Best Free MP3 Tag Editor

 
Introduction

MP3 has become the most common audio format for playback, storage and transfer of music. If we need to playback MP3 files with their tag information shown correctly, or to organize a large collection of MP3 files based on their tag information, a good MP3 tag editor will be helpful.

In this category, both standalone and built-in MP3 tag editors are reviewed based on three basic needs which include:

  • Support basic tags, embedded cover arts and lyrics.
  • Rename files using tag information, and edit tags using file names.
  • Lookup online databases and save tags into MP3 files.
 
In a Hurry?

Go to details...  Go straight to:

 
Discussion
Standalone Tag Editors

TagScannerTagScanner is my favorite. It supports basic tags such as artist, album, title, track, year and genre, and extended tags including composer, grouping, BPM (beats per minute), etc. Lyrics are shown below the album cover.

Files can be renamed with Music Renamer and tags can be generated from file names.

TagScanner with its Tag Processor allows you to preview tags and cover arts from online databases before saving them into MP3 files.

However, it does not come with a normal windows menu. You may need to spend some time to get yourself familiarized with its user interface.

 

Mp3tagMp3tag is a good choice if you prefer to have a user interface with a normal windows menu. Mp3tag has the advantage of a simple and clean design with a powerful and yet easy-to-use tool to edit tags of MP3 files.

Basic tags are shown in a customizable front panel. Extended tags are shown in a separate window for all existing tags stored in your MP3 files. If a tag for lyrics or other info does not exist, it can be added, or if a tag is repeated, it can be removed easily.

Mp3tag allows you to rename files based on the tag information, import or export tag information and create playlists. It supports online Amazon, freedb, MusicBrainz and other database look-ups, allowing you to auto tag and embed multiple images for album covers.

It also has a powerful Web Sources Framework, allowing you to get album info from additional online databases. The latest web sources are available from Mp3tag Forums at Web Sources Archive. You can download the ones you need, and extract them to your Mp3tag data folder in order to gain access to more online databases for auto tagging.

 

Kid3Kid3 (standing for KDE ID3) audio tag editor runs on multi platforms and supports editing all tags in MP3 files. You can generate tags from file names or vice versa, and import tags from online databases including gnudb.org, TrackType.org, Discogs and MusicBrainz.

The application allows for dragging and dropping a cover art to a file and helps searching album arts and lyrics via a browser from online resources as well. Other features include convert between ID3v1.1, ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 tags, edit tags of multiple files, generate playlist files, rename and create directories from tags, case conversion and export tags.

Despite all the features, it lacks a column view available to other editors for glancing at the same tag fields but of different values in multiple files. Due to this, you can only see 'un-equal' signs in tags for different values when multiple files are selected.

 

MusicBrainz PicardMusicBrainz Picard runs on multi platforms and adopts a new tagging concept that is album oriented, as opposed to tracks or files oriented tagging.

It identifies track information by comparing a unique digital thumbprint to the information in the MusicBrainz database. Once the tracks are best matched, you can save their respective tag information into selected MP3 files. How To Tag Files With Picard is a helpful guide for a quick start.

As with Mp3tag, checking the details of a selected file evokes a list of all existing tags, including lyrics, which you can then edit. If a tag doesn't currently exist, you can always add it.

But in the version under review, cover art edits aren't possible except by updating from online databases.

 

MetatOGGerMetatOGGer introduces workspaces to make tagging more user-friendly. The workspaces can be configured, saved and re-loaded.

The program features a collapsible left panel for viewing or editing tags and cover art of a selected file. Another collapsible panel is placed to the right to search for cover arts or retrieve tags from the Database.

Other than tagging from scripts and filenames, tagging from the acoustic fingerprint is supported and found to be quite accurate. Lyrics can be optionally added to the tag if retrieved from Wikia.com successfully.

On the downside, the editor only supports for one cover art per file and its searching tags from the Database is found not quite stable.

 

MPTagThatMPTagThat is a relatively new OpenSource MP3 tag editor. In addition to tag editing, the program also includes extra functions such as audio playback, ripping, converting and burning music files.

