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.