Save action blanks some fields v2.49

I'm using v2.49 and noticed that sometimes when I save (I've selected all records) the action will blank out various records. I've not been able to identify anything that will reproduce the issue consistently. I'm in the process of a massive cleanup of my Music folder (currently 149GB, 1526 folders, 38,442 files), from Explorer2 (windows explorer replacement) I drag-n-drop a folder on to the Mp3tag window. I select all records in the Mp3tag window and I change some tag that is common to all records and save. I "sometimes" notice that one or two or three records now have all of the tags removed from them.

Sometimes when I save just the cover image will disappear from some records.

At times I've removed the tags from all of the records (I select all record, click on the X in the toolbar) after clearing the tags I select each record independently and I still see the cover for "some" records. I did NOT expect to see the cover for any of the records because I had removed all of the tags.

All of the above is random but I notice it rather frequently, I've invested over 30 hours in the clean-up effort, thus this issue is not something I'd expect other users to see as an issue.

What other details can I provide to help with this weird issue? I have another folder (198GB, 1200 folders) that also needs clean-up thus I expect to encounter this issue a lot.

In the attached image

  1. Selected All records (all records had a cover image)
  2. I selected the dropdown for Composer and selected blank
  3. I then clicked on the save icon in the toolbar
  4. the tags in record 8 became blank

NOTE - the record(s) blanked out by the save seem to be random, e.g. it is not always the same record. I estimate that this happens with one out of 20 saves.

Could you check (if you remember which were those erratic files) what kind of tag versions they have got? E.g. if they have APE tags it could be that you see that what is still in the APE tags if only process mp3 tags.

OK you ask questions I don't know the answer to (sorry but dummy here...)

  1. What do you mean by erratic files
  2. How do I determine the tag version
  3. What is an APE tag and how do I view it

I've just encountered a folder with the issue "Bryan Adams-2005-Anthology" and I've left it as is so I can look at it and hopefully answer your questions.
his folder has 34 MP3 files, when I saved the tag, title, artist, album artist, track, year and genre were blanked out in one file.

(I just found four other folders with the issue
S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 06
S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 08
S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 16
S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 17)

Erratic ... was just my attempt to give those files a name that have blanked out tags ...
Now to the more serious stuff:
To determine the tag version there are 2 ways:
1: use the files list and add a column with the "value" %_tag_read%[ (%_tag%)]
2: select a single "erratic" file (one from the bryan adams folder then) and open the extended tags dialogue for this file - it should show the tag version in the dialogue header.

APE is one of the possibilities to tag files like ogg-vorbis, mp3 etc.
Unfortunately, APE tags overrule mp3 tags. So, what you always see when there are APE tags in a file is the contents of the APE tags even though you may have modified the mp3 tags...
If there are APE tags in a file it shows the letters APE either in the added column from above or in the extended tags dialogue header.

OK I think I have some progress but I'm still lost :flushed:
I assume I'm suppose to add the column in MP3tag, this is what I did and I named it TagVersion. For the problem files I see ID3v2.3(ID3v1 ID3v2.3) (these are the files where the fields became blank when I did a save for all records) and for the files that are OK I see ID3v2.3(ID3v1 ID3v2.3 APEv2)

Do I want to remove the APE tags? If so how do I do this?

I just found at How To Remove APE TAG from ALL MP3 Files at

It states "You must select [x] APE at "Remove" on the bottom! Then you can use "File > Remove Tags". It removes all tag types you have selected at "Remove". "

I have no idea where I'm suppose to select the option to remove APE tags.

If I should remove the APE tag is there some slick way I can remove just the APE tag without impacting the other tags? In the music folder I'm attempting to clean up I have just over 1500 albums (each album is in a separate folder) and I've gone through about 500 at this point but a lot of these may contain APE tags. When I get through with my current music folder I have another music folder that is about the same size and needs to be cleaned.

I ran a search for APE tag and the most meaningful info (IMHO was "Apetag is command line tagging tool for music files such as Monkey's Audio and Musepack using the APE 2.0 standard.") To my knowledge I don't use "Monkey's Audio or Musepack" thus I don't see any reason for me to retain them.

S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 06
Contains to files with APE tags but neither are my problem file.

S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 08
Does not contain any APE tags

S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 16
Does not contain any APE tags

S:\Libraries\Music\VA-Golden Age of Black Doo Wop - Vol 17
Does not contain any APE tags

OK I'm open for suggestions.

The problem with APE tags is that they simply block the view to the real data of mp3 tags.
So, to get rid of a tag is to set
File > Options >Mpeg
every tag that may be deleted - here you should tick all tag types.
Also tick all the tag type for read.
BUT: only tag V1 and V2 for write. Do not tick APE.
Apply the changes of the settings.

NOW: set a filter (press F3 until the filter enty box at the bottom of the mp3tag ist displayed)
%_tag% HAS APE
Select a bunch of files (not all at the same time, handy chunks are the target).
Right-click on the selected files and select the function "Cut tags" from the context menu.
Cutting may take some time.
Immediately afterwards right-click again and select the function "Paste tags" from the context menu.
Right now all tags should only be of version v1 or v2 but no APE tags any more.

Try editing these files and see whether the blanking still occurs (I hope not!)

Sorry to be so obtuse but I'm in an area with no experience and I don't want to goof.

Do you really mean File > Options > Mpeg? I cannot find "Extras" anywhere.

When you say deleted are you referring to the "Remove" section? Would it not be more correct to check only the APE tag? Why should I remove the ID3v1 & ID3v2 tags?

OK this is straight forward.

