The ultimate way to tag and rename mp3s

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 18, 2007
Updated • Sep 1, 2013
Music, Music and Video

I'm one of those guys who likes to have a neatly categorized mp3 collection with a distinct folder structure ( band name / album ) and properly named and tagged songs. I absolutely hate it if songs are not properly named or are missing tags because it messes up the structure on my iPod and many other mp3 players as well.

I tried a lot of mp3 taggers in the past and was never 100% convinced to continue using them. Some would rename songs without asking, some were not able to import tags which meant that I had to manually edit all tags by hand - do that for thousands of songs - while others were just so complicated that it took simply too long to use them.

I almost gave up but then I found a sweet little software called Tag Scanner. I hear you guys mumbling already that you surely would have heard about Tag Scanner if it was that great. I do understand your doubts but they are not justified this time. The author is from Russia and decided to create no English version of his website.

This in turn makes it impossible that search engines index the site properly and all those freeware hunters will fail to notice it - well, most of them that is, hehe.

The Tag Scanner interface looks fantastic and a little bit confusing at the same time. The most important parts are the four tabs at the top of the screen which are: Music Renamer, Tag Editor, Tag Processor and List Maker.

Music Renamer:

Rename files with ease using placeholders and tag information. The default format is artist - title which can be easily changed to artist / album / artist - title for instance. Gives you a lot of options, absolutely brilliant.

Tag Editor:

This is the manual Tag Editor which is not needed most of the time because of the Tag Processor which does it automatically. In case it does not you can use the Tag Editor to edit the tags by hand.

Tag Processor:

Looks up songs in an online database (you can select a default one in the options), preview the tag output and save it. Change the tags of an album with only three clicks. Offers manual searches if the automatic one did not come up with results.

List Maker:

Export song lists as html, csv or excel tables. You can also save and import playlists in here.

Technical Mumbo Jumbo:

  • Can save ID3v1, ID3v2, APEv2, ID3v1 + ID3v2, ID3v1 + APEv2 and all combined
  • Supports ID3v2 Lyrics and attached pictures
  • Import and Create Playlists
  • Scans Directories and subdirectories for mp3s
  • Able to convert between tag formats
  • Case conversions
  • Export song list in html, csv and excel format
  • Supports online music databases, automatic and manual searches


Tag Scanner is one of the most sophisticated tagging programs out there. It supports everything you could possible want and more, and is easy to use so that you won't run into any issues when you are using it for the first time.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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