Editing multiple tags ID3v1 ID3v2 APE

Hi. I have many files that are wrongly tagged. The three types of tag, ID3v1, ID3v2 and APE sometimes contain different and inconsistent data.

I don't understand how to use mp3tag to correct this. I have set the options for the program to read all three tag types. But when the program displays the tag contents I can't tell which of the three tag types is being displayed. It doesn't tell me which tag the data is coming from. How does the program display the data if it is inconsistent across the three tag types?

I have set the program to write only ID3v1 and ID3v2. (ie not to write APE). Also I set it to remove APE. So when does it actually perform this removal. Is it every time I make any change it will also remove the unwanted tag. Or do I have to do something else as well?

It's all very confusing. Can someone please help.

Thanks, tenbob

I do not think that you have to be so confused.
Actually, to my opinion you are on a very good way.
Now: as a rule, the superior standard overwrites the subordinate standard.
APE is (hierarchy-wise) superior to MP3 tags - so if you read APEs but do not write them back it leaves a clean structure of MP3 tags. That's fine.
I think that tags are internally mapped so that no information is lost. But when re-writing them with MP3Tag the information in the topmost tag (according to hierarchy) is displayed. If you reduce all your files to MP3 tags only, then you see the current contents. So the anwer to your question "Is it every time I make any change it will also remove the unwanted tag." is "yes".
If you do not want to wait until you have individually applied changes to individual files you may also use the "Cut tag" and "Paste Tag" function form the context menu of the file list.
Select all the files you want to clean, open the context menu, use "cut tag" and immediately afterwards the "Paste tag" function.
MP3 tags of Version 1 and 2 differ in extent. E.g. version 1 does not know the tag %band% oder %bpm%. As soon as you add one of these tags, the version switches automatically to 2. Until then all version 1 tags are read.

BTW: there are some very old MP3 players (usually on sticks) that only deal with version 1 tags and hickup when reading more extensive tags. If such a thing occurs, you have to also remove the version 2 tags. I think you already found the location where to apply the right settings in MP3Tag.

Thanks, ohrenkino. With your help and much reading and experimenting I think I now understand it as follows.

For each file, mp3tag will only display one type of tag. The tag you see is controlled by your preferences in Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg/Read. If you tick only one type of tag to read, then that is the type you will see. If you tick 2 or 3 different types then you will still see only one type according to the hierarchy - APE -> ID3v2 -> ID3v1.

This is indicated in the display by a code that looks like this APEv2 (ID3v1 APEv2). This appears in the Tag column and above the extended tags dialog. What it means is the file contains ID3v1 and APEv2 tags (the part in brackets) and what you are actually looking at is the APEv2 tag (the part in front of the brackets).

It seems there is no quick way to flip between viewing the different tag types in a file. If the file contains both ID3v1 and APEv2 the only way to see what is in each is to change your preferences and perform a rescan.

I find this a big limitation of the program. The only reason I am using mp3tag is that my tags are all messed up. Otherwise I could do everything I want inside my music player. I need to look at ID3v1, ID3v2 and APEv2 together to see which tag holds the correct information. This is not possible with mp3tag.

The processes for writing and removing tags also need a bit of explanation.

You can set your preferences for writing under Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg/Write. As with read, you can select writing to ID3v1, ID3v2 and APEv2. When you edit a tag the current set of metadata is written to all the tag types you have selected for writing. This will overwrite any data that was in those tags before. Presumably new tags are created if necessary and data is truncated if it won't fit into that tag format.

The remove option is a completely separate operation from the tag editing and writing operation just described. Tag Remove occurs when you click the red X on the toolbar. You can also do it from the File menu or by Ctrl-R. You choose what tag types to remove at Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg/Remove. Take care! It will remove everything you ask without any warning. This function would be a lot safer if you could see what you were about to remove before you did it. eg a dialog box that displayed which tag(s) you were about to remove and which ones would remain.

Please correct me if I have got anything wrong. I wish the documentation explained this a bit more clearly to start with.