All the Artist/Album tags on my MP3 collection are fine, but the Genres and Year tags are all horrendous.

For Genre, songs just seem to be all over the place. It classifies Iron Maiden is Alternative, Ozzy as Oldies, and Pink Floyd as Pop.

Year is even worse, because Amazon always seems to use the "remastered" year instead of the year the actual album came out. For example, it tags my Led Zeppelin albums as coming out in 1990+.

Is there any program that, assuming the artist and album is already correct, will automatically fix the Genre and Year tags?

  • You mean some kind of program that will essentially "listen" to the music to determine what it is exactly, then compare that to a universal database where all songs have been correctly identified previously, and then alter the ID3 tags to match the information in this database? No. There isn't. There are programs that will allow you to select a number of songs in a directory, and edit all their Genre tags or Year tags at one time, but you are doing the editing. It is not automatic. You have to know the Genre and the Year. That information is not supplied to you. – Bon Gart May 24 '13 at 13:53
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    All the automatic programs I know are based on some database. Where else should they get the data from? The problem is, as you described, that the data in this databases is not really satisfying. There are a lot of programs that aid you in editing tags (I prefer mp3tag) but you'll have to edit the genre/year manually for each album. – André Stannek May 24 '13 at 14:15
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    @BonGart Actually, there is a program that'll do that, it's called MusicBrainz Picard. – MarcusJ Jan 10 '14 at 11:34

If you are satisfied with the data in the MusicBrainz database, you could use MusicBrainz Picard (FLOSS and cross-platform) to retag your collection automatically.

Regarding your two examples:

I don’t know how widespread they are, but I use the metatags date and originaldate to differentiate between actual release date and original release date.

As genre is most often subjective, I don’t use this metatag at all.

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  • Well, concerning genres you're spot on. That's why genre information isn't supported by MusicBrainz. It's probably better to go with a tool like MP3Tag and try something like the Discogs web sources script. – JC2k8 Nov 26 '13 at 23:10
  • Picard has scripts that allow genre tags to be added from Last.fm (and possibly other sources?). Genres are subjective, but they also make sense as a consensus-based categorisation, so folksonomies like Last.fm's are still useful. – naught101 Oct 26 '17 at 1:16

As it was said above, the Genre is really subjective so there may not be an automated way to tag mp3s with genres. One could possibly use a Discogs-enabled application for this, but do bear in mind that the online database is often ambiguous on the genre matter. Take for example the Lycantropy album by Patrick Wolf. Here, Discogs provides two entries for "style" ("IDM, Synthpop") and, moreover, it labels the "genre" simply as "Electronic". As for the year, Discogs can list more than one year for an album when it was reissued a number of times. Still, there is an automated mp3 tagger program called taghycardia that can supply a best-guess on the year missing from a tag, although only when the tag lacks more crucial info like album or artist.

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  • Because there are only a few genres (electronic, blues, jazz, rock, classic and some others) which are divided into sub-genres (styles – synthpop for example). – Velda Aug 1 '17 at 19:00

I can't recommend Tag&Rename enough. No, it wont do it for you, but you could clean up all your MP3s in about a weekend.

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