How can I include ID3 tag information on a burned CD?
January 2, 2005 11:40 AM   Subscribe

How do I make ID3 tags persistent? [+]

When I make a mix CD for a friend on my Mac, I add all the data tags: song title, album, artist etc. When I insert the CD into my Mac again, I can see the information. When my friend puts the CD into her Mac, no song titles or any other info is present. Why not? We have the same hardware and software. When I download a song the ID3 information is persistent, so why is this different?
posted by OmieWise to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
By 'make a mix CD' do you mean take MP3s and turn them into an audio CD?

An audio CD doesn't have ID3 tags. MP3s do. So, when you burn a CD that was originally made of MP3s, your computer keeps a record of what-cd-was-made-of-what-tracks (not unlike when you download a CD tracklisting from CDDB).

Because this CD's track/title info is only held on your PC (because there are no ID3 tags for an audio CD), there's no reason why your friend's PC would know what songs are on the CD.
posted by Jairus at 11:50 AM on January 2, 2005

Response by poster: Jairus,
Thanks, that's exactly the problem, and I'm not sure why I did not think of that at all. So there is no analgous informational system for songs on an audio CD?
posted by OmieWise at 12:13 PM on January 2, 2005

Because this CD's track/title info is only held on your PC (because there are no ID3 tags for an audio CD), there's no reason why your friend's PC would know what songs are on the CD.

True. However, if you use iTunes [as one example] you can upload the track listing to CDDB -- mark it as a compilation, keep all the other track/song stuff the same -- and then your friend will be able to download that information assuming she uses an MP3 player with access to the CDDB. From iTunes, go to Advanced > Submit CD Track Names to do this.
posted by jessamyn at 12:15 PM on January 2, 2005

OmieWise, there is a system called CD-TEXT, but it's not supported by many hardware devices. A few high-end CD players have it, and a few labels encode their discs with it. In theory, you can burn a CD with CD-TEXT enabled, and any player that supports it will know what the tracks are. I've always left it enabled by default on all of my burns, and out of the countless players I've used (including a few that cost more than some cars), only a crappy Honda CD player has ever noticed.
posted by Jairus at 12:24 PM on January 2, 2005

Yeah, CD-TEXT is what you need, and although I don't know anything about Apples, I bet most software would pick up on it. However, it is limited to the most basic information: Artist, Album and Track titles.
posted by thewittyname at 1:37 PM on January 2, 2005

Eeee... I wouldn't go uploading mix CD's track info into the CDDB/FreeDB. It's really sort of bad manners as it creates entries in the database for an absolutely unique compilation intended only for a subset of users.

Gracenote discourages it, but do not outright prohibit it.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:21 PM on January 2, 2005

Your CD-R drive will need to support CD-TEXT. Virtually all newer ones do, but mine, which is 3 or 4 years old, does not. You'll also, obviously, need a burning program that supports it as well.
posted by Plutor at 5:32 PM on January 2, 2005

iTunes does not support CD-TEXT, but Toast does.
posted by neustile at 6:43 PM on January 2, 2005

The right answer to this, since you intend the mix CD to be played on your friend's computer, is to make it an mp3 CD, not an audio CD. Basically just burn a data CD with the mp3's in question on it as files. Not only can you fit more mp3's on, but they will retain their ID3 info :)
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:23 PM on January 2, 2005

We have a winner!
posted by Prince Nez at 2:03 AM on January 3, 2005

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