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My problem: I have a lot of MP3s and finding the right music to listen to is difficult.

What I'd like: I'd like to be able to tag the individual files, similar to how you would tag photos on Flickr, or questions on this site. It's very difficult to search for this, since every "mp3 tagging" search ends up with ID3 taggers, which is not what I'm talking about. I'd imagine that this program would let you add tags (eg: "instrumental, cowbell, party") and then you could easily find all your "cowbell" tracks.

Does such a program exist? And for super awesomeness, it doesn't happen to exist as a winamp plugin?

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9 Answers 9

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I was thinking of this for myself some time back,
Had found the TaggTool.

Tagg only stores pointers to your files and will never change or move files. Tagg does allow you to copy files but the original file is left untouched. When Removing Tags remember that only the pointer to the file is being removed from Tagg's database and not the physical file.


But, Lately, I find Locate32 is a better way for me.
The best part is -- it allows you to create databases of specific search scopes
(think of it as customized 'windows search index' files).

Locate32 is software which can be used to find files from your harddrives and other locations. It works like updatedb and locate commands in Unix based systems. In other words, it uses databases to store information about directory structures and uses these databases in searches. The use of these databases provides very fast searching speed. The software includes a dialog based application as well as console programs which can be used to both update and access databases. Supported operation systems are Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista.

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1  
+1 for Locate32. You really should have TaggTool and Locate32 in separate individual answers. Apparently 1). it would be clearer what is being voted for and 2). it could possibly net you more rep points if someone voted for each app separately. :-) –  facepalmd Jul 31 '09 at 10:30
    
@facepalmd, I gave both as a consolidated answer. If you like both, I guess I loose a rep. But, you'll at least upvote once which will push this answer up. Maybe, people liking Locate32 can upvote your comment too... that will show the bias. –  nik Jul 31 '09 at 10:49

Songbird with the Tag Cloud Generator add-on looks like it will do exactly what you are looking for.

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I agree with Andi, but I would you use the comment-field.

Je simply add ie. ;nostalgic;ballad;carmusic;whatever....

You could get more tags in the ID3-tag if you use short codes like ;Q;car;w.ever;...

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this is what I (try to) do with my music. I often don't have the discipline to do it all the time, but it works well. Though I have it space-separated instead of ;-separated. –  Mike Cooper Sep 3 '09 at 20:58

I would certainly like to see a well implemented version of such a feature too. Until then, you can try Media Monkey. Its tag editor has 5 custom fields which are straight text fields.

I did a quick experiment where I edited the Custom 1 field of the mp3 tag of one track to contain the string 'test1' and a second track to contain the string 'test1, test2'. I could then do a search of all fields for the string 'test1' and both of those tracks were selected.

This solution suffers from a couple of problems:

  • You have to type previously used tags out each time, no facility to manage common tags.
  • I think you need to get the 'pay' version of media monkey to be able to search just the custom fields.

Hopefully somebody will mention a better solution.

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You're looking for a library manager, which is one of the things iTunes does, but then so does a number of other programs, such as Media Player, SonicStage and RhythmBox. I'm not sure you will find a plugin for WinAmp to do this, but now you have another phrase to search for.

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I'd like to find a media manager that does this correctly, the problem is either you store the tag information in the ID3 tag or you store it in an external library. If you store it in ID3 tags, it has a good possibility of getting clobbered by all the media library software out there (Winamp, iTunes, etc). If you use an external library, then, more often than not, the file path is used as the identifier, so if you rename your mp3's or sort them, then you loose the tags.

I think it would be cool if a new field was implemented in the ID3 as a standard for tags, and all media players would implement and use this field consistently.

However, as it stands now, I don't know of any software that does this. I would like to know if there was.

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good comments. i agree with you and see the point about the ID3 vs external db problems. –  nickf Aug 2 '09 at 21:45
    
There was one, see my answer: superuser.com/questions/14739/…. And if a software change your ID3 without your consent you should avoid it... Or more simple: stick with fb2k and do everything with it... –  fluxtendu Jan 10 '10 at 7:19

Well, for what regards winamp: why not using any of the unused ID3 tags? I mean: you could use the "Composer" or "Publisher" fields to write whatever you want... and then find anything from within winamp.

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with foobar2000 you could use multiple tags in one ID3 tag (separated by ";") and show them like you want using title formating with %<"field">% (Default UI components: album list / facets or Columns UI components: album list panel / filter, ...) and commands like $meta(field) (everywhere)

More info here

Note: by default only the tags: ARTIST, ALBUM ARTIST, PRODUCER, COMPOSER, PERFORMER, GENRE are configured for settings by multi-tags, but you could add yours (like MOOD, STYLE ...) in: Preferences > Advanced > Display > Properties Dialog > Multivalue Fields

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Here is an approach that saves the tags to a common, but seldom-used field in your ID3 tags. This is important because the tags will be backed up with your music and usable by any media player.

Use the "grouping" field as a free-form tag field. This is a standard field, used by most media player software that is not used very often for its original purpose: grouping classical pieces. You can create auto/smart playlists in iTunes and MediaMonkey that look for tags that are space-separated.

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