I'm Dangerous


I am new to this tagging idea and can't get my head round some stuff. Help is required
Ive had a look at the FAQ's and Help but still am at a loss.

  1. I have some M4A files which I tag using Freedb. They tag beautifully.
    However, when I try to create the file name from the tag, the track numbering does not seem to recognise zero's and tracks organise themselves as 1,10,11,12,2,3,4......etc.
    Where am I going wrong?

  2. With MP3's the same process produces the correctly tagged file, and the correctly numbered tracks on converting from tag to fiename.
    However, if I then MP3Gain the files, the tagging details seem to be overwritten.

I check all this out using the properties function in Foobar.

I suspect this has something to do with the type of tags but cannot seem to get the hang of things (I'm one of these old people.......very old in fact, and the learning curve is very steep)


  1. Do you use $num(%track%,2) in your filename sheme?

  2. This has more to do with Mp3gain and foobar2000, not Mp3tag.
    But here's an explaination from a Wiki
    One is that you have used MP3Gain to normalize your mp3s. This creates an APEv2 tag that is empty except for the gain information. By default when reading MP3 files foobar2000 looks for APEv2 then ID3v2 and then ID3v1.1. It will read only the first tag and then stop looking for more information. The solution is to use MP3Gain to remove the blank APEv2 tag, to copy all your tag data to APEv2 BEFORE running MP3gain, or most sensibly use the native replaygain implimentation in foobar.
    If you need the gain info only on your PC, you could try foobar's Replay Gain.


Hi dano,
Many thanks for the very useful information

No, but I will now.

I have an iPod and seldom use my computer for listening to music and thought that MP3Gain would be the best option for getting volumes "all the same"

Can MP3Tag "copy all your tag data to APEv2 BEFORE running MP3gain"?
If so, how?



In the Tags > Mpeg Options you can tell Mp3tag to write all 3 tag formats.
You just need to save the files again (CTRG+S) to have ID3v2 and APEv2 on your files.
Before you do that, your files should be cleaned of Mp3gain info, or you can disable APE reading in Mp3tag temporary, so that it does not ignore your existing ID3V2 tags.
After your files have all the tag formats, you need to "reload the info from files" in foobar via right click->Database


Thanks again dano.

Would this be the correct procedure?

  1. Disable APE reading in M3tag
  2. Load file
  3. Enable write for all 3 tag formats
  4. Tag files
  5. Save
  6. MP3gain


If this works, I can then spend some time reading up on tagging, instead of using you guys to solve my self created probems.


I think yes. Make some test runs.
BTW, for reading, you already know the HA-Forums? It's the number 1 source for audio questions, the foobar forum is there, too.
All the trouble would not be necessary if foobar had an option to ignore APE tags.


I will do some runs when I get home tonight after "toiling"

Yes,I know the HA forum. You are correct about it being excellent for audio questions.

I'm not so keen about asking questions on Foobar as I was warned for quoting what I considered to be a reliable source. A Mod disagreed and I got in trouble.

Already, I was beginning to suspect that this might have something to do with the problem. In Foobar, when playing back a file, if I double clicked it, the file details changed.

Anyway, thanks for your help dano.



You must be a bit careful with foobar and tagging formats. It does not really allow the usage of ID3v2 and APEv2 at the same time.
I would not use foobar for tagging at all if you need both formats because it only writes either one of the two, and the other info's will be deleted.
Only if you set foobar to write APEv2 tags and remove the foo_id3v2.dll, you can make foobar tolerate ID3v2 and not delete them.

One other solution is, in Mp3gain, disable the writing of undo-information, that would save you all the hassle, but you can not reverse the gain then.


Hi dano,
I'm taking up a whole lot of your time today so here goes again. I'm going to nail you down here to a concrete suggestion;

I've got hundreds of CD's wavepacked losslessly for transcoding (I don't use the hybrid as I don't listen much to music on the computer), lots of high quality MP3's and M4A's which I listen to on the move using iPod.

I need a coherent tagging methodology for both formats and reckon that, for general listening comfort, files should all at the same volume. This exclusively for use on my Pod.

What MP3tag settings would you recommend bearing in mind that I fundamentally don't like Foobar and really only used it, misguidedly, to see if my Tagging and Gaining efforts had been successful.

I'll also have a look at the implications of this.

Many thanks,

I've learned more about tagging today than in the last 18 months...........thanks


I moved this to OT...

Ok, I would depend this on your usage of foobar.
Now you say you only used it to look up if the tags are correct. Well, not the best idea as you have seen now.
Other programs don't have problems with the APE Undo info, so assuming you don't need foobar, the best thing would be to use Mp3tag to tag in ID3v1 and ID3v2. No APEv2 needed.
I think foobar and Mp3tag are the only applications that support the APE on Mp3's, so it is kind of senseless to use it if you don't use a player that supports it.
For M4A's, I think they have their own tagging system and there's nothing to take care of. For gaining these files, I don't know about this.


Hi dano

I understand

Isn't it amazing what you can learn from people who are able and willing to spend some time helping out!!!


Simplicity, where possible is, is the "name of the game"

I kind of understood this because I have had no problem with Tagging M4A except for the problem which you solved in my original post.

Snelgs MP3gain now works with AAC files.

Many thanks dano for all of your help.

Best regards,


Hi dano,
I've tried everything suggested and all seems to be well.

Just one question which as a Foobar man you probably will be able to answer:

with IDV31 and 2 tags set in MP3Tag, should I be able to see both of these tags in Foobar?



foobar only shows you one tag format, in this order: APEv2 - ID3v2 - ID3v1
when your files are now tagged with ID3v2 + ID3v1 it will show you the ID3v2 (if you have the plugin).
But if you use Mp3gain now which adds the APEv2 Undo information, it will show you then only the APEv2 tag. But that's already clear, isn't it.
Mp3tag behaves the same, but it can ignore tag types, so you can look at all tags.

Note: All this information referes to foobar2000 0.8.3, the new 0.9 version has a different tagging behaviour.


Hi dano,
Absolutely clear.

Thanks very much for everything.

I'm now off to my son's wedding and will start proper tagging on Sunday.