Changing Tags corrupts file in Windows Explorer/Media Player

Hello, let me first clarify that I've been using mp3tag completely normally for around a year now and have experienced no problems at all from the moment I learned how to use the software. These problems were only brought up as recently as yesterday and (what I consider) extensive search of the forums for similar issues brought me no solutions.
This is to say, I am extremely happy with the results of the application and it's only because I want to go back to using it that I write this complaint.

All that said, I use a Windows 10 Home 64-bit system, running Mp3tag v3.09. I have a recently downloaded, otherwise tagless file that can be played normally through Windows Media Player, when I then open the file in Mp3tag and edit its tags (Usually Title, Artist, Album, Album Art, Track No., and Album Art) and try to open the file again with WMP, it no longer plays. The only error message I'm given is:

I ran into this problem twice, first I changed a bunch of songs at once (with no backup, since I'm used to the programme running perfectly, I've learned my lesson there now.) which "corrupted" all of them and made them unusable, then I downloaded a single song afterward and tested with it only.

A few things I've noticed while testing around to see what may be happening.

  1. While the changes appear just as intended in the Mp3tag programme itself, they do not show up in the Windows Explorer at all.
  2. Changing what types of tags I make as suggested by another thread (I changed the settings to write ID3v2 where possible as suggested, as well as removed APE entirely) accomplished nothing.
  3. Shortening the file path (I am currently using C:\Users\default\Desktop\New Music) didn't seem to be a problem.
  4. All files' original extension is mp3 and there doesn't seem to be any issues there.
  5. Within the first batch of ruined songs, SOME of the tags display !BAD, I have to admit I'm not fluent in this aspect of the programme, so if this is meaningless I wouldn't know.
  6. While WMP seems incapable of running the files, VLC plays them just fine.

I have reason to believe that the files I've downloaded might have some sort of issue in of themselves —I'm not getting them from a source I can trust downloads perfectly fine— but given they play fine right out the gate, I figured it might be important to bring it up nonetheless, especially given the weirdest detail for me: Removing all tags within Mp3tag fixes the file. As in, it becomes playable again.

Here I have a folder with two files.
OverthinkerTagged.mp3 (which doesn't work)
and Overthinker.mp3 (which does)

Overthinker.mp3 is very literally the exact same file as Tagged but I went to Mp3tag and removed all tags, then renamed the original file to "Tagged" and uploaded it again.

Thank you very much, and I apologise for the long post, but if there's anything I did find in the forums I dug through, it's that I should be as specific with my problem as possible.

1 Like

Tagging usually does not corrupt files. At least it does not when done with MP3tag.

So please, do as the forum intro for bug reports says:
Before posting a bug report

  • Install the latest Development Build and check whether the bug is still present.
  • Look at the existing open topics in the bug reports category and make sure that the bug has not been reported yet.
  • Check the files for errors (in case it's file-related). How to check files for errors?

Esp. the last part with the integrity check has been left out so far, I assume.
As the 2 files that you supplied ar full of empty streams, invalid streams, unknown streams - in short: this file is garbage. As soon as a repair is attempted with mp3diags, an empty file is the result.
"overthinker" shows the same bad properties as overthinkertagged.

1 Like

If you check your files with additional 3rd party tools like exiftool.exe or ffprobe.exe you will see at the first sight, that your files does not contain mp3 audio tracks. Overthinker.mp3 for example contains a mixture of aac/mp4a stream. Renaming such audio files to .mp3 is comparable as you rename a word document to .xls and hope that opening it with excel should work.

That's a feature of some players. They ignore the extension and check what is really inside a file. If they recognize the data as "playable audio data", they use the according decoder and play it. Unfortunately without letting you know, that your *.mp3 is in fact some other music format.

1 Like

So we can safely say that this no bug.

1 Like

And here I'd thought I'd been thorough.
I apologise for my lack of protocol when it comes to this, I really did dig all morning before posting and thought I'd looked at everything. Here are a few responses to the topic:

I went to the download page provided and found the setup link to be the very same already present in my Downloads, safe to say, I am using the last version as I intended to clear up in my first message, I'm sorry for the confusion. As well, I did check through the open topics to make sure my problem wasn't one that already had an answer and found nothing.

I have since run my files through both programmes (sorry again) finding that they are indeed both definitely not mp3 files, despite receiving them as such.

As for the renaming of the extension, that wasn't a deliberate action by me, as I said before I'm not exactly super fluent in encoding or audio in general.

All that being said, though, those are just explanations on my part. What I'm understanding from this is that my files are mostly trash and don't work properly, which is fine, and I thank you both for the help, but then it doesn't really solve my problem that they are at least playable as they come and become unplayable with tagging. Have you any idea of what might be causing that part of the issue, and how I could fix it?

Or should I close the topic since it's not a problem with Mp3tag directly?

1 Like

I think that @LyricsLover provided the solution:

to find out what file types they really are. And once you found that out, rename them with the proper extension. Then tagging should not do any damage. Otherwise the principle of garbage in, garbage out will prevail.

1 Like

Are your audio tags in Latin letters? What ID3v2 encoding you use in your MP3Tag Options > Tags > Mpeg?
Check if there are audio file tags, which have any prohibited characters such as ":" or "«»" or "<" or ">" and if they are incompatible in your Windows Media Player and in the Windows Explorer.
Once, I had downloaded a Video Clip, which had "«»" in its title, and all my Players refused to play it, I just removed the "«" and "»" from video name, and all the Players started to play it normally.

The OP already confirmed the files failed integrity tests. So the tags are not the issue in this case.

I don't think structural issues with audio files should be the responsibility of mp3tag to fix or even report, as there can be an almost infinite number of reasons for the problem.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.