Can anyone help me with “Best Practice” for Tag Separators….?

I’m leaning thinking I should use backward Double-Slashes (\) as the separator for ALL Tags, but would all players etc. like that?

So, any value that has multiple entries I just use the double-slash.
So, Genres would be separated by double-slashes, as well as ALL other Tags, Artist, ISRC #'s, etc.
Or should I do something different, like use double-slashes for some and a forward single-slash (/) or semi-colon (;), a comma (,), etc. for others?

This has confused the crap out of me since ALL seem to be being used.

The "Best Practice" depends on your used software and playing devices.

As you asked the same question here, I quote the answer from user "UltimateRiff":

in my experience, it really depends on what software is looking at your tags.

in my case, I’ve settled on a semicolon ; for now, as MediaMonkey (on Android) supports those in genre and other tags. on the flip-side, Kodi defaults to a single forward slash /, but it can be set up to use other separators instead. I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that a semicolon is very widely compatible, but it’s definitely not universal…

Later added answer from user "outsidecontext":

... If you stick with ID3v2.3 use the separator that is supported by your software, both semicolon and slash are common choices. If the software does actually support multiple values. A lot of software doesn’t and only displays the tag value as is, in this case the choice of character boils down to personal preference on how you want to have it displayed.

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Not all by a single player but all when you look at different players.
See e.g. this thread:

BTW: not all players support a separator for all fields. E.g. WMP does not accept more than one entry in ALBUMARTIST and ALBUM (and probably YEAR).

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It sucks that not all software supports multiple entry in tags. :frowning:

If it's of any interest, I only ever use ; (semi-colon). At least if I ever have to make a change, I can just use replace all in MP3Tag.

How do you handle an artist called "30 Immolated ; 16 Returned"?
Or an album with the title "Beethoven ; Piano Sonatas"?
Or an song with the title "Recording “Duke Ellington Medley: I Got It Bad & That Ain't Good ; Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me ; C-Jam Blues ; Lush Life ; Take The "A" Train ; Caravan” by Oscar Peterson - MusicBrainz"?

Or do you talk about multiple Genres only?

Well, an Artist can only have one name, so, I wouldn't consider the ; in Artist as a separator, but as a character in the name. Same for Album, and Song. Both of those can only have one name...

If I ever was to do a find and replace, I'd simply exclude any tag fields where I know semi-colons exist, but not as separators.

If that's an issue for you, just use a character as a separator that you know definitely doesn't exist in any tags.

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The problem is that a number of players does see the semicolon like that but use it as a separator ...

I do not think that the semicolon is an issue for the listeners - but for the players and their interpretation of the data.

Yes, exactly. And that would be the binary zero that separates multi-value fields - only, most players cannot cope with multi-value fields

Thanks for the thoughts guys...

After tons of testing with Picard and Mp3tag and seeing the results in those programs and Windows Explorer and MusicBee, and seeing what seems to be standard convention, I've decided I'm going to do a Forward Slash Separator on all my standard tags, no spaces, and then do a Semi-Colon with a Space for my Genre's and multi-artists in the Artist Tag.
I'm using ID3 2.3...

This seems to be the best at displaying things properly, and what's most used and how. I've tried every other variation and tags I could think to do, and there were often display issues.
I could just do ALL Semi-colon, but that doesn't seem standard atm, and I can always change the separators in the future if I need to.

Thanks all for being sounding boards...

And this is one of the answers for the same question @ MusicBee:

Quote from: alec.tron

as a pre-cursor, hoping not to sound rude - you really should spend the time understanding multi-value metadata first off, before making fundamental decisions.
A few pointers:

  • there's 2 metadata conventions

    • the new ish, that allow multi declaration of the same (i.e. vorbis - has multiple single fields, which Musicbee just displays as one)
    • and the ancient that only allow single field declarations (i.e. id3) and force you to write a separator into the string

    the later is what is making things difficult to grasp when dealing with different metadata managers

for id3 & metadata managers

  • it has been decided on id3 2.4 that the official separator is a NULL (Null character - Wikipedia)
  • different metadata managers / media players do handle this differently. Musicbee for example defaults to a semicolon (to display the seperator...). MP3edit allows you to have the NUL display as other characters, i,e. /. // etc
    But all of that means, you do not actually set // in mp3edit but still a NULL...