Help! Never-Ending Columns!


This is my first post, I am really enjoying using MP3Tag and expect to donate as I think the program is very useful to my daily computing, but can anyone help with with a small problem I am having first that limits my enjoyment?

When I first opened MP3tag for the first run and selected an MP3 folder, I saw the 'default' column-list was showing.

This has column fields such as Filename, Path, Tag, Title, Artist, Track etc etc

I only wanted to use a few particular columns, so when I right-clicked on the title of any of these default columns, I got the right-click option to select 'customize columns' - which I did and ticked just the ones I wanted (in my case, just Filename, Title, Album and Track).

It then showed just my selected fields and I was able to edit my tags.


However...when I restarted the program I lost all my settings, and this is where I am having problems.

When I restart the program, all the default fields are back there in the columns - as if I never customized them - eg all the one I unticked are back.

To make things worse, every time I restart the program, it doubles and duplicates the column fields! so that after just a few restarts I can have hundreds of duplicates of 'Filename', 'Tag' etc showing in the box to customize the column fields. After a good few restarts the program has thousands of them and grinds to a halt. No matter if I delete all the dupe's, they keep coming back twice as many each time!

Can anyone advise me what I am doing wrong?

I need just a basic set of column fields and I need it so they don't keep reappearing and doubling each time I restart.

For info, this happens even after I reinstalled XP fresh, and also a fresh install of Windows 7 RC.

I have ZoneAlarm Extreme running, nothing else from a default install of Windows.


this sounds indeed very uncommon and it's actually the first time this gets reported :slight_smile: But lets see, if we can sort this out.

The data for the columns is usually stored at %APPDATA%\Mp3tag\data\columns.ini and Mp3tag reads that file on startup. Can you please check the contents of the file (just open it in Notepad) and see whether the duplicates already appear in the file at startup or only after closing Mp3tag?

You can also delete that file to get the initial set of columns.

Have you also tried to run the program without any additional programs?

Hello, thanks for yout help with this one!

I found the appdata file you describe and I opened it in Notepad. I have run MP3Tag a few times and I see that I have hundreds of entires, with the initial set of entries all duplicated but with increasing entry numbers, here is a snapshot of the last few entries - see the huge number I have just from a couple of program restarts!

When I delete ALL the repeated entries in that .ini file, then start MP3Tag, I now get a runtime error, with the message:

File: .\shasharray.cpp
Line: 151
Term: strSection.GetLength()==0
Code: 00000000


After showing this error message, the program then starts, but now I have no columns at all.

Here is the error log:

I have found the problem with your help!

It was the program ZoneAlarm Extreme - it is the key, when I uninstalled that and reinstalled Mp3tag, it works sweetly.

I feel a little angry as I not long ago paid for a family license to use ZoneAlarm on my computers. I have also found that other 'buggy' programs appear to work perfect now that Zonealarm is gone.

Aargh!! But thanlks for your suggestion, I would never have thought a so-called professional antivirus/Firewall (and expensive) would be so buggy

Glad that it's working now! Thanks for talking back :slight_smile: