What tags should I use?


I'm going through my mp3 collection and I was just wondering what tags should I use?

I was thinking of removing all tags except for ID3v2.4 UTF-8. Does that sound like a smart idea? Will the iPod/Zune/Winamp/Foobar2000 be able to pick up these tags without issue?

Is there any reason to keep ID3v1 tags?



AFAIK, iTunes doesn't like ID3v2.4 tags with Unicode. For compatibility reasons, I would keep ID3v2.3 and ID3v1.1.


Thanks. I did some searches on the forums and realized this was a popular issue.

I'd like to balance compatibility with space and (tagging)aesthetics issues, so I think I'm going to go with:

ID3v2.3 UTF-16

In particular, I'd like my tags to work with:

iPod (I may buy one)
Zune (gf may get one)

You think I should be good to go ? Can all these programs/devices handle ID3v2.3 UTF-16, or should I go with ISO ?


foobar2000 supports all ID3v2 versions implemented in Mp3tag (there's a reason for this! :stuck_out_tongue:).
Winamp supports ID3v2.3 both ISO and Unicode and also has some support for ID3v2.4 IIRC.
iTunes (& iPod) supports ID3v2.3 both ISO and Unicode, but has problems with ID3v2.4 and Unicode.
Zune - no idea. I think if WMP supports ID3v2.3 tags with Unicode, Zune should too.


I'd like to use ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags, but what I should use - v2.3 UTF-16 or v2.4 UTF-8? What will be the standard in the future? Because I'm still using also v1, compatibility is not so important, I care about compatibility in the future only. Thanks.


The thing is that we have a chicken-egg-problem here. ID3v2.4 is a standard for several months if not years already, but still lacks support. Developers don't implement it because they say that there aren't many files using ID3v2.4 tags, but at the same time there aren't many files using it because there are no (or very few) programs that can write it.

Depending on your software and hardware, you should use a different version. WMP and iTunes have problems (iTunes) or don't support ID3v2.4 tags at all (WMP). foobar2000 and Winamp implemented ID3v2.4 support in the meanwhile. A lot of hardware MP3 players still support only ID3v2.3, some of them don't even support unicode so you have to use ID3v2.3 with the ISO encoding. If you really don't care about compatibility, use ID3v2.4 but bear in mind that some programs can corrupt the tags or write more than one ID3v2 tag to the MP3 files.


Thanks for the reply.

What exactly do you mean by this? Only mp3 editors like mp3tag can write to mp3 files, or also SW/HW mp3 players?? Of course e.g. Winamp can edit tags too, but I mean by normal use. Or do you mean that if I use ID3v2.4, then edit just one item in tag in the "bad" player, whole tag can get corrupted?


If you load an MP3 file containing an ID3v2.4 tag into Windows Media Player, when attempting to edit the tag, WMP will create an additional ID3v2.3 tag and place it in front of the ID3v2.4 tag.


OK, so v1 + v2.3 UTF-16 is probably the best choice, thanks.