ID3 taggers: seven years after, they still suck

published Dec 22, 2004, last modified Jun 26, 2013

This piece of software is cause for one of my greatest disgusts ever: EasyTAG - Tag editor for MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MusePack and Monkey's Audio files, ....

Why? Keep reading!

ID3 taggers: seven years after, they still suck, and if I may say it, more than before.

I only want one present for Christmas: a usable tag editor that will:

  1. Let me use Unicode characters in tags
  2. Preserve both ID3v1 and ID3v2.4.0 (not 2.3.0!) tags
  3. Write compatible tags for the id3info command line utility
  4. Write properly encoded tags, all the time

You see, the ID3 spec is really, really hard to implement. And (or!) the implementors are sloppy. Or I am extremely sleepy and really angered at the taggers' devel teams.

There are three major players:
1. Do-it-by-hand players/taggers
2. TagLib
3. id3lib

I've used EasyTAG, which, after three years of letting me "tag" my (approx. 12000) files with "UTF-8", I recently discovered all tags I've written do not have an encoding mark, so naturally the fault of displaying fucked up accents I always piled on Rhythmbox, JuK and amaroK, has, all this time, been the motherfucking EasyTAG's. Apparently, it is too hard for you [-expletive deleted-], to actually 1) write the encoding header on each field using Unicode, so apps reading the tags can actually figure out those are proper accented characters 1) eliminate ID3v1 from tags using high Unicode characters to avoid possible conflicts (because the character encoding in ID3v1 seems to be undefined). Yes, thanks to you, I have to fix approx. 5000 songs, and all the automated utilities available to me are pieces of junk which generate invalid tags (at least for JuK, amaroK and Rhythmbox). I utterly hate you.

I've used both amaroK and JuK. They seem to write valid tags. But they have one problem: damn it, when I say the track is empty, or the year is empty, I MEAN IT! There is no such thing as a year 0 or track 0. This is a fundamental oversight from both devel teams, which probably didn't think about it because they were bolting ID3 tagging support as an afterthought (or didn't they? Because the tagging facilities in JuK seem superb, but they need to be more robust against braindead tags).

I've used mpginfo and id3info.