MP3 Tags


(engage geek mode) Once upon a time a bunch of us gathered our computers, CD collections, and a keg of beer for the weekend to rip and encode our entire collection of CDs. Since then, the collection has resided on a bunch of different hard-drives, until recently, where they all found their home in one place. About a year ago I purchased my first dedicated MP3 player which, unbeknownst to me, relied exclusively on ID3 tags to organize the music. Unfortunately, when we ripped and encoded our music, we didn’t create tags for the files. This put me on a quest to not only fill in the missing tag data but to clean up tags from other music that we had acquired over the ages. I tried just about everything I could get my hands on and settled on two pieces of software that could do just about everything I needed.

MusicBrainz is an incredible piece of software that actually does an “acoustic fingerprint” of each MP3 file and then compares it to their database. Since first using the software last year the database has doubled in size – which makes it a LOT more useful! It basically matches the audio waveform of the song with a similar waveform in their database – it tells you what percentage of a match you have and you can rename/retag the file accordingly. The great part about this is that it doesn’t care about what bitrate you encoded at or even what software you used to encode (works with ALL digital music!). Fantastic!

The problem was that much of our music was pretty obscure and not to be found (at the time, if ever) in the MusicBrainz database. We did, thankfully, do a fairly good job of naming the music and albums – so the data was in the filename. But how to parse the filename into ID3 tag data? MP3Tag does the job quite nicely! It is, by far, the best tag editing software I have found (and its free!). The tag by filename works wonders! It will even take an existing album directory, compare it to the CDDB and then tag the files that way – its quite handy! I haven’t really gotten into the guts of the software to see what else its capable of – but the fact that it went through our entire collection is quite a testament to its usefulness! It also works with almost all taggable digital music types!
I hope this is of use to those of you who understand what I’m talking about – to the rest, I apologize for my lapse into technospeak!

(geek mode disengaged)

12 thoughts on “MP3 Tags”

  1. Okay, since I don’t speak geek, let me see if I got this correctly. You have software that will take your MP3s and match up the file with the correct song so it’s labeled properly? Is that what you’re saying? I’m looking for a way to clean up my iPod a bit and it sounds (although admittedly that was WAY the F*** over my head) that this might help. No?

  2. How Fitz ever got laid, I’ll never know.

    Here’s an infinite loop for you:

    void Nerds::Truthism()
    bool markislame;
    char buffer [50];
    int n;

    n=sprintf (buffer, “Mark likes guys.”);

    while (markislame)
    printf (“[%s] is an example of an absolute truth.n”,buffer,n);

  3. Other than the fact it’s not commented? πŸ™‚

    What is that, anyway? C++? Java? I don’t get around many languages outside of VB and VB.NET much (and HTML and VBScript and JavaScript and all that junk, you know). I imagine you mistyped the s in
    n=sprintf (buffer, β€œMark likes guys.”);
    But I was going to let it go.

  4. C++. I do VB, C++, and Delphi pretty much every day. Syntax gets a bit confusing.

    Nope, I forgot to set markislame = true; since in C++ it is initialized as false, so in this case the message “Mark likes guys.” would never occur.

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