What is adding comments to my MP3 files?

Hey guys.

I used EasyTag to zap the comments from all my mp3 files... seemed fine.

The next day, I checked and on all of the files there were these weird comments... for example:

 00001643 00000000 00003552 00000000 0002E675 00000000 00007FC6 00000000 0000C350 00000000

They're clearly data of some sort, but I have no idea how they're encoded. Whatever I want them gone.

I've added all my songs to iTunes so it's possible that iTunes did this, but I think it's unlikely because iTunes does not register the comments unless I re-add the songs.

No, I think it's something else, and I've got my eye on windows explorer.

Any suggestions as to what might be causing it, and more importantly how to stop it happening?
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No ideas on whats causing it... But you might be able to find the culprit with Filemon (includina link to Regmon for giggles).

Use Filemon, and at the top, hit the blue filter button, and set the highlight to "Set;Write" (no qoutes). In the include line, * works fine (includes all files, so if you can easily reproduce it, its fine), but if you cant.... Try entering in *.mp3, or itunes.exe....

RegMon for Windows v7.04

FileMon for Windows v7.04

Set teh filter at the top to highlight "access denied", and and try and recreate the errors....Then go to these and look for the red, and it will tell you where the permissions are shot....

Or even use the new and improved utility form Sysinternals, that contains them both....

Process Monitor v1.22

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b0lsc0ttIT ManagerCommented:
Is there something common with these files?  For example do you use some program to play the files (besides iTunes) or did you get them from one source?  Are they all in the same "music" folder on your computer?

I am not familiar with EasyTag but which tag was it set to zap?  Which tag version?  Are the values you see now the same as those that were removed?

suma_dsAuthor Commented:
I used EasyTag to remove all the tags I didn't want (comment, genre, etc). They're all in the same music folder, but not from one source. I don't really play them on my computer, just on my iPod.

Anyway I've got some more info:

I cleared all the unwanted tags again (EasyTag) and verified this in explorer. All good. Then I added all the files to iTunes, and now the comments are back again.

I'm now almost certain that iTunes is doing it -- possibly it's the gapless playback information. Can anyone confirm this?
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b0lsc0ttIT ManagerCommented:
Does iTunes show any thing in the comments area when you view the tags?  It may be info used for providing the artwork info, etc.  If you turn off any settings to "sync" with an online DB or to get album info then this may confirm or disprove this.

suma_dsAuthor Commented:
iTunes itself shows nothing in the comments area... it's only when I view the ID3 tags using Explorer that I can see this data.

Mmm, I was thinking something along the lines of artwork info... however iTunes isn't configured to download album info or anything like that.

I just got off the phone with Apple support, and they said that if you add files to iTunes then it will not modify the files in any way (unless you import from a cd, which I'm not doing).

I have a strong suspicion that they're wrong about this -- I'm going to do some tests on another computer. I'll post more info soon.
suma_dsAuthor Commented:
Okay, after a lot of testing I discovered the problem was to do with my windows profile.

Ultimately I don't know what was causing the problem, but I created a new profile and now the problem is gone, so I'm happy.

I'm going to split the points for this one.

Cheers guys.
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