Quirky mp3 file format issue preventing a Linksys media adapter from seeing the files.
December 9, 2003 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Quirky mp3 file format issue more inside

Okay, I'm running Windows XP, and the standard folder listing for music directories includes ID3 info such as Artist & Title, but on a large number of my files (files that run perfectly in Winamp, can be copied to other machines, can be moved on to handheld hard drive based mp3 players), the ID3 info, which IS populated, doesn't show up in the XP directory listing. Not a major issue, but it does lay the groundwork for a bigger curiosity. I recently bought a Linksys wireless media adapter to stream the Mp3's over the home network to the stereo, and certain mp3s (the ones with the damaged directory information in XP) don't appear on the Linksys list of available songs, regardless of whether I try to find them by song title, artist, playlist etc. Clearly they are in some quirky way, "damaged", but not so much as to prevent them from playing in any other device. Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing, or can recommend and MP3 "fixer" that might correct whatever the problem is? I've been able to solve it by bringing in the files one at a time in to Cool Edit and re-streaming them out as Mp3s, then saving over the old files, but what a ridiculous hassle. Any help would be very appreciated!
posted by jonson to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
iTunes can clean up your ID3 tags and convert them all to any of several recent standard formats.
posted by sudama at 9:57 AM on December 9, 2003

I had the same problem with a significant chunk of my mp3 collection when I moved to xp. I discovered that if I simply opened files in a batch re-tagger written for xp and just saved them again--without changing any of the id tag information--the new tags would show up just fine. It's a hell of a lot easier to do than re-encoding all of your mp3s. I can't remember which re-tagger I used, but I know this one works well.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:58 AM on December 9, 2003

There is a metric assload of really horrid ID3 tagging software out there, and most likely your problem files were touched by one of the buggy ones. Unfortunately, a vast majority are the buggy ones.
posted by majick at 10:05 AM on December 9, 2003

Try musicbrainz - is a user maintained community music metadatabase. It also cleans up and standardizes your mp3 tags. You can add artists, albums, and songs to the db, and the whole thing is released via CC license.
posted by plemeljr at 10:35 AM on December 9, 2003

I forgot about musicbrainz. That is indeed a great resource.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:10 AM on December 9, 2003

Response by poster: Thanks all! Very much appreciated!
posted by jonson at 1:18 PM on December 9, 2003

Good to see some Creative Commons software being used!
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:49 PM on December 9, 2003

iTunes can clean up your ID3 tags

And totally stuff up your music collection, some have reported, as well. Caution is recommended.

Tag&Rename is a pretty good tool, but it may not do what you need.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:59 AM on December 10, 2003

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