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Topic: Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions? (Read 10756 times) previous topic - next topic
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Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

I should raise the n00b flag here ... I have picked up that ID3v2.3 is the most widely used scheme, and that ID3v1 tags and ID3v2 tags are separate blocks in a file.  I have no idea whether different ID3v2 versions can coexist, should coexist, and/or do coexist even if they should not. Or how many tag sets - ID3vx, APE or whatever - could exist concurrently in one file. Or should.

-> Will the majority of tagging software ensure - at least by default - ensure that any ID3v1 block and ID3v2 block have consistent tag values, at least to the extent supported by both formats?

-> Should I worry over inconsistencies? Is there any piece of software that can detect and report these without me manually looking at each file?
(I use foobar2000 and mp3tag as far as I can, and then dBpoweramp ...)

-> Is there any good reason to use, at all, v2.4? APE? The lyrics extensions to v2?
(Reading information provided by mp3tag, it seems to me that the "lyrics" extension is not necessary to have unsynced lyrics fields. Is that just a nonstandard hack to v2.x that de facto works?)

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #1
MP3tag, for instance, supports writing both tags, as well as writing V2 only when the text won't fit in V1. There isn't any particular reason to worry about inconsistencies, as the main reason for them is when data is too long to fit in a V1 tag; however, my advice is to not use V1 at all unless you have a player that doesn't understand V2.3. I say this because some players may give priority to one type of tag over another, e.g. old RealPlayer versions would completely ignore V2.3 tags if V1 tags were present, thus preventing you from ever seeing the full V2 tag if a V1 tag was there. There isn't much use for V1 tags anymore, anyway, as pretty much any hardware or software player made in the last 10 years understands V2.3 tags, as long as the text is ISO 8859-1.

Unicode support is more more spotty (especially since most hardware players only have ASCII displays), and V2.4 tags are particularly difficult to get working, even though they were introduced more than 10 years ago. IIRC the CD player in my car won't read V2.4 tags at all on MP3 discs, so I always use V2.3.

When it comes to lyrics, I always use the UNSYNCEDLYRICS tag. There are other lyrics tags designed for karaoke-like effects, but I've never experimented with them, nor have I tried APE tags.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #2
I have no idea whether different ID3v2 versions can coexist, should coexist, and/or do coexist even if they should not.


no, they should not. i think it's possible to have files with both but i think they would be considered as broken.

and as mentioned above, i really would clear out all old id3v1 tags unless you have some antiquated piece of hardware that needs them. stick to id3v2.3 if you want maximum compatibility with everything/everyone else. only use id3v2.4 if you know the players you use support it and don't care about anything else. i use 2.4 because i'm happy knowing i only ever use foobar2000 and my rockbox-ed sansa clip+.



Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #3
I remember working with mp3 files "back in the day" that featured ID3v1.1 and 2.2 tags to ensure compatibility.  This was many years ago (2002?) but it is no longer required.  Every device I have ever used (iPod or not) starting in 2002 has supported ID3v2.  The only time I really had problems was with an old 10GB Archos DAP, it worked with ID3v2.2 but not v2.3.  They eventually fixed it with a firmware update shortly after the product's release.

As others have said, stick with ID3v2.3 or 2.4.  Use whatever you know works with your devices and software.  When encoding to mp3, I still use v2.3 as I sometimes experience buggy support (mainly through iTunes) with v2.4.  It's not often, about one in 1500 tracks, but it's enough to deter me since I don't feel like going through and manually inspecting tracks.  There aren't any features in v2.4 that I would use anyway.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #4
Tags using both the 2.3 and 2.4 schemes can be written to a file, but I agree with marc2003 that a "best practice" would be to use only one. 1.x and 2.x coexisting is less of an issue since they are written on different ends of the file.

I personally prefer 2.3 due to 2.4 not being natively supported by Windows.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #5
i just did a quick test with 2.4 tagged file. i simply highlighted it in explorer and obviously it doesn't recognise the existing tags. i then used the explorer preview pane in windows 8.1 to add an album tag. when i loaded the file back in foobar or mp3tag, they both show the file as only have 2.3 tags with only the album tag populated.

at this point you might think the 2.4 tags have been wiped entirely but axone.jar shows they are still there... they're just not usable by anything else.


Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #6
i wonder how many people have "ghost" tags in their files without even realising it??


That's one thing I'd like to detect automatically.

The lack of Windows support is one reason for 2.3, and that behaviour you refer to makes it all the more tempting to get rid of 2.4 altogether.
Is 2.4 really good for anything except the character separator? (What fool who made a tagging scheme which does not admit "AC/DC", huh?) Like, 2.3 uses UTF at least de facto?

Among my files, 2.3 and 2.4 exist about half'n'half. None are reported (by fb2k) to have more than one ID3v2.* version.
APEs are rare in my collection but all of them have both ID3v1 and ID3v2 ... three tagsets, if not all tagging applications are smart enough then I guess that is asking for inconsistencies.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #7
Simply using foobar to copy tags to clipboard, strip all, repopulate and done. No ghost tags or wmp garbage left.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #8
^that's exactly what i do when buying stuff from amazon because it gets rid of the embedded art as well. this might not be desirable for everyone so it's something to consider.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #9
Simply using foobar to copy tags to clipboard, strip all, repopulate and done. No ghost tags or wmp garbage left.


To convert tag format in fb2k, there is Tagging --> MP3 tag types. Dunno if that strips off nonstandard/unsupported tags.


Come to think of it, all my MP3s have ReplayGain tags written by fb2k. (That means, I think, that fb2k has touched all my ID3v2 and APE tag blocks; a bit of testing indicates that fb2k does not write RG tags to the ID3v1 block.)

[Edited away a question, I found the footnote at http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti...etadata_formats - also http://id3.org/Replay%20Gain%20Adjustment ]



Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #12
Now I have tried stuff like AudioShell, and it seem that I cannot get Windows Explorer to read ID3v2.4 any more than it can read Vorbis comments (the 20th century called and wanted its OS back ...) Although the majority of my collection is FLAC rips, I still thing it is convenient to have mp3s Explorer-readable, which leaves me with three alternatives:

- 2.3. Seems to be widely supported.
- 2.3 and 1, in case I want to copy over to something that does not even support 2.3 (I doubt if I have any such device)
- 2.4 and 1, from the rationale that I can use v2.4 with fb2k (artist = AC/DC!), and for whatever does not support it - Explorer in particular! - I have ID3v1 to display.

However, if I am careless then I could maybe find myself editing ID3v1 tags using Explorer, which means that I would have inconsistent tagsets in the latter solution, right? But Explorer editing with 2.3&1 would update both sets consistently?
So unless I can keep my hands off that way of editing, I should remove 2.4 tags?


... all assuming that I do not want the APE tags (is there any reason to have those in mp3 files?)

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #13
Jebus, yes there was a bit of junk in the triple-tagset files yeah :-/

(Fortunately they weren't that many.)

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #14
... all assuming that I do not want the APE tags (is there any reason to have those in mp3 files?)


I'd be interested in this as well.

Do all applications handle multiple ID3 versions?

Reply #15
Tags using both the 2.3 and 2.4 schemes can be written to a file, but I agree with marc2003 that a "best practice" would be to use only one. 1.x and 2.x coexisting is less of an issue since they are written on different ends of the file.


2.4 tags can be at the beginning and the end of the file, and both, see "Tag Location" in http://id3.org/id3v2.4.0-structure