Edit mp3 tabs in batch

Posted on 2013-01-24
Last Modified: 2013-07-27
How can I update the mp3 tags of some (a lot) mp3 files?

This is the situation: I have approx. 140 song that have no title, etc...

But I have a text file with the titles and I have a way to match these titles with the corresponding mp3 file.

Example file name on disk:  
c:/music/[01 Track 1].wma

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corresponds to this line in my test file:
01: Title of music in "01 Teac 1.wma" file

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I have tried and experimented many of the tag editor out there and  some have "export" but none have import functionality.

Hope anyone can help.
Question by:MikeOM_DBA
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 38818271
Are your files *.MP3 or *.WMA?
Your example file names say .wma but you are asking about mp3 (or more correctly ID3) tags.

Are you working in Linux?
Your file paths have forward slashes, not backslashes.

Are you comfortable using command line programs?
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 38821071
Hello BillDL hope you are well.

Hello MikeOM_DBA, an alternative to scripting
 if you dont have Winamp download it and install
Rightclick the top and tick to show the playlist editor and equalizer
Not the media library as that opens up shoutcast TV and radio.
The Skin I love and am using  is called Vista Vision. Incase you were wondering, you can
download skins for Winamp from their page
what I do is drag my mp3 on to Winamp playlist editor, ( how many is up to you)
go to the bottom SET>Select all
Rightclick  the mp3 then go View File Info
 Then open AUTO TAG
Winamp select all view file info auto tagIt will scan from Grace notes and give you the tags
scanning auto tagif you like the results press ok /or enter on your keyboard
and it will continue on to the next track
Good idea to check it as it doesn't always get it 100% right
auto tagged
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 38821679
Hi Merete.  Yep all's fine here. Good suggestion.


I see that your username contains "DBA", so you should be no stranger to scripting things.

From the contents of your "Title List", and what you have asked about adding a "title" to the tags, it looks as though all you need is the actual file name as the song title tag, but all that comprises is a numeric prefix and a track number.

What about artist, name of album, date, etc?

From a personal viewpoint I always disable the CD Database lookup functionality from any media players that I use, and I don't want it fetching and displaying "album art" images either, so many of my MP3 files are only sparsely tagged with my own song titles.  I use a reasonably consistent file naming convention and I file them away quite well, so I don't need software to calatogue my files.

Most would say that tagging MP3s with my own song titles is not the best way to tag audio files, given that the file naming convention invariably differs from the proper song titles as stored in international online CD Databases, but if all you want to do is use your file names as the song title tags, then it is pretty easy to achieve with a standard batch file and a small command line driven tagging program.

The idea is that you have a batch file walk through a folder and all sub-folders working down from a specified top level folder.  For each MP3 that is found, store the file name minus the dotted 3-character .mp3 extension as a variable, and then call the tagging program passing to it the variable as a tag parameter and the file name as the target file to write the tag to.

Most GUI MP3 Tagging applications allow you quite a wide range of variables to use for the tags, and in particular for the song title.  It wouldn't surprise me if there is a $FileName$ variable in many programs, especially those that allow you to actually rename your MP3 files with more useful names than you currently have (example program first screenshot).  In those cases though, the idea would be that you allow a lookup of an online CDDB, it fetches the proper song title and other tags, and you then piece together variables like $artist$, $album$, $track$, and $year$ to compile a string that is used to rename the MP3 file and apply the separate tags to the MP3 at the same time.

The thing about the MP3 Tagging (or more correctly ID3 Tagging) is that, although there are "standards" laid down in an effort to try and have software developers conform to them, companies like Apple and Microsoft have always loosely applied those standards informally to suit themselves.  Windows Media Player, for example, overwrites standard tags in an MP3 file when you "normalize" a folder of audio files, and Apple writes more clutter to audio files than Adobe image editing applications write to image files.  That said, however, the "Title" (ie. song name) is usually pretty much standard across all tagging applications.

You will see ID3v1 and ID3v2 as tab names in Merete's middle screenshot.  Version 1 goes back quite a number of years.  We are currently on version 2.3.  To provide compatibility with older media players (which could include in-car players) you need to observe how many characters you can have in the $TITLE$ tag.  30 characters for ID3v1 and generally 60 characters able to be extended to 90 with additional "title" information in ID3v2.3.

One of the most comprehensive GUI-based MP3 Tag Editors I have used is "TagScanner" by a Russian named  Sergey Serkov:
This has a "Tag Fields Mixer" option that includes %filename% as one of the variables, and would therefore be useful for you if I have understood your question.

So does MP3Tag:

There are quite a few command line tagging programs around that allow you to use the File Name as a variable for the tags, such as this one (not tried yet):
This, which I have tried:

If you ever need to strip out bad MP3 Tags, then this program works:

This all assumes that you are tagging MP3 files.  WMA files use different tagging.

What are you working with, MP3 or WMA files?

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LVL 29

Author Comment

ID: 38829499
Are your files *.MP3 or *.WMA?
Your file paths have forward slashes, not backslashes.
Originally files are wma, but I can easily convert to mp3.
Oooops typo, should be backslashes. Normally I work on Unix and am WinDoze impaired.


Thanks for your answer, I already have the Tag&Rename program and used it to fix 90% of my music. I tested other similar programs, but the only functionality I could use is the "export".


I was thinking that perhaps the only solution would be a script and do the following:

1) Export the tags to a csv file using Tag&Rename.
2) Add titles to the tags in the csv file using VB or some other program (no issue here)
3) Somehow replace the music tags with the tags from the csv file.

Here is a picture of the original files:
Example of music filesThe file containing the titles has this format:
Album#       CHAR(2),
Track#       CHAR(2),
Title        VARCHAR2(100)

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LVL 29

Accepted Solution

MikeOM_DBA earned 0 total points
ID: 39346826

I bought Tag&Rename software from SoftPointer Inc. which had an "export" tags functionality and I suggested they add an "import" tag.

The latest version 3.7 released this July has the import tag functionality!!!
LVL 29

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39360194
Bought the software and after a year got the functionality I needed.

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