Sometimes updating a tag in iTunes doesn't reflect in Mp3Tag

Sometimes I update my tags within iTunes and the changes don't show in Mp3Tag, and vice-versa.
It seems windows agrees with Mp3Tag, when these disconnects happen.
Please look at the attachments.

Does anybody know why this riddle happens and how to solve it?
It's so frustrating, I'm a perfectionist and hate when things get out of control.
Thanks a lot.

What do you see when you press (select a song first) ALT+T (or view - Extended Tags)

Personally I have an Action to fill in Album Artist

Type of Action: Format Value
Format String: %artist%

Ps: I use iTunes as my only Player.
PsPs: Which version of iTunes do you use, that looks like a Pre 10 version

I do not use iTunes as a tagging program - that is left to MP3tag.
But in this forums, there have been a number of threads that describe the updating problem with usually iTunes as source.
iTunes apparently tends to store tag data only in its database but only reluctantly writes modifactions back to the files.
The advice I gathered so far: there seems to be a function in iTUnes that converts the tags from one version to another - so converting V2.3 to V2.3 (or whatever you find in your files) would write the database information into the file.

In respect to the updating iTunes: You have to force iTunes to update files it has already loaded. please look for iTunes scripts that do just that.
So check out this thread: /t/18721/1

Just changing one tag field (in Mp3tag) and open (Right Click and select Get Info) the File within iTunes, already changes the database of iTunes, so IMHO NO need to change tag versions, BUT just on the safe side I always use (write) Id3v.1 and Id3v.23 UTF-16 and I never encountered problems with Mp3tag in combination with iTunes.

Agreed - I thought I had described the other way: database->tag when mentioning the tag-version-conversion.

The database in iTunes gets changed when iTunes is forced to re-read the information of an existing file.
New files (naturally) are only registered when you tell iTunes to look for them, no automatism there.

There is :wink: , iTunes has an Automatically Add to iTunes folder (some kind of watch folder) so if you put your files they get picked up by iTunes.

But I seldom use that feature.

The way I do it depends how I get the File.

If Downloaded via iTunes

  • Make a copy of the file to iTunes Originals
  • Open the File in Mp3tag
  • Add Missing Info, Lyrics etc etc (and maybe Album Art)
  • Save the Info
  • Change to iTunes
  • Read the tag info with Get Info and check if Correct

If Ripped from CD (not from within iTunes, I use ExactAudioCopy for that)

  • Open the File in Mp3tag
  • Add Missing Info, Lyrics ,Album Art, AlbumArtist, CoverArt etc
  • Save the Info (id3v1 & id3v2.3)
  • Change to Windows Explorer
  • Right Click on the File and select open in iTunes
  • Change to iTunes
  • Read the tag info with Get Info and check if Correct

This I have been doing for years and never caused any issues with iTunes (thus far :slight_smile:)

I use this method for iTunes when I wanted to rescan the metadata for my entire library. I've since moved over to foobar and the rescan feature there is a godsend!


It only works if you've got the Keep iTunes Media folder organised
in the advanced section of iTunes prefs.

See attached if that's your case.


The other way to refresh a select few quickly is by playing and track and holding onto the right arrow key. This will flick through the songs in the playlist or whatever section you're in, therefore, updating iTunes metadata and its columns along the way.

This can do around 100 tracks in about 20 seconds. If it's your entire library then try method 1 dependant on your options.

Method one on 17,000 tracks takes about 1:00-1:30mins. Core i7 X980 overclocked to 3.86Ghz


Why would you need to rescan a library more then once ? In all the time I am using iTunes I only had to rescan my library once.

There are scripts (vbs) available which you start from the command line which rereads the tag info in the files and thus updates the iTunes database files.

Ps: The option 1 you added is IMHO a real drastic one but works, but personally I wouldn't recommend it.

PsPs: As I am not behind a PC at the moment I can't post a script, but will do a search and see if I can find it and will edit this post if I do

Edit: Found it.

From this page which has a lot of iTunes scripts.

