removing ape tags

tags: mp3v1, mp3v2, apev2
mp3v1, mp3v2 contain song and album data
ape tag contains replaygain data

read:mp3v1, mp3v2, apev2
remove:mp3v1, ape

select all
delete replaygain tags
save files

files rewritten (slow)
mp3v2 tags deleted (title, performer, etc. all gone)
apev2 tags still in file
apev2 tags still contain replaygain data
hex editor shows two apev2 tags at end of files

select one file
delete replaygain tags
save file
close mp3tag
reopen mp3tag
select same file

mp3v2 tag contains replaygain and mp3gain data
program doesn't see ape tag, but hex editor shows two ape tags at end of file

I give up - the program is so confusing that I don't think I will ever know if it works correctly. And I can't afford to delete any more tags in order to find out. BTW it can't find the album on Amazon to fix the tags, though MediaMonkey finds the same album in Amazon US, UK, Germany, Japan, and France. Unfortunately MediaMonkey is writing the $^% ape tags and other programs don't LIKE ape tags on mp3 files.

There are a half dozen places where mp3tag holds outdated information and needs to refresh itself. It also needs to show all tags at once, and not make assumptions about which ones are desirable, especially if these assumptions conflict with program settings!

If I set it to not read ape tags, it doesn't see them. If I set it to read them, it uses that (incorrect) data in lieu of the correct mp3v2 data. Even if I knew what settings to use, it's too much trouble to do such a simple task (delete and remove all APE tags, delete and remove MP3v1 tags, do not alter MP3v2 tags).

The more I experiment to be sure I'm describing things correctly, the more my files get hosed, and the more unpredictable things MP3tag seems to do. Enough.

For the record it's ID3v1 and ID3v2, not mp3v*

You don't use actions to delete certain tag types. There's the command :mt_delete: "Remove Tags" that deletes the tags you have set in Remove:

With these settings, just use "Remove Tags" and ID3v1 and APE tags will be deleted.

There's one APETAGEX for tag header and one for footer which makes one Ape tag.

You can make copies and mess with the copies.

Which album?

Mp3tag shows and works only with one tag type at once. The order is APEv2 > ID3v2 > ID3v1
The other types get synced with this tag if they are enabled in "Write:"
There are no assumptions made.

If you don't wanna change the ID3v2 while you work with APEv2 disable it in "Write:"

Yep, it is. Not a good note to start a reply on, though.

Confusing, but point taken. Perhaps a tutorial introducing the concepts of the program? It claims
"easy to use", but I, for one, don't find not calling "delete tags" an action, um... counterintuitive?

This is the theory. In practice, some (not many, but some) actually HAVE two ape tags - that's header, footer, header, footer. (I'm not saying YOUR program did it - just saying I found it with a hex editor). I don't know EXACTLY how it happened, but trying a whole bunch of media players and tag editors probably had something to do with it. I already know my files are a mess - that's why I'm looking for a tag editor.

I can, and will in the future. Oops.

Astrud Gilberto's "Jazz 'Round Midnight" which someone in my household (11 computers on the network currently) had incorrectly tagged as "Jazz Around Midnight". MM sloppifies around this error somehow and finds the right album. So technically MP3tag behaves correctly here. But annoyingly so.

This is indeed what it does. Unfortunately, in the long run I need to see all three tag types in order to decide which information is correct in each field in each tag. No tag type is correct for all my files, and many of them will never be tagged by Amazon, so there's no choice but eyeballing them. And with MP3tag, I need to keep changing settings and refreshing. And hope I remember what I set it to last...

Works fine - once I know which one I want to keep the data from - and assuming either one or the other has all the data I want to keep.

I think I need to look harder for a more powerful editor. Most reviews/comparisons rate mp3tag very highly, and few others get more than a "huh? whatever.". But what I'd like - I guess this is feature requests for version 4 or so - is to see all the fields in all the tags at once, and to be able to decide which fields (within the limits of the tag specs) go into which tags.

Two examples

  1. Moving replaygain from ape tags (which contain no other data) to id3v2 tags. I think I can do this by syncing the ape tag to the id3 (hopefully without losing anything), and then syncing back the other way, and then deleting the now-redundant ape tags.

But I certainly wouldn't call it simple.

  1. Removing oddball tags (such as, I believe, WIMP's PRIV fields) from ID3v2 tags. They aren't shown in "extended metadata" window, but rewriting ID3v2 tags preserves them in the file. The only way I can see to remove them is to convert to ID3v1, hope everything fits, and then convert back, writing new files each time. Correct? Or is there another way to coerce MP3tag to rewrite ID3v2, including ONLY the fields I define (or required ones)?

