Being a podcaster I have cause to edit ID3 tags on a regular basis. For some reason unknown to me I have had no end of issues getting it right. To this day you download the podcast and I don’t see any album art. But I now have a great solution.
ID3 tags are like an attachment of extra data to an MP3 file that tell you all that good stuff about the file like who the artist is and what album it comes from. Or metadata for the geeks. This is especially important with MP3 players like iPods. Album art is a great addition to a podcast and ours has recently been updated and now includes Knightwise my co-host so I want it in there. Plus I am a perfectionist and I want everything perfect.
So I have tried a few methods and none have been great or easy. The first thing I used was the Advanced Tag Editor in Windows Media Player (WMP). Most people would say that was a poor choice, I agree. But since I had never done it before and the parameters I had to use were described in terms of WMP I used it. For some reason when I edited tags using the Advanced Tag Editor they would not be saved or would sometimes work and sometimes not. I have not been able to find out why, so I gave up and used the tag editor that is part of WinAmp, it worked but does not support album art.
It came up in our The Podcast Network Intranet that the Tag editor was a pain to find in WMP 11 (which is true). Then it came out that most of us did not use WMP. A few alternatives came out. One being iTunes which I was not keen on. Mainly because it added more things to what I had to do. Add file to Music, edit the tag, remove the file. Just painful, probably effective though. Then an application called AudioShell was suggested. This was the best bit of advice I could have received.
AudioShell is an extension to the Microsoft Windows Explorer shell. It adds two tabs to the right click → Properties screen as shown here:
From here you see the extended information for the selected file. The second tab is the editor. Edit the tag and add the art and hit OK or apply and your tag is complete. Very easy and simple. With seamless integration to the tasks that I do, I am stoked. (Note cool new album art for The Global Geek Podcast).
The supported file formats is impressive:
- MP3: all ID3 tag versions
- wma, asf and wmv (including DRM protected files)
- m4a, m4b, m4p and mp4
- ogg, flac (vorbis comment tags)
- mpc, mp+ (APE/APEv2 tags)
- monkey’s audio (APE/APEv2 tags)
- wav pack (APE/APEv2 tags)
- optim frog (APE/APEv2 tags)
- wav (ID3v2 tag in ‘tag’ RIFF chunk)
So that should cover most peoples requirements and certainly those of the average podcaster. So now I am going to use this over everything else because it can not get any easier. All the best things are free as is this software, so even better. Obviously being an explorer extension it is a Windows only application.
Many thanks to Ewan Spence, host of TPN Rock on The Podcast Network for his recommendation.
January 9, 2007 at 8:51 am
Another recommendation, for those who have had problems with AudioShell (as I did) is MP3Tag, which can be found at http://mp3tag.de/en/ . I’ve been using it since I started the FT podcast and have been very happy with it. One feature I like is the ability to copy tags from one MP3 and paste them onto another MP3, so I can then just change what’s different for each show.
January 9, 2007 at 9:24 am
Hey Bman, yeah I tried MP3tag. I found it a bit over done and complicated for what I needed to do. But then if you have had trouble with AudioShell then a great alternative.
February 26, 2007 at 2:33 pm
For me, this one’s the best… MP3-Info Extension
Audioshell for any reason didn’t work in my pc.