AAC and ALAC File Tagging Question

Not too familiar with the various ID’s and such so I need some clarification, please.

I have numerous files, some mp3, some AAC, and some ALAC that were convered from FLAC files. I have settings in Picard for 2.4 and UTF-16. This works great for MP3 files. They get the tag info inserted correctly and when I view them in Helium Music Manager, all looks great. BUT…

When it comes to AAC and ALAC files, nothing! What am I doing wrong? Is this just a limitation because of the file type? Please advise. Thanks kindly.

Your AAC and ALAC files are MP4 files, right? That should be fine. Do the “common” tags like title, album etc. work?

For other information Helium might not support it. With which tags exactly do you have trouble?

1 Like

The only thing that seems to come across are the common tags.
Notice the difference between the two images. One from MP3 and one from ALAC.




So the lower one shows an MP4 file? Or the upper one? I don’t know that player, that display is a bit confusing because it shows a label of “Multiple txxx”, while “txxx” is a ID3 thing and has no meaning for MP4. Also both show widely different set of tags, so not really possible to compare the two screenshots.

But I really can’t tell you much, it all depends on the specific tags and how the player supports those. If you e.g. take “Genre” this is a tag where there are very specific fields for ID3 (TCON) and MP4 (©gen). If and how this is supported depends on your player.

A field like ASIN on the other hand has no standard tag, hence it gets written as a free form text field. Again this is differently handled by format and players. For ID3 you have so called TXXX frames for this, Picard will store a TXXX frame with a description of ASIN. Your player seems to support reading arbitrary TXXX frames. For MP4 you could in theory use all kind of fields for it, but it has become common to store those with a prefix of ----:com.apple.iTunes:. So it would be ----:com.apple.iTunes:ASIN for an ASIN field. If the second screenshot is for MP4 it would indicate your player in general also supports this, as e.g. “Acoustid Id” is stored that way.

If you want to see in detail what ends up where have a look at https://picard-docs.musicbrainz.org/en/technical/tag_mapping.html

1 Like