31
Oct
09

Fixing MP3 Metadata (id3 tags) on Windows

I have had a lot of issues with MP3 metadata (title, artist, album) not displaying properly in Foobar2000 and Windows XP. Either it would not read at all, or the tag would be unreadable characters (in the case of alternate language MP3 tags such as Japanese tags on my English Windows installation). For example, sometimes it turns weird like this (Foobar2000 screwed this up in my case):

image

 

This ‘metadata’ stored in id3 format. From Wikipedia:

ID3 is a metadata container most often used in conjunction with the MP3 audio file format. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, and other information about the file to be stored in the file itself.

Windows (even Windows 7) and Window Media Player don’t handle id3v2.4 tags. If you have any MP3 that is written in 2.4, Windows has troubles reading it. More information on Wikipedia here. You also have different encodings you can save the tag in, which messes with tags saved in different languages.

 

To fix the problem of MP3 metadata not displaying properly, download MP3tag to rewrite the mp3 ID3 tags. MP3tag is a MP3 metadata editor that does this very well.

MP3Tag Usage and Settings

You have to make sure you have the following settings in MP3tag Options:

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After applying these settings, navigate to the directory with the MP3s with the bad ID3 tags. You will then see something similar to the following screen:

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Now you simply need to save over the tags for every file. You can either do it one by one, or just hit ‘Edit –> Select All’ (Ctrl-A)

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Notice that the save icon on the left of the toolbar (just below the File menu) is now clickable. Click it (keyboard Ctrl-S) to save the tags. Now you can see the tags in Windows and most of your other applications. Here is everything working in Windows Explorer and Foobar2000:

image

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(Demonstrated under Windows XP English with Foobar2000 v0.9.6.9 and MP3tag 2.4.4)



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