ID3 tag

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ID3 tag

A field of meta-data in MP3 and MP3pro audio files. The tags describe the contents, including song title, artist, album, year, comment, CD track and genre. ID3 tags are used for searching as well as displaying the title being played. In many cases, ID3 tags are not filled in or are erroneous, and an "ID3 tagger" utility, also called an "audio tagger" or "MP3 tagger," can be used to update them.

Other than MP3
Although often erroneously called ID3 tags, other audio files (AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, etc.) have their own meta-data tag format, but hold the same kinds of data. See music search and MusicBrainz.

Why Were Song Titles Missing?
CDs followed phonograph records, which contained nothing but sound waves "carved" into the vinyl platters. Reserving a few thousand bytes for the names of the album, artist and songs when there were 650 million available on the disc might seem obvious, but nobody envisioned playing music on the computer, and digital displays on CD players were expensive back then. Therefore, track number and length were the only meta-data in a CD until more descriptive fields (tags) were added later (see CD Text).