OK as I reread the instructions and attempt to understand following is what I think is going to take place.

  1. By changing the options I'm going to remove ALL tag version, e.g. ID3v1, ID3v2, and APE
  2. The "cut" action actually removes the tags and puts them in the clipboard
  3. The "Paste" action will put only the ID3v1 & ID3v2 tags back in the files because the filter is blocking the APE tag.

I tried the above on one folder (7 mp3 files) and it looks like it worked. I'm now going to select more folders. I've got a fast PC thus I should be able to select large sets.


  1. Once I paste the tags back in is it necessary to save?
  2. If I have MP3 files from multiple folders, is it correct to assume that this will not be a problem?

OK I've been running the procedure and it seems to be working but I do see one issue and have a few comments.

  1. It seems that I can process mp3 files from different folders and it does not seem to present a problem
  2. I selected small sets of folders from the set starting with "A", all seemed to go OK. I repeated this for all of the "A" folders.
  3. I just selected ALL of the folders that started with "B", this is 222 folders and 4,708 files.
  4. In the MP3tag window I ONLY see the files that have the tag "APE", this is because the filter has removed the other files, e.g. only files that have the tag are shown
  5. This resulted in 1384 files in the MP3tag window
  6. I cut & pasted, on my system this took less than 10 seconds.
  7. I do see one record where the "TagVersion" (this was my add) tag and all the other tags are blank for this record.
  8. I just noticed that the Title, artist, album artist, album, track, etc ARE now blank in all 1384 records. I did NOT check all of the tags before the cut/paste.
  9. I just went back and checked all of the files in the folders that start with "A" (these are folders that I had already processed/cleaned and all had information in the Title, artist, album artist, album, track, etc now some records DO NOT have this information. Sometimes the missing info is random, e.g not always the same set of tags. I'll have to start my clean-up all over to get everything corrected.

It is late for me and I'm tired/confused. I'm going to quit for the night and wait for more feedback.

On more attempt - I selected all of the folders that started with "C" and was presented with 77 mp3 files that have APE. I scrolled to the right so I could see some of the fields that presented issues in the "A" set. I then did the cut/paste - I don't think I see any new issues.

I did the same for the "E"/"F" set, no new issues.

If you have the patience to read posts about removing the APE tag, then see there ...

Good luck, enjoy Mp3tag!


Thanks for the link, I've made my way through some of the articles (great resources) and now have a MUCH better way to cleanup my music library. It still requires a LOT of manual effort but I'm now doing the cleanup in a more productive fashion.

At this point I've removed ALL of the APE tags (your suggestions made it VERY easy) and started to apply changes to other tags.

I still see some records being blanked out when I make a change to all of the mp3 files in a folder. Example: Let's say there are 30 mp3 files in a folder, I've selected all 30 files in the Mp3tag window, I've used the "Filename - Tag" function to fill-in as many tags as possible, I then use the left window section to update missing tags (Artist, Album, Year, Genre, Comment, Album Artist, and Cover). When I click on the Save icon all of the records are updated and I "may" see some records where ALL of the tags have been removed. If I then individually click on each of the records where the fields are blank the data appears. If I forget to individually click on each record and process another folder and then go back to the folder I just processed the blank tags remain blank.

This is NOT a frequent occurrence and the number of blanked records will vary but when the record is blanked ALL of the tags in that record (file) are blank.

Please note that the converter will only fill those files where the mask matches. All other files are left untouched. So minute deviations like a blank more or a hyphen less may cause the files to be left empty (this does not explain the magical appearance of data once you select them indvidually).

Another source for trouble may be that the mp3-stream is somehow corrupt. There are programs like foobar or mp3val that check the stream (and try to repair it). (a little googling will find you a download page)
So, as a further step in the cleanup, it may be a good idea to check the files with one of those programs just to be sure that they are ok.

AH!!!! Another good process to add to my clean-up process. I just downloaded mp3val-frontend, installed and ran a quick test on my _Music Need Work folder using one folder. Problems were found and corrected. I then kicked off a run to process the entire folder. This is going to take a few minutes (I estimate about 30 min for 1,190 folders about 37K files) but this is MUCH faster than reacting to other issues as I encounter them. After this runs I'm going to run the function against my main music library.

Possibly this week I'll continue the clean-up but I have several much higher priority items that I need to work on.

THANKS for the help!!!! :smiley:

Please read the manual for Mp3Val and be aware of the warning (attached) about "MPEG stream error".
You may not want to "Repair all files with problems " until you have isolated and replaced files with this error.

ryerman - excellent point but for me I'm screwed, e.g. most often I no longer have the source CD, tape or record. Thus I'm not trying to fix an audio issue, for now I just want my files to appear correctly in Windows Media Player and for those that have an audio issue (I have some of these) either I will delete the file or live with the bad audio.

I'm VERY surprised to see the number of files that mp3val has flagged. I'm just guessing but it looks like at least 20% of my files have a problem.

It is not impossible to replace audio files by using torrents, or sites like Rapidshare and Mediafire, but that is obviously a personal choice.

I was also surprised until I thought about my own work-flow. I make extensive use of torrents and blogs so I have probably been exposed to just about every popular ripper, transcoder and editor.
My guess is that some of these programs do their work improperly or are improperly configured by their users. Or, maybe Mp3val reports false positives. Who knows? :slight_smile:

Do such errors really matter? Whatever the answer, I will continue to examine new files but I bet there are many people who never concern themselves with this issue and listen happily to music files with and without "errors".

Have fun managing your collection!

Yes torrents and news groups (I use a lot of news groups) create a LOT of extra clean-up work.