Now a days we are witnessing some really good music playing apps with inbuilt tag editors. Ever wondered why these media tags are important? Or are you worried about the recovered deleted music with  kind of names with no metadata?
Do you have a collection of 50,000 songs with half of them being untagged and others named as Track01.flac and the remaining with partial tag data?
We already know what MusicBrainz is. If you are unaware of that please read our previous article here. There are several free apps like MusicBrainz Picard, MP3Tag, etc for different operating systems as we saw in our ‘Introduction to MusicBrainz‘. So, how do we do it? How do we edit tags, search tags, save them, search albums, track name, batch editing of tags, searching whole album tags and complete album lists, editing Cover Art, get AcoustID fingerprints and then search to get some associated information about a track and much more.
Here is the guide on how to edit tags on PC and Mobile.
Starting with the widely known and the most versatile app ‘MusicBrainz Picard’ with a decent internet connection because we are about to scan and look for tags.
- Go to ‘Add Folder‘ or ‘Add Files‘ according to your need.
- Then you’ll get a list of all the Unmatched Files.
- Select the file you want to get tags of by clicking on it.
- Now click ‘Scan‘
- After the scan is completed, we will get all the possible metadata about the track, cover art and the entire song list of the album from where it belongs. You are free to edit any kind of tag or just click on ‘Save’ to save the tags. You can also edit settings to start scan the newly added songs automatically. Then the matched tracks will perform searching tags automatically.
- There may be certain regional songs which can’t be found after scanning so you might need to use ‘Lookup in Browser‘.
- Using ‘Cluster‘ is very convenient if you have songs related to a certain album in a huge music library. It will perform ‘Scan’, ‘Search’ and ‘Save’ for the entire album.
- Further, you can also collect about any track by simply selecting and looking up in browser. It will get you to musicbrainz/org/recordings with whole lot of information about it.
- We have noticed that MusicBrainz apps are faster and more efficient than other databases. Talking about databases now we will discuss about MP3Tag-The universal Tag editor with MusicBrainz, freedb and Discogs.
- Click on File > ‘Add Directory’ to add the directory in which your untagged and unknown tracks are present.
- Once you have all the files scanned, there will be a list of tracks.
- Search for the desired tracks in the filter section at the bottom or select multiple tracks for batch editing function. To select multiple files hold ‘ctrl’ key and keep selecting by clicking on the files.
- There are many conversions, actions and lookups on MusicBrainz, freedb and Discogs. Conversions include Filename – Tag, Tag-Filename, Tag – Tag, Filename – Filename and Textfile – Tag. These are self explanatory by there names.
- After selecting the track if you want to look for the tags and save them, do as follows-
- Click on ‘Tag Sources’ > ‘MusicBrainz’
- Now a prompt box will occur with the album name. Enter a valid album name to perform a search. Keep in mind that don’t insert something like ‘Nothing But The Beat (2011)’, it should be simply ‘Nothing but the beat’.
- We have used freedb for demonstration purpose.
- Click on ‘Next’
- There will be a list of search results.
- Preview them and select the most appropriate one of them all. Now click ‘Next’.
- Now there will be a window to adjust the Tag information we have. You can edit tags as you want.
- Click on OK once you have selected the track from the list. You can keep the earlier cover art or apply the newer one.
- Finally, there will be message saying this much number of tags saved successfully. Just to make sure hit on the file icon just below the menu bar.
- For multiple items selected, all goes so much similar to what we have learnt so far. You can search tags and save them.
- Now we must talk about the ‘Actions’ and ‘Quick Actions’.
- Shortcuts for Actions is ‘alt+6’ and for Quick Actions it is ‘alt+shift+6’.
- Go for ‘alt+shift+6’ for the Quick Actions list. You will see Case conversion, Import cover from file, Export cover to file, Replace, Replace with a regular expression and many more.
- To replace special characters or unwanted characters from each of your tag field select ‘Replace with regular expression’.
- Now in the next window there will be a fields dropdown list. Select the one which suits you or simply go for _ALL for all of the fields.
- Insert the Regular expression you want to replace. For example, ‘[www.<something>.com]’ should be replaced by a space. Now ‘Replace matches with’ field will simply contain a <space-bar> or anything you want.
- Once done, click on the Save button.
- To configure the app just go to Tools > Options. MP3Tag isn’t over yet, there are tons of things to play with. So keep playing!
Have a organized music library, it looks good with tags.
To perform these actions on an Android smartphone there are several apps like ‘AutoTagger‘ and ‘Automatic Tag Editor‘.
- You will start with a list of tracks without tags. You can choose the display mode according to your need.
- Select a song by tapping on it. Edit Params so that proper search can be performed.
- After a while there will be several found tags. Select one of them and tap on Save.
If you don’t know anything about the song we suggest you to Shazam it or use similar service. You can read about music identifying services here.
- Doing tag search and save operation in batches is pretty simple as well. Just select multiple tracks by tapping and holding on the first track.
- Then click on the ‘+’ button in the lower right of the app. Go to Search Tags .
- After the search is completed go to Found section and tap on one of the track. There will be several found tags.
- Edit them and apply them and tap on Save. Done!
Here is a little catch, we can only edit at most 3 tracks in batch with the free version of the app.
You must be wondering what this ID3 or ID3v2.3 is. It is a metadata container used in most mp3 files. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, and other information about the file to be stored in the file itself. (courtesy: Wikipedia)
So, next time you get a messed up music library, just get Picard or MP3Tag. Is tag editing really necessary? What other tools are you using to sort and tag your music library? Can you name an efficient music playing app with an inbuilt tag editor (it’s easy*)? Write your words in the comments section.