how to edit mp3 id3 tags with free software

waveforms, precious little waveforms

So you’re putting those cool mp3’s online filled with great music. But when people download them, all they get to read off their fancy smartphone, iPod or mp3 player’s display is an ugly ass file name. Bummer.
Wouldn’t it be sweet as pie if you’d see an album title scroll by, maybe even an artist name, or a track title for example? Think of the possibilities! Well, thanks to the awesomeness of ID3 tags and  some freely available open source/free software this will soon be within your grasp! If you keep reading of course.

Here’s how you can do that after downloading and installing the open source audio and video player VLC.

  1. Open up VLC into playlist mode (View > Playlist).
  2. Drag a file into the playlist.
  3. Right-click it, and choose “Information”.
  4. Edit the properties with your infoz. Make it sounds awesome.
  5. Click the Save Metadata button when you’re finished. That’s it!

Don’t like VLC? Well how about the free, not quite open source, but never the less equally awesome music player extraordinaire Foobar2000:

  1. Start Foobar2000, and open an mp3 file in it.
  2. Right click the mp3 file in the playlist, select Properties.
  3. There you have it. Just edit the fields, and click OK to save. You’re done. Can you feel it? Awesome isn’t it?

But maybe you also want to edit your files in a bit more potent type of sound editor. Well, the FOSS audio-editor Audacity can do just that for you. You have to setup Audacity with the Lame mp3 encoder first however, and requires you to save the mp3 under another file name. Not so handy to edit tags quickly, but if you’re doing some editing and mastering on your mp3’s first you can use this baby to add the necessary tags right here.

  1. Open the mp3 file in Audacity.
  2. From the File menu, select Export.
  3. Select where you want to export the mp3. A screen will pop-up where you can enter the ID3 tag info. Easy peasy.

So there you have it. 3 options to edit those mp3 tags without having to spend a penny software.
Foobar2000 is definitely worth checking if you’re in need of a good music player anyway, and VLC doesn’t hurt to have around either as that baby plays about any video format ever invented.

Be gone ugly ass file names I say! Be gone!

Photo by altemark, cc-licensed.

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