FLAC tags not consistent in KMPlayer

I'm new here, and if this has already been covered I'd appreciate a link (didn't see it via search). I'm very computer literate (professional system builder for 15 years), but not very software literate, so plain English or step by step is preferred (in other words I'm a bit thick). :slight_smile:

I have 30,000+ songs, both in MP3 320 bitrate and in FLAC formats. With MP3s, mp3tag works fantastic. All MP3s show the correct information.

FLAC is another story. For my FLAC collection, I've ripped all of these with EAC (my own music CDs). On my computer I'm using KMPlayer to listen to them (nothing else comes close to the sound clarity and I've tried them all). KMPlayer uses an old Winamp library plugin to view FLAC tags , and I have added the FLAC support to KMPlayer as directed. Some (roughly half) of the FLAC files displayed correctly right after conversion with EAC in KMPlayer, but others didn't and have various displays. Some show only the file path, some show the track number and title, and some show only the title. So I'm hoping MP3tag will correct these issues.

I picked 2 albums, (Grateful Dead: American Beauty, and Queen: Sheer Heart Attack). I edited both with MP3tag in the same manner (highlighted all songs in the album, manually typing in the artist, album, genre, and year, and then saved the tags, then manually added the track numbers to each track and again saved the tags). Then I reloaded these 2 albums into KMPlayer's library. Grateful Dead now displays correctly, but Queen still does not. For the Queen album, the artist is listed as FLAC, the track # and title, the album is listed as Queen - Sheer Heart Attack (was typed into MP3tag on as "Sheer Heart Attack".

So I'm a little better off than I was before, but obviously still not where I need to be to find songs in a library with 60,000+ songs. <_<

Is there something simple that I'm missing here? I don't understand how FLAC files that were ripped with the same program in the same way can create tags, some of which display properly and some that don't. I also don't understand why 1 album was sorted correctly with MP3tag and the other was not. Any and all help is greatly appreciated as this has been a 10 year project that I'd like to put behind me. :slight_smile:

I'll add some pics if it helps anyone to see what is going on here. Now the Queen album displays properly, but the Grateful Dead album is still missing the artist:

Looks fine to me there, but KMPlayer (Winamp plugin) display doesn't. It seems every time I load these files into the media player I get a different result. Its also not just a matter of changing them via the media library, as it doesn't remember the changes the next time the program starts:

Prior to editing, some are totally fudged and some are close:

Some are even correct:

This is just too much work. No one has any ideas? Could it be that the library plugin for KMPlayer is stuffed?


I created an account so I could share my experience, so hopefully this actually does help.

I have had a lot of problems with FLACs with my Sonos multi-room system, and it might be due to the same issue.

Some players look at the Album Artist tag instead of the Artist tag. Sonos, in fact, looks at Album Artist, AlbumArtist, and Ensemble. Other programs (Winamp, perhaps?) also uses the Band tag.

KMPlayer may be looking at one of these tags, while MP3Tag is showing you the true Artist tag.

Can you post a screenshot or two of what View->Extended Tags... looks like for a couple of the problem tracks? I'll bet there are some extra tags in there.

If that's the case, it will be easy to explain how to deal with them. MP3Tag works fantastically once you figure out which tags are important to your player.

-all the best-

Hi Mudcrutch,

Thanks so much for the reply, and the effort of creating an account, etc..

Here's a couple that don't display properly:

You say you use KMPlayer with an old Winamp plugin for FLAC. Could it be that old plugin has bugs? Have you tried playing these songs in another player and do you see the same behavior with tags?

Oh, and BAND is not the proper tag for FLAC. You should use either ALBUMARTIST or ALBUM ARTIST or ARTIST depending on what your player looks for.


Your Extended Tags look fine for Grateful Dead- Box of Rain, aside from the BAND issue.

If you want to read more about BAND, and have your mind boggled:
MP3Tag BAND in FLAC discussion

In short, choose one (Album Artist, AlbumArtist, Ensemble, Band, etc.) that works with your player, and remove the other ones to avoid inconsistencies. With MP3tag, you can always move the data over to another tag in the future if you change players.

So since the Grateful Dead track looks okay in mp3tag, but not in KMPlayer- it looks like I may have asked the wrong question.

Can you show us an Extended Tags... for a track that DOES look okay in KMPlayer, like Brighton Rock by Queen?


Its quite possible that the old Winamp plugin is the problem (I think it uses v2?). I was just hoping to confirm that here, or fix the problems if its something else. As great as KMPlayer sounds, they only have a single developer and are concentrating on the video end of it now, so nothing is likely to get changed much in this decade. If I knew how, I'd love to change that old plugin to a new Winamp library (v5).

I guess I still have a valid key for Wimamp Pro, so I can install that and see how things look there.

