19 requests: main user interface + online lookup

Hi, I've recently used MP3Tag to clean up metadata for loads of files. The program is great (the best!) but there are many small things that could make repeated use easier and quicker. Here are some such friendly suggestions. Enjoy! :slight_smile:


1 if a single track is added, autoselect it

2 error message pops up if a .m3u read fails: add option to supress that warning and let the Escape key close the popup

3 tag to file & file to tag popup windows: in addition to the dropdown let the user customize some quick buttons to favorite patterns here

4 file to tag: add option to during this rename automatically trim whitespace at beginning or end of fields

5 When an editbox (in left sidebar) has focus, let PageUp/PageDown move to prev/next track in list (That would make it easier to "step through" a number of files and change a specific tag manually.)

6 let user choose toolbar icons to hide (less distraction = quicker to find the buttons you do want)

7 let users add one or more "special action" icons to the toolbar that when clicked run a user set command line argument

8 add an action (and hotkey) to remove all tags in selected files except for tag fields in a user chosen whitelist. (This would speed up the cleaning of mistaken/unwanted tags a lot compared to opening "extended tags" and click select each unwanted tag fields and then press remove.)

two requests related to 8:

9 in extended tags window: change text to simply an empty field (that makes it much easier to quickly see which are blank and which have when cleaning a lot of files at once)

10 in extended tags window: change list order to always position the tags already visible in the main window at the top of the list (This lets us select and remove all tags below them quicker)


11 add one toolbar button (and one hotkey) for each lookup method in tag sources menu

12 add option to automatically try the next online source if the first fail (e.g. first musicbrain, then discogs, ...)

13 if a lookup fails always revert back to an window with an editbox with the search string. It would also save time if that window had buttons for the different online sources for quickly trying another one when the first lookup failed.

14 "list of search results..." window: sometimes lookup of a chosen item here fails. In that case make MP3Tag always revert to the "list of search results..." window. (Currently failure means a start from the beginning sometimes.)

15 "list of search results..." window: sometimes the list is long. Add a quick filter editbox for that window and filter out results that do not contain the filter string anywhere.

16 "list of search results..." window: color result rows that have the same number of tracks as the number of files currently loaded in MP3Tag. Autoselect the first of those matching rows. Add a checkbox for only showing results with the same number of tracks as the number of files loaded in MP3Tag.

17 "list of search results..." window: show the number of tracks data also for discogs lookups

18 add an option to never import a cover image smaller than x pixels (since musicbrains sometimes adds a 1pixel placeholder image when it has no image)

18 in "adjust tag information" window: in the right side filelist (the current local files/tags) add a column that numbers the rows from top to bottom. That would make it easier to see which list position on the right matches which on the left. To make that even more easy to see make it so that when the user selects a row to the right autoselect/highlight the matching list position on the left.

19 Add a whitelist option for which tags to import from the online databases (because the additional tags vary a lot between the different sources and there is sometimes junk information there)

This is already the case - see File>Options>General "Automatically select files".

If you have standard pattern, use an action instead.

If you correctly enter the pattern then there will be no white space.

These keys are already assigned to the scrollbars that may be necessary for large tag panels.

There is an action for that called "Remove fields execpt"

Could you show me a screendump where you see "" as property of a field? I can see only and . Empty fields do not exist and cannot be shown.

In which order would you like to see the "invisible" fields? If they are displayed in alphabetical order then you have an unordered part of the list and an ordered one - I would find that confusing.
For I quick removal of fields, I would recommend an action.

I still recommend an action for that - there you can keep your whitelist.

This seems a logical. But: sometimes I make another version of track [when I'm fast re-editing / changhing], which I differentiate by adding spaces. So that I can then load i to Mp3tag and easily copy tags from old version to the new one

So this would mess my workflow

That's and old request; unfortunately also repetitive, because it is yet to be implemented

zerow & ohrenkino, thank you for the quick feedback. Though, ohrenkino, I really wish you'd gotten into a time machine and told me about the "Remove fields except" action a few weeks ago instead :smiley:


True, of course, but each extra detail to focus on lowers the speed for the user. Autotrim of whitespace at beginning or end of fields would help a bit.


ctrl+PageUp/PageDown then. The basic request here is: hotkeys.


Terrific! I had missed how powerful the actions feature is.


Sure, http://i.imgur.com/cJgBCQf.png
It show in a tag field only after you delete that tag and while the "extended tags" window is open. After saving the changes and reopening extended tags the tag is hidden. But if there was say 20 tags and I wanted to remove 16 of them manually then it would be easier to see the lines with "" that are left if the removed tags where blank instead of the text "".


I'd suggest first "non-extended" tags in the same order as in main UI and after that all extended tags from A-Z. Confusion could be lessened by visually distinguishing the non-extended, perhaps a color background or a bold line separating then from the rest.

However with the "Remove fields execept" action you mentioned my need for 9 and 10 is now much smaller. But they would still improve use on the margin I think.

