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Batch remove iTunes tags
Blutarsky
post Feb 18 2013, 14:51
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I'd like to remove my personal data (email, etc) stored in my iTunes collections. Data seems to be stored in iTunes extended AAC tags.
Wondering if there's a tool to batch remove/wipe those selected tags.
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Rollin
post Feb 18 2013, 14:53
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Try Mp3Tag or foobar2000
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Blutarsky
post Feb 18 2013, 14:54
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QUOTE (Rollin @ Feb 18 2013, 08:53) *
Try Mp3Tag or foobar2000


Thanks
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Jplus
post Feb 18 2013, 18:04
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Or just select all the tracks in iTunes, open the info panel, check the fields that you want to remove and make sure that they're empty, then press "OK".
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db1989
post Feb 18 2013, 18:48
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No, because iTunes does not present ďpersonal data (email, etc)Ē as editable/removable, otherwise the OP would have done that already.

blutarsky: From my experience a couple of years ago, other tagging utilities could remove almost everything, but the email address also seemed to be duplicated elsewhere in the file, as viewable by a hex editor even after the offending frames were removed. I think iTunes could still find it that way, too. Either way, it was there.

I posted about this several times and asked for an explanation or an automated way to remove it besides scrubbing manually in hex, but no one has ever provided any response. Perhaps the situation has changed, but be wary that simply removing tags apparently was/is not a complete solution.
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Blutarsky
post Feb 18 2013, 18:53
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Ouch, so it won't be sufficient to remove the tags.... correct?
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db1989
post Feb 18 2013, 19:04
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Not in my experience. You should, of course, try it for yourself.
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Blutarsky
post Feb 18 2013, 19:13
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I see some other articles on the internet about using a hex editor to achieve this, as you heve pointed out! Crazy!
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sluggy
post Feb 18 2013, 20:39
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Have a look for a free program called iTMS Scrubber 2.3

This is a little tool to remove personal information from iTunes Music Store files. It uses AtomicParsley to remove all account-related atoms from your files.

Simply extract the contents to a folder, copy in the album files you want to de-personalise (don't use your originals!) and run itms-scrubber. It will also extract the album art to a folder.jpg.
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db1989
post Feb 18 2013, 21:42
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QUOTE (sluggy @ Feb 18 2013, 19:39) *
It uses AtomicParsley to remove all account-related atoms from your files.
Does it also remove the email address embedded elsewhere in the file, which weíve just been talking about for four posts?
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sluggy
post Feb 18 2013, 21:55
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 18 2013, 20:42) *
QUOTE (sluggy @ Feb 18 2013, 19:39) *
It uses AtomicParsley to remove all account-related atoms from your files.
Does it also remove the email address embedded elsewhere in the file, which weíve just been talking about for four posts?


When i used it in the past i have not been able to find any personal info left in the files, give it a try its really quick, sites which share iTunes plus albums use it so im sure it would delete everything smile.gif
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db1989
post Feb 18 2013, 22:19
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QUOTE (sluggy @ Feb 18 2013, 20:55) *
sites which share iTunes plus albums use it
Objection: relevance. Why should the fact that an illegal file-sharer uses it be an indication that it’s good? At the very least, that doesn’t make it any more likely to resolve or not resolve the issue of the remaining embedded email address.

I won’t be trying it because I don’t currently care enough about that information being in my files.* If you’re going to recommend something to someone with the implication that it fulfils a specific purpose, it’s not very useful to then tell that person to test for themselves whether or not it actually works. I’m not being argumentative for the sake of it; I suppose the OP will have to try it out.

* And I never wanted to delete it for the sake of sharing my files with anyone: it was just a matter of personal preference, perhaps strange but whatever.

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 18 2013, 22:24
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Jplus
post Feb 18 2013, 23:27
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 18 2013, 18:48) *
No, because iTunes does not present ďpersonal data (email, etc)Ē as editable/removable, otherwise the OP would have done that already.

blutarsky: From my experience a couple of years ago, other tagging utilities could remove almost everything, but the email address also seemed to be duplicated elsewhere in the file, as viewable by a hex editor even after the offending frames were removed. I think iTunes could still find it that way, too. Either way, it was there.

I posted about this several times and asked for an explanation or an automated way to remove it besides scrubbing manually in hex, but no one has ever provided any response. Perhaps the situation has changed, but be wary that simply removing tags apparently was/is not a complete solution.