As regards tagging, it allows auto tag from file names or the Internet as well as identifying files. Another very useful feature is auto tagging of lyrics and album art from the Internet, even though retrieving cover art takes a while.

Other features of the program include organizing or renaming files based on tag information, case conversion, removing tags, execute scripts, etc.

The program is still under active development and has the potential to improve in quality. Don't be surprised if you encounter some handling errors in the current version under review.

 

The GodFatherUnlike the above, The GodFather is a tag editor with a built-in library to organise MP3 files based on tag info. The program will scan your MP3 folders and automatically suggest the files to rename.

Under its library tab, it allows you to edit and show up to 4 pictures per album stored in MP3 files. Moreover, the "Search lyrics using Google" function gets you the results in a Google search page or the web page showing lyrics of the selected file. This expedites the search for lyrics but you need to copy and save them to the tag manually, not so efficient as MPTagThat.

In addition to manual editing of tags, it provides auto tagging via online databases such as freedb, Allmusic and Amazon. However, All Music Guide is disabled due to possible terms of service violation, and the built-in Amazon search seems to retrieve tag info less successfully than other selected tag editors. Another drawback is that this program has no Unicode support.

 

Built-in Tag Editors

MusicBeeMusicBee is a music player and organizer with a built-in tagger which is as good as a standalone tag editor.

It allows you to auto tag by albums or tracks, look up album arts, lyrics and other tag info from the web, save tags and embed lyrics and multiple images into the music files in your collection. The tedious tagging work is made so much easier and more intuitive now with this program.

MediaMonkey Tag EditorAs an alternative, MediaMonkey Standard is also a music player with a built-in tag editor meeting the basic needs. It allows editing basic and detailed tag information, auto tags from filenames, move or rename files based on track tags.

It also supports editing lyrics and multiple images with types and descriptions for album art, and allows fixing of tags in your selected MP3 files with automatic lookup and tagging of album art and other track information from Amazon online database.

AudioShellAudioShell is not a standard alone application but a Windows Explorer shell extension. Unlike all the above applications, it allows you to view and edit tag information directly in Windows Explorer.

After installing AudioShell, you do not need to run it again. It adds 27 optional additional columns to show tags in Explorer "Details" view.

Editing basic tags and the cover art of an MP3 file is allowed at Editor tab of Properties windows, and editing lyrics is allowed at Summary tab in Advanced mode. Group editing is possible by selecting multiple files.

AudioShell does not offer connection to online databases, but it is a good program to accompany any one of the above applications.

 

Other Tag Editors

These are other MP3 tag editors which were brought up in comments here or noted from other sources. As they are not rated in this review, I am listing them here with brief descriptions and links to their sites for ease of reference.

  • Mp3nity, a tag editor with a built-in player supports for editing various tag fields including lyrics and pictures, mass tag editing, renaming, etc. Finding album art and lyrics online and other advanced features are restricted to the paid premium version. Tags in unicode encountered errors when tested.
  • MP3 Book Helper allows file renaming and tags editing by variables or regular expressions. Pictures and lyrics are to be viewed on separate windows with a search linked to Allmusic or Google on a browser. A lyrics search directs you to a Google search page related to the selected file, but a search on freedb database for tag info gets fewer matches than other short listed tag editors.
  • ID3-TagIT supports quite a number of tag info, including lyrics and multiple pictures for album arts. It also supports freedb database but experiences a low rate of getting a successful match and occasionally subjects to 'unhandled exception' errors. Lyrics are shown without line breaks for some MP3 files.
  • EasyTag is a cross-platform tag editor for ID3 tags of different audio files, using a GTK+ interface. No support for Lyrics tag is noted.
  • Mp3 Tag Tools is a small program allowing you to edit basic tags and lyrics, embed multiple images of album arts into MP3 files, but with regret, it does not support fixing of tags from online databases, one of the basic needs in this review.
  • Jaangle (formerly Teen Spirit) is a music player and organizer with a built-in tagger. Its Google Lyrics is powerful in automatically searching the lyrics, but writing them to the file is still buggy as it will white-out the album art in the file as checked from other tag editors. Besides, other tag editing features are not better than MediaMonkey.
  • Zortam Mp3 Media Studio is a multi-purpose MP3 organizer with a built-in tag editor. It allows editing tags including lyrics and multiple pictures, and provides online updating of tags via Amazon. However, unlimited online access to Zortam Music Database for lyrics and cover arts, together with some other basic editing features, are only available to the commercial Pro version.
  • Abyssmedia ID3 Tag Editor, offers features for editing very basic tags without lyrics and art covers. No online lookups for tags info are supported.
  • The Crab searches your music data sources from Amazon or Discogs based on music albums only. You can edit basic tags and art cover, but not lyrics and other tags.
 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide - Standalone Tag Editors

