I have a ton of MP3s, but their ID tags are not filled in. Going in manually to populate them is simply too much work.

I was wondering if there is a way to populate them automatically. Perhaps by feeding the MP3s to Shazam or Midori or something like. I am not above writing some code to make it happen, if someone can suggest a way.

10 Answers 10


MusicBrainz Picard

For something different check out MusicBrainz Picard.

It's cool because it will identify MP3's based on a 'audio fingerprint' compared to their database, so you can figure out songs that are missing all tags, or that are mis-tagged.

I haven't found anything else that works quite like it.

That plus a decent tag editor/renamer/organizer (ie: Tag & Rename, or EasyTag) and you're set..

  • 9
    Just FYI: Picard can rename files as well. – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 13 '10 at 18:13
  • Nice, it's been a while since I used it (it was still in alpha), since then I've just made sure I didn't let my tagging lapse on new MP3s. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 13 '10 at 18:14
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    Unfortunately does not do the trick. A good number of songs are karaoke style, without voice, thus the fingerprint does not match. – AngryHacker Jan 13 '10 at 19:04
  • Excellent, Picard identified some classical pieces I had from about 10 years ago. Without lyrics to google I thought I would never find out the artist. – Liam Feb 15 '10 at 11:32
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    picard does also have a slightly annoying tendancy to 'prefer' compilations. – Journeyman Geek Feb 28 '10 at 4:18

I'm using those two programs for all my tagging needs, MP3tag is my first choice, EasyTAG for its support for FLAC/APE.


Mp3tag is a powerful and yet easy-to-use tool to edit metadata of common audio formats where it supports ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, iTunes MP4, WMA, Vorbis Comments and APE Tags.

It can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words in tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists and more.

Mp3tag supports online database lookups from, e.g., Amazon, Discogs, or freedb, allowing you to automatically gather proper tags and cover art for your music library. Rename files based on the tag information and import tags from filenames.

Mp3tag is freeware.


EasyTAG - Tag editor for MP3, Ogg Vorbis files and more:

  • View, edit, write tags of MP3, MP2 files (ID3 tag with pictures), FLAC files (FLAC Vorbis tag), Ogg Vorbis files (Ogg Vorbis tag), MP4/AAC (MP4/AAC tag), MusePack, Monkey's Audio files and WavPack files (APE tag),
  • Can edit more tag fields : Title, Artist, Album, Disc Album, Year, Track Number, Genre, Comment, Composer, Original Artist/Performer, Copyright, URL, Encoder name and attached Picture,
  • ...
  • Auto tagging: parse filename and directory to automatically complete the fields (using masks),
  • Ability to rename files and directories from the tag (using masks) or by loading a text file,
  • Ability to process fields of tag and file name (convert letters into uppercase, downcase, ...),
  • CDDB support using Freedb.org and Gnudb.org servers (manual and automatic search),

EasyTAG is open source freeware.

  • Nice parsing support. – AngryHacker Jan 13 '10 at 19:04
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    these two don't support audio signatures, which is what makes shazam useful – kirill_igum Mar 14 '12 at 16:41


I've had a good experience using Winamp for this process. I did try some of the others, but I wasn't get the results I expected.

There's a blog post walkthrough on how to use it here.

But basically in the Media Library having loaded your MP3s right click and go:

Send to -> Auto Tag



MediaMonkey has various batch renaming and retagging options including lookup from the internet.

Identify Tracks

Automatically identify tracks that are missing information, whose tags are not synchronized, or that are duplicated elsewhere.

Fix Tags with Automatic Lookup and Tagging of album art and other track information from Amazon.

Lookup CD information on Freedb or via CD-TEXT, and find missing track details through music-related sites such as Allmusic.

Feature taken from this page.



Foobar2000, besides being a fabulous audio player, has these features:

  • advanced scripting capabilities to tag mp3 and rename files (title formatting and many useful way to use it)
  • freedb.org native query
  • dicogs.com query with foo_discogs
  • musicbrainz query with foo_musicbrainz (but doesn't support fingerprint, I hope it will come)

Additionaly you could launch any application or URL using the title formatting as arguments with foo_run and there are also plugins to retrieve album/artist pictures, lyrics and last.fm artist biographies.

  • The problem with Foobar2000 is that I have it installed, am looking at it, and have absolutely no idea how to retag my files based on filename patterns – Damon Nov 27 '12 at 2:19
  • Foobar2000 is awesome and my main audiophile computer player. It is extremely extensible and every bit as good as JRiver, yet FB2K is free. FB2K can do magic including breakdown composite FLAC albums into individual tracks if you have an associated .CUE file. – John C Jul 24 '15 at 1:30


Beets is similar to Picard, in that it automatically looks up correct tags for files in the MusicBrainz database, but it works on the command line. If you're an advanced user comfortable with the terminal, you might appreciate beets' flexibility. Like Picard and Foobar, it supports very flexible directory and file naming schemes.

The beets screencast is a good introduction.


Taghycardia can help in auto tagging large collections. Though it is a special tagger mainly designed to provide the accessibility of MP3 albums on tag-sorting portable audio players, it can be used for general tagging.

The "fix cover art" feature turned out to be especially useful, as it uses the cover art found both online and locally in folders to auto-tag my MP3 files.



Tagging is extremely easy for me... I can use Songbird to...

  1. find all non tagged songs (by genre)
  2. find all songs given tags I don't use (by genre)

Apply tags to all these files is pretty simple.



MusicBrainz Picard didn't work for me. Jaikoz did.


MediaJukebox, from its 2001 version to its new, free version does a great job. Point it to a folder and run import.

If the MP3 files (the tags) are really messed up, it will not import the files to its library (this is also true of Windows Media Player; these are files that if you select them, they play fine, but they do not import to many, maybe all, players databases).

After the import there will be a playlist created called "recently imported". Ctrl+A, select the whole list, and then right click and select library tools/fill properties from file name. This assumes your filenames are consistent and have the track name, number, artist, etc. in them some place (folder structure or name). If they aren't consistent, you can select groups that are and do the fill properties from filename in pieces instead of one big bang.

It will rebuild library data data from file/folder data. Now do a library tools/update tags from library. Things will be much better and now Windows Media Player will also be able to find the files and put them in its library.

Unfortunately you will loose stuff like genre and maybe even the bitrate. However, from what I've read, most MP3 players ignore the tag data when they play the file, maybe the bitrate is just a memo put in the tag when the file was created and useless except for information.

You can now convert the files to wma, ape or whatever and get away from problems caused by random changes to the MP3 tag which makes it appear you have different versions of the same song.

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