Updating the ID tags of the MP3 files

Step 2.2 of the “MP3 Manufacturing” Workflow: Updating the ID tags of the MP3 files
Following the step of finding the titles of the Chinese MP3 files where we downloaded the names of the Chinese MP3 files, we are now going to update all the MP3 ID tags for our files.
First we want to make sure the folder is properly named. I usually go for a format of “[YYYY-MM-DD] Singer Name Album Name”: An example:
Proper Folder Name
This is really a matter of your personal preference. I find it great to do so as it allows me to have a chronological of all the albums (in subfolders) of the artist in a single artist folder.
By now the contents of your folder should be like this:
Raw File Contents
You should have many RAW (un-tagged and probably bad filenames) MP3 files, a folder.jpg (which is the 500×500 album art renamed as folder.jpg) as well as a file containing the track number/names of the MP3 files. If you don’t have these, review my previous posts.

Next, find an appropriate MP3 ID tagging sofware. I strongly recommend MP3tag. And if you do use MP3tag, then you can follow along nicely.
Right click the folder and choose
Right Click and MP3 Tag
The MP3tag interface will show up with the MP3 tracks:
MP3tag interface will show up with the MP3 tracks
Next clear the ID tags from the tracks. What you doing here is to “CLEAN UP” completely the ID tag information from whatever source you got the files (be it ripped from EAC, downloaded from internet etc). I like to start afresh.
Clean up MP3 tags with DELETE
Now we are going to manually add the key ID information. Select ALL the tracks and choose EXTENDED tag:
Extended Tag
Now you can add the information such as ALBUM Name, ARTIST Name, Year, Gene. Because my folder name is in the format, “[YYYY-MM-DD] Singer Name Album Name”, I find it extremely easy to just copy the folder name and copy and paste to add in these information:
Extended Tag of Album Name
This is how it looks for me when all the 4 information are added:
Extended Tag of 4 key information
Next step of adding the track name and track number is a bit complicated and require some experience. But once you get the hang of it, you can even experiment and do it your own way.
Go to the menu of MP3tag and choose Convert->Text File->Tag. Basically what you are doing is to tell the software that you want to copy the contents of a text file to the MP3 tag.
Copying Text File to MP3 tag
Then you need to examine the contents of your MP3 title file. For example, in my case:
Contents of File
In my case, as you can tell, the format of each line is as follow:
TrackNumber.TrackTitle (e.g. 1.白月光 means tracknumber = 1. tracktitle: 白月光 and the 2 fields are separated by a “.”)
So in the next dialog box, first you point to the location of the file name and then to choose an appropriate format string.
Choosing Format String of Mp3tag
So for my case, I would choose %track%.%title%. This tells MP3 that %track% will point to the track number and hence populate the MP3 ID tag of track number with this and then populate %title% with the information separated by the “.”.
The result:
Successfully Populated
As you can see, the titles are now populated with the title names and the track numbers are now populated. All these are from the TEXT FILE which you had placed in the folder. It is NOT magic ! 🙂
However, this is not good enough. We need to change the track number nicely. So choose the NUMBERING button from the menu:
Numbering Button
and choose the following settings:
Numbering Settings
What this does is to automatically add the track numbers as well as the total number of tracks in this album. When completed, the information are done nicely and is very useful.
Numbering Completed
In fact, you can see that this infomation is also useful in iTunes.
iTunes Numbering of Tracks
Finally, the file names are not good enough (for me). It could be rubbish in your case or just not systematically done. For me, I like the format “track space file”. No other format 🙂
So I go to menu and choose Convert->Tag->Filename.
Convert Tag to File Names
Another Format String is involved. This time I choose the format string of “$num(%track%,2) %title%”
Convert Tag to File Names
And after that, you get nicely done up file names:
Nicely Made File Names.
Make sure you SAVE often and UN-DO if necessary.
At this stage, all your MP3 files are now properly tagged with the information. Next 2 steps are to add the lyrics for the MP3 files as well as the album art to the MP3 files.

Comments (9)

  1. Aneesh June 30, 2008 Send Reply
  2. J June 3, 2009 Send Reply
  3. Chinese Albumart June 3, 2009 Send Reply
  4. J June 3, 2009 Send Reply
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  6. J June 4, 2009 Send Reply
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