TagScanner
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Support basic and extended tags, complete with Music Renamer and Tag Processor. Preview tags and cover arts from online database before saving.
Without normal windows menu.
http://www.xdlab.ru/en/index.htm
5.1.638
1.80 MB
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP to Windows 8

Supports audio formats including mp3, mp4, wma, mpc, ape, flac, aac, ofr, spx, wv, tta.

Mp3tag
5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple and clean design, show up existing tags with add and delete functions, customizable front panel, import and export tags, create playlists, online database lookups.
Lyrics column can be added in front panel with a multi-line option, but restricted to 6 lines and not extensible.
http://www.mp3tag.de/en/
2.57
2.51 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP to Windows 8

Supports audio formats including mp3, mp4, aac, wma, flac, ape, mpc, ogg, ofr, ofs, spx, tak, tta and wv.

Kid3
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Edit all tags, generate tags from files or vice versa, import tags from databases, browse cover arts and lyrics from online resources, drag and drop cover art to a file, export tags, etc.
Lacking a column view of tags for multiple files in a folder.
http://kid3.sourceforge.net/
3.0.1
8.3 MB (based on Windows)
Open source freeware
This product is portable.
Linux, Windows and Mac OS X

Supports MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, MP4/AAC, MP2, Speex, TrueAudio, WavPack, WMA, WAV and AIFF files.

MusicBrainz Picard
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Runs on multi platforms, identify track info by matching digital thumbprint with MusicBrainz database, show up existing tags with add and delete functions.
Cover arts not allowed to edit except updating from database.
1.2
8.4 MB
Open source freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows, Linux, Mac OS X

Supports for mp3, aac, wma, ape, wav, ogg, flac, speex, musepack, wavpack.

MetatOGGer
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Configurable workspaces, tagging from scripts, filename and online database. Search for cover and lyrics, etc.
Supports for one cover art per file, searching tags from Database found not stable.
5.0.1
8.6 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP or higher

Supports mp3, ogg, flac, speex, musepack, wma, wav and ape.

MPTagThat
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Auto tag of lyrics and cover arts from Internet, auto tag from file names, organize and rename files, case conversion, remove tags, execute scripts, etc.
Still under active development and subject to occasional handling errors.
3.1.2
9.5 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP to Windows 7
The GodFather
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Edit and show up to 4 pictures per album, search lyrics using Google, auto tag via online database.
Less successful search of tag info from Amazon. No Unicode support.
0.86
6.1 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows

Supports audio formats including mp3, mp4, aac, ogg, mpc, ape, flac, apl, wv, ofr, spx.

 
Quick Selection Guide - Built-in Tag Editors

MusicBee
5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Auto tag by albums or tracks, look up album arts, lyrics and other tags from the web and save them into files, supports multiple images.
Tag editor must run with the player.
http://www.getmusicbee.com/
2.2.5069
13.9 MB
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows XP, Vista, 7

Supports mp3, ogg, flac, m4a, wma, ape and other audio files.
v2.2.5069 released 18 November, 2013

MediaMonkey Standard
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
A player with a powerful built-in tag editor, user friendly, support basic and detailed tag info, auto tags from online database.
Auto tags from database is less powerful when compared to TagScanner.
4.0.2
13.6 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP to 7

Supports mp3, aac, ogg, wma, ape, wav and other audio files.

