Tag Clean-Up > Library

Hello good people of Tag Land. I've been using MP3Tag for a few years now. I use it in what I assume is a very basic manner, and started using it to, you know, keep my tags in order. I came across it after getting a little frustrated by how mp3's werr tagged when I ripped my cd's. I was/am basically a bit anal about the naming, etc. I have what is a relatively large mp3 collection of roughly 40k songs, and recently had a couple of issues that made me think that while I 'thought' my tags were relatively in order, I need to do some clean up. One of the issues involves my Sonos system, and it not showing my iTunes/imported playlists. After ensuring the iTunes library.xml was indeed present, and iTunes is set to allow other apps to access the file, and the playlists still not showing-up, I decided to open a trouble ticket with Sonos. I sent them a log and was eventually told that while my library, at 40k files, is significantly lower than their 65k limit (25k lower!), that "the metadata in my files had more information in them than the typical person has." This, along with an iPhone syncing issue, made me think that it might be time to clean up my tags. As I mentioned, admittedly, I have been using MP3Tag in a basic fashion. I have not made any changes to the defaults, and simply rename each cd I rip as I like, using the basic information fields of Title, Artist, Album, Year, Track, Genre, Comments (sometimes when needed - minimal) ... I usually just duplicate the artist field in Album artist, and sometimes add art if/when available, but don't make a fuss over it. I save, and then tag from File name. The result of this looks good to me.

I assumed that this basic information is what a LOT of people likely include in their tags as well, no? I'm wondering what is meant by my metadata having more information than the average person uses? And if so, what can I do to clean-up the tags?

With the idea of 'cleaning-up' my tags, my first question is: can I remove the APE tags altogether? Am I benefitting from them in any way? If I do get rid of them and just rely on the IDv1 and IDv2, is that lightening the load? Also, I do notice that there is extended information of the likes I do not need or rely on ... pretty much most of the fields that are not listed above aside from, occasionally, 'composer'. I don't need fields such as encoded by, etc, publisher, etc., yet I see that a lot of times, they are set to 'keep', which makes me think there is a lot of info I do not need/use.

With all of this in mind, and I appreciate anyone who's still with me, does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might be able to do to clean-up my tags further. Any/all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Below is some info that might be helpful for how I prefer to roll:

This is how I like my folder structure under my parent/My Music folder:

Artist Folder > Album Subfolder

This is how I like my files to look (and/or be tagged) inside each album subfolder.

Artist - Album - Track # - Track Title

Thanks so much, folks!

I do not think that the reply by Sonos is in any way satisfactory. It means that Sonos does not support the ID3 standard. Also, a playlist has hardly any tag information. So their interpretation that there is too much information in the tags does explain the Sonos behaviour.

The filename has nothing to do with the tags. So it is not correct to use them synonymously.

You can get rid of APE tags with the settings in
Tick all options for read and delete
Tick only V1 and V2 for write.

Cut and paste the tags (with the special functions from the file list context menu) and the APE tags are gone.

Thanks much for the reply! I agree, the reply from Sonos was not satisfactory. I like the Sonos system in general, but like so many others, I was not aware of the 65k song limitation. This is not advertised, and more specifically, they certainly don't point out that tags play into the equation at all. I think what they are getting at is that Sonos is not indexing all of my songs because the tag info is reaching the 65k limit even though I only have 40k songs.

But as far as your suggestion in removing the APE tags. I thought I could simply tick the option to 'remove' APE (Tools > Options > Remove > tick Ape) ... then select the songs, right-click, choose Remove Tag > then save the changes. When I did this on a test group of songs, the APE field in the main window is now empty. Perhaps I am not following the need to 'cut and paste the tags (with the special functions from the file list context menu) to remove the APE tags.

In looking at the extended fields, there are so many fields that are not needed --- too many to list, but they are set to 'keep' when selecting a batch of files, so that tells me (without checking each tag individually) that there is info in these fields. If this is adding to the size of the metadata Sonos is referring to, I would be fine with removing many/most of these extra fields, but don't want to cause any issues with my library. I have a few backups of my library, so I can experiment of course, but would prefer to get it right. Personally speaking, I don't see the need for any of the field highlighted in the pic attached of the extended tag fields, for instance, but am uncertain if removing this info will 1) cause any issues with my library, and 2) reduce the metadata size very much??

I hope I'm explaining this well. Even though I've been using mp3Tag for a while now, I never really got too into such specifics until these issues presented themselves.

Again, I appreciate the reply.


MP3tag shows only fields that have data. It is not possible to have an empty field.
The "keep" indicates that the files have different data in the respective field. E.g. if you select the files of one album (only), you should see at least the name of the ALBUM, as this should be the same for all tracks of that album.

You may delete the fields you do not like. And the itunnorm fields are definitely hot candidates.

You could try to find out what Sonos means by 64k: number of files or size of playlist or total size of metadata ...
MP3tag could then probably help to find a solution.

Different data can mean also that only 1 marked file has that special tag and the other marked files don't have that tag at all.

There are other solutions for sonos devices that don't have that limit:
and a subsonic derivat

Thanks so much for the replies, all!! Most appreciated. I am aware of Subsonic, and actually tried it out not too long ago when I first learned of the 65k limit, and just being interested in what it does in terms of 'serving up my music' so-to-speak via the interwebz, but I found that within Sonos, it was kinda clunky in terms of searching. As I recall, I was not getting hits on music I obviously had, but it was showing me 'most' of it. I will check out Madsonic.

In the meantime, I am obviously learning much more about tags than I knew, which is never a bad thing.