Genre tags hang around

I've been sorting genre tags after years of idleness. There were many overlapping genre names. I have eliminated many of these, reasigning tracks to fewer tags. I use mp3tag for this.

However, it appears some record of the tag is remaining somewhere. In the Squeezebox ecosystem genre tags that have been eliminated still show up in LMS genre list, although the genre comes up as empty.

I thought a complete rescan on a new device (a PiCorePlayer) would solve the problem., but no. The empty tag categories have been recreated, meaning the tag information is somewhere in the information mp3tag has created during the tagging process.

How do I get rid of these no longer valid tags that are messing up my genre list?


It could be that somewhere in the course of time you stopped updating APE tags (if you have any).
You find out whether there are files with APE tags with a filter:
%_tag% HAS APE

All the files that are displayed with that filter have APE tags which are probably out of sync with the ID3 tags. Get rid of the APE tags and then see what the genre list on your player does.

Thanks, but I have no idea how to do this. Is it done within MP3tag? How?

And where would these APE tags have come from? I use MP3tag for all this kind of stuff, or ripping now using dbPoweramp. Once upon a time I did ripping with Windows Media.

Bear in mind that I'm finding no files with these genre tags, just the genre label is still showing up within LMS genre list, but no files are identified as having the tag.


I don't think that there is much point in investigating where APE tags might have come from as long as it is not certain that they are the cause.


I cannot find a way to do this within MP3tag. I'd appreciate some instruction.

Sorry, I finally saw the tag field at the bottom of the screen within MP3tag. Running the search now, which is taking a while, since I have some 50k files.

So, a number of files were found with APE tags, some 233 of the 45k. I can see these when I use the tag column, and are listed as

ID3v2.3 (ID3v1 ID3v2.3 APEv2)

I don't see an obvious way to amend this; there is no obvious way to see what APE tag is associated with each track.


Yes - and the filter which would be a good way to use now as you probably want to investigate these files further.
So, filter for the files as already described.

  • Go to Tools>Options>Tags>Mpeg and switch on to read and delete only APE tags (all other tag versions should be off for reading and deleting and writing - writing also off for APE).
  • Select all the APE files and press CTRL-T to re-read the tags.
  • What you see now will be the data in the APE tags.
  • Check if you find any old genre in these tags.
  • If that is the case, select all files
  • right-click on the file list and select "Delete tag" from the context menu.
  • All tag data should disappear.
  • Now go back to Tools>Options>Tags>Mpeg
  • and set all ID3 tag versions to the state they were before (probably: read, delete V2 & V1, write ID3V2 UTF16).
  • Then press Ctrl--T again to re-read the tags again.
  • Now the ID3 data should be visible again.

I did all that, made some additional corrections on the way, there now seem to be no APE tags remaining.

Sadly, this did not solve the problem. A new complete scan of the files through LMS resulted in the same remaining categories, all still empty -- the genre is identified as present, but no tracks are seen as being in the genre. Somewhere, in the tagging system, the information is still there, unless LMS is caching genre names and displaying them even if there are no tagged files. This is very unlikely, as the problem existed in an instance of LMS, and when I created a completely different instance (different hardware, different file path, completely new installation) these tags were picked up. They had to be somewhere in the tagging structure.

I'm at a loss.


I cannot look over your shoulder, so I have to take your word for it.
As soon as you can make sure that there are no files with other than the genres that you want you have to investigate how your player read tag data.

E.g. you could locate a file in your player that has the unwanted genre and load that into MP3tag and see what it looks like there.
THe findings there would then determine what Mp3tag can do about it.
If you are sure that the tag is as you want it then add a little dummy data in the TITLE, rename the file a little (an added underscore somewhere in the filename or the like) and try to find the track in the player. The player should show the modified title - and what does the genre look like in that file now?
If the TITLE is still the same, then you look at cached data.
It should show the

The problem is that NO files in the player are identified in the genre. All instances of that genre have been stripped from the files. The genre CATEGORY is being reported by the player, but genre category is shown as EMPTY.

At first glance this would seem to be a player problem, but I have done complete wipe and rescans within the player, and even installed the player on new hardware and then did a library build. So there is no carryover from previous scans, but still the player is getting the genre category from somewhere, even though no tracks/files seem to be carrying the information.

I really don't understand it.


I am puzzled - so did you fill the GENRE field in MP3tag?
as you said:

This looked to me as though you entered something in GENRE but the player shows something else.

Yes, all genre fields are filled, APE genres have been removed, there are no "empty" genre fields in the entire collection. None of the genre fields contain the "ghost" genres that show up in the LMS genre listing. They show up in the genre listing even after a deletion of the existing library and creation of a new one.

The half dozen or so ghost genres include, for example "folk/rock" as a genre. In my case I've changed all of these to "Folk\Rock", two separate genres. No instance of folk/rock as a genre remained in the library, even after a complete scan on a virgin device. No tracks or albums are identified as having that old genre, but it is still being found somewhere and being reported by LMS.


ps - note that the system here won't allow two backslashes in the text, and Folk\Rock above actually does have two backslashes as I type it, and does in MP3tag

Enclose such strings in the grave accent (top left to bottom right).

If the data in MP3tag is as you expected and the player shows stray data ... then, I am afraid, there is not a lot that MP3tag can do about it.

It may be worthwhile to scan the files for consistency just to make sure that there are no double or stacked tags. See the Howtos to see links to programs that do such scans.

If you are still not satisfied - could you supply a file that shows the wrong genre in the player?

Also ID3v1-tags can get out of sync.
What are your settings for read and write and delete in
Tools->Options->Tags->MPEG ?

Reading V1 tags but not writing them does not really help.
In order to keep them synchronized (to a far extent), write also V1 tags.

What I am still missing: which files do display the wrong genre?
I would check such a file and read only the V1 tags to see whether the genre shows that stray data.

I'll change that tag setting.

As I've noted before, I don't know which files are displaying the wrong genre. No files at all are identified as having those genres. None. In the player, LMS (the Squeezebox system) lists the genre but the genre list has the simple entry "Empty". No files exist with the genre. The LMS library database was created from a blank slate on new hardware, after the genres had been culled in mp3Tag. Subsequently it has been frequently completely emptied, with a full new scan.

But somehow LMS is picking up the genre and reporting it as such, without there being any files with that genre tag.

I have checked this in mp3Tag by listing all 45k files in the library and searching the genre field. There are none of the ghost genres in the mp3Tag listing, which is congruent with the LMS listing.

Time to give up I think, unless there is something new to try.

So it's a player problem? Then it might be worthwhile to ask the player support where the genres come from.
Just on a side note: there are threads that discuss the problem of players that have an internet connection and import tag data from there. So perhaps there are settings to avoid that.
But all this can only be clearified locally, I think.
If you have new information and questions how to comply with the new revelations then do not hesitate to ask here.