19 [ choice of which tags to import from the online databases ]

Do you mean these two steps: 1 import all tags from MusicBrainz, 2 run "Remove fields execept" action. Or is there some other kind of action that directly/automatically filters what is imported?

I admit I hadn't thought of that kind of use. But as an option then. Whichever is most common (my wish to autotrim whitespace our your use of extra whitespace at beginning/end of tags) could be default and the other available in settings.

Neither of you commented on some of the requests about online database lookup. I suspect I'm not the first to make some of those requests. But those issues were also the hands down most frustrating during repeat cleanup of metadata for a lot of files/folders. The "server error ... retry" situations got really annoying (especially after typing a custom searchstring that then had to be retyped) so anything that eases that would be very useful indeed.

Why the lookup of external data fails may have numerous reasons.
And depending on the cause for the failure (which then has to be determined) corresponding actions may have to be taken - like checking the spelling, removing special characters and so on.
So I am not sure if topic 13 is really such a time saver.
The problems you describe with remote databases are mostly due to the differences between your data and the data in the remote sources. So you have to apply the correct strategy.

I always wonder why messages suggest that, once entering a password fails, I should repeat entering it - it was wrong the first time.
The same applies to a search with a dubious seach string in several web sources - the check if the search string was correct should be the first step.

Yes, and adding custom keys is a repeatedly found topic in this forum.

And I forgot to add, that I have a multiple step cleaining action, that takes care f those spaces, whch I just run from time to time on all of my files


The time you would save by automatic tagging based on on-line content, you would most likely spend on checking for errors

If you are a casual user / listener and don't have to have accurate tags, then on-line tagging is for you. But then again: you have to know how to use it and have a need for it; so if you do, then you probably are not a casual tagger

In my case most of the lookup failures was from server errors, not because the search string wasn't found. If I remember correctly I got a bunch of 403 and 503 ( "Forbidden" and "Service Unavailable" , https://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc2616/rfc2616-sec10.html ). After waiting a few seconds the same search usually worked again.

About request 13: I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing now. Clarified version of what I meant:

13 if a lookup fails always revert back to an window with an editbox with the search string (that the user then can modify) and buttons for the different online sources to press to do a new lookup attempt.

In what situation when a lookup fails, either from server error or because the string isn't found, would it not be useful to get such a window? The user can quickly modify the search string and retry, and also try another online database. Or press Escape to close the window.

That sounds useful for me! Could you describe the steps involved more?

I've test driven the "Remove fields except" Action and it is very useful. But I wanted to invoke it with a hotkey. This is the best workaround I've found:

  1. first open the actions group window and change the name of the action group from "The group name" to "&The group name". The & character means that the entry will be keyboard selectable in the menu. (I found that trick here ) . So we can trigger the action with first Alt+A and then Alt+T (where T is the letter after the & in the group name).

  2. This Autohotkey script bundles those two hotkey steps into one

    #IfWinActive, ahk_Exe mp3tag.exe
    F4:: send !A T;press F4 to open action menu and do action with underscored letter T

To use another hotkey change F4 to any other key or key combination supported by the Autohotkey language.

A customizable toolbar is near the top of my wishlist.

Mp3tag has been a great program, but the user interface is starting to get very dated. Many of the UI requests made in these forums have been standard in Windows programs for 10 to 15 years.

I know: /t/10721/1

I could. But then I would need to explain for example, why do I use [] in filenames and TITLE tag, and why does its content need to be in written in capitals

It goes down to this: you need to have a naming system [rules for your nomenclature] and stick to it. And the cleaning process helps you in the "sticking to it" part. In the evoked example, one of the actions in my cleaning action capitalizes letters found between "[" and "]". This also helps me to save time, because I do not need to press the Caps Lock key or hold down the Shift key, when writing info in [], because I know that at some point [when executed] my cleaning process will eventually do this for me

But let me tell you: through the years rules for my system have grown so big, that sometimes I don't remember what the are and I have to look up for some similar files just to be sure; and thus retain the "stick to it" part [if that part happens to be some a manual task, because not everything I have automatized, because it was too hard or not enough fault tolerant]

And I could even give you my action group

But my cleaning process would most likely mess up your files / system

My cleaning process consist of 160 actions

It has become so complex [automated], that any change to my naming system can result in a catastrophic failure of maintaining order. I simply don't remember most of the actions that take place when I execute it. I have them all written down and explained in a the most precise matter possible, but the add up to 1687 words of description [so having all that stuff all the time in my head is just impossible]

And so is this something to consider also, when starting your own nomenclature and cleaning system

And by system, I mean a fixed set of rules like deciding upon if featured artist / performers will be placed in the ARTIST tag field; and if yes then if you are going to use the whole word ["featuring"] or maybe some abbreviation [like "feat." of "ft."]

And so on [method of storing disc / track number, what dates are you interested in, do you split composer and lyricist field or keep them together, etc.]