My mp3 player shows incorrect metadata

Hello all, I'm new to all this but would appreciate some advice.

Transferring mp3 files from my Win10 PC to USB stick to play in car - all works fine, but the data for some tracks is shown incorrectly on my car player's screen. Pretty trivial in the great scheme of things but it's annoying me.

For example, tracks by artiste Chris White show up in my car's player as Chris Whitley.

However, when I open these files in Mp3tag, everything looks fine and Chris White shows up correctly as the artiste, with no sign of Chris Whitley anywhere.

There are other examples too. I'd like to understand how 'Chris Whitley' is getting in there, and whether I can do anything to correct it.

Thanks for reading,


Is this all new data or did you modify the data from "Chris Whitley" to "Chris White"? I.e. did the car player have a chance to read the false data before?

Also, could you check if you have APE tags in the files? You see that in a column fairly far to the right which says "Tag" as column header. Or select a single file and press Alt-T to open the extended tags dialogue where you see that information in the dialogue title.

If you have APE tags, then check Tools>Options>tags>Mpeg whether you read them.

Thanks for replying, much appreciated.

No, I haven't changed any tags. Originally I think downloaded from YouTube as mp3 files. So possibly that source is unreliable, but in mp3tag all the info appears correct - until I play them in the car.

I can't see anything called APE, sorry. Columns towards the right are Comment, Codec, Bitrate, Frequency, Length, Modified.

Selecting a file then ALT+T, I see a dialog box with Metadata and these headings: Artist, Comment, Compatible Brands, Encoder_Settings, Major_Brand, Minor_Version, Title, UnsyncedLyrics.

Following the Tools... path you suggested, I can see that the three boxes marked APE tags are all checked for Read, Write and Remove.


I don't know: what do you call the very top part of a window/dialogue where it says "Tags - ..." and then shows the filename? I call that the dialogue title.
If that title says something like "APE" then you have to twiddle a little with the settings in the Options, like switch off reading APE tags and then see what the metadata looks like.
Screenshots would also help.

Here's what I see when I press ALT+T...
Screenshot (68)

Thank you.
That looks good as apparently there are no APE tags.

Now you have to find out if there is any field that shows the unwanted data - e.g. do you have a field ALBUMARTIST filled somewhere with "Whitely"?
In general: that contents of the fields looks strange and somehow cut off. And quite honestly: do you need MINOR_VERSION and MAJOR_BRAND?
And if all the checks with the file data lead nowhere, then it may an idea to rename the files just a little bit so that the player has to treat them as new files and read the tag information again. Perhaps there is an internal database in the background that needs to be updated.

Thanks again. I guess I'll twiddle with some file names and take to the car again.

I think I expected, when I opened the files in mp3tag, that there would be - as you suggest - some field somewhere that clearly contains the wrong data that I could edit to make it correct. But no, 'Chris White' appears correctly both in the filename column and in the albumartist column and nowhere else (either correctly or incorrectly).


I think the problem here is that there are differences between ID3v1 and ID3v2 Tags.
The car audio probably only reads the ID3v1 tags (or prefers them over ID3v2) while mp3tag reads them in this order (if checked in the options) ID3v1 < ID3v2 < APE.

So since your files have both ID3v1 and v2, mp3 tag only shows the v2 Tags.
Open the options then Tags -> Mpeg -> Read and uncheck ID3v2 and then open or reload the files (F5).
I think then you will see the wrong tags.

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My experience on this is that if the player really is that ancient that it does not understand V2.3 tags then it also refuses to play such files as the V2 tags are mostly situated at the front of a file and the V1 tags are at the end. The V2 tags are then either interpreted as audio data and played or the player does not play such a file at all.
But let's see if there is any progress on this.
To see what could be a problem with car stereos, have a glance at this thread: