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ID3 Tags

Friday, August 11th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Multimedia
 
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Q:
Can you explain to me what ID3 tags are? I saw them mentioned in one of your tips yesterday, but I’m not sure exactly how they work.

A:
That’s a perfect question! They were mentioned yesterday in the article about Foobar2000, the up and coming media player. ID3 tags are a little confusing to understand at first, so I will try to explain them to you the best I can. Hopefully by the end of this article, you will have a better grasp on what ID3 tags are in reference to the media you keep on your computer.

ID3 is actually a metadata holder that usually works along with the MP3 audio file format. If you use a music player like an MP3 player or an iPod, you always see such items as the title of the song, the artist, the track number, etc. scrolling across the screen. Those are the ID3 tags at work. In other words, they are like the storage units for all of the information about a certain music file.

Along with the software that comes with your player, you are able to view and edit this information so it is presented the way you want. Sometimes it will be shown simply as the title, artist and comments of a particular file and will not have any ID3 tag identification. In other instances, some music players will show the file’s information with a ID3 label. It all depends on the type of music player you have.

Now, you’re probably wondering how you can edit this information. Well, you have to have a special type of tag editor to do so, because it can’t be done manually for an MP3 file. With a tag editor, you can edit the information, as well as, fix, sort and rename the music files you have stored on the player. Also, with the editor, you can usually edit the ID3 tags all in one batch, instead of one file at a time. That’s very convenient and it will save you a lot of time.

You can find different types of tag editors online these days as well. You can do a search in Google (or your favorite search engine) and pick one that will do everything you need it to. There are several different ones available, so just take some time to read through the details of them and choose the right one for you.

There are two other versions of ID3 tags, which are ID3v1 and ID3v2. They are older versions and although they work, they have been known to have some problems in the past. Now, go on and tag away!

~ Erin

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