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I've backed up some audio files up in 2 places and added ID3 tags into one backup but not the other, since time has passed my own memory has faded on whether the backups are actually the same, but now one has ID3 data and the other doesn't, basic binary compare will fail and inspection will be cumbersome.

Is there a tool to compare just the audio data (not the header, ID3) in mp3s, flac files, and other files using header data such as ID3.

started a thread on beyond compare here:

would consider other comparison software that does this task

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ah, the eternal plight. I myself struggled with this very question for so long and tried so many duplicate-file-finding apps that I eventually gave up and decided to write one myself. And then I found AllDup.

AllDup made me indefinitely back-burner my own project because it is a fast DFF that has the ability to compare MP3 and JPEG files, ignoring their ID3 tags and Exif data respectively. Even better, Michael Thummerer is very responsive to feedback and is quick to fix bugs and implement suggestions (you can suggest ignoring FLAC headers). To top it all off, AllDup is free.

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+1 and accepted answer. Just the job. Thanks. – therobyouknow Feb 21 '11 at 21:51

Foobar2000 with the Binary Comparator plugin will do this.

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+1 Foobar2000 looks FANTASTIC. Why? Because it uses proper Windows native UIs, looks nice and lightweight and minimalist like VNC yet rich in functionality and actually provides information and features that one really wants - like song length etc. Windows Media Player and WinAmp lack showing this information and instead put in prominently obscure features that one would rarely use. Binary Comparator is a great feature for the question I'm asking. Thanks. – therobyouknow Feb 22 '11 at 19:37
Glad you like it! – afrazier Feb 22 '11 at 21:07

I also asked this on the Beyond Compare forum, as mentioned in the question - and Beyond Compare does also provide a solution:

Both approaches are worth considering:

  • the AllDup solution is best if you don't care about which copies of the files are preserved and which are discarded in a directory folder tree AND you have a mix of tagged and non-tagged files in the same folders that you want to run the duplicate check on.

  • Beyond Compare is best if you want to retain the diectory/folder tree AND are compare 2 separate folder/directory structures, helped also by using the on-the-fly non-destructive flatten-tree option

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Here's a way to do it at the shell. You need avconv, which in Debian/Ubuntu is in libav-tools.

$ avconv -i INPUT_FILE -f crc - 2>/dev/null | grep CRC

You'll get a line like this:


This will compare every frame of audio data and generate a CRC for it. So a command like this can compare multiple files:

ls *.mp3 | while read line; do echo -n "$line: "; avconv -i "$line" -f crc - 2>/dev/null | grep CRC; done
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