Can Picard write to only one ID3 version and erase all others?

I am looking to correct an iTunes library filled with messy MP3 tags.

There are no wrong info (like displaying “Nevermind” when the album is in fact “In Utero”), it just has multiple values saved in different ID3 versions.

e.g., the exact same file will show “Nevermind” in iTunes (and a few other media players) and “NEVERMIND [2011 REMASTERED]” in some others (who read this file’s different ID3 tag version).

I wish to end up with a library that only has ID3 v2.3 tags and no values saved in any other ID3 tag version.

So basically:
(a) mass convert the entire library’s ID3 tags to v2.3 (I know that’s easily doable in-iTunes)
(b) use Picard to correct the tags, by exclusively writing values in each file’s current ID3 tag version used [i.e., v2.3 after (a) takes place] and at the same time erase any values stored in all other ID3 tag versions.

Is (b) possible?


Yes it is possible, just tick what you prefer in the options:


You can try with a sample of your collection copied in a separate folder.


Have a look at the Tag Options and the ID3 Files sections of the Picard Users Guide to see if these settings address what you’re wanting to do.

Edit: Looks like @ulugabi beat me to the recommendation. :grinning:


Thank you for your response.

So, I believe that (b) will be achieved by checking :white_check_mark: “Clear existing tags” so that everything currently written will be erased,

and then by unchecking :x: “Also include ID3v1 tags in the files”, while making sure the choice for “ID3v2 Version” is set on “2.3”, so that when Picard proceeds to actually write values (on an already empty of values file) it will only write in v2.3, and nowhere else.

i.e., not in v1, 1.1, 1.2, 2.2 or 2.4 — just v2.3

Did I get it right? Thanks : )

yes you get it right :wink:

Then I don’t use iTunes (prefer foobar) so you can test the specific option for it to see if it s relevant in your case.

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Thanks for the insight.

One last question: I didn’t know we’re supposed to choose UTF version as well (I just noticed it in the screenshot your provided). I’d expect the ID3 version would cover that, but apparently no?

I’ve been aware of UTF and I always pick UTF-8 on my TXT or HTML files, when I make them. Any reason I should go with 16 instead of 8? (I see you have it marked as 16, so I’m guessing that’s intentional on your behalf)


95% of my collection is in FLAC so I dont really care about those ID# tag :slight_smile:
I may have set to 16 long time ago to handle some special languages characters for some releases.


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ID3 allows for different encodings. Usually you want to use a Unicode encoding unless you have specific older hard- or software that will e.g. only handles latin1 characters.

For ID3v2.3 you are limited to UTF-16 for Unicode encodings, so since you want to use 2.3 you have no choice anyway. For ID3v2.4 you can also choose the UTF-8 encoding, and I think we use it as default. One big advantage of UTF-8 is that it is transparent encoding for pure ASCII characters. There is no difference between a UTF-8 text that only uses ASCII characters and an ASCII encoded text, it’s exactly the same bytes.


Oh, so, if you choose v2.3, then that automatically means it will be UTF-16, you can’t even choose UTF-8. Right?

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Yes, exactly. UTF-8 is only supported with ID3v2.4. If you’d use ID3v2.4 I would recommend using UTF-8.