Best Way to tag your mp3 music collection

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 26, 2007
Updated • Jul 13, 2013
Music, Music and Video

Everton from Connected Internet posted a nice article where he is detailing his steps to add tags and cover artwork to his mp3 collection using a few selected freeware programs and iTunes. He suggests to use Picard for the tagging process because Picard is able to add most tags of known albums automatically.

The only information that are not added by Picard are the cover artwork and the genre. It is understandable that the genre is not being added because it is sometimes difficult to pick a genre, as music may be diverse enough so that multiple genres may make sense. Itunes will be used to add the cover artwork right from the iTunes store.

Step 1: Tagging the mp3 collection

  • Download Picard and install it
  • Change the following options in Picard before proceeding:
      Select Audio Fingerprinting from the options and check Automatically analyze all new files
      Select Tags and uncheck Write ID3v1 tags to MP3 files and check clear existing tags before writing new tags and Write ID3v2 version 2.3 tags.
  • Now drag and drop all your mp3 files and directories into the New Files folder and wait until Picard finished analyzing the music collection
  • Click on the Cluster icon in the toolbar to group all the mp3 files into albums.

Step 2:Adding cover artwork in iTunes

You do need to import the mp3 files before you can find and add the cover artwork of course. Everton is describing the process which means that I'm skipping it here.

  • Select all the tracks in each album you’ve just imported one at a time
  • In the bottom left-hand corner of iTunes click on show/hide artwork button
  • Right-click on the artwork image that is displayed in the small window and select copy
  • Now right-click on the tracks you’ve highlighted and select Get info
  • In the pop-up box that appears, go to the info tab, right-click in the artwork field and select paste

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. vs said on February 27, 2009 at 5:56 am

    This program worked and did a good job. I have been planning to sort my itunes library for 2 years now (i have >5000 songs) and this thing did it in 3-4 hrs. The tags were dead on.

    Picard works great.

  2. Tristan said on July 2, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I end up using Easytag in Linux, and then using and for cover art and proper track names. It’s time consuming, but more accurate than what I’ve seen with the autotaggers to date. Picard/Musicbrainz is good, but it still has a way to go for track accuracy in the Classical & Trance genres.

  3. cc said on June 27, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    How about using Mediamonkey :)?

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