Was "band" created by EAC or mp3tag? And how do I change it? Er, never mind.. I see Mudcrunch has replied so I'll have a read of that before bothering with more questions. :slight_smile:

And here's the Queen tag:


Thanks again for the help. :slight_smile:

Where's the very disappointed smiley? This will work... :angry:

Winamp Pro 5.571 has some issues with flac, year and tracks not always displayed, and they're easily fixed, but artist and title are correct for everything and those are the big ones for sorting/finding songs in the library. Too bad it sounds like crap compared to KMPlayer.

So I guess its safe to say that the old library plugin in KMPlayer is the problem? I was really hoping this wasn't the case.

And I'll look further into the "band" issue to see if I can resolve anything with that.

Also need to read more into how to setup tags with only the required info showing. I'd like to have artist, album, title, track, year, and file size. The rest I can live without. Any links to where someone has already configured something similar, or do I need to reinvent the wheel - so to speak? :slight_smile:

You're killin me, dark41.

For both the track that works in KMPlayer (Queen-Brighton Rock) and the track that doesn't work in KMPlayer (Grateful Dead- Box of Rain), you have an ARTIST tag and a BAND tag.

If KMPlayer were using ARTIST or BAND, both tracks should work. If KMPlayer were using something else (like ENSEMBLE), neither track should work.

One possibility is, although you sort of addressed it below: have you removed the tracks from KMPlayer and then re-added them to force a re-index of their tags? If you try this again, and still have the inconsistency between your Queen and Grateful Dead track, I think I'm out of ideas. My only explanation is that your player is stuffed.

Why don't you just try the latest Winamp? It has a FLAC decoder built in and is available for free. As for sound quality, my understanding is that all proper FLAC decoders generate the same raw wave- then it's up to your digital chain and DAC to maintain sound quality.

At one point, I think Florian was using foobar2000 as his player (someone correct me if I'm wrong)- and it's now finally at version 1.0!!! I might have to try it now.

As for fixing up the BAND tag, that I can help with (although other people probably have slicker implementations).
To copy info from BAND to ALBUM ARTIST, use format value:
Format Value
Access this action from the Actions (quick) toolbar button.

Then, you can remove the BAND tag using remove field:
Remove Field

Now that you mention it, I think that EAC is partial to BAND tags. I don't know if you can change that. Personally, I love, and highly recommend dbPoweramp. Same or better ripping security, MUCH better user interface.

My previous post was ninja'd.

Glad Winamp works for you!

dark41- I'd be curious what your musical setup is- how are you outputting the audio to speakers? I can't understand how the audio quality of winamp would be poor.

Finally, if you were asking how to customize the columns of MP3tag, right-click on any column and right-click "Customize Columns..."

I was just hoping to get rid of the "band" field, but don't see it listed in mp3tag, even under the customize columns options. I see that I can manually set it to blank on the files that have it, if that's good enough.

Actually, I'm getting somewhere now. I have Black Sabbath's Black Box, 8 music CDs and 1 DVD. The tags on that did not include the "band" field, but still didn't display properly on KMPlayer either. Strange as I believe it was ripped with EAC in the same manner as these other tags, but no biggy.

I opened them in mp3tag and noticed that there was nothing in the "Album Artist" field. So I added Black Sabbath to that field on all files. Then I found a setting in the Winamp library plugin for KMPlayer "simple detect (Album, Artist, Title)" and selected that. Cleared my library and reloaded it, and presto... all fields displayed properly.

I wouldn't have figured this out if you hadn't pointed out the Album Artist field, so I owe you a beer or 24. My intention was surely not to kill you. :wink:

I have an Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 sound card, attached to Creative MegaWorks THX 5.1 (500w RMS) speakers. Its really about the best music setup I've ever heard on a computer (personal preferences aside) and I'm a system builder so not many setups that I haven't seen or owned over the last 15 years. Winamp doesn't sound bad, and it was my preferred music player until a friend pointed me to KMPlayer. Once you compare to KMPlayer, Winamp, Media Monkey, Zune, Foobar, etc., just isn't good enough anymore. Every other media player sounds "muffled" to some degree, some more than others. I guess I'm just more picky than most about my audio quality. Everyone I've ever talked to, or typed to (I'm on many forums), has noticed a pretty big difference when switching to KMPlayer. You might give it a shot, if only to hear the difference in clarity, and you don't need top notch speakers to hear it. :slight_smile:

So my last question: Is there anyway to do a batch file or something that will copy the "Artist" field to the "Album Artist" field for all 30,000 files, or does each album have to be done individually?

Really, I can't thank you enough for this. I've worked on sorting this out for years, and my music is a big part of my life. :slight_smile:

I see a large problem with the second example: You've managed to add both FLAC and ID3 tags to the FLAC file. Unfortunately, this is all too easy to do in EAC. Make sure that when you rip and encode in FLAC that you do not have "Add ID3 tag" checked.

To remove the ID3v2 tag you have to remove all tags in these files and then undo (Ctrl+Z).

Learn about Actions and Action Groups. Although I would seriously caution you not to run any that you create on 30,000 files until you know what you're doing.

