Using temporare directory for mass tagging of files

Hi there,

I am in the situation that I want to rework my tags on a rather large music and movie collection.

I prepared everything as import files to assign to the tags (and I also have a backup in case something goes wrong) ... It works out fine but it is really really slow, since all files need to be rewritten on an external USB HDD.

Is there a way that the file is created on another location than the original? Copying it to another HDD is way faster than reading and writing on the same disk.

Another option would be to create a temp file on an internal SSD or RAM disk and write it back to the original HDD ... even that would be way faster ...

Does anybody know whether one of the options is possible by internal settings, environment variables or a registry key?

That would reduce the time by an order of magnitude and reduce HDD stress :slight_smile: ...

Thanks and best wishes,


AFAIK the only way would be to copy all the files that need treatment to a favourable location, manipulate them there and copy them back.
How should MP3tag know that you have finished editing?
And AFAIK a file for editing is copied to the RAM, changed there and the modifications are then written back to the file.
Some of the reading can be sped up with activating the library, a first read of the whole collection is as slow as always but the subsequent ones should be faster.

I haven't worked with libraries yet ... but is the metadata then only stored in the library for editing and then written back all together? ... Then I am using a "kind" of library.

For editing one by one that is true ... there mp3tag can't know when I am finished ... I am talking about editing the whole disk at once with "Import Tags from textfile" ... So I prepared the Tags for 2000+ files and whant to assign them in one go ... In this specific case it is clear when the process is finished. It would be even fine if the result ands up at the other hard disk.

I know this is a very specific task ... But I want to do this on 6x 5TB ... which consumes almost two weeks just running, not creating the textfiles for the tags :slight_smile: ...

The library is a function inside MP3tag to handle huge collections. See File>Options>Library.

But still, i don't understand where you see possibilities to speed up things.
If you intially load the files from your external USB drive (which is the bottleneck here), then this has to be done regardless whether the files are then treated on the internal drive or are loaded by MP3tag directly.
This should take about just as much time as keeping them on the external drive and loading them directly.

If you then start the Import text from textfile, then each file is indivudally first treated in memory and then the changes are written back before the next file gets treated.
And as you say that this is the only step that you want to perform, it would take even longer if you now have to copy the files back from the internal to the external drive.

If you had several steps/actions that should be carried out and are triggered sequentially and manually, then you could benefit from a faster internal drive.

Right now, if the only manipulation would be to import data from a text file, then I would think that the direct treatment is as fast as you can get with your HW setup.
And as I said: the bottleneck is the USB link.

According to the windows resource manager the read and write process to the HDD is taking place simultanously. That means that the head is moving forward and backward to the read- and write track. That gives me around 20MiB/s read and write ...

In case I just read to internal SSD or RAM disk I get 180MiB/s while reading and still around 120MiB/s while writing ....

I am aware that it will take some time ... But I was hoping to speed up things a little bit with simple settings ...

The fastest thing would be to copy to another disk ... then I would get round about 120MiB/s for the whole process (6x speedup) ...

 Original Disk   ==>    Processing   ==>  Second disk as target

Second best solution would be to use SSD / RAMDISK as temp Drive ... That would still give me a 3x to 4x speed up ...

 HDD  ==>   Temp. RAM DISK   ==> Processing in RAM  ==> Writing back to HDD at the end

I am applying this process to audio and video files ... so maybe they are considered to large to work in RAM and write back later on. But with 48G of RAM there should be plenty :wink:

The library helps me to work with the metadata very fast manually ... but at the end it also has to be written to the disk. At least that's how I understood the conecpt.

Nevermind .... I was hoping there is a way to work with Temp files or destination directories ... But since I will do this only once on that scale I assume I just need to be patient :slight_smile: ...

Alternatively, you could connect the external USB HDD as internal HDD if you have a real PC (not a laptop) and a free HDD interface and remove the HDD from the USB interface and mount it internally.

I made some further tests ... USB is not the bottleneck ... It is USB 3.1 and only read or only write on the same disk on the same USB Port on the same Compunter achieves way more than 100 MiB/s constantly.

That mainly is because there is not much seek effort ... When read / write are running "Parallel" the bottleneck is the I/O Buffer of the disk ... due to the seek time ...

But ok ... it is the way it is ... Thanks for the hints ... especially the library seems to be interesting topic I need to dig deeper .

A library of about 2k files isn't particularly large. Many users including myself have 25k or more. One user recently even suggested they have a million! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Personally I wouldn't make changes to more than perhaps a few files at a time on a portable drive if possible. There are just too many factors that could cause a disruption that could create more headaches to fix later. For this many tracks, I would recommend copying them to a local drive, then making the mass changes and edits there. Once they are all updated, I would then move them back to the USB drive. If any of your edits involve changes to any filenames, then you may need to carefully consider this step to avoid having duplicate files with the old and new info.

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