Other, than tags, textual data in music files?

I would like to know, if there is any personal information in a music file somewhere other, than the tags. I opened a FLAC in a simple text editor (EditPad), and could find the contents of the tags. But nothing else. Does anybody know about more, possible hidden data?

(The one, i know, of course: EXIF or IPTC data of the embedded images.)

I would think that you have to follow some kind of standard if you want to add something to a file - as otherwise that additional data would appear as garbage of some kind, a dead giveaway.
The ID3 standard allows to add "PRIV" fields which may contain any data they like, rather often some kind of binary data, which can only be read by the original application.
MP3tag does not show the presence or the contents of PRIV fields.

Adding Data in such way is not "hidden".
It's pretty easy to get this data using common hex editor or something.

Are you searching/try to include hidden messages into audio files? :smiley:

There are several ways to "mark" and file, maybe to identify owner on shared music files.
Several ways you will never find out even you know how it has been done,

I know just a few techniks about that, some technics are even used on geocaching (mostly D5 Caches - if you know what's geocaching is)

I'm curious, what are you trying to do?

1 Like

@ohrenkino, @MP3Freak_Peter, thank you both for quick and valuable help. I am studying it now.

My goal is to remove any such data.

see here on how to remove PRIV fields:

1 Like

The correct way should be something like:

  1. export tags (you need)
  2. clear tag (completely remove Tag) - can be done with mediapurge
  3. import tags from previous export

@ohrenkino
Is there a way do export/import (1) (3) tags with mp3tags? I remember to read about here.
(2) cleanup tag (remove completely) can be done for example with mediapurge https://www.peter-ebe.de
Menu "Edit filenames and Tags" -> "Copy or remove Tags"
Select "Delete ID3v2" tag, it will remove anything within the Tag.

2 Likes

The function is called "Export" and can be found in the File menu.
The import can be configured in Convert>Text file - Tag.
Removing a tag with Ctrl-R removes all tags that are set in Tools>Options>Tags>Mpeg.
No additional program needed.

ok, fine, can mp3tag do this as batch job for a couple of files?

You can export all tags to CSV or even TXT, previously replacing all white space characters (line breaks, horizontal and vertical tabs) in multiline tags, like %comment%, to something temporary else (CR or such) with $replace. After batch inserting back, replace them back.

With as many files as you dare to treat in one go.
There is the gap between cutting and pasting where the tag data is only held in the memory - so any computer failure until the tags are written again will lead to data loss.

Hopefully, nobody would be so stupid to do without backup.
Well, even layer8 could cause data loss (the probability of this is significantly higher) :wink:

All right, i read and tried. Really:

  • the PRIV frame can be read with a simple text editor;
  • cutting and re-pasting the tags in Mp3tag will remove it;
  • to find all mp3 files with PRIV frame(s), Total Commander's text search function is good enough (searching for "PRIV");
  • PRIV is really just an entry level: there are watermark, acoustic fingerprint, and so an...

Another interesting news for me is, that Mediapurge can be used to batch scan files by the fingerprint. It can come in handy in several things, for example to identify a familiar sounding song. (But it seems, there are better programs.)

So thank again both you for your help.

Thanxs for the heads up about Mediapurge , certainly looks useful to assist in managing a ridiculously large collection ....