Year Field Appears Twice in Tag Panel

Kind of embarrassing, since I could swear I've asked this before, and can't remember the answer or find it in the forums.

I'm browsing through the tags on some old tracks, and - for some reason - the "Year" in the Tag Panel is shown twice. For example:

If Year = 1978

It shows in the Tag Panel as 1978\\1978

Can someone explain?

Running Mp3tag v 2.49a under Windows XP.

What does it look like in the extended tags? What type of files are they?

Thanks for the reply, JJ.

(Coincidentally, the reason I started going through these old tags is I was looking for J.J. Jackson tracks, changing the spelling of his name - to remove the space between the Js. So it's kind of cool that you responded with help.)

Anyway, good question!

When I look at the Properties, it shows

Year: 1978

But when I look at the Extended Tags, it shows

YEAR 1978
YEAR 1978

It shows it twice, suggesting I have two YEAR fields.

Now I'm even MORE confused. I don't see how that could have happened. I certainly didn't type the year in twice, in all 2,800 tracks! Maybe somehow I accidentally duplicated the field in one action. I didn't even know it was possible to have two fields with the same name.

Not just possible, but for files that use vorbis comments for metadata, such as FLAC and Ogg Vorbis, it's the recommended way to have a field with two or more values. There would be no reason to have two with the same value, and probably no reason to use it in the YEAR field. But for things like ARTIST and GENRE, it's fairly common.

ARTIST=Tony Bennett
ARTIST=Bill Evans

So, yeah, fix them. To find them you can use a filter. Load your whole library, hit F3 and enter:

"$len($meta(year))" GREATER 4

That should find anything with two or more YEAR fields (and anything with a date containing more than four characters.)

Many thanks again. A good education for me. I am more or less a rookie when it comes to metadata and tagging.

So, I see how your string finds multivalued YEAR fields. (Although, I may not need to use the string to find those tracks, since it appears that ALL my tracks somehow ended up with two YEAR values.

Now comes the really important part. How do I get rid of one value without getting rid of the other? And how do I do this for all the tracks in one step? (Like I said, I'm still a newbie at this.)

What other programs do you use to tag your files?

I know MediaMonkey uses that format and here's the explanation: How to Configure which ID3 Tags are used for Year / Date

Thanks for that added info, stanman.

Although it's been a few years since I ripped and tagged my Oldies collection, I'm pretty sure I did all the tagging using Mp3tag. I remember typing all the info into the Tag Panel.

However, I did use MediaMonkey as a player for a while. I wonder if I unintentionally somehow copied all the YEAR values into the alternative YEAR field, as MediaMonkey may have tried to ensure "maximum compatibility," as your reference described it. I suspect some sort of mass duplication, since ALL the tracks have this YEAR duplication.

Now the question remains, does it matter? Will having two identical values in the YEAR field (or the same value in two different YEAR fields) cause a problem of any sort?

Regardless of whether it would cause any problem, how would I go about removing one of them, and how do I know which one to remove?

Still a bit confused.

But thanks for the help. Every little bit you teach me gets me closer to understanding this.

Having the year formatted like that shouldn't cause a problem depending on what other software you use with your music.

If you want to convert them to only four digits create an Action that would be:

Format value "Year": $num(%year%,4)

Thanks very much, stanman.

I am using primarily MusicBee to play my tracks, and the year shows up just fine in that software. I dabble in other players from time to time, so I'll just have to watch and see if problems arise.

However, I may just go ahead and trim the redundant year value, using the Action you suggested.

I would still like to see where the two Year values are stored. That is, are there two values stored in TYER? Or is one value in TYER and the other in TDAT? I don't know which frame(s) maps into the Year field in the Tag Window. I may try running Perry's ID3 Tag Viewer to see where (in which frames) my two year values are stored.

Well, it took you long enough to let us know that these are MP3 files. :slight_smile:

Yes, I wonder if you're seeing the results of Mp3tag's tag mapping of two different fields to YEAR, rather than two values in either one or the other. I don't know exactly how it would be expected to behave when both TYER and TDAT are present, but wouldn't be surprised if you're seeing it.

I think the course of action to fix these might be an action group to

  • copy YEAR to a TEMP field
  • remove YEAR
  • copy TEMP to YEAR
  • remove TEMP

That's assuming that removing YEAR in Mp3tag will remove both TYER and TDAT.

Hey, thanks again, JJ.

Now I'm even MORE embarrassed than I was to begin with. I see that I totally neglected to tell you what sort of files I am talking about, and what kind of tags, even after you politely asked for that information. Please excuse!

Yes, these are all mp3 files, and the tags are ID3v2.3. I should add that these files also contain APE v2 tags, created by mp3Gain.

When I get home this evening, I will take a stab at mapping the tag fields to the frames to see where the multiple values are stored (using Perry's ID3 Tag Viewer). Then I can decide whether/how to edit.

Thank you for your continuing suggestions, and for your patience with my oversights.

I found some old tracks I had that were tagged by MediaMonkey and the year was formatted:


which I verified with MP3 Diags.

The easiest way to clean them up is to edit the year in the tag panel, delete the \\ and the second year and then save. MP3tag will save it as a TYER frame since you're using ID3v2.3.

You can also go into Extended Tags and just delete one of the Year fields.

1 Like

Thanks much, stanman.

So it looks like I must have tagged in MediaMonkey after all --- although I could swear it did it all in Mp3tag. Perhaps somehow I unintentionally updated all the tags in MM, thereby adding the extra year frame/field.

I will definitely be checking this out when I get home to my music server tonight.

Thanks much for the continuing support.

