Random Ramblings

June 8, 2009

mp3 ID3 tags with Kubuntu Linux

Filed under: Computer — Tags: , — camotop @ 10:18 pm

Finally. After years of dinging around with EasyTag, a manually patched AlbumArt-qt, and lots of trouble, I finally have a working setup. With KID3’s support for album covers in its April release, I finally have one tool to do the job.
My workflow for organizing music files:

  1. start with a directory of mp3 files
  2. directory is named “artist – album”
  3. each song is named “track title”, where track is always 2 digits (meaning leading zero’s for those under 10).
  4. After the Naming step, I tag each file with KID3. I usually do several directories (albums) at once.  With KID3 now, I can search for album covers from the File menu. In the dialog that follows I typically pick Google, but sometimes Amazon gives a better result. Clicking Browse in that window opens a Konqueror browser, with the search results. I pick the imagine I like, view it at full size (I usually go for around 500×500 for album cover, not sure why), and drag the image in the drop zone in KID3. Make sure all files in the directory are selected, and the image is applied to each. If you make a mistake, simple click the picture tag in the ID3V2 section, and click the Delete button on the right.
  5. Once done, I save the files, which tends to take some time on my old computer.
  6. Now it is validation time. I’ve tried to get Amarok to see the covers, but no luck. I think they still do not support the APIC ID3 tag, or perhaps not with an empty description. Although I generally like what Amarok is about, this is a showstopper. Luckily Songbird has come of age, and proves to be a great album cover browser, especially with its MediaFlow add-on.  To view my newly tagged files I copy them to Songbird’s library directory, and view them in Songbird. If all looks good, I move the files to the “Done” directory that contains all my neatly organized music.
  7. I haven’t done any genre or year population. Not sure if I would use that, and it seems more hassle than it’s worth. Automated download of the info is available, but sometimes overwrite other tags incorrectly.

So check out KID3 and Songbird!  Both work great on Kubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty).

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