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Remove ID3v2 from FLAC files, Fix FLAC files - remove ID3v2 tags, and save only FLAC tags
Evil Overlord1
post Mar 17 2010, 23:15
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Most of my music library is in FLAC format. About a third of the FLAC files also have ID3v2 tags. I need a simple way to convert these tags to FLAC format.

I've tried the following:
TAG.exe - works, but very, very slow.
MP3Tag - very slow, removes album art from tag. Have to either load each folder individually, or load all folders (that is, you can't select artists A-D).
dbPowerAmp - slow, keeps album art, but no way to filter for only the files with ID3v2 (that I know of).
MusicBrainz Picard - works quickly, but with some drawbacks (can't tell when it's done).
Foobar2000 - I keep hearing about the tag rewrite option, but I sure can't find it in 1.0.1.

Ideally, I'd find a method that:
a) can work with selected folders (like dbPowerAmp, MediaMonkey, Picard)
b) shows the tag format (like MP3Tag) so that I can just work with the problem files
c) makes changes quickly
d) shows progress

for the moment, what I do is
  1. Load all folders in MP3Tag, and filter for FLAC files only
  2. Note which albums have the wrong tags
  3. Load those folders in Picard, cluster them, and save them
  4. Use MediaMonkey to check the timestamp for each album so that I can determine whether Picard is done. Alternatively, I reload MP3Tag (takes about an hour).

This is obviously unwieldy. Any suggestions welcome!
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Ouroboros
post Mar 18 2010, 00:33
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MP3Tag does exactly what you want. Just load your files, select them, remove the tags, then select undo.

If you want to make it a bit quicker load the files, sort them by tag type, select the ones with the unwanted ID3 tags, then remove the tags and undo.
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Evil Overlord1
post Mar 18 2010, 00:37
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For my setup, at any rate (music files on a ReadyNAS NV+), MP3Tag is far too slow. For example, I have about 8,000 files to revise, and MP3Tag does less than 100/hour. dbPowerAmp is about twice as fast, but still slow. Picard seems to go quickly, but it's hard to tell.

PS on MP3Tag, I can't seem to make the filtering work for the 'tag-type' tag. I've tried a number of variants, but no luck. Filtering works fine otherwise.
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spoon
post Mar 18 2010, 09:13
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>dbPowerAmp - slow, keeps album art, but no way to filter for only the files with ID3v2 (that I know of).

Use Batch Converter >> Select all tracks >> List >> Enable the column 'Contains' then sort on that >> uncheck the ones that do not need converting >> then Ok >> Convert


--------------------
Spoon http://www.dbpoweramp.com
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dano
post Mar 18 2010, 10:07
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QUOTE (Evil Overlord1 @ Mar 18 2010, 00:37) *
PS on MP3Tag, I can't seem to make the filtering work for the 'tag-type' tag. I've tried a number of variants, but no luck. Filtering works fine otherwise.

Try %_tag% HAS "flac id3v2"

You can use drag&drop from explorer to load multiple folders in the program.

And if you want to keep album art, use right click on the files, "Tag cut" and "Tag paste"
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Evil Overlord1
post Mar 18 2010, 12:46
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@Spoon - thanks. I tried this, but 'contains' showed only "vorbis comments", even for files that I know have ID3v2 as well.

@Dano - thanks also. In the filter, I had used IS rather than HAS, and possibly had the quotes wrong. Your method works great. Thanks also for the tip about drag and drop - that will be very helpful. I'm also trying cut/paste rather than delete/undo, but it's still very slow.

For the time being, the Picard+MP3Tag method is fastest. I'm letting it run overnight to ensure it's really done (2,000 at a time), and now I can check more quickly with MP3Tag drag and drop.
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Evil Overlord1
post Mar 18 2010, 14:37
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For the record, for anyone with the same problem. My final solution to this issue was this:
1) use MP3Tag to determine which files need revision
2) use Picard to fix the files
3) use Windows Task Manager to tell when Picard is done
4) if you want confirmation, reload the same folders in MP3Tag. If you have the filter in place, you should see no files at all. Without the filter, the tag column should read "FLAC (FLAC)" for all files

Setup and usage tips
MP3Tag
  • Make sure the "Tag" column is shown. This will read "FLAC (FLAC)" for files without ID3v2, and "FLAC (FLAC ID3v2)" for thos with ID3v2.
  • Drag and drop folders from Windows Explorer to the main pain in MP3Tag. This allows you to just focus on, e.g., one
  • Filter for just those files with ID3v2 tags. Use [%_tag% HAS "flac id3v2"] (without brackets) in the filter window to show only the files you want.


MusicBrainz Picard
  • Under Tools | Options | Tags, be sure to check the option "Remove ID3 tags from FLAC files".
  • View the File Browser window. Drag and drop from there to the center pane.
  • Ensure all files are loaded - when they are, the "Pending Files" note in the lower right corner will read "0", and all the files in the center pane will be black rather than greyed out.
  • Click the Cluster button on the toolbar (this may not be necessary, but it's quick)
  • Select all files in the center pane (Ctrl+A), right click one, and choose "Save"


Windows Task Manager
  • Picard itself offers no way to be sure it has finished saving. However, you can use Task Manager to oonitor Picard's CPU usage. When it has been consistently "00" for some time, it's done.


Other notes
My setup - 16,000 files (mostly FLAC), ReadyNAS NV+, SqueezeBox Radio, Windows XP SP3, 802.11g (except for Radio, which is wired). The initial problem was that Squeeze Server often showed "(Disc 1)" in the title of an album. The cause turned out to be FLAC files with ID3v2 tags in addition to FLAC tags.

For me, the above was by far the fastest solution - all the other solutions processed about a file/minute, whereas this could do about 100/min. I'm not sure why it works, but I assume Picard is simply deleting the ID3 tags, and leaving the rest of the file alone. If you have faster access to your files, you might consider the following:

  • MP3Tag - In Tools | Options | Tags, choose 'remove ID3' options. Filter for files needing work. Select all files, right click, choose Tag Cut, then Tag Paste.
  • dbPowerAmp - download and install the "Update Tag" option from the website. Use Batch Converter, select the folders you want, then convert, and choose "Tag update".
  • Tag.exe - I found this unwieldy, but there is an option that is something like "Tag --remove --force FLAC *.* [CHECK this before using].
  • Picard - you could also use Picard the way it's intended to be used. Choose your files, then lookup or scan, and save from the right pane. I didn't use this because my files are already carefully tagged (aside from the ID3 issue), and because it takes much more time.

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