My apologies for not reading the question carefully enough before posting my first reply.

I don't know any tools that do this for you, but if it's really something that can be scrubbed out manually with a hex editor then it should be relatively easy to automate with a small home-written program. That might be a big timesaver if you need to anonymize a lot of files. With some luck you might be able to find somebody willing to write the program for you for a very small compensation, or even for free.

Of course, if iTMS Scrubber or some other application turns out to be a ready solution that would be better still.
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RobertoDomenico
post Feb 19 2013, 02:34
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If you're using OS X there are many ways to remove the personal data on Windows though this is the only solution i have come across hope it helps. iTunes Remove Personal Data

This post has been edited by RobertoDomenico: Feb 19 2013, 02:36
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sluggy
post Feb 19 2013, 10:07
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 18 2013, 21:19) *
QUOTE (sluggy @ Feb 18 2013, 20:55) *
sites which share iTunes plus albums use it
Objection: relevance. Why should the fact that an illegal file-sharer uses it be an indication that itís good? At the very least, that doesnít make it any more likely to resolve or not resolve the issue of the remaining embedded email address.

I wonít be trying it because I donít currently care enough about that information being in my files.* If youíre going to recommend something to someone with the implication that it fulfils a specific purpose, itís not very useful to then tell that person to test for themselves whether or not it actually works. Iím not being argumentative for the sake of it; I suppose the OP will have to try it out.

* And I never wanted to delete it for the sake of sharing my files with anyone: it was just a matter of personal preference, perhaps strange but whatever.


I recomended it because from what i can see from my experience using it deleted all personal info like i said, i have not used a hex editor before, but i do know that after using the program i was not able to see any purchase date or email when using the file in itunes.
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Porcus
post Feb 19 2013, 11:00
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You could potentially pay a dollar for a check: buy the same track from two different accounts, run the utility and then diff?

(What about the following test: take those two tracks, run ffmpeg -acodec copy over to filename.aac and then diff?)


--------------------
One day in the Year of the Fox came a time remembered well
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cyberdux
post Feb 20 2013, 02:07
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QUOTE (Blutarsky @ Feb 18 2013, 23:51) *
I'd like to remove my personal data (email, etc) stored in my iTunes collections. Data seems to be stored in iTunes extended AAC tags.
Wondering if there's a tool to batch remove/wipe those selected tags.


I also would like to do this for the following reason:

After iTunes 11 and Cloud, any custom tagging (e.g. genre, album artist, sort fields) is overwritten resulting in a lack of library integrity.

It also appears that iTunes communicates with the store when copying my albums onto my iPod and uses the store tagging, once again resulting in lost integrity of my library filing structure. Very annoying.

I deleted my personal data using mp3 Tag extended fields option but I am interested in total removal of personal details from my purchases for the above reason - library integrity.
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db1989
post Feb 20 2013, 10:25
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QUOTE (cyberdux @ Feb 20 2013, 01:07) *
After iTunes 11 and Cloud, any custom tagging (e.g. genre, album artist, sort fields) is overwritten resulting in a lack of library integrity.

It also appears that iTunes communicates with the store when copying my albums onto my iPod and uses the store tagging, once again resulting in lost integrity of my library filing structure.
Wow. And I thought the new version of iTunes was bad enough simply on the basis of its scrambled UI. To hear that it actually intrudes upon usersí intent is on another level. Iím glad that I only use it to transfer files. This is evidence not only that Apple continues its downhill progression but also that I should avoid anything computer-related that has the word cloud anywhere near it. emot-haw.gif
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cyberdux
post Feb 20 2013, 10:37
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 20 2013, 19:25) *
QUOTE (cyberdux @ Feb 20 2013, 01:07) *
After iTunes 11 and Cloud, any custom tagging (e.g. genre, album artist, sort fields) is overwritten resulting in a lack of library integrity.

It also appears that iTunes communicates with the store when copying my albums onto my iPod and uses the store tagging, once again resulting in lost integrity of my library filing structure.
Wow. And I thought the new version of iTunes was bad enough simply on the basis of its scrambled UI. To hear that it actually intrudes upon usersí intent is on another level. Iím glad that I only use it to transfer files. This is evidence not only that Apple continues its downhill progression but also that I should avoid anything computer-related that has the word cloud anywhere near it. emot-haw.gif


Yes, I have, since iTunes 11, decided to only purchase from iTunes what is no longer available on CD or (FLAC via bandcamp, qobuz. etc.) (Amazon mp3 is not available in Australia).

