Problem with Adjust Cover Quick Action

I'm a first-time user (MP3TAG for Mac), and thought this program could be used to resize all my coverart for a specific application (player). I used the 'Adjust Cover' quick action, which was very straight forward. However, it did more than adjust the size of the coverart. It also changed the coverart text encoding format. Many of my files were using ISO-8859-1, and upon resizing MP3TAG changed this to UTF16.

All previous coverart (that was encoded with ISO-8859-1) is no longer visibile in iTunes or in my Mac file directory. Any coverart that was previously encoded with UTF16 (prior to resizing) is still visible.

I have discovered that adding a 'cover description' (which can be anything other than empty/null) to the UTF16 files fixes the problem. (It appears this field could be empty/null for ISO-8859-1 files, but not for UTF16 encoded files.)

Here's the main issue, I can't find a way to add 'cover descriptions' to all albums in a batch approach - MP3TAG will only let me modify 1 album at a time - which would take months to accomplish.

  1. Is there a way, or a script, etc that will allow me to add cover_descriptions to all files in batch mode? (It would also be nice to batch change all the cover_types also.)

  2. Is there a way to change the text encoding format back to ISO-8859-1 (with a batch procedure)?

  3. Can MP3TAG be fixed (I assume this is a bug), so that 'adjust cover' only modifies the cover size, and doesn't change the text encoding format? Or if it's mandatory for the text encoding format to be changed, then also have a generic 'cover description' (such as <album_name>) be added simultaneously?

I'm using version 1.0.2 MP3TAG (for Mac)


Hi and welcome!

I think the issue you're observing is due to a bug in iTunes/ which can be observed with the version of Mp3tag you're using (v1.0.2).

With this version I've changed the encoding of the cover description to match the global settings from Preferences → Tag Formats, which was UTF-16 in your case.

From the changelog:

Fixed: ID3v2 cover description only supported characters of ISO-8859-1

Unfortunately, it became clear quite quickly that iTunes has problems with this (— although it's expected this way according to the ID3v2 standard and I've considered this a previous bug in Mp3tag).

I've reverted the change with v1.0.3 of Mp3tag for Mac (released March 3) to increase compatibility, so it should be working again if you re-save the tags (and possibly re-add the files to iTunes, if the changes are not picked up).

Thanks! I confirmed Version 1.0.3 fixed the issue.
Couple questions:

  1. Is there an option (preference) to keep the original file encoding format? - If it was previously UTF-16, keep it UTF-16, if it was previously ISO-8859-1, keep it ISO-8859-1? (Instead of forcing the encoding selected in preferences)
  2. Is there a way to convert my files that were written/converted to UTF-16 encoding back to ISO-8859-1? (without changing anything else)?
  3. Can the text encoding format be displayed/sorted/etc as a viewable parameter in MP3TAG? I didn't think it was important until this issue, and had to use other software to troubleshoot what happened, and only then discovered the text encoding format had been changed in the files.

Nice, thanks for confirming the fix!

  1. No, Mp3tag just writes whatever is enabled at Preferences → Tag Formats and I don't plan to introduce much more fine-grained preferences.

  2. You'd need to perform any change to be able to write the files. You could, for example, use the extended tag dialog via Cmd+T and add a random field, e.g., TEMPORARYCHANGE which you can remove after the conversion.

  3. A good approximation is the field %_id3v2_character_encoding% It's only an approximation, because some ID3v2 frames are ISO-8859-1 by design.