. Bash about what other software did wrong, what are the major flaws in current available implementations we will help you to get the greatest and bestest Podcasting application and you can help us to build it. So feel free to email us, post comments and get the word around, the Poducer is comming and you decide what it will do.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Enhanced MP3 Podcasts (Proposal)

This is a proposal for a "new" Podcasting file format. It's basicly an MP3 file with the same features as enhanced m4a podcasts introduced with Itunes but because it's mp3 it's playable on every Mp3 player. No need for two different files in the feed, one file format does it all. The advantage of this proposed new format is that the files will be playable on each and every MP3 Player out there. The file format is open and completely platform independent, no need for M4A itunes or a certain Chaptertool. M4A is a good new file format and this proposal doesn't want to fight this. M4A i the next generation but for now the Digital Audio Player marked has only one common divisor and that is MP3 no format is wider spread. So just as FM Radio and NTSC/PAL TV, MP3 is the format of choice if you want to get to the masses. Of course the market share of the IPod is high but the marketshare of players capable to play MP3 is higher then players capable of playing M4A simply because the IPod can play MP3 too. So here is the proposal, feel free to comment on it, tell me what you think development could start as a sourceforge project, writing a Java MP3 Enhancer Tool and a Tech Demo Player.

Proposal 1

  • Standard MP3 File with ID3v2 Tag
  • ID3v2 Tags used
    • TCOP for copyright information
    • TPUB for Publisher information
    • TCON for Content type/Genre set to "Podcast"
    • WOAF for the original URL to the file
    • WPUB for the feed URL
    • SYLT used for the Exact Chapter positions and markers to the APIC
    • unlimited numer of APIC frames for Pictures

Proposal 2

  • Standard MP3 File with ID3v2 Tag
  • ID3v2 Tags used
    • TCON for Content type/Genre set to "Podcast"
    • XPST for Podcast Payload
      The Podcast payload can be pretty much everything one can imagine I would propose a ziped file containing the following
      • an XML file with the markers and pointers to the images similar to the XML file created by the Chaptertool
      • the images as the original files

Proposal 1 vs. Proposal 2

The first proposed enhancement is using the already existing ID3v2 Tag specifications like APIC and SYLT the advantage here is that Generic MP3 Players not prepared for Podcasting might be able to parse parts of the Data leading to an enhanced experience eventhough there is no dedicated support for enhanced MP3s. The second propsal allowes to create enhanced mp3s fast an easy from a programmers fewpoint proposal two is way easier to implement and also to extend.