AudioShell
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
A Windows Explorer shell extension, adds may columns to show tags in Explorer, editing basic tags, lyrics and album arts are allowed.
No auto tag from online database.
1.3.5
1.13 MB
32 bit only
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Win 2000-XP

Supports mp3, mp4, aac, ogg, wma, asf, wmv, flac, mpc, mp+, ape, mv, ofr, wav and other audio files.

 
Editor

This category is maintained by volunteer editor Jojo Yee. Registered members can contact the editor with comments or suggestions by clicking here.
You can visit the Google+ profile page of Jojo Yee here.

 
Tags

mp3 tag, free mp3 tag, free tag editor, tag scanner, tag tools, mp3 tagger, tag editing software, freeware, free mp3 tagger

Back to the top of the article.

 

Share this
4.32353
Average: 4.3 (102 votes)
Your rating: None

Comments

by John Carpenter (not verified) on 7. February 2011 - 15:27  (65985)

I use Kid3 on al my machines, that is Windows, Mac and Linux... and thats the reason for my comment, Kid3 is multiplatform, not only Linux.

Also the following is wrong: "Despite all the features, it lacks an overall view of tags in columns for all files in a folder".

You have an overal view of the tags and you can even see what the common values are. This you can do by selecting all files, common values are shown, difference are indicated with the not equal sign.

Hope this information is helpfull for someone.

by Jojo Yee on 8. February 2011 - 6:05  (66018)

You're spot on John. The supported OSes have been added. On lacking a column view of tags in the program, I've rephrased it to make it clearer.

by John Carpenter (not verified) on 8. February 2011 - 18:49  (66048)

Thanks for taking the time to correct it. I see what you mean with the column view.

By the way, this overview is great... could have saved me a lot of time.

by catester (not verified) on 29. January 2011 - 7:23  (65417)

AudioShell --- how I miss it from my XP days. It doesn't work in 64-bit systems, unfortunately. You might want to update your info --- it says it doesn't work in Vista, either.

by Jojo Yee on 31. January 2011 - 7:41  (65562)

Thanks Catester for pointing out.

by Michael Connor (not verified) on 29. January 2011 - 7:45  (65419)

This also works well in 7;

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Audio/Tag-Editors/FoxTag-Editor.shtml

by Michael Connor (not verified) on 29. January 2011 - 7:41  (65418)

Have you tried this in Win 7?

http://jrwren.wrenfam.com/blog/2010/03/08/windows-7-mp3-tag-editor/

Regards...Mike Connor

by Kastaldi (not verified) on 23. January 2011 - 10:49  (65063)

Hi everyone, give MPTagThat a try!
I had 400+ mp3s with messed up tags and unknown songs... Well, I always postponed this boring job but MPTagThat helped me a lot ! The identify option that hashes the first 30 secs of the files and try to find the hash on Musicbrainz, is amazing. About 90% of them where correctly identified in a few minutes. The rest of the tags have been corrected manually with the integrated direct tag editor and, after that, files were autorenamed with case conversion. The only downside I found is that it steals about 46 megs of memory on my Win7, a little too much for a mp3 editor... Another issue is that I'm unable to play the mp3 file by pressing the big "play" button at the bottom without before adding it to the playlist but maybe it's possible to do that because I didn't read the wiki before using this program.

by Namegame (not verified) on 22. January 2011 - 16:53  (65022)

Thanks for the collected info. Simple question. I downloaded the MP3 Tag program and would like to know how to add the lyrics column you wrote about. I don't know how to create the new column, specifically what to put in the Name, Value, Field, and Sort By spaces. Thanks again.

by Jojo Yee on 23. January 2011 - 2:43  (65040)

Go to Tools > Options, select "Tag Panel" in the left panel, click the "Add field" button in the right panel, then choose "UNSYNCEDLYRICS" from the drop-down menu, type "Lyrics" or something meaningful in the Name field, tick the "Multiline" option, click OK.

