How to edit MP3, FLAC, AAC, APE and OGG tags (metadata)

by Skyler Huse on November 27, 2008

Windows

MP3tag is a great tool for editing your music’s metadata (also known as ‘tags’). Despite the name, MP3tag can tag more than just MP3s, such as FLAC, AAC, OGG, and much more. The site gives a great short description of the program.

Mp3tag is a powerful and yet easy-to-use tool to edit metadata (ID3, Vorbis Comments and APE) of common audio formats. It can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words from tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists and more. The program supports online freedb database lookups for selected files, allowing you to automatically gather proper tag information for select files or CDs.

Start out by downloading Mp3tag here.


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After you have installed and launched MP3tag, you should see a window like the one above. To add some files to edit, go to File -> Change directory or click on the folder with a green check mark or press Control + D. Then you just need to select a folder with some music. After it has loaded the directory, you can arrange the files by artist, album, year, and more.


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The simple features of MP3tag are pretty easy to follow, so let’s look at some of the more advanced stuff. One of the first things I like to do is edit the embedded album art. I just remove mine, but you can add, remove, or even extract embedded art in a song by selecting it and right clicking the bottom left box. Remember to save after you make changes!

Another useful feature is the Auto-numbering Wizard. You can get to this by going to Tools -> Auto-numbering Wizard or by clicking the box with the 1 and 2 in it, or by pressing Control + K. You can see the settings I use above.

Lets get to the meat of this application! Under the Convert menu you will find the things that I think make this a very useful program. Tag – Filename basically lets you take information from the tags of your music and renames the actual file to your liking. You can see an example in the image above. But you can customize this however you like, using expressions like %album%, %year%, %genre% and more. Filename – Tag does the opposite. For example, say your tags got wiped for some reason, you could still get some of the tags back in a few seconds! This works pretty much exactly the same as Tag – Filename. See the example below.

MP3tag is one of my favorite free programs and can be a great time saver. The only annoying thing I find is when I forget to press that save button! But I guess that is not the programs fault.

  • http://www.blogads.com Andy T.

    mp3tag is pure genius! If you prefer well tagged audio files and have a huge collection then this program really is a great benefit! Worth every donation IMHO.

  • http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ Florian

    Thanks for the nice introductory tutorial!

    Regarding the save button: you can also enable Options > Tags > Save tags when using arrow keys/single mouse click to let Mp3tag automatically save your changes as soon as you switch to another file.

  • trixie

    Can I convert .wav files to .mp3 files and if Yes how do I do it?
    Thanks.

  • http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ Florian

    No, it’s only a tagger (and a little bit more ;-) ). For conversion you can use something like foobar2000 or dbPowerAmp.

  • http://trotsenko.com.ua Bohdan

    I’ve recently looked for a mp3-tagger.
    The important feature that this application lacks is a capability to extract tags from filenames based on a pattern.
    Because typically my files are somehow named (“Beatles – Something” or “01 Accros the Universe”), I could just select a bunch of files, preview auto-generated tags, and click “Apply”.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t find a free app to do this.

  • http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ Florian

    @Bohdan Have a look at ‘Converter > Filename – Tag’ in Mp3tag where you can extract filenames based on a pattern.

    In your example it would be “%artist% – %title%” or “%track% %title%”.

  • Bytales

    I hate this program because it is allmost perfect, allmost because it can’t edit id3v2 tags in aac files. When i asked on their forum why this feature isn’t supported, i learned this feature is not supported for no apparent reason. That’s a major pain in the ass, because creator of the programs won’t even consider in supporting this feature in future updates

  • http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ Florian

    @Bytales Why not just wrap your AAC in a MP4 container and use Mp3tag to edit those?

    The problem with ID3v2 on AAC is that it’s a hack. AAC has no specified tagging format and throwing random tags at those files might break or at least confuse other programs or devices.