Duplicate year fields on random tracks


Seemingly in random (both random tracks and random timing), Mp3Tag will mess up a track's year. It would change a track's year into a year//year format instead of simply year.

For example, a song that came out in 2007 could be changed to display 2007//2007 in the year field, as opposed of course to simply 2007.

This has been happening without my intervention (I am very pedantic about my music's metadata and personally and manually made sure everything is the way I like it) for quite some time now, but I have only recently noticed it also has an impact on the music stored in my music player; displaying all affected tracks' year as "Unknown".

Please help me fix this issue.

Thank you.

The question is: is MP3tag really the cause or just the messenger?
See this thread which tells you something about the behaviour of other programs

and this one that tells you how to unify or get rid of fields with several instances:


Thank you so much for you response.

I'm running into some trouble trying to fix this as per the thread you've linked, as it seems the person who offered the solution does not speak English as his first language.

Following his instructions, I received an alert from Mp3Tag after the action ran on all of my files, eventually telling me that some 1800 files have been changed and that 0 files have been renamed. HOWEVER, all files previously affected have retained the double value in the year field. This leads me to two questions:

  1. What did the action I applied on all of my files exactly do? For reference are the step I've done:

Actions>Actions>New>Named my action group "year duplicates">New>Merge Duplicate Fields>OK>Field: YEAR, SEPARATOR: \\>OK>OK>Selected all files in the directory, which includes both affected and unaffected files>Checked the action I created>OK

  1. What am I doing wrong exactly and what should I do differently to fix this issue?

Thank you for your time.

Unfortunately, the two backslashes is the indicator for MP3tag to treat a field as intended multi-value field and split the found value into at least 2 fields.
So if you merge duplicate fields but have the double-backslash as separator then you only merge them for a split second and then on saving, the data is split again.

Use the same action (merge duplicate fields) but use a different separator, e.g. ; (semicolon-blank)
You then see the data from all the fields of the same type in one field and you can edit it to keep the data that you want.
If you do not want that but simply remove the duplicate fields and keep one, then use the action "Remove duplicate fields"

Hi again,

Let me preface this by saying that I'm an obviously not an expert and as such don't really know the inner working of Mp3Tag or have some in-depth knowledge about tags in general. In fact I'm quite the technophobe who happens to like music a lot, so your help and patience is greatly appreciated.

That being said, I tried doing what you've said but it seemingly didn't do anything.
I tried using both ";" (semicolon) and "; " (semicolon + blank space) as separators as I didn't fully understand what you wanted me to do and... the double values are still there.

Some for google searching led me to this thread (Year Field Appears Twice in Tag Panel) which is pretty much the issue I'm experiencing. Following that, I decided to check my files' Extended Tags.

It seems that all affected files have a field called ENCODEDBY, and they all share the same value. This field is absent in files that have the year displayed correctly. In affected files, this is what it shows, for example:

ALBUM A Fine Day to Exit
ARTIST Anathema
ENCODEDBY Lavf52.16.0
YEAR 2001\2001


When I press OK after viewing an affected file's Extended Tag I receive an alert saying "Saved tag in 1 of 1 files". This causes the double value to DISAPPEAR from the year column on the main Mp3Tag screen, but RETAINS the double value displayed in the year field on the tag editing panel on the left. Afterwards, when I reopen the Extended Tags of a file that has been changed in this way, this is what I see instead:

ALBUM A Fine Day to Exit
ARTIST Anathema
ENCODEDBY Lavf52.16.0
YEAR 2001
YEAR 2001

I've tried saving all files simultaneously to propagate any changes my "Merge Duplicate Fields" action
may have caused but to no avail.

Also, based on the thread I provided, it seems important to mention that I'm using Winamp to play my music on my PC.

How do I go about removing just one value from the YEAR field?

Thanks again for your help.

Use an action Remove duplicate fields


Thanks for your response, but this hasn't done anything at all.

Please check again.
At least the file

should after it has been treated by an action of the type "Remove duplicate fields" for YEAR look like this:
ALBUM A Fine Day to Exit
ARTIST Anathema
ENCODEDBY Lavf52.16.0
YEAR 2001

Have checked again.

As previously mentioned, only the year in the main screen is changed to single value, while the year in the Extended Tags and in the edit window on the left retains the double value.

I'd like to resolve this quickly. Can you just send me one of the offending files?


Sent you a PM.

We've found a solution to this issue. The files in question probably had duplicate year fields in the beginning (it's unknown how those were added) and most likely a series of actions applied to those files resulted in a single year field containing multiple values separated by \\, e.g., 2018\\2019. This was visible via the extended tags dialog, which did not list two separate year fields but one with the combined values.

Resolving this was possible via the following steps:

  1. Filter the offending files via the Filter F3 and the filter expression YEAR HAS "\\"
  2. Perform an action "Split field by separator" for field YEAR using \\ as separator
  3. Perform an action "Remove duplicate fields"
1 Like

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