Edit 2 22:44
I forgot one important thing, before you do anything, make a backup of your *.itl and *.xml files in your iTunes directory as those are yor iTunes library files

I've tried all of those scripts. My method works much faster than those also.

ps. It's NOT drastic at all. Esp when it takes less time than it takes to boil a kettle.

pps. What I do call drastic is letting some external means take control of iTunes. Esp when it's much slower and wrriten by a non-dev of the app. Do you know you're relying solely on some non-native method? I'd take the native method any day over that.

These methods are the only built in methods available to do what the OP asked and I wouldn't feel comfortable giving him some script that has the ability to mess his entire music collection up.

If you take a look at the screenshot it looks like he's using quite an old ver of iTunes. How can you be so sure it works for him?

ppps. Sorry if 2mins seems like a long time and too drastic for you.

Those scripts uses the API of the program itself as that is the only allowed (and possible) way for a script to access iTunes functions. (See this part of the script please: Dim iTunes ' Handle to iTunes application)

I have no need to run any of this as I said I only had to run it once and that was a long time ago.

That he uses an old version I already noticed (see post nr 2 please) and in the comment of VBS it already said another method to use

Edit: I forgot one important thing, before you do anything, make a backup of your *.itl and *.xml files in your iTunes directory as those are yor iTunes library files

So what that it uses the API? Doesn't mean it's completely bug free!

OK, let the OP use that method. As it clearly far superior to the built in method because you say so.


Why would this be important if your script method is so great.

By using my method 1 for the entire library (which doesn't take long at all) or method 2 for a small handful of files you don't need to bother with any of that nonsense.

That's why I added to my posts that you should backup your iTunes library files before doing ANYTHING that is always a good thing to do.

But why are you getting so offensive? No need for that.

Multiple solutions and let the OP choose what he wants to.

Sorry if I offended you, but I am outta here.

Not at all.

I gave my €0.02 and gave 2 more solutions.

You were the one that butted in and said it was OTT (when it's not). Am I missing something here?

I said "IMHO its a drastic solution" and didn't mean to diss you, sorry again if I offended you, but that was absolutely not my intention

How can you have an opinion on something when you've never tried it? (Like I've done with those scripts you mentioned) And, then try voice an honest opinion about it?

You didn't/don't offend me. I was just minding my own business and trying to help out the OP out as best I can with my 15 years using iTunes.

I use iTunes

I use ID3 v2.3, I have encountered lots of disconnects. I know that when I update a tag outside
of iTunes I have to force it to refresh its database, I do that by exporting say a playlist that contains the file as a text file, or creating an excel file from the iTunes playlist with a vbscript.
It usually works, but there are a few rare stubborn files whose tags will mismatch the actual value of the tag.

For example, I noticed that iTunes will fail to update tags updated outside of iTunes if I simply remove them with Extended Tags in Mp3Tag.
So the trick is to not remove a tag, but to replace with something else, when such procedure makes sense.

The question is not the method that one can use within iTunes to force it to re-read the metadata,
it seems that no matter what procedure you use (Get Info, export playlist as text file, close and reopen) will get iTunes to correctly update the tag, iTunes must be missing the actual tag values due to some other reason, like multiple values, for example, just a guess though.

This is the metadata per Mp3Tag, which matches Windows explorer details, but no matter what
I do I can't get the stupid iTunes to update its tags to show the right value for Album artist (right now it's displaying "Varios"), it should be blank.

Artist Daniel Rossano
Title Recomeçar
Album 1991 - Salomé - Nacional
Length 14400
Genre Novela\Brasil
File_Size 3834732
Location D:\MP3\Brasil\D\Daniel Rossano - Recomeçar.mp3
Year 1992
Bitrate 128
Track 11

sorry, just found that if i entirely remove the track from itunes, and then readd, fkng stupid iTunes will read the metadata correctly this time.
So, yes, there's gotta be a way to tell iTunes to refresh the tag, and exporting the metadata as txt is not working, Get info is not working, my Vb script is not working.

Will try and see if one of the proposed solutions will do the trick.

Option 2 didn't work!
I can't try the 1st option, I absolutely hate and would never ever let iTunes mess around with how my files are organized, that's like Big Government.
Thanks for the tips though