iTunes vs. Win Exp vs. MP3TAG

I am having some issues with tags on a chunk of my MP3s. I found this by buying an external HD to hold a copy of my music library for use at work.

In my main computer iTunes all tags are 100% correct (which took me forever). In Windows explorer (Win7) all of the MP3 info is correct. But when I set up iTunes on my work PC and added the external drive with a copy of my library to it about 120GB worth of music was missing the tags.

I downloaded MP3TAG and started opening various folders that I had noted had issues and sure enough, no data just (!BAD ID3v2).

How can both windows and iTunes see the info and nothing else can? I really want to get this corrected now while it is only 120GB that is bad. Can I force the info from iTunes or Win Explorer into an ID3 tag? I am going to be very sad if I have to do this by hand.. again when I can see the info is stored.. somewhere.. in there and more importantly I don't want to be in this position again.

If your iTunes still has the data then do not update the iTunes library.
First, check if all unwilling files really are of the mp3 format. itunes saves track information in its database also for files that usually do not hold metadata, like wav-files.
Then, have the mp3s checked with a stream checker like mp3val or foobar (or any other program of your choice for that purpose).
After that, try to get itunes to rewrite the information of the files from the database into the files by setting any odd field that usually is not set to a ludicrous value.
Then check if the tags have been updated inside the files as well.

Ok, the only thing that I have found that sorta works is to convert the ID3 tag from 2.3 to 1.1. I say sorta works because it ID3 info will now show up in MP3Tag the info is a little off. I need to fix "album Artist" and sometimes the track numbering.

I do think I found the common thread between the files that are having issues. The were all ripped using exact audio copy.

I don't really like the idea of leaving them at v1.1 but to be honest I have no idea what the difference is. 2.1 is just newer (must be better right?)

I have tried changing random fields in iTunes to force it to re-write the tag but nothing has worked. It looks like I am going to have to go through these one by one and correct them.

Scan some the files with MP3 Diags to see if there are any tagging errors.

The program will also fix most errors.

Well I tried MP3 Diag. and it didn't help. I am correct in that all of the files with issues are VBR rips made with exact audio copy. When I scan the files MP3 Diag states there are no ID3 Tags. I followed the guide and ran through the steps with one album and it couldn't do a thing.

I guess the moral of the story is not to use EAC.

In Exact Audio Copy go to EAC > Compression Options > ID3 Tag tab, make sure you have "Additionally write ID3V2 tags" checked.

If you want to try a different ripper get CDex, it's a little easier to work with.

I will check it out. I am just bummed I have to go through close to 80 GB of music album by album and do the convert ID3 thing.

Nothing is ever easy.

It is still killing me that I can see the info in windows explorer. Where does windows grab that info from? I has every bit of information that is missing.


They probably still have ID3v1 tags.

In Mp3tag go to Tools > Options > Tags > Mpeg, and make sure ID3v1 is checked under "Read". If the data shows up, make sure ID3v2 is checked under "Write", save the file and the data will be written to an ID3v2 tag.

Also check the TAG column to see which tag types are on the files.

ID3v1 tags have a limit of 30 characters, so you'll have to fix track titles, albums and artists that exceed that limit. You can use Mp3tag to do a MusicBrainz lookup to fix them.

Ok, I got it. If I take a problem song and convert the tag in itunes to ID3 2.2 it will grab the info from the file and when I look at it in mp3tag the info is correct but duplicated "AC\DC\\AC\DC". I then go back and convert to 2.3 and everything is now correct.

I swear this is how I was testing before but I must have just skipped the 2s and went to the 1s.

Now I have to decide if in the pursuit of laziness I want to just do my whole library at once or go through album by album and find the problem children.

I appreciate all of your time and help. I don't know why it is only my EAC tracks that did this but when I now add a CD I will confirm the info is correct in MP3TAG. It is a great tool. I am glad I found it.

You probably didn't have the option "Additionally write ID3V2 tags" checked, so it only wrote ID3v1 tags.

When you update a tag with iTunes it writes ID3v2.4 tags. Windows Explorer and WMP can't read ID3v2.4 tags, they normally read ID3v2.3. So if you have a track with ID3v2.4 and ID3v1 tags, Windows can't read the ID3v2.4 tag so it gets the data from the ID3v1.

That's why you should check the TAG column in Mp3tag to see which tags are on the files and you can use MP3 Diags to double check.

Decide if you want to use ID3v2.4 or ID3v2.3 tags and convert all your tracks to be consistent. I would recommend ID3v2.3. I would also not use iTunes or WMP and use MediaMonkey or foobar2000.