Likewise repairing damaged/incorrectly written ID3v2 tags. MP3tag seems to preserve any tag data it doesn't understand. Is this true in all cases?

I tried all the export options and none list the oddball tags - would it be possible to export ape and id3v2 tags, merge the files, and re-tag based on the edited textfile?

I don't think it would work. Only way is probably to export APE RG tags to a txt file and then reimport.

Select ID3v2 in "Remove:" and use Ctrl+X to cut the tag and Ctrl+V to put it back. Unknown frames should get lost.
Using Ctrl+R and Ctrl+Y should have the same effect.

The same procedure as above should help here.


I'm not quit sure ... cannot remember how I got rid of those damned APE tags slipped in by ReplayGain application ... but did not use any text export.

Can this work?
Option Mpeg set: Read APE, write ID3V2.x.
Use 4 x action 'Field Format'
New fields:
from old fields:

Option Mpeg set: Read ID3V2.x, write ID3V2.x.
Check if new fields exist.
If ok, then rename new fieldnames to standard replaygain names (remove the NEW_ prefix).
If ok, then remove APE tags.


After the first operation, the ID3v2 tag will have the values from the APE tag plus the NEW_* fields, but its old values are lost.
There seems to be no direct way to append data to a tag type. Only txt import can do this. Or Convert > Filename - tag
You could rename the filenames to the RG values temporarily, switch tag reading options and then append to existing ID3v2

Dano is right, there seems to be no way to do this work from inside of Mp3tag due to a possible bug in the hierarchical tag control system.

So you have to use an export script like this:
(set Options Mpeg 'Read APE')


Export_APE_MP3Gain_fields.mte (224 Bytes)

For importing you need a proper format string for the converter function 'Textfile to Tag':
(no APE involved, unset Options Mpeg 'Read APE')


Afterwards if all went fine you can delete the original APE tags.

Be aware that MP3Gain 'touches' the audio data in such a hard way (it manipulates each MP3 audio frame's volume setting), so that only MP3Gain is able to reverse the audio stream back to its original status, if you sometime want to restore the true loudness curve as delivered by the artist.
Moving MP3Gain tag values to ID3V2 and deleting APE tags let you alone with an unrecoverable loudness corrected mp3 audio file.

For all cases it is better not to use the MP3Gain application (beside this the MP3Gain idea is really great, thanks to David Robinson with a twinkle of my eyes). There are alternative applications on the market that support replay gain method too, e.g. WinAmp and especially Foobar2000, which do not change the mp3 audio data itself.


Moderation: Please use CODEBOX tags for long code lines. :slight_smile:

Export_APE_MP3Gain_fields.mte (224 Bytes)

1 Like

Well, I do feel like you. You have discovered the quirks completely right.

Mp3tag is an application from Florian the mechanic to all the other mechanics in the world out there.
Mp3tag is not intuitive to use, and if you want to use the rank of freedom which Mp3tag provides, then the learning curve is very steep and time consuming.

Each user has to built his own test bench to understand what is going on with Mp3tag.
The help system is rather outdated, features are badly documented, no real life examples and so on. Many questions can only to be solved by searching this online forum.

My first and durable insight is: if you really want to use a Mp3tag feature - use a copy - never use an original, because Mp3tag has some horrible quirks that can hose your complete mp3 filebase in a twinkle of your eyes.
In my opinion Mp3tag has some heavy and fundamental badly designed features. It heavily needs a new software design and rewriting, maybe coming with version 3 or 4, who knows?

As I remember, ages ago, my first contact with Mp3tag was really annoying, the easiest things won't work in the expected manner, duration of songs were mostly incorrect shown and such things more. Some years later I've tried a second run-up and today I use Mp3tag as a tool among others.
Once you've become an expert to handle Mp3tag in a predictable way, then you might be happy with the tool.

Keep in mind, that Mp3tag is free resp. donation hobby software and you don't know for sure how long the project will live. Because Mp3tag is not open souce software the application might be dead in the moment when Florian the mechanic is dead or under arrest or not in the mood for it.

Over the years this forum has collected many good ideas, but programming and implementation costs time, you know, there is only one man freetime power involved, and additionally some things maybe really too hard for the one and only programmer. Florian might be good advised to share his knowledge and the work with other programmers, to put the load on more shoulders and the Mp3tag thing will tag the world.


Okay, I think this is going to far now. It's one thing to complain about a missing feature or undesired behaviour but it's another thing to argue about fuzzy quirks, major design flaws, dead Florians and so on.

If you have concrete hints for improvement, please share them. If it takes too long for you to get them addressed or if you are unhappy with Mp3tag, please stop using it.

And please don't spread FUD!

Topic closed.