Last night, I used a program called Mp3Diags to examine the metadata in my collection of "Oldies" music tracks. I should add that I created and tagged these mp3 files about 5 years ago. I'm fairly certain I did the (ID3v2) tagging with Mp3tag. For each track, I entered Title, Artist, Year, Album, Comment, and a couple of other fields. I also used Mp3gain on each track, which adds an APEv2 tag containing the "undo" information.

Since then, I have used Winamp, MediaMonkey, XMPlay, foobar2000, and now MusicBee to play those tracks. The metadata continues to work fine with these players to the present day. While doing some recent updating of tags in Mp3tag, I noticed that, for a lot of the tracks, the Year values were duplicated, as already mentioned. Example: Year = 1978\\1978.

Using Mp3Diags, I can now see that somewhere along the line, an ID3v1 tag has been added to a lot of the tracks, and these are the ones showing duplicated year values in Mp3tag. So, Mp3tag is showing me the Year value from the ID3v1 tag, as well as that from the ID3v2 tag.

I further discovered that, in those tracks to which ID3v1 tags had been added, the ID3v2 tags had been modified to include ReplayGain data, using frames RGAD and TXXX.

I did not intentionally or knowingly add the ID3v1 tags or the ReplayGain data to any of these tracks. I must have done it accidentally. Perhaps it was by way of MediaMonkey. These files have all been "Read Only" for several years, so perhaps I added these extra tags and frames accidentally while updating Comments, or something like that.

Anyway, I will probably use Mp3tag to remove the ID3v1 tags, as well as the ReplayGain values (I have no need of those, as the tracks are all processed with mp3gain). Presumably, the double Year issue will then disappear.

I thought I'd explain what I found, since folks were so kind about helping me with this.

Yes you can use Mp3tag to remove ID3v1 tags and any extra tags that show up in Extended Tags.

But to get rid of the double years you'll still have to use one of the methods I described in post #12.

OK, stanman. Thanks for the heads-up on that.

But now I have raised some new questions. Maybe I should start a new thread with these, but I'll try here first.

I'm just a casual user of Mp3tag, so I don't yet understand its inner workings. So I have these questions:

  1. Is there a way to show the Frame name that goes with each tag field in Mp3tag? For example, when I look at Title in the Tag Panel, could I somehow show that it maps onto TIT1 or TIT2? In order to resolve certain problems with tags, this would be a real advantage. Right now, I'm having to use mp3Diag to do this, and it is very unstable in WinXP. I wish I could see the Frame mapping in Mp3tag.

  2. I have unwanted ReplayGain values in RGAD and TXXX frames. How do I bring up those frames in Mp3tag, so I can delete those unwanted values? I look in Extended Tags, but don't know how to find these frames in terms of the dropdown choices that are offered.

  3. If Mp3tag cannot show me the frame mapping, is there some other WinXP (or Win7) software that could do so, and allow me to make batch changes in certain tag fields? As already noted, mp3Diag is really unstable on my XP machine.

Thanks for any advice. I'm in over my head.

  1. When in doubt read the help file, here's the mapping of the four character frame names to the descriptions used by Mp3tag:

Here's some more info on ID3v2.3 frames:

  1. There might be some frames that show up in MP3 Diags that aren't supported by Mp3tag. The only way to delete them with Mp3tag is to do a Tag Cut and then a Tag Paste. That will drop all unsupported frames.

Be careful using Tag Cut because if you follow it by a Tag Copy you'll lose all of the tag data.

  1. I'm not sure why you're having problems with MP3 Diags, I've been using it on Win XP for years without any problems. You said earlier that you were using Perry's ID3 Tag Viewer, you could continue to use that.

Thanks for the new ideas.

Yes, I certainly did consult the frame mapping that is provided in the Mp3tag documentation. It is very helpful, but it doesn't cover some of the more-obscure frames that seem to have gotten populated in my tags. Also, as I have found, more than one frame may map into one of Mp3tag's fields. In such cases, I'm not always sure which frame is actually contributing the information.

mp3Diags seems more complete than Perry's viewer; but it has caused total lockups on my XP machine. I guess it was designed for Linux originally, and I should try it on my Ubuntu machine. If it works well for you in XP, I'll have to fiddle with it in XP some more and try to see what's causing it to bomb. I do all my music on XP, since Linux just doesn't have the players and utilities. I'll have another look at Perry's, too. Maybe I didn't look at it long enough to find everything I needed.

Thanks for making so much time to help me out.

I found this thread through a search, and it describes exactly the same issue I have been having. Unfortunately, the solution that follow are not entirely applicable because I currently use Mediamonkey as my primary music player. Therefore, any time I do any sort of editing of the tags in Mediamonkey (even if it's changing the Genre tag), the Year field will subsequently show up in Mp3tag as YYYY\\YYYY I could delete the \\ and the year, but then if I do any more edits in Mediamonkey, I'm back at square one.

The only possible solution I could find in Mediamonkey forums was to add this section to that program's .ini file:


But that has not solved the communication issues between the two programs.

Do I understand the issue correctly? Mediamonkey defaults to writing the IDv2.4 tag, and a 2.3 tag, and Mp3tag sees both and that's where the duplication in the Year field comes from? I tried changing some of the options in the Tagging menu, but can't figure out the right combination.

So first question is: are there any other MM users who have experienced this and found a solution? I still like to use Mp3tag because it's simple in filling in the tags from online, but the OC in me hates when I open a folder of tracks and see the year as 2005\\2005.

Second question, (and maybe there's already a thread for this) is there any way to use Mp3Tag to add a field for Original Year. I definitely like that functionality in Mediamonkey and it would be nice to keep that. Is that just an IDv2.4 thing? Would it be available in future versions?

Anyway, thanks for any and all input...cheers!

But that's the solution. (also mentioned in Post #6)
You have to make MM stop writing the Year twice in two different frames.

For the second question:
Read /t/965/1
And the field in Mp3tag is called ORIGYEAR