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AUDIO Properly Tag Your MP3s

This article is about the compatibility issues between Linux and MP3 players

Preface

Since installing Linux I have noticed some problems with MP3 tags displayed by my MP3 player. They would be displayed improperly, for example:
“Artist: t9wtsh / Song: ie e 32 g2” or
“Artist: Children / Song:Hateb” instead of Children of Bodom and Hatebreeder.

Two days ago I bought a Sony Walkman player (particulary the nwz-a845) and I couldn't embed the album art in the tags. I decided to write this guide to help other people in this situation.

Part 1: Basic Tagging

I don't remember exactly how I found it but the best program to tag mp3 files is tagtool. It can be found in the repositories, if not http://linuxappfinder.com/package/tagtool
in order to get the best results use tagtool to clear all existing tags and then add them yourself with the “Tag Multiple Files” tab, it's pretty intuitive.
If you cleared all the tabs and then added them via “Tag Multiple Files” then the tags should be stored in ID3 v1. Go to the “Edit Tag” tab and copy them to ID3 v2. (Ctrl+2 will copy the ID3 v1 to ID3 v2 but for individual items so you will have to Ctrl+2, then “Save Changes” for every single mp3). When you're done you may have some tags that are incomplete since the file name was too large, manually add the missing part then click save, and your MP3s should be properly tagged.
This should be enough if you don't need the album art for an external mp3 player. If you want the album art to be embedded for any music player to read them please refer to part 2.

Part 2: Embedding Album Art

I used google images to search for the album art.
While searching for a way to embed album art I found a couple of ways to do it.

1. EasyTAG
The best program to tag MP3 files is tagtool. It can be found in the repositories, if not http://linuxappfinder.com/package/tagtool. In order to get the best results use tagtool to clear all existing tags and then add them yourself with the “Tag Multiple Files” tab, it's pretty intuitive. If you cleared all the tabs and then added them via “Tag Multiple Files” then the tags should be stored in ID3 v1. Go to the “Edit Tag” tab and copy them to ID3 v2. (Ctrl+2 will copy the ID3 v1 to ID3 v2 but for individual items so you will have to Ctrl+2, then “Save Changes” for every single MP3).

When you're done you may have some tags that are incomplete since the file name was too large, manually add the missing part then click save, and your MP3s should be properly tagged.

2. Album Cover Art Downloader
Here is where to get it: http://www.unrealvoodoo.org/hiteck/projects/albumart/
The interface is pretty easy to understand, navigate to the folder you're interested in, drag the image from your hard disk onto a song from the list and it automatically saves the album art in the MP3. No other changes. When you're done, open tagtool again to check that nothing has changed except for the image being added.

Now every single music player in the world should be able to read the track information and the album art just by reading ID3 v2.

Warning: Rhythmbox clears out all tags if you modify them with it, and somehow stores the information from them in itself somewhere. There may be a way to modify them successfully but I didn't find it.

 
howto/mp3_tagging.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/25 18:35 by machinebacon
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