Absolutely Necessary Extended Tags


We can manipulate extended tags, by right-clicking on MP3, and selecting Extended Tags.
I would like to ask you: Do you know what are the absolutely minimum necessary tags fields in there?
I mean, so that there wont be any compatibility problems with at least, foobar2000 and Winamp.


The absolute minimum of compatibility between tagger applications is guaranteed by ...
... having no tag data at all.


I think the lowest compatibility level is V1 tags.
And then I wouldn't torture my brain what pieces of information are displayed by other programs as long as you need the information to maintain your collection.

WOW! That sounds hardcore.
You mean having no tag data in the Extended tags?

Please, I am interested only in Extended tags.
What are the minimum Extended tag fields that I need there?

As I said: there is a standard for V2.3 tag fields and a standard how to include non-standard fields.
It is very much up to the abilities of a player which fields it will display. "Compatible" should be all players which means they will not get upset ( = crash) if they find a field they cannot display.

E.g. BPM is a field that is displayed by iTunes but not by WMP - but it is a standard field. Would this be a reason to delete the data?
LANGUAGE is also a standard field - displayed by WMP but not by iTunes. What now?

So I would say that one cannot answer the question esp. as you can set most players to a customized display so that originally default fields do not show up any more.

In Mp3tag the lettering for the dialog "Extended Tags" has the meaning, to be an extended view to the currently read tag-type.
Therefore the dialog shows tag-fields and cover-images of the currently read tag-type as they are, not more or less.

If you want something to know about the names and mapping of tag-fields regarding some tagger/player applications then read there ...


:slight_smile: To Quote Andrew S. Tenambaum

"The nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from"

Edit: fixed my 'a's and 'e's cock-up

Maybe I have misunderstood the meaning of 'minimum compatibility' and have interchanged it with 'maximum compatibility'?
So which tag-fields would you classify as 'basic' or 'must have', ...
... on the other hand, which tag-field is 'extended'?

And what's about the different tag-types?
What tag-type would be able to guarantee the best compatibility?


IMHO, no tags or fields are absolutely necessary.

It really depends on what you want to do and what kind of devices do you use.

If your mp3 device in your car only accepts V2.3 tags, it doesn't help if you save any tag or field in the V2.4 format. If you save a tag like "ACOUSTID FINGERPRINT" but you have no clue what this is good for, why should you use it?

I only save the tags I need in V2.3 standard. The reason is simple: most of the devices I own can read and display this standard. Some tags like the mentioned "ACOUSTID FINGERPRINT" and some MUSICBRAINZ... tags are saved in my tracks to identify them and connect the tracks to many more online informations.

I don't use Foobar or Winamp, only VLC and MediaMonkey. :ph34r:


Actually from the replies here, I got more confused than I was before...
Nevertheless, I would like to mention this, in order to narrow my question, and hopefully get my answer. I loaded very many MP3s that I have in my collection, and right clicked them in the List View, and chose Extended Tags...
There I saw a long list of Extended Tags. Then, I close this window, chose randomly different MP3s, and again right-clicked and chose Extended Tags.
From here, I was able to see, that the following Extended Tags, where always there:

DISCNUMBER (I manually added this field to some MP3s, so it showed only where applies)

So... Would you say, that those could be like what I asked? That is, the minimum set of Extended Tags fields, needed to show properly on above mentioned Media Players, MP3 Devices on cars, iPODs, ... ?

Or perhaps, I could delete even those, and they would nevertheless, show just as properly? :slight_smile:

The authority on ID3 'standard' tags is found at http://id3.org/

However ID3 tags are extensible, which means anybody can add 'tags' specifically for their own use in the application or device, there are NO specific tags that are absolutely, definitely going to 'work' with every single application, player or device.

There are some basic tags that are accepted as 'standard' that most application will display, but even these are not a defined list of standard tags, they are merely accepted as being in common use.

First of all:
YOU should exactly know what kind of tags do you need inside your tracks.

But maybe you are looking for this answer.
You need at least:


:music: :ph34r:

(Assuming, you are not interested in a system who allows to sort or organize your mp3 tags thanks to additional informations...)

That got me scared now.
But, probably no. No organization of mp3s due to "additional" informations.
I only need the ones that you mentioned above.

Add them into the MP3Tag configuration to make them 'permanent' and when you save your files, those tags will be available.

Hmmm. I dont know how to do that...
If you could spare a minute and tell me.

Well, thanks a lot all for you comments and suggestions.
I will definitely keep in mind the Mp3tag tag field mappings in the help:


which then link me to the ID specification:



If you want to cut down the number of fields to a certain set then you can use an action of the type
"Remove fielde except"
Enter the list of fields you want to keep, separated by a semicolon, no blank, e.g.

I would not expect any compatibility problems (especially with the two programs you list) with any of the following fields:


But you have to understand what kind of data is expected in a couple of these fields.

YEAR: Stick to four-digit years (dates) and you'll be fine. Don't add the month or the month and day (e.g. "2002-04" or "2010-11-28"), just use "2002", "2010", etc.

TRACK: Don't include the track total within the TRACK field. Sometimes you'll see "1/12" or "02/14" or even "1 of 10". Also, don't pad the number with zeroes. It should be a simple integer.

GENRE: Mp3tag will allow you to enter multiple genres for a track, but not all programs will see all of them, so it's probably best to use only one GENRE for maximum compatibility.

A couple others that are very useful and will not cause any problems in those two programs are:


DISCNUMBER: Same caveats as with TRACK.

In my experience, it's very rare that extra, unrecognized fields cause any problems. Most programs will simply ignore fields that they don't recognize. Maybe not all, but the vast majority.

The beauty of Mp3tag is that if you discover a problem somewhere in the future, you can easily do mass tagging changes of your entire library. So don't worry about it too much right now. I'd highly recommend adding as MUCH metadata as possible and if you actually encounter a problem, fix it later.

Two ways, "Customize Columns" which adds field that is visible in the main view, and via "Extended Tags"

The columns dialogue is accessible from the View menu or by a right click on the column headers, and once the dialogue opens you add new, fields, columns and values
If look through the existing ones you will see how they are structured. http://help.mp3tag.de/main_viewcolumns.html has more details. (or Press F1)

The [ Utils ] button allows you to then save the configuration or load an existing config which allows you to have different column/tag configurations for different sets of files.

To make the new fields and column layout a permanent feature in MP3Tag you can save the changes by File -> Save Configuration, then every start up those 'tags' will be available for future use.

For "Extended tags" (File metadata) use View -> Extended tags (Alt+T), in that dialogue you will see the metadata that exists in the file or files selected and you can edit existing, add or delete tags and/or images to the files.

When you add extended tags MP3Tag will create a value (%tagname% spaces are replaced with underscores) that you can manipulate with scripting functions.

Again save the configuration on closing the dialogue.

Understand JJ Johnson's bare min/max tag list...most of which, if I had to be guess, is informed by ID3v1 character limits:

	Title - max. 30 characters
	Artist - max. 30 characters 
	Album - max. 30 characters 
	Year - max. 4 characters 
	Comment - max. 30 characters 
	Genres - stored as a 1 byte index [see old numeric genre list]

Depending on the age of the audio library, I don't even know if I'd use COMMENT since wouldn't one encounter problems with MP3s that have iTunes COMMENT ITUNNORM annoyance?

Just for my edification, curious if you can share known software instances (even if obsolete) where, the separator for tracks and/discs is problematic?