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Well perfection is not of this earth......
The problem of cross-platform is that you go to the lowest common denominator which is the pop/rock paradigm and does not work so well.
Any decent players (and iTunes IMHO is not one of them) has support for custom meta fields Jriver, MusicBee, MusiCHI etc so you can escape the square peg in a round hole.........
To my simple mind, if the collection is mostly on CDs, it is certainly easier to rip them to a hard drive using something like dBpoweramp as that will do 90% of the tagging, thus saving a lot of typing. Then you just need the database software. Assuming you want to play the music as well as catalogue it, then the choice of software may depend on the technology for playing it. MusiChi looks like a reasonable solution for those with UPNP-compatible players. Personally, I think that Muso is excellent if you use iTunes, Winamp or Logitech (Squeezebox). It works really well for classical music and has a very nice interface. Have a look at http://klarita.net/muso.html
I finally found the perfect solution (both hardware and software) for managing my classical music: 3beez's Wax Music Management System (www.3beez.com). I wanted a simple, turnkey solution for preserving my sound files in rich quality (ALAC) and with full metadata (not just album and artist tags). My audio rack had space for only one more component. I wanted software that could capture essential metadata like composer, conductor, librettist, soloist, or the cast of my favorite opera. I reviewed software solutions (e.g. J.River Media and Media Monkey) and also "complete systems" (e.g. Naim HDX with Naim UnitiLite and Meridian Control 15 with Media Core 600). The software solutions were incomplete and aesthetically unappealing. While the "complete solutions" had impressive hardware, the software for these systems was very limited in the metadata they could present and the prices were way over my budget. Wax provided everything I needed for organizing my music library for $5000, less than half the cost of these other systems.
Wax's cataloging system is ideal for a large library. You can divide genres into subgenres for better organization and fast searching. One of the most compelling features of Wax is its "flexible metadata". You can add an unlimited amount of additional metadata to your work or to a specific track and you can add different metadata tags to different genres. You need to enter the additional metadata manually because such information is not present in the ID3 tags of the original recording. If you are satisfied with the iTunes-style metadata wax imports, you don't need to do any additional work. I found it was worth the additional effort to improve the metadata.
Adding my music to wax was easy. I ripped my CDs using wax's ripping software and imported my iTunes library from my computer using wax's bulk import feature. Once you have your library in wax, it is quick and easy to find your music. You can play an entire work from start to finish or in random order, and it is easy to set up playlists. I control wax from my iPad (using a remote desktop application). The sound quality is excellent. (I connected an external USB DAC to the waxbox.) Wax's GUI is elegant and viewing my metadata on my iPad is a wonderful and engaging experience.
FWIW, catraxx is no longer supported or sold. I contacted the developer and he confirmed this. He also indicated that he would not give a date when it would be available again. Interestingly, he left the option for download open (although after the trial period expires you can't buy it) and the forum as "read only".
After spending several hours learning how to best use this app (and there is a considerable support community) I discovered I had wasted my time.
This is a heads up for any one reading this thread.
I've wrestled with this too for a while, and have found what seems to me a very good solution using only software that comes on every Mac computer. It doesn't require any sort of database program - you just create a .pdf file for each CD containing the information you want, place all the files in a single folder (with subfolders if desired), and search the folder using the Mac's Spotlight function.
Creating the file for each CD is reasonably quick and easy using iTunes. In a nutshell, you simply let iTunes retrieve track information from the internet (far more accurate and complete for classical CDs than was once the case). Once the information appears, go to the iTunes file/print menu and print to a .pdf file. It makes no difference whether the composer/artist/composition information is under the correct heading, as long as it's contained in the document, and the information can be supplemented or edited before creating the .pdf file.
There are limitations: iTunes doesn't, for example, pull up label identification, and there are inconsistencies in format, spelling, amount of detail, etc. It is, however, possible to add information under a "comment" heading. For my purposes, which essentially are knowing what recordings I have (I have some 1700 CDs) and being able to find them, this works exceptionally well. There are details to the process I haven't sought to describe, but anyone familiar with the Mac and with iTunes in particular will find the process straightforward.
I have used the same program way back to 2000. I had to reinstall my system recently. Reinstallation of Classicat is necessary. Your post is close to 5 years old but maybe I can still help if you are interested...
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