New to Mp3tag

I have had a look at the 'help' section and watched a couple of videos on Youtube but still don't have the answers I need.

Over the years I have saved my cds onto an external hard drive in .flac

I did not think about metadata then and typed in the name of the tracks manually.

I am now thinking of getting a computer based hifi system and will have to go through all the folders and input as much metadata info as possible.

Now this is going to take ages if I do it manually, so can 'Mp3tag' help me do this quicker?

If I import a file will I be able to compare the info I have and what is available through, for instance: freedb and quickly make the changes to the metadata that way, or is this not possible?


I do not know how you have identified your tracks in the old days.
But: if you have stored some of the information e.g. in the folder structure or in the filename, it may be possible to retrieve that information.
For this there is the Convert>Filename-Tag function
If you include parts of the path, you may expand the filename from a partially to a fully qualified filename and get more information.
E.g. if you have the Album Revolver by the Beatles in a structure like this
Beatles\1970 - Revolver\titles...
You can retrieve the information with this mask:
%artist%\%year% - %album%\%title%

Most of the websources would like to know at least the album and the artist to find individual titles.

I think Automanic means to retrieve tags by "fingertips" means. If I am not wrong Picard (from MusicBrainz) does this but I don't like it because I work with full albums and it is likely some tracks will end with the correct album and some with a compilation. Pfff.

I agree that the hit rate with Picard is usually so low that getting rid of the mistakes takes more time than doing it right the first time

I used EAC to save a copy on the external hard drive but did not know what I was doing for a number of years and was not using freedb.
I made sure all settings in EAC were correct to get an accurate copy though.

So I have lots of albums with just Artist/album title and individually named tracks or some folders just have Artist/album title but with no named tracks.

Will what I want to do work using Mp3tag?

How do I connect to 'freedb'?

You mention 'MusicBrainz' - could that help me out?

Have a look at the menu "Web Sources".
There you find a number of pre-installed web sources like freedb, amazon, discogs.
The way to do it:
load the files you want to retag.
Select the files that belong to one album in the files list.
Select a web source from the menu. Freedb, AFAIK, supplies only V1 tags. Other sources also fill V2 tags (like ALBUMARTIST, Cover picture).
In the following selection dialogues select the correct version of an album.
In the next dialogue arrange the individual titles in the correct order.
Save the changes with OK.

So will any changes I make be changed in the original folder which is on my hard drive, which is where I loaded the files from?

I don't want duplicate files.

Maybe you want to make a backup first?
Any changes are directly carried out in the files that you selected. If these are the files in the original folder, then there you are.
(BTW: in the meantime you could have tested that yourself.)

I have not even worked out how to use it yet or how to get the 'freedb' to work.
I will be reading the 'help' section and watching videos on Youtube to work out how to use it.
Give me time and I will get there.

If you insist on the freedb approach then you have 2 options in the menu:
the freedb on the internet
a local freedb.
If you want to use a local freedb, you have to download it to your computer. User DetlevD frequently supplies a link for that:
You also have configure MP3tag in Tools>Options>Tag-Sources>Local freedb.
And you have to generate an index from the local database.

I had hoped that my description of how to use a web source was straight forward enough ...

I do appreciate your help.

As I am no expert when it comes to computers - I know a bit and it does take me a while to understand how a new program works.

Ofcoarse you know how it all works so it seems very simple, but for me I am still getting my head round how the most simplest parts of the program work.

I managed to add the metadata to one album including searching separately for a cover - you mentioned V2 tags which looks for album covers aswell.
This is what I want so that I don't have to search for album covers after getting the other metadata information.
I will have a look at the link.

I have a problem: Was going to add metadata to another of the albums but now the 'freedb' part is still greyed out and I can't use it.
Any idea why it is greyed out?

You have to select at least one entry in the files list to get any of the web sources.
Of course, if you select only one track, then only this one will get the update.
So, what you can do:
Open Mp3tag.
Browse in Windows Explorer to the folder with one album.
Drag the whole folder into the files list of MP3tag.
Press Ctrl-A to select all.
Now turn to a web source of your choice and follow the dialogues.

As I already said about freedb: AFAIK the data in freedb only reflects the tagging standard for V1 tags - this excludes covers.
So I would recommend another source (just for a try) like e.g. Amazon.

I'm starting to get used to it.
Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me.
I have started using Amazon, which finds the album cover aswell.
What a brilliant program once you start to understand the basics.
I have hundreds of cds to go through, so it's going to take a while, but at least it will save me some time.
Is there anything else I should know which could come in useful?


Take care that you also fill the field ALBUMARTIST.
This helps to get ALBUMs with the same title (e.g. Greatest Hits) split by the Artist - some players get confused it ALBUMARTIST is empty and then consider all albums performed by the same artist. This might mess up the representation.

When you use the Windows Explorer to check files, then try not to use 3-digit-track numbers at least not as the beginning of the filename. For some inexplicable reason the WE treats 3-digit-numbers with leading numbers as octal values...

If sometimes a websource does not find the right album, then you may add the artist or other information to the search string and try again.

Also: in the album data box, you find a button at the bottom left that has some options for saving the covers. It may be advisable to store the pictures not only embedded in the files but also in the file system

I will have to re-read what you are saying above and look into it on another day, because what you are saying sounds a little complicated.
Bare with me, I will get there in the end :slight_smile: