Options - Read/Write/Remove MP3 tags

A long while ago, I bought some Amazon MP3s and put them into my collection, but not before I edited the filenames to keep them in line with my naming convention.

Normally, I would leave the MP3 tags alone, but I edited one of them by simply altering the contents on the main MP3 window like I would for renaming anything. But then I got thinking about the Options section, and how MP3Tag should write new tags.

With "Read", am I to assume that this means that any new MP3s loaded into the current directory will only have the ticket tag types loaded?

And with "Write", it will only write tags of the ticked type? I assume that ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1 means conventional 8-bit ASCII, as I find that adequate for English and European characters and as such don't want any of that Unicode crap, which I'm assuming is the "UTF-" stuff? What does 8 and 16 mean, anyway? What's the difference between UTF-8 and the ISO standard if it means the number of bits?

And "Remove"? I've told MP3Tag to remove every kind of tag if I need to, but when does this Remove act take place? Not with a simple rename, surely?

Thanks in advance for info.

yes, UTF is unicode. the "Remove" takes place when one selects a file or files, then clicks the red "X" (next to the save icon on menu). It only removes the tags you indicated in the settings to remove. That is, if I have an mp3 with both ID3v1 and ID3v2, but I have the read set to read both, write only ID3v2.3, and remove ID3v1, clicking the red X, will remove the ID3v1 tag.

OK, is there a way of seeing ALL the ID3 tags for an MP3, both the ID3v1 and ID3v2?

what do you mean by "seeing"? Knowing if more than one tag is included in a file? use this as valued info in a custom column:

%_tag_read%[ (%_tag%)]

(right click columns, select customize, add a new column with "tag type" as name and above as value. It will show you all the tags that are in the file, and one that mp3tag is reading.

In Mp3tag there is no way to display all tag-types and their tag-fields side-by-side, which are stored within a media file.
You have to set manually the main tag-type to be read in the options area.

Read about the Mp3tag priority system on tag-types ...


Are ID3v2 tags fixed-length? I've just modified such a tag as a test (title) and I find that the total size of the file hasn't changed, even if I add a couple of characters.

And where are ID3v2 tags stored in the MP3? Some places say at the start, some say at the end. I would figure that storing it at the end would mean a delay in reading it, but make it infinitely more flexible in terms of different string lengths. So where are they stored?

tags are often written with padding, so minor edits to tags don't change tag size. I forget about where, google should find answer, but I recall that one type is at the front of the file with newer tag at end. but not sure.

I do beg your pardon: the padding, yes, forgot about that.

Tag-types APE and ID3v1 are stored at end of the media stream.
Tag-type ID3v1 or ID3v1.1 is a limited size legacy tag-type with small tag-fields and limited genre index support.
Tag-type ID3v2 can be placed at end or in the front of the media stream.
It has become common standard to put the ID3v2 tag in front of the media stream.
In case of data streaming then the metadata is rapidly known at the receiver after few transferred bytes.
Search the internet and read Wikipedia articles to get more and deeper insights regarding ID3v2.


I tried this, only to see that Mp3Tag already has such a field. Is there a way to see the id3v1 tag directly, rather than id3v2?

I'd hate to think that I changed just one version of the tag but not the other.

Just now, I even tried to load the MP3 file directly into Notepad to see the tag that way, but obviously a text editor is not the place to see id3 tags.

If you tick "read" ID3v1 tags (but not other tags), mp3tag will show you what is in the ID3v1 tag.

p.s. Long ago I removed all the double tags (using mp3tag) in my mp3 files. I only wanted ID3v2.3 tags so I deleted (in batch) all the ID3v1 tags. There is no modern player I'm aware of that needs Id3v1 tags. Maybe some older car mp3 players.

Thank you, I finally saw what I was after. Turns out the id3v1 tag was truncated before the character appeared. Heck, in fact ALL the id3v1 tags are ridiculously short, I can see now why no-one uses them these days.

The MP3s I created myself are like that - only id3v2 tags - but as I mentioned, I chose to leave the Amazon MP3 tags unchanged, except for undesirable ugly ASCII characters like "_" underscores, which I hate seeing.

Thanks once again.

ID3v1 tags had a fixed length of 128 bytes (Characters) and only artis, album & title only had 30 bytes each.

It made tagging some Frank Zappa albums a little problematic. :slight_smile:

"You Can't Do That On Stage Any"


"Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers"