Editing file tags is still a thing in 2021. I thought I'd have a flying car at the turn of the century, and I thought editing file tags would be a thing of the past by now. However, we're far from anything resembling the extinction of tag editing. In fact, it's still critical on every platform I use, and I use almost all of them from Aurender, Lumin, Naim, Roon, and many more. Yes, tags are even important in Roon, an app that for the most part doesn't use tags.
Released today from indie software developer Florian Heidenreich, is the new Mp3tag for Mac app. Don't let the name fool you. The app really has nothing to do with MP3 files. MP3 is just one of many file formats that Mp3tag can edit. I've tested the app several times on several platforms and really love how well it works and it's simplicity.
Here's how I use Mp3tag for Mac. I think a light will illuminate in many people's minds as they see how easy and beneficial the app really is. Audiophiles using apps such as JRiver or Audirvana on their Mac, already have built-in tag editing. Mp3tag is magical for everyone else, especially those using UPnP/DLNA servers and high end music servers.
This week I received the physical CD for Congo Blue, a direct to disc recording from Disk Union in Japan, and a download for David Chesky's forthcoming Songs for a Broken World album. I used Mp3tag on both releases and it couldn't be happier about the experience.
The Chesky album's files had absolutely zero tags, but I didn't notice this until I had copied them to my QNAP NAS and Aurender N20. Roon did an OK job of naming the albums from the folder structure and extracting names from the files names, but the album was listed under Various Artists. Roon has no clue who, what, when, where, etc... without file tags because no information is available about this release from its online sources.
I opened Mp3tag, and just dragged the album's tracks from my NAS to the Mp3tag window, through macOS finder. Note, the files remain on the NAS. I added all the tags I needed and high resolution album art through Mp3tag, clicked Save changes to files. That's it, all the tags were updated/added to the files on my NAS and Roon automatically changed Various Artists to David Chesky and used my high resolution art.
The same goes for my Aurender N20. I navigated to the N20 through finder, the same way I copied files to the music server initially. I dragged the album's folder into Mp3tag, again the files remained on the N20, and edited everything I needed to edit. I updated my Aurender library through the Conductor app and all was right in the world.
I absolutely love that Mp3tag can edit local files and network / music server files without moving them. The bigger picture here is that Mp3tag can be used on any number of albums, sitting on a NAS or music server or even locally, that people have collected over the years and just haven't felt like editing. One reason why I use Mp3tag over an app like Audirvana or JRiver for tagging, is because it's so easy. The only thing Mp3tag for Mac does is edit/add file tags. There is nothing to remember when opening the app after a long day at the office. Just open it and off you go.
I could repeat this entire story again for the Congo Blue CD I received and ripped, but I'll mention one additional reason why I like Mp3tag. It isn't a different feature, but it's a human thing. Attached to my NAS I have a 16TB USB drive. I haven't setup auto backup to this drive yet. The drive currently has an exact copy of everything stored on the NAS RAID array. This means that everything I copy to the NAS also gets copied to the backup USB drive. I do this over the network because it's easiest, rather than QNAP's file manager.
I opened the Congo Blue ripped CD on my backup USB drive and edited it the same way I edited the main version on the NAS. Drag, drop, edit, save, done. Editing the backup copy reminded me of all the times I've made adjustments to my main music source on the NAS or Aurender, and never changed the same info on my backup copy. Call it laziness, forgetfulness, or being too busy, I didn't get it done. Using Mp3tag, I can easily go through my backup drive and make quick changes that I'd neglected when I made the change previously on the main source.
Note 1: At first I couldn't figure out how to remove the files from the Mp3tag window after editing them. I was hesitant to click the Remove option after selecting the files and right-clicking. I eventually clicked around and found out. Just select the files, right-click, and select Remove (NOT Remove Tag). The files are removed from the window, not the source.
Note 2: By default upon opening the app Mp3tag opens the last files that were open when the app was closed. This can be changed in the app's preferences next to Startup Folder. See the image below.
This app is so easy and works very well. It's one of those apps you don't know you need until you try it. I'm never removing it. It's an indispensable $20 tool in my digital toolbox.
Windows users likely know this already, but MP3TAG has been a go-to editor on that platform for years. Mac users can now enjoy it on both Intel Macs and natively on Apple Silicon based Macs.
Highly recommended. Spend the $20, you won't regret it. I don't make a penny off the sale of this app, I just like it so much that want to share it with the Audiophile Style Community.