I also did the "Feedback" thing with Apple about the issue but I think I am a lone voice "crying in the wilderness".
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Jplus
post Feb 20 2013, 11:24
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@cyberdux:
Could you be more specific about iTunes 11 and iCloud? I'm using iTunes 11 but not iCloud and my tags are never modified, not even when I sync to my iPad. This makes me think that the fault is in iCloud only. Since "iTunes in the cloud" does not upload your music but simply notes that you own certain tracks which are available from the store, and then just downloads a fresh copy if you want your music somewhere else, I can imagine it will lose all your custom tags. (Of course it should be possible to upload those data, but the fact that apparently Apple doesn't do that seems like a lack of sophistication rather than malign intent.)

On the other hand, if your problem shows up even when you don't move your music around, that would indicate something else is going on.
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cyberdux
post Feb 20 2013, 20:29
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QUOTE (Jplus @ Feb 20 2013, 20:24) *
@cyberdux:
Could you be more specific about iTunes 11 and iCloud? I'm using iTunes 11 but not iCloud and my tags are never modified, not even when I sync to my iPad. This makes me think that the fault is in iCloud only. Since "iTunes in the cloud" does not upload your music but simply notes that you own certain tracks which are available from the store, and then just downloads a fresh copy if you want your music somewhere else, I can imagine it will lose all your custom tags. (Of course it should be possible to upload those data, but the fact that apparently Apple doesn't do that seems like a lack of sophistication rather than malign intent.)

On the other hand, if your problem shows up even when you don't move your music around, that would indicate something else is going on.

@JPlus

This only occurs with music I have purchased through the iTunes store. Anything I have encoded from my own CD's is fine.

I routinely change the "sort artist" field and "genre" fields on my purchases. I have switched off "show music in the cloud". Randomly, I will find portions of purchased albums revert to store tagging. In addition, if I buy an album and do not like a song and delete it from iTunes, and from the physical drive, it will appear on my iPod if I transfer the album to the iPod. I could, I guess, disconnect from the internet before transferring albums to the iPod, or have an iTunes library just for purchasing and another for listening.

This however is beside the point. There should be no intervention of iTunes or cloud without my permission and I should be able to maintain my iTunes library structure. Further, this impacts my listening in the home because I use Apple TV as streamers and therefore need to use the iTunes library and iTunes sharing.

Having had this experience, there is no way that I will attempt to use iTunes match.

I am certain that this is a cloud-iTunes 11 issue but it seems that we are stuck with it for iTunes purchases. mad.gif

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RobertoDomenico
post Feb 20 2013, 23:53
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iTunes Match will not alter your tags in any way.
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Jplus
post Feb 21 2013, 01:09
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Ahh, then I probably never noticed because I almost never buy something from the iTMS. Now that I know your story I'm not likely to do it more often either.
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cyberdux
post Feb 21 2013, 09:39
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QUOTE (Jplus @ Feb 21 2013, 10:09) *
Ahh, then I probably never noticed because I almost never buy something from the iTMS. Now that I know your story I'm not likely to do it more often either.

I don't know whether this will help but I have discovered fairly deep in the "view"menu of iTunes the following check boxes which I have unticked:

View:

- iCloud Download

- iCloud Status

- purchase date

I hope my experience with these niggles with iCloud and iTunes are isolated and perhaps due to my strict (pedantic) library structure requirements. I suspect that most people who purchase from iTunes do not care for sort artist, genre, sort album (e.g. soundtracks to the Three Colours movies), track number (if individual tracks bought), compilation and so forth and therefore would not notice this phenomena.

I would imagine that tracks matched by iTunes match would have embedded iTunes metadata, and only those songs that iTunes match cannot find a match for would leave tags unaffected. Here I could be wrong but I suspect not.

(It could well be that Apple are not even aware of this behaviour.)

This post has been edited by cyberdux: Feb 21 2013, 09:57
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gism
post Jun 11 2013, 14:35
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QUOTE (Blutarsky @ Feb 18 2013, 14:51) *
I'd like to remove my personal data (email, etc) stored in my iTunes collections. Data seems to be stored in iTunes extended AAC tags.
Wondering if there's a tool to batch remove/wipe those selected tags.

This is the best way I found to do so:
http://www.ghacks.net/2009/02/25/how-to-an...e-itunes-songs/
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