Preferences and Configuration

You can configure many areas of Mp3tag via the preferences window at Mp3tag → Preferences… or ⌘ ,


Startup Folder

Here you can specify the startup behavior of Mp3tag.

  • None starts with an empty File List.
  • Previous starts with the folder which was loaded the last time you’ve used Mp3tag.
  • Other… lets you choose a explicit folder that is loaded on startup.


Use standard genres If enabled, Mp3tag lists the standard genres in the genre field on the Tag Panel.

Use custom genres If enabled, Mp3tag lists custom genres that can be added via the Manage… window. There, you can add additional genres and advice Mp3tag to automatically remember genres entered on the Tag Pane by enabling Collect input.

Field names

Use standard fields If enabled, Mp3tag lists the standard fields on all drop-down lists that are used for field input.

Use custom fields If enabled, Mp3tag also lists custom fields that can be added via the Manage… window. There you can add additional field names (e.g., MYCUSTOMFIELD) and advice Mp3tag to automatically remember field names you’ve added elsewhere.


Replace invalid NTFS characters If enabled, characters that are not allowed in Windows NTFS filenames are automatically replaced by an underscore _ on field lookup. The following characters are replaced: \ : / * ? < > | ".

Enabling the automatic replacement also prevents folder creation when using the converter Tag - Filename with fields that contain the forward slash character /.


Preserve modification date If enabled, the modification date of the file is preserved also if the file is modified.

Tag Types


These options are the read, write, and remove options for tag types for MP3 files. Based on the enabled state of each of these tag types, Mp3tag reads, writes, and removes ID3v2, ID3v1, or APE tags respectively.

Read Mp3tag always only displays the contents of one tag type — even if a file has multiple, e.g., ID3v2 and ID3v1. If you have multiple enabled for reading, it uses this prioritization: ID3v1 < ID3v2 < APEv2. The displayed Tag type is shown in the "Tag" column of the file list (%_tag_read%), all existing types in the file are listed inside parentheses (%_tag% ).

Write Usually, it’s not necessary to touch any of those — except if you want Mp3tag to not write ID3v1 anymore.

Remove The enabled tag types are removed from the file when you choose Edit → Remove Tag, meaning that you can selectively remove if you want to, e.g., just remove ID3v1 or APEv2 tags. Undoing this operation will write the tag types enabled under Write.

Use field mappings

Mp3tag displays tag fields either directly with their corresponding name from the files (e.g., for files with APEv2 tags like Musepack or VorbisComments like OGG and FLAC) or uses a fixed mapping from format-specific names to human-readable names (e.g., for ID3v2 identifiers or MP4 atoms). For example, the ID3v2 field TPE1 is mapped to ARTIST in Mp3tag.

You can customize mappings from Mp3tag's internal field name to a user-defined field name in case you need to make field names consistent across different types of tags (e.g., YEAR in ID3v2 and DATE in FLAC) via the Manage… window. There you can create mappings for a specific tag type (APEv2, ID3v2, MP4, or VorbisComment) and provide a Source name (Mp3tag's name) and a Target name (your preferred field name).

After reading tags from files, Mp3tag translates all source field names to their respective target (and vice-versa when writing tags).

When writing tags to files, Mp3tag then applies the mapping in the reverse direction. So any field that uses the name provided as Target gets translated to the corresponding Source field name. It's also possible to map multiple Source fields to one Target (e.g., DATE and RELEASE to YEAR). Please note that this implies that all Source fields are written on tag updates. Mapping one Source field to multiple Target fields is not supported.

Mp3tag comes with a list of pre-defined default mappings for VorbisComments. It’s generally recommended to not remove those to preserve interoperability.

File List

The File List is the main list that lists the files loaded with Mp3tag. While it already provides a range of different columns to display file information, it can be extended and adapted to your needs. Here, you can add and remove columns via the + and - buttons below the columns list.

To configure a column, you need to provide a Name, which is the text that appears on the column header in the File List.

Value is required and denotes the content displayed in this column. It usually contains a placeholder, sometimes combined with scripting functions.

A simple example would be %ISRC%, the placeholder for the ISRC tag field. Another example would be $metasep(artist,\\), a format string that displays all existing ARTIST fields separated by Mp3tag multi-field separator \\

Field usually contains a placeholder that is used for editing the content of the field through the File List. Please note that if this field is empty, the column is write-protected. You can only use placeholders for tag fields (e.g. %ISRC%) as well as %_filename_ext% and %_filename% here.

If Sort by is empty, Mp3tag uses the contents of Value for sorting. Otherwise, the evaluated content of this field is used.

The Numeric checkbox affects the sorting of the column and determines if the column contents are aligned left or right.

Finally, individual columns can be temporarily hidden by unchecking Active. Showing and hiding columns is also possible via the right-click context menu on the File List column header.

To change the position of any of the columns, you can use drag and drop to arrange them in the columns list or directly by dragging the column header in the File List.

Tag Panel

The Tag Panel is the sidebar on the left of the File List that shows the fields to enter metadata. Besides the standard fields, you can add user-defined tag fields to the Tag Panel. Here, you can add and remove fields via the + and - buttons below the fields list.

To configure a field, you need to provide a Name, which is the label text that appears on the Tag Panel. The Field is the actual tag-field name. This can be any of the pre-defined fields chosen from the drop-down list, e.g., ISRC or a custom user-defined field identifier like MYCUSTOMFIELD.

Width allows for configuring the size of the field on the Tag Panel. Type can be either Text (most commonly used) or Check, which represents a boolean value 0 (unchecked) or 1 (checked).

Finally, individual fields can be temporarily hidden by unchecking Active.

To change the position of any of the fields, you can use drag and drop to arrange them in the field list.

Exporting and importing preferences settings

Exporting the settings and importing on another Mac (or the same) is possible via the defaults command in To export the settings you'd use

defaults export app.mp3tag.Mp3tag ~/Desktop/Mp3tagSettings.plist

and to import you'd use

defaults import app.mp3tag.Mp3tag ~/Desktop/Mp3tagSettings.plist
defaults delete app.mp3tag.Mp3tag SecurityScopedBookmarks

The last command is necessary to remove data that is specific to the Mac you've exported from.

Please note, that Mp3tag's settings are also part of every Time Machine backup you're doing and are restored if you restore from a backup.

Further Reading

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