id3v1 tags: utterly obolete now? can mp3tag remove?


Guys, so what is the status of id3 tags in mp3 files at this stage in time? Should I merely use v2.4 because all players/programs of significance now support it? Or should I use v2.3 for greater compatibility?

And are v1 tags utterly obsolete?

Furthermore, what is the meaning of mp3tag displaying "ID3v2.4 (ID3v1 ID3v2.4)" in the tag column? Is it telling me that the file has both v1 and v2.4 tags inside it?

I setup mp3tag to read all versions of ID3 tags, but to only write v2.4, UTF-8, as well as to remove v1. So when does this removal of v1 tags take place? From the "ID3v2.4 (ID3v1 ID3v2.4)" it seems like mp3tag has failed to remove the v1 tags.

One of the reasons why i ask all this is that in mp3tag this one Grateful Dead album looks fine, in particular its album name is "Without a net", but in foobar2000, that same album has either the name "Without a net (Disc One)" or "Without a net (Disc Two)". I cannot figure why foobar2000 is displaying the old name (earlier, in mp3tag, I eliminated the junk in parentheses and added proper discnumber tags). I am speculating that maybe mpstag failed to remove the old v1 tags, while foobar2000 is reading the old v1 tags instead of the newer v2.4 tags. Please lemme know if you know what is really going on...


I hope I know whats going on.:smiley:

Accidentally I had a similar problem three days ago - I had forgotten that there are also ape-tags, sometimes. <_<

I found this very good explanation from Moonbase (post #5):

Summary: Writing [x] ID3v2.4 UTF-8 does only write and change other ID-Styles into it when saving.
You have do remove tags manually with :slight_smile:


Since Google does such a horrible (and partly funny) translation, I’ve taken the liberty to roughly translate my post for your convenience:


  • the decision upon which tags get read in what sequence is made by the application, and
  • currently only few Players/Applications know how to handle UTF-16 or ID3v2.4,
my recommendation would be to
  • only write ID3v2 tags (and actually remove the »old« ID3v1 tags)
  • use the »smallest common denominator« ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1.
For this, you’d set under »Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg«:
  • Read
    • [x] ID3v1
    • [x] ID3v2
    • [] APE
  • Write
    • [] ID3v1
    • [] APEv2
    • [x] ID3v2
      • () ID3v2.4 UTF-8
      • () ID3v2.3 UTF-16
      • (x) ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1
      • [] ID3v2 only if ID3v1 too small
  • Remove
    • [x] ID3v1
    • [x] APE
    • [_] ID3v2
Then you go and try this on one folder as a test (make a backup!):
  • Mark all files in the folder
  • Save all (should re-write all tags as ID3v2.3 with ISO-8859-1 encoding)
  • Remove all tags (should remove all tags except ID3v2 tags)
  • Using a right click and selecting »Extended Tags«, double-check all tags and maybe delete all those that are erroneous or not needed by you.
Then test again using Winamp, VMC or whatever application(s) you normally use.

Due to using the (reduced) character set ISO-8859-1, this will only function in cases where you do not need characters from the UTF (Unicode) character set (like maybe Chinese, Japanese, Cyrillic, and so on). The advantage is that you will have no problems anymore in displaying the information on almost any players (including hardware players, car stereos, etc.).

I recommend to solely use Mp3tag for tagging, since one incorrect setting in another program and »doing a quick tag change« using that other software can mean everything is totally messed up again.

(Above post was a reply on how to achieve the best compatibility for MP3 when working with a greater software/hardware variety and needing consistency throughout. Another question was: Should I use more than one tag type (i.e., both ID3v1 and ID3v2)? — Your mileage may vary :slight_smile:)


Andy & Moonbase: thanks a million, your suggestions turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed to remove the v1 tags. It also resolved that problem with foobar2000 (which unfortunately was reading old v1 tags in preference to 2.4).

Moonbase: I am gonna leave my tags in v2.4 UTF-8 format, because I do have international (thai and chinese) music whose chars I want to preserve.

Happy ripping, boys!


If I do not use APE should I also check APE for the Read? (so I will deleted APE tags)