What’s an ID3 Tag and Why Should I Care?

Posted on September 22, 2009 by Stephen Kastner | 1 Comment

If you plan to publish original MP3s or if you simply want to organize your own music collection, you will need to learn how to edit an ID3 tag.

Debra Hadraba

Debra Hadraba

Debra Hadraba’s enhanced CD will provide an MP3 version of the single, “Be Brave, Have Heart,” a video, a photo collection and an e-book. Since it is an original recording, never published before, the MP3 version had no metadata to identify the title or the artist.

In 1996 Eric Kemp came up with an MP3 enhancement that added a 128-byte chunk of data to the audio file, one that included tagging information. The standard, known as ID3v1, quickly became the de facto means of storing metadata in MP3s.

ID3 has evolved to provide streaming information and even a 32×32 pixel ‘file icon’ (PNG only) image, as well as the original collection of data that includes: title, artist, album, track number, genre, comment and other information about the file structure.


There are all sorts of free and for-purchase MP3 tag editors available online. Here are two choices that are both top-rated and free…


Mp3tag is a free, simple and comprehensive tool that will permit you to edit the metadata of your MP3s. It supports all of the common audio formats: ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, iTunes MP4, WMA, Vorbis Comments and APE Tags.

NCH Software offers Stamp ID3, a free tag editor as a way to entice you to consider a lot of other useful tools they sell.

While these free tag editors are nice to begin with, they are somewhat limited. They do not edit the tags on Wav files, the ones that inform the CD player of artist and title on standard music disc. Tag&Rename from SoftPointer is well worth the $29.95 it costs, because it not only has greater in-depth tagging capabilities and covers every type of audio tag, but it can automate many of the processes simultaneously over a batch of files.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 at 11:12 am and is filed under Tech. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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One Response to “What’s an ID3 Tag and Why Should I Care?”

  1. Fair Trade Music’s NoiseTrade becomes Free Trade : DesignWise Conversation Media – Door County, WI Says:

    […] for Braveheart Women’s recording artist and songwriter Debra Hadraba. I had to generate and correctly tag the MP3s at 192kbps, upload them, then NoiseTrade creates the Widget, plays samples and handles the […]

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