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This is a complete guess. This wikipedia article about AAC mentions that there are different versions like AAC LC , AAC+/HE-AAC , and EAAC+/HE-AAC v2.
Of those three, I think that AAC LC might be compatible with more media players. Is it possible that iTunes was set to encode your music to one of the other two versions of AAC and that your Brightside can't read the tags of those two versions ?
We have the model (u370) that precedes your phone, and our u370 can read the tags of our AAC LC songs; we used Nero AAC encoder to encode our music.
This tool identifies our AAC songs as being AAC LC songs. Maybe it can identify which of those three versions of AAC that your music is encoded in.
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Another theory. Perhaps try an experiment where you edit the tags of a couple of AAC songs with a couple of different tag editors and see if the Brightside is then able to read the songs. Maybe your Brightside is more compatible with tags written by software other than iTunes. When I googled your problem, I came across complaints from owners of Samsung Android phones who're having problems with their phones reading the tags written by iTunes.
Two free programs that I've used in the past that can edit AAC songs:
I think MediaMonkey and foobar2000 are also free programs that can edit AAC tags.
Thanks for the tips! That's good to know that this did work on the previous Samsung model (u370). I downloaded MediaInfo and it confirmed that my tracks are also in AAC LC format.
I will look into trying a different tag editor or media player besides iTunes. Thanks for the two you linked, but unfortunately they're only for windows and I'm on a mac. Hopefully there's something comparable for mac.
Bad news... I just spoke with a customer service rep from Verizon and they said the Brightside won't recognize artists, albums, or genres for music that you copy from your computer to the phone. Apparently it does do this for music that you download from Verizon using your phone. (That means you would have to pay for it again, if you've already bought it, and also pay for the use of data.)
So... very disappointed by that. Interoperability is such a wonderful thing when you can get it.
I guess I will be carrying around my iPod for two more years, unless I get bored enough to manually create playlists for all my albums, or figure out a way to re-format my tracks to get it to recognize the artist and album data, which also sounds like a tedious and labor-intensive process to get something that should just work out of the box.
Now, I can see that answer applying to just one format -- AAC since relatively recent non-smartphones the LG vx8370 and the LG Octane have trouble reading some of the AAC tags. My understanding is that the Apple's tagging for AAC files isn't an official standard arrived at by encoder developers and hardware manufacturers. Instead, the success of the iPod line and iTunes has made it so that Apple's AAC tagging setup is pretty much the standard now. But Apple considers Apple's AAC tagging format to be proprietary information and has not publicly documented it.
But, with all due respect to the person who assisted you, I'm not ready to accept that the tags of all three formats AAC, WMA, and mp3 can not be read by the Brightside. Our first non-smartphone that I tried playing music on the LG vx8700 not only read all the WMA tags just fine but it could even display the artwork tag.
For his answer to be true, I would think that would mean that Verizon and Samsung created a propietary tag format which I haven't seen anyone report yet.
I didn't understand that the tags of your mp3 files can't be read either. I have some ideas about that. Since you're using a Mac, find something that'll give you information about the tagging specification that your mp3 files are using. iTunes might be able to tell you that, and if I remember right I think iTunes will even let you alter which tagging format you want to use for the mp3 file. Our LG vx8370 and Samsung u370 can read our mp3 tags which are in id3 v2.3
I haven't used iTunes for awhile, but I think iTunes offers the option of not just v2.3 but also v2.4.
And if they're in v2.4, that could be a reason that your Brightside can't read the tags.
Maybe you might even have to try id3 v1.1
In iTunes, the option was/is called "Convert ID3 tags..."
You can see the menu option at the 2min35sec point in this video tutorial:
Although that's for an older version of iTunes.
One more idea. The mp3 tagging software I've used offers the option of using ANSI or Unicode/UTF characters. I don't know if this is still true -- but it used to be for certain models of non-smartphones that the characters in the mp3 tags had to be in ANSI.
And another idea. If your mp3 tags are simultaneously in two different formats id3 v2.3 and id3 v1.1, that could maybe be another cause of the tags not being read -- then try removing one or the other.
Are there any symbols in the tag names ? That could be another cause.
And I don't know if this is still true for any of the current non-smartphones, but it used to be that the file name could not exceed 35 or 40 characters in order for the phone to be able to see the music files.
Thanks for your help. I've now gotten it to work (despite what the verizon rep said about it not being possible).
I watched the clip you linked about editing id3 tags in itunes, and then checked out MediaRage, the editor they mentioned in the clip for that kind of metadata in various file formats.
But then I realized that Apple's proprietary approach with itunes was the real source of the problem, and looked into alternatives to it. I found Clementine, a free, open-source, cross-platform music player (basically like itunes, and based on Amarok 1.4). It lets you manage audio files on your device/phone (as a USB storage device). You can set it up to automatically transcode your music library into a different format when you copy the files to your device/phone. This worked! By transcoding my existing aac files to mp3 using Clementine I got my phone to correctly recognize the artists and albums for my tracks.
I don't think that converting from aac to mp3 is good for audio quality, but most of my more recent aac files are at a pretty high bitrate, so hopefully this won't matter. I'm also curious... if I used Clementine to import music from a CD in aac format, would that aac file work on the phone? In other words, is it the aac format itself that's the problem, or is it just the apple/itunes version of it? Haven't tried this yet, as I've already spent too much time on this today.
Ok, this is what I've found:
Artist, album, etc, are not recognized for both mp3 and m4a files created by itunes.
Artist, album, etc, are not recognized for m4a files created by clementine. (note Clementine gives them a ".mp4" extension, so they don't appear on the phone at all unless you change them manually to ".m4a" but the artist and album are still not recognized.)
mp3 files created by clementine work as expected -- artist and album are recognized.
So using clementine to transcode from my itunes library's m4a files to mp3 files on my device is the only thing I've found that works. Luckily clementine does this without having to make a second copy of the songs on your computer, it just converts them as it puts them on the device. This is a nice feature.
On the other hand, clementine does not always see the SD memory card on my phone (sometimes it just sees the phone's built-in memory). So it sometimes thinks that the phone's memory is full even when it's not. I've had to take the memory card out of the phone and connect it directly via a usb dock/converter to get around this.
Also, no luck getting clementine to import CDs or transcode AIFF file formats, so I will just have to use my itunes library as source files.
A final side note, on the Brightside you can either view your songs by artist > songs, or by album > songs, but you can't drill down like this: artist > album > songs. That's disappointing.