Changing tag over Subdir structures


Hi everyone,

I am very happy using MP3tag frequently and intensively. I have two questions - maybe too simple:

  1. When I edit a mp3-file - how is it triggered that mp3files in Subdirs below are also edited ? On my desktop it's happening, on the notebook not. Both is fine, as appropriate -. but how do I control it ?

  2. I have a very sophisticated file system and want to update the tags. In many composer-directories (700+) and below (ca. four subdir-levels) are specific files, e.g. Lied. Or Ouverture. I find them with Totalcommander.

How can I set the Genre to Lied - over all subdirectories with one command ?

Is it too simple or does it not work ?

Any help highly appreciated.

Regards, Bernd.


It's the very first option.

Tools > Options (Ctrl-O) > General > Subdirectories

First, you must load all files that you want to modify, so you will need to enable Subdirectories in the options. Then select all files, edit the Genre field in the Tag Panel, then Save. You could also edit the Genre field in Extended Tags (Alt-T) dialog and press 'OK'.


Hi JJ,

thanks for your reply, that fully answers what I wanted to know.

The first (subdirectories) obviously was too simple for me to find it. If 'NO SUBDIRs' wanted, I always moved the files into a temporarily new created directory HUGO, modified them there and moved them back - that definitely could not be 'working as designed' :wink: Now I know !

The second opens almost a fully new dimension of mp3tag to me, that's perfect.

Now I have to consider how to make the most use of this feature. I put all information into the filenames and 1by1 works with that (and I will continue to do so !), but in times of streaming I want to be prepared with my collection for tag-based systems.

One additional question:

the subdirectory of a symphony is named (strictly)

composer opus-nr opus-name conductor orchestra

With a 3-letter-code for each orchestra worlwide (COOL, e.g. ASMIF for Academy of St.Martin in the Fields)

The files in the subdir are named (strictly)

composer opus-nr opus-name movement-nr movement-name-or-tempo

When I search with 1by1 for a specific conductor, it will bring all the mp3-files which themselves do not contain the conductor's-name, but are in the subdir below. Perfect. Does this work with tags ?

After having written this I know the answer: Of course it works because the conductor's-name is in the tags of each mp3-file.

This means much work for me - but if the direction is good, the speed is secondary.

Additional question, if I may:

Which tags would you recommend to use ? There is no real IP3v1 tag COMPOSER (therefore it's usually under INTERPRET) so I include it into ALBUM. Now I consider of putting into GENRE things as ouverture, march, funeral, wedding, Allegro, Adagio, cantabile and stuff like that. Should I do so or just have GENRE=Classical ? Not very informative. Which tag are easily intrpreted by most of the mp3-players ?

Thanks again, that was of much help for me.

Regards, Bernd.


The reduced capability of older software inventions led to curiosities of abbreviations like your very impressive collection of naming conventions regarding to orchestras.

I recommend to upgrade from ID3v1 to ID3v2 tagging system. To be compatible nowadays, use ID3v2.3 UTF-16.
Having ID3v2 there is the liberality to create tag-fields as you wish and fill them with descriptive text.

For example ...
The ID3v1 Genre tag-field has just the technical size of one byte, which can hold one code number of a set of maximal of 255 pre-defined genre types. There is no room to define a genre or mood like "march" or "allegro".
The ID3v2 Genre tag-field can be filled with text of your own. It is also possible to create a multi-value tag-field, which can hold more than one genre type at the same time.

The movement of the ID3v2 tagging standard is limited only by the practical implementation due to the tagging and player software applications.



Hi Detlev,

thanks a lot for your answer from which I learned a lot, e.g. GENRE=1 byte - I didn't know, but that changes my view on it.

But I am happy that I restricted myself to this 5-letter-code - in aviation the whole world is covered by 5-letter-code intersections. More discipline is not that bad, also if you have Terabytes available.

The idea of using ID3v2 is good - what does it mean in practise - upgrade from ID3v1 to ID3v2 tagging system ?

I can continue to edit my tags with mp3tag
I can continue to use 1by1 which is not based on tags (which I like)
When ending up in a streaming system that will most likely be v2-compatible

Is that right ?

And defining new tags works within mp3tag - right ?

Thanks again, Bernd.


I do not know the player application "1by1", it seems to support ID3v2, as stated in it's update list.

Bernd, as you are a somewhat familiar user of Mp3tag, you can try it out for yourself how to set up Mp3tag to read and write specific tag versions.

Make sure to see a column in Mp3tag listview ...
Column Name=TagRead (TagTypes),
Column Wert=%_tag_read%[ (%_tag%)]
.. which displays the the current tag read and the set of tag types within the file.

Keep in mind that Mp3tag handles the different tag types in the following priority:
APE > ID3v2 > ID3v1.
ID3v1 will be only read when other "higher" tag types do not exist resp. are not activated to be read.

To pull up data from the ID3v1 tag into the ID3v2 tag at first use the dialog ...
"Mp3tag/Extras/Optionen/Mp3tag Optionen/Mpeg"
Beside the already existing setting for ID3v1 additionally activate checkboxes ...

  • Lesen ID3v2
  • Schreiben ID3v2
  • Entfernen ID3v2
    Then select one file and apply "Tag speichern".
    Check the Column "TagRead (TagTypes)".
    Check tag-fields in dialog "Erweiterte Tags ..."



Thanks Detlev,

that's all checked - nice for longer winter evenings ... And I do not set a target to finish it, but play when convenient. It must remain fun !

At least much more fun than UNIX scripting with vi - I love it !

Regards, Bernd.