Hope this helps.

by Namegame (not verified) on 23. January 2011 - 3:38  (65043)

Thanks a lot. It worked fine. Nice of you to take the time.

by Kastaldi (not verified) on 22. January 2011 - 14:25  (65007)

Hi, the link to download MPTagThat has changed, the right one is:

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/extensions/music/mptagthat

by Jojo Yee on 22. January 2011 - 15:13  (65010)

Thanks Kastaldi for pointing out. The link is now updated.

by Kastaldi (not verified) on 23. January 2011 - 10:22  (65061)

You're welcome, happy to be useful ! :)

by aL (not verified) on 13. January 2011 - 17:16  (64457)

Hey Jojoyee, thanks for this wonderful info. I'm enjoying TagScanner now.
But I got a problem in changing the cases. How will I be able to base the file name of the songs in a whole album to the actual title of the songs? I'll give you examples..

Filename-----------------------------------Title
Life In Technicolor------------------------Life in Technicolor
Cemeteries Of London-------------------Cemeteries of London
Viva La Vida-------------------------------Viva la Vida
Death And All His Friends---------------Death and All His Friends

by Jojo Yee on 14. January 2011 - 2:30  (64483)

You're welcome aL. In either way, TagScanner supports for working with tags and file names.

1. To change tag info based on file name, select Tag Processor. (see #61472)
2. To rename a file based on tag info, select Music Renamer. The format placeholders are similar to 1 above.

by Anonymous 2 (not verified) on 4. January 2011 - 9:56  (63771)

Impressive list as everyone says.
However, I am running on a mac and I just could not find the free (if possible, commercial if not) equivalent to tagscanner, the godfather or tag&rename which are all running on windows.
Basically I need a mp3 library organizer which handles all tags (common ones such as title, artist, album, genre, bitrate,...but also more specific ones such as "comment", BPM, key) and which can, if possible, analyse bpm and key.

This seems not to exist.

Thanks

by Lloyd (not verified) on 21. November 2010 - 3:23  (61444)

I have been trying to change the titles on MP3 files for hours now. I can do it one file at a time but I have thousands to change and there is no information for them on the web. What I want to do is change what iTunes sees as the title to the filename. I have tried several freeware products but nothing had what I was looking for. In your comment you say that "tags can be generated from file names." How do I do this in TagScanner?

by Jojo Yee on 22. November 2010 - 1:58  (61472)

Lloyd, hope these steps are helpful when you use TagScanner to fill up title tags from filenames for multiple files:

  1. Under Tag Processor tab, select "Generate TAG from filename" (second icon to the right of "Action", the mouseover tip is located at the status bar at the bottom).
  2. At the top right, select tag format ID3v1 + ID3v2
  3. At the right panel, enter the format that matches your filenames (e.g. if your filename is Love Story.mp3, then the format should be %title%, or if it's Love Story - Taylor Swift.mp3, then the format should be %title% - %artist%
  4. Select "Overwrite" in the "Exisiting values" drop-down menu. (Other options are available depending on your needs.)
  5. Click the Browse button (at the bottom) to locate the folder containing the mp3 files, then multiple select the files in TagScanner as the way you normally do in Windows Explorer (e.g. Ctrl-A to select all files).
  6. Click the Generate button (at the bottom) to see the tag changes highlighted in the Results page.
  7. Click the Generate button again to confirm overwriting.

p.s. As always on the safe side, please keep a copy of your original files for backup before editing the files.

by HitMeWithIt (not verified) on 14. October 2010 - 8:10  (59499)

