Friday, August 1, 2008

Freeware Appreciation Day: Mp3Tag

Summary: For editing MP3 tags, look no further than Mp3Tag.

This month, my Freeware Appreciation Day's contribution goes to Mp3Tag.

Mp3Tag (written and managed by Florian Heidenreich) allows you to edit metadata (such as ID3 tags identifying the artist, album, track, song title, genre, and so on) of audio files. It supports many audio formats including MPEG-3 (mp3), Windows Media Audio (wma), MPEG-4 (mp4 | m4a | m4b | iTunes compatible), Advanced Audio Coding (aac), Ogg Vorbis (ogg), and more.


Before switching to Mp3Tag, I tried several ID3 tag editors (e.g. MP3/Tag Studio), but I found Mp3Tag the easiest to use. The program is very intuitive. It may have less features than other alternatives, but what it does, it does well. My favorite features include:
  • Ability to apply the same tags to multiple files.
  • Tags-to-file name and file name-to-tags conversion.
  • Unicode support.
  • Drag-and-drop (I particularly like dropping album pictures dragged from the Web sites, such as Amazon.com).
  • Online database search and import.
Importing from an online source (such as freedb and Amazon.com) could be a bit quirky, though: defining search criteria lacks flexibility (it would be nice to have an easy way of inserting defined properties of selected track, such as title, artist, and album, into the search field) and when a match is found, it's not always obvious which values will be applied to which files and tags (I normally figure it out by trial and error). In all other respects, Mp3Tag is well designed and implemented application.

I also appreciate the author's approach to donations:
"I firmly believe that software for private use should be free, and I have no intention at all of commercializing Mp3tag. Unfortunately, its hosting and development are not cost-free for me. There is a lot of traffic on the Mp3tag servers and the software I'm using for developing Mp3tag isn't free. So, I am asking you to download my software, try it, and if you like it and can spare a few bucks, please come back and make a donation. Any amount is appreciated. This money will be used to cover the costs of Mp3tag hosting and development, and it is absolutely voluntary! You won't get less support or crippled versions if you don't."
Well said, brother!

The donation process is very simple, so if you try Mp3Tag and like it, or if you have already been using it, I encourage you to make a donation and help Florian continue his work.

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