Monday, October 12, 2009

Linux MP3 tag editors- a review

The story so far. In the beginning, the universe was created...
OK, skip that bit. I have a collection of MP3 files, and the tags attached to some of the files are causing errors in the way albums are displayed in some music players. I want to view and edit MP3 tags. My last post on the subject ended with some confusion as to which tag editors can do what, so here is a quick review.

Kid3 is the clear winner in KDE. (It's perfectly usable in Gnome- but the KDE dependencies make it a little slow to load, and it uses the KDE theme.) The Gnome alternative, Audio Tag Tool, produces errors when reading ID3v2 Version 2.3 tags, and cannot read ID3v2 Version 2.4 tags- the default used by such applications as Sound Juicer.
Applications using the Mutagen backend are a very usable alternative in Gnome, only lacking the ability to see which ID3 standard is being used, and if an ID3v2 tag exists, to see which version, and to switch view between tag standards if both exist.
UPDATE: A comment points out that there is a version of Kid3 for Gnome (kid3-qt) which doesn't have the KDE dependencies- a tip of the hat there.


  1. For Gnome users there is a version kid3-qt on (and the Ubuntu and Debian repositories), which does not have KDE dependencies.