What a great list but you have missed out the one tagging tool I have used for ages and is really great and very intuitive!
Mp3/Tag Studio is brilliant and you can download a free version that has an inactive (Ie. NOT spyware or using your connection for ads, just a single banner on the program is all!) ad banner across the top edge that doesn't get in the way at all. you can buy a registered version too but, that is besides the point.
I just wanted to post the name of this fine software as I was amazed that no one has mentioned it!!
It has amazing capabilities for mass setting tags, mass cleaning tags and also renaming tools and setting macros so that, for example, you could right click a folder or file in windows and choose to rename or retag all the mp3 files in them to a set format that you crated earlier.
This function really makes it stand out alone from every other program mentioned here!!
the author however is a little slow on catching up to the other programs - the software still does not support adding album art - I know that is a very common requirement these days what with ipods etc, everyone likes to see their music collection via browsing the covers.
so for now, that is the only 'problem' with Mp3/Tag Studio. To fix that I use mp3Tag just to add album art. Or I use Mediamonkey which does a great job with album art.
I recommend people check out Mp3/Tag Studio anyway, you can easily find it via google!

by mistaecko on 22. December 2010 - 10:33  (63075)

Unfortunately MP3/Tag Studio does not have a proper 64bit support. As long as there is no 64bit version of Embarcadero Delphi (the programming language/compiler), there will be no 64bit version of the software. (This is basically the authors words taken from the forum).

Wikipedia writes: "Delphi support for 64-bit applications has been planned for some years, but has been postponed several times. The x64 compiler preview (command-line only) is planned for the first half of 2011. According to the May 2010 roadmap a native x64 RTL/VCL/Cross-platform environment is due later (no date announced)."

by Anonymous on 6. June 2010 - 12:32  (51476)

WOW... I just loaded up TagScanner and it works awesome! I was manually typing in this stuff before. Gonna book mark this site in the future, really appreciate it. Can't tell you how much time it just saved me.

by Anonymous on 3. June 2010 - 11:36  (50938)

Hello,
The list of softwares you propose is impressive. But (thre is always a but), I could not find the software of my dream.
I used to run a PC with Tagscanner. I was quite happy with it.
Now, I moved to Apple running on snow leopard 10.6. And I could not find the equivalent of tagscanner.
Basically, this is what I am looking for :

Recent Music Tag Editor capable of organizing and showing a list of songs with their tags and with 2 specific features :

1) Renaming songs with first letters (artist, title) being in caps for example ;
2) Seeing the BPM Tag (numbers like XXX.XX) and being able to change it manually if needed.
3) FREE SOFTWARE !

After having searched the web, I just could not find that.
Any Help ?

by Anonymous on 8. May 2010 - 3:18  (49317)

Great, thx a lot

by Anonymous on 22. April 2010 - 16:24  (48201)

Thanks for all so Helpfull

by Anonymous on 30. March 2010 - 1:49  (46468)

thanks!
tagscanner is really great, if you got the brains to use it right =)

by Anonymous on 8. March 2010 - 13:07  (45201)

how about http://mp3diags.sourceforge.net/ ?
"...MP3 Diags is a one stop solution that identifies more than 50 different issues in MP3 files and provides the means to fix many of them..."
on winXP i used foobar2000 for taging (manual & online) and fixing mp3 headers etc - for me it was the best tool

by Jojo Yee on 8. March 2010 - 14:30  (45205)

Thanks for the comment. Looks like it's more than a tag editor. I'll give it a try.

by Anonymous on 2. March 2010 - 0:31  (44835)

TagScanner makes no sense to me! I have no idea what it is doing or how to use it. I load a directory of songs and then I click on buttons and tabs but nothing happens. I can't figure out how to get it to do anything and there is NO HELP. It's looks pretty though.

by Anonymous on 7. February 2010 - 8:50  (43046)

I like using foobar2000 to edit tags. Yes, it's more of an advanced audio player for audiophiles (you can use it to ABX, or analyze the difference of quality, between two tracks ripped at different bit rates or codecs).

The tag editor in foobar is very logically designed and simple. I'm not sure about its abilities in getting information online or adding album art, but it's the fastest way for me to edit info for multiple tracks. Just highlight several tracks and right click for properties. WMP or Winamp can't do that, and iTunes is slow. Foobar also tells you if a selection has differing information by using semicolons, which is good.

By default foobar2000 uses ID3 1.1&2.4 tags, but you can change that in its advanced settings.

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting!

Gizmos Needs YouShare your knowledge of free software with millions of Gizmo's readers by joining our editing team.  Details here.