Looking for software that saves copies of mp3s with new ID tags.
August 24, 2011 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Please point me to software (hopefully free, but not necessarily), that will allow me to turn out an mp3-"mixtape." In other words, something that churns out copies of mp3s that are all tagged with the same "Album" name, but keep their unique artist and song tags.

So, for example, if I chose a Cheap Trick song, a KRS-ONE song, a Lucinda Williams song, a Rolling Stones song, and a Sade song, I'd want the software to copy those songs with a new "Album" tag shared by each, without changing the tags on the original mp3 files.

The point would be, I could send this in a zip file as sort of a traditional mixtape, and when my friend imported it into his/her iTunes, it would be saved as a specific album, "Songs for You, August 2011" or some such thing.

I would also appreciate any other tips or pointers on how one might accomplish this goal.

posted by kensington314 to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pretty sure you could just make a copy of the files, right-click on them in iTunes/winamp/whatever, and Edit the ID3 tags. You can arbitrarily alter the title, album, etc, of any MP3 you want, at any time.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:46 PM on August 24, 2011

Oh, definitely Tomorrowful. I should've clarified that I'm looking for something that allows me to do this with fewer steps, i.e. avoids this process:

1) Locate mp3s.
2) Copy mp3s.
3) Import copies into iTunes.
4) Change each id3 tag.

I've always found the last step to be sort of painful in a way I can't quite explain, and iTunes epic slowness and crash problems makes me not want to mess with the third step. I'm wondering if there's something that consolidates this process into one or two steps that the software runs.

I'm sorry if this makes me sound incredibly lazy.
posted by kensington314 at 12:52 PM on August 24, 2011

posted by empath at 12:56 PM on August 24, 2011

kensington314, are you aware that you can edit the ID3 tags of multiple files at once in iTunes? Just select them all, right-click and choose the appropriate command.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:59 PM on August 24, 2011

Faint of Butt:


what? like in a batch?

you're lying to me.
posted by kensington314 at 1:05 PM on August 24, 2011

Select the bunch of files. Choose "Get Info", just as if you were editing one file. You'll see all the same dialog as usual except that the "song name" field is missing. Change the album, album artist, year, rating, genre, artwork, whatever. Click "OK". Done.
posted by chazlarson at 1:26 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Super cool. Thanks to both of you.
posted by kensington314 at 1:31 PM on August 24, 2011

If you want something a little more awesome than iTunes, try Tag & Rename - I use that for all of my library management. It does batch file renaming, tag extraction from filenames, batch file renaming (for keeping your filename formats uniform across the library, if you're really anal [like me]), directory management and file movement/copying. For your mixtape idea, I would just copy all the files into your dump directory, then go to that dir in T&R and batch format the album title / id3 notes if needed / etc, auto-number the files in whatever track order you want, then batch rename the files to match the new info. Blam! Takes about 30 seconds once you know the shortcuts. This program is FANTASTIC for managing large audio libraries culled from multiple sources.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:43 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Apparently I listed batch file renaming twice because it's JUST THAT COOL. Or possibly one of those was supposed to be 'batch tagging'. Who knows!
posted by FatherDagon at 1:43 PM on August 24, 2011

BTW, what OS are you using? There are various non-itunes ways to edit id3 tags, and it probably wouldn't be hard to gin up an AppleScript or Windows command line method of doing this.

For example, this:


under Windows, you could copy your MP3s to a folder, then in a command window, cd to that folder and type:

C:\Users\Chaz\Downloads>id3tool -a"Songs for You, August 2011" *.mp3
posted by chazlarson at 1:54 PM on August 24, 2011

I use MP3tag for stuff like this on Windows.
posted by limeonaire at 4:12 PM on August 24, 2011

Oh, and there's also a "Grouping" tag in iTunes, so if you want a bunch of songs to be grouped together in a certain way, but don't want to change their album tags, you can add that grouping by selecting multiple songs and editing their info. I don't know if it sticks with the files outside of iTunes, but you could experiment and see.
posted by limeonaire at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2011

Another recommendation for MP3tag. If you are using iTunes, create the playlist with the songs you want, then select all the songs and drag them to a location in explorer where you want the copies to appear. iTunes will copy them to there to which you can then use MP3Tag to change any of the meta-data you want.

If you're not adverse to paying some money, check out MixMeister which will turn your mix-tape into a real mix-tape (as in, it'll beat match the tracks and mix them together in a cool way).
posted by mr_silver at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2011

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