To do what you want, create an Action Group with one Action:

Action type: Format value
Format string: %artist%

You may want to preserve the values of any that are already set. If so, a conditional in the value field will do the job:

Format string: $if2(%album artist%,%artist%)

You might also figure out whether your application prefers 'ALBUM ARTIST' (with a space) or ALBUMARTIST. The field name with a space is mostly a foobar2000 bastardization and only a few other applications use it. ALBUMARTIST is more common.

You must have compilation (aka 'Various Artists') albums in your collection, right? For these, you don't want ALBUMARTIST to be equal to ARTIST. You'll end up with different ALBUMARTISTS within the same album by having the value for each track different. I would either leave ALBUMARTIST out of compilation albums or else set it to 'Various Artists'. It will depend on how your application reacts to either one that is most important.

Something to think about: If throughout your whole library you have ALBUMARTIST always equal to ARTIST, there's probably no reason to even use the field. All applications understand ARTIST, while ALBUMARTIST came later. I can't imagine any program requiring ALBUMARTIST fields. Your BAND tags may be throwing your application off a bit, so removing them is probably a good idea.

TEST any actions that you create on either just a couple of files or (even better) test them on some copies of files from your library. I would copy a dozen or so albums to a new folder and use them to play around until you're 100% certain the action does what you like. Be extremely careful and test even more thoroughly any actions that you plan on unleashing on your whole library.

Thanks much for the contributions JJ.

There's no doubt that I don't know what I'm doing. :slight_smile:

When the Metadata reading settings in the KMPlayer library were set to simple (detects "Artist\Album\Title", that works. I get the correct Artist, Album, and Title for every track. But I get no Track numbers, year, file size, genre, etc..

When I changed the setting to smart (detects: "Artist - Album\TrackNum - Artist - Title" etc.), everything goes nuts again.

I right clicked on Album Artist, hit customize columns.
I changed Value to %artist%
I changed Field to %encodedby%

I selected a few albums, 2 of them with the ID3v2 tag showing, and 2 albums with only the FLAC tag showing, highlighted them, and hit save. That changed the Album Artist to the same as Artist for each album.

All of them loaded into KMPlayer library perfectly, which seems to eliminate the ID3v2 tag as being a problem?

So then I did another 4000 songs, highlighted them and hit save (all Artist names transferred to the Album Artist column), and loaded them into KMPlayer. Roughly 2/3 came out correct. The other 3rd still has random errors. Half of the ACDC albums say only AC as the Artist (they're listed in the file name as AC-DC, where the ones that worked are listed as ACDC, if that means anything). Most of the problematic files didn't list the track numbers at all and had nothing in the artist column. Etc., etc..

I right clicked on Album Artist again, hit customize columns. I changed the Album Artist to AlbumArtist by just backspacing the space out. (Hope that's what you meant.)
I saved all tags again, and reloaded them into KMPlayer.. and saw no difference at all.

Not sure what that means. How do I "remove all tags"? Just make the fields blank?

I don't have enough "various artists" to worry about, only a few albums or so. Easy to manually edit those.

Its a lot closer than it was before, but still not right. I don't see a common denominator between the problematic files. Some have the ID3v2 tags, but most don't. I'm still leaning towards the old Winamp plugin being the problem.

No matter what you do, you will be well served to REMOVE all ID3 tags from your FLAC files. They simply should not be there and will likely cause problems with other applications in the future.

This is not using the internal tagging. It's parsing the directory and file names. If it's only using this information and not the internal file tags, then any changes you make to the tagging will have no effect. If that's your only option in KMPlayer, then you need to fix your file and directory names.

Which program? KMPlayer or Mp3tag? I doubt than any can help you with KMPlayer.

In mp3tag.

I believe the ID3v2 tags are being created when I try to edit the tags in KMPlayer with the Winamp library plugin as I've just edited some more. So at least that had nothing to do with EAC, but it seriously limits my options if I can't edit them in KMPlayer.

Hey no worries guys, you gave it your best shot. Its not worth all the trouble but thanks for trying. :slight_smile:

Does KMPlayer only understand ID3v2 tags? That would leave you with almost no means of editing them other than in KMPlayer itself and nothing Mp3tag cold do to help you. You need to figure out exactly where KMPlayer is getting its metadata from. Can it read the FLAC tag? Is it reading ID3 tags? Is it also parsing the directory path and filenames? Is it doing more than one of these and then merging what it finds in different places? If you're relying on more than one then it gets real confusing real fast.

To remove the iD3v2 tags, highlight the files you want to work on, then use the big red X or the Del key. All tags will be removed. Then Undo (Ctrl+Z) and the fields will be restored but only the FLAC tags will be rewritten to the files. Again, test this first on a small number of files before going wild.

OK thanks. Its 4AM so I'm going to bed. lol

I really don't know what KMPlayer is reading or not reading. Doesn't seem to make any sense to me as its not consistent. But when I edit tags with it, and "save to tags if supported", then open them in mp3tag, the ID3v2 is there.