I have a collection of ripped CDs that were transcoded to a very low bitrate. (and I lost the original MP3s)

I'd like to re-rip the CDs to a higher bitrate, and apply the ID3 tags from the existing rips to the new files. (These are custom tags; they will not be found in online databases)

Is there any way to automatically copy ID3 tags by length and track number, or do I need to write one myself?

3 Answers 3


You can try Mp3tag (freeware):

Select the source MP3 files you want to copy the ID3 tags from, right-click the selection, choose "Tag Copy", then select the target MP3 files, right-click the selection, choose "Tag Paste".

This solution doesn't provide an automatic ID3 tagging based on same track length or number.

  • Copying tags file-by-file would be very annoying; that's not what I'm looking for.
    – SLaks
    Jun 12, 2012 at 23:12
  • 1
    @SLaks Yes, it is what you are looking for. You can select all the existing ripped files in MP3Tag, and EXPORT to a txt_taglist text file. You can then re-rip the music, put it in ANOTHER directory in the same order as the existing rips, select them all in MP3Tag, and use the Convert - Text file/tag command to read that text file, and apply it to all the selected files. Of course, if the songs are not in the same order, your tag information will be wrong. There is no way to have a program automatically detect what the song is before the tag is applied.
    – Bon Gart
    Jun 13, 2012 at 0:01
  • @SLaks You don't have to copy file-by-file, you can select multiple files at once to copy/paste the tags.
    – speakr
    Jun 13, 2012 at 7:58
  • @BonGart: Actually, I can just sort both lists by length (assuming they're really the same) and get everything perfectly.
    – SLaks
    Jun 14, 2012 at 12:21

I wrote a python tool named replica that do just that, pip install replica to install.
My use case is that I often download upgraded versions (bitratewise) of my favourites mp3 albums and am particularly interested to keep my ratings (that i duplicate in the grouping tag).

Usage :

If you replicate full albums, please make sure that tracks filenames are similarly ordered in both source and destination folders.::

$ replica -u Library/Sam_Cooke-Ain_t_that_good_news-128kbps-2003
Cloning id3 metadata... Done  
Renaming files......... Done

In addition to id3 cloning, replica can handle files renaming too so that upgrading mp3 files becomes a no-brainer.
Consider the -u option to remove the source files and replace them by their upgraded version. Preserving filepaths enables you to migrate id3 metatags to new files while keeping the information stored by your music player (such as ratings or play counts) valid.


KDE's Kid3 can do this. It is open-source software (GPL) and available on all major platforms.

The advantage over the other answers is that Kid3 is scriptable through its command-line interface. It also offers support for a variety of data formats and does a pretty good job at preserving information when converting between different tag types.

To copy the tags from file 1.flac to file 1.mp3, use the following command:

kid3-cli.exe . -c "select '1.flac'" -c "tag 2" -c "copy" -c "select '1.mp3'" -c "tag 2" -c "paste"

The tag 2 commands in the command sequence here select the second tag set in the file. This is mostly useful for MP3 files, where ID3v1 is tag 1 and ID3v2 is tag 2. Vorbis tags only have a tag 2. If you are unsure which is the correct source tag for your file, you can check in the Kid3 GUI.

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