does mp3tag work alongside itunes?

Please bear with me as I ask an apparently foolish question but I have got into something of a mess.

I have aseembled a collection of about 680 tracks on about 60 CDs according to itunes.

Some time ago I used mp3tag to edit the genre field and this has been succesfully reflected in the itunes listing. I have also used itunes to delete some tracks.

I now find that mp3tag has not noticed that some tracks have been deleted nor have recent edits with mp3tag appeared on the itunes database (although the earlier ones do). It is some time since my original success and I fear I should have made notes but did not!

Is it generally good practice to have both programmes running simultaneously?

First to answer your question, Yes iTunes and Mp3tag work perfectly together but use mp3tag as your Editor and not iTunes. And don't use them both to edit the same files at the same time. Let iTunes control the Paths and Directories only, don't do this with Mp3tag

I use iTunes mainly as player and for syncing my iPods. I only use iTunes seldom to edit my tags, because Mp3tag is way way better.

After editing an audio file in Mp3tag, make sure that you do Right Click - Get Info in iTunes for iTunes to read the updated tag info.

Some Simple Steps

  • in iTunes select the audio file you want to edit Right Click and Select Show in Windows Explorer
  • In Explorer, select the audio file and Right Click and select Mp3tag
  • After editing the Tags in Mp3tag close Mp3tag (or leave it open) (Make sure you don't move the Music File, this you have to let iTunes do)
  • Switch Back to iTunes
  • In iTunes, Right Click - Get Info or iTunes to read the updated tag info into its database

And btw 680 songs on 60 CD's, what is the reading on the bottom of the screen, it should read something like xxxx items xx days and xx GB

When you delete songs from within iTunes, do you delete them to the Recycle Bin, or do you keep Original File ????

Maybe you should run the script from this post first as it will "refresh" all information in your itunes library. getting Itunes to recognize edited tags?

1 Like

Thank you Mike.

You are quite right, when I right click on the track in itunes it does read the updates as I would expect (so several hours yesterday were not wasted). It seems like what I really need is a primer on itunes. Why doesn't it get the updated information when it is closed and then re-opened?

itunes now says 672 whilst mp3tag says 725 so I still have some detective work to do but you have helped a lot.

What do you mean by "when it's closed and then re-opened"?

2 questions.

When you delete songs from within iTunes, when asked, do you delete to the Recycle Bin, or do you keep Original File ??? Keep Original file leaves the physical file in the original location, but just removes the song from the Library.

Run the script from the post. It should get you updated, but it will not find orphaned files, this something for you to find out.

Again, most importantly, let iTunes deal with Folders, Files, (Physical Locations), Mp3tag can do that also, but just let iTunes deal with it, makes life (and hunting for orphans) a lot easier

Edit 20:54

Maybe you could try this program It has an option to "Delete Tracks that do not exist in the library" , but 1 warning: This program isn't supported anymore and also hasn't been updated in around 2 years. So use it at your own Risk

Also make sure that you have a backup of your iTunes Library files (*.itl, *.itdb and *.xml) before you do anything.

perhaps this helps:
Copy the text from the code box and paste to a plain text file like in editor.
Save the file with the extension .js
start itunes.
right-click on the newly created js-file and open it in command shell.
Wait until execution finishes (may be quite quick with only 600 tracks)
The script looks at every entry in the itunes database and removes any entry where it cannot find a file entry.

var ITTrackKindFile	= 1;
var	iTunesApp = WScript.CreateObject("iTunes.Application");
var	deletedTracks = 0;
var	mainLibrary = iTunesApp.LibraryPlaylist;
var	tracks = mainLibrary.Tracks;
var	numTracks = tracks.Count;
var	i;

while (numTracks != 0)
	var	currTrack = tracks.Item(numTracks);
	// is this a file track?
	if (currTrack.Kind == ITTrackKindFile)
		// yes, does it have an empty location?
		if (currTrack.Location == "")
			// yes, delete it

if (deletedTracks > 0)
	if (deletedTracks == 1)
		WScript.Echo("Removed 1 dead track.");
		WScript.Echo("Removed " + deletedTracks + " dead tracks.");
	WScript.Echo("No dead tracks were found.");


good find !!!

Your script is perfect for the "Exclamation Mark" Files in iTunes, but sadly this script will not find the files that aren't in the iTunes library anymore, but which are still in the iTunes folders on the HDD. This could explain the difference in count by Mp3tag and iTunes.

There are scripts available that can do this, but again unfortunately they are only for MAC (For Example: , Itsfv can do it also, but it's not supported anymore and not updated in around 2 Years, making it a Own Risk and No Warranty app.

But because there are only 600+ songs in his library, it wouldn't be that difficult / hard to find out the songs he is missing in iTunes.

The easiest way would be to let iTunes re-import the folders.
If there are still discrepancies in respect to file numbers, it could be that one of the program leaves out or includes files that the other does not.
Esp. if you rename files with a mp3tag converter it is very likely that you end up with orphans in iTunes but miss the newly named files.