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  • Krevolver
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Help with MP3 Tags
I have a mess with my music collection and mp3 tags. For example, some tags show on some listening devices, some do not. I am new to tagging, and am hoping for help to make all of the tags consistent. Several questions:

1.  Should I be using just one tagging system (ID3v1, ID3v2, ID3v2.3, ID3v4) or all of them? Are there others?
2.  Do all tracks have information in each of these tags? Should they?
3.  Can one track show different information in two different tags?
4.  How can I make them all show the same information?
5.  Is there any way to see exactly what is in each tag? I have FOOBAR, but there is no way (that I can see) to switch between the tags... to see, for example, what is in ID3v2, and what is in ID3v2.3.

Please save me if you have a minute?
  • Last Edit: 05 August, 2016, 10:55:35 PM by Krevolver

  • KozmoNaut
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Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #1
1.  Should I be using just one tagging system (ID3v1, ID3v2, ID3v2.3, ID3v4) or all of them? Are there others?
2.  Do all tracks have information in each of these tags? Should they?
3.  Can one track show different information in two different tags?
4.  How can I make them all show the same information?
5.  Is there any way to see exactly what is in each tag? I have FOOBAR, but there is no way (that I can see) to switch between the tags... to see, for example, what is in ID3v2, and what is in ID3v2.3.

1. That depends on the applications you're using. For instance, the Google Play Music Manager will not read the date/year tag from ID3v2.4, only from v1 or v2.3 for some reason. My primary player (Clementine on Linux) will read all versions, and converts to v2.4 with a v1 fallback whenever you change the tags through the built-in tag editor. So you have to look at what your primary applications support and prefer. Ideally, you should just stick with ID3v2 and let your software handle any fallbacks and whatnot. Foobar handles it in an intelligent way, and lets you wipe out the ID3v1 tags, which are completely unneeded 99,9% of the time.

2. Are you asking whether your should use all the tag fields for all tracks, or all the tag formats? Keep in mind that different ID3v2 versions cannot coexist, you have to choose between v2.3 and v2.4 (or let your software choose for you).

3. Yes, absolutely. You can have different information in ID3v1 and ID3v2, which can be a major hassle. Most modern applications that handle tagging will not let you edit the v1 and v2 tags individually for precisely this reason.

4. You should use an application that updates both sets of tags (or wipes out the v1 tags) when you edit them. Foobar's built-in tag editor works great.

5. ID3v2 and ID3v2.3 are the same thing, v2.3 is just a more specific version number. Generally, you just want to let Foobar handle the tag versions for you.

  • Krevolver
  • [*]
Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #2

Thank you so much!

Final question:  Is there ANY way to tell if a track has different information in one tag than it has in another? Any program that would show you all of the tags separately?

  • KozmoNaut
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Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #3
I think maybe MP3Tag can do it.

  • Welkzor
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Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #4
I use TagScanner. It's fantastic.

Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #5
Good tagging apps for Windows include Mp3Tag and MusicBrainz Picard.

Of course Foobar2000 will let  you get properties on a song.  All the tags should be shown under the metadata tab.

I'm on Linux and Mac 99% of the time, so I tend to use ID 2.4, the "latest and greatest."  But I know that Windows 7 (and possibly 8.  Haven't checked), can't read ID 2.4 tags, and you need to use ID 2.3.

For best compatibility across multiple devices, I think it's best to use ID3 2.3 combined with ID3 1.1.  I haven't found anything that won't read that combo.

  • Porcus
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Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #6
Is there ANY way to tell if a track has different information in one tag than it has in another? Any program that would show you all of the tags separately?

Concerning Mp3tag, I found this thread: https://forums.mp3tag.de/index.php?showtopic=11736
Seems not ... straightforward.

I once considered to use APE tags exclusively in mp3 in my "library", and only write to ID3 when I needed files for portable use. Then I would know that a "library file" with ID3 would need a review.
Abandoned the idea for the obvious reason.
  • Last Edit: 13 August, 2016, 04:54:32 AM by Porcus

Re: Help with MP3 Tags
Reply #7
Unless we're talking about a massive music library, I would consider retagging everything and use the option to remove existing tags.

I've been slowly re-tagging my collecting using Musicbrainz Picard.  About half my collection are older releases that have been remastered multiple times.  Picard will add a tag for the original release date and original release year.  So I can look at my tags and see that I have the 2012 remaster of Green Day's American Idiot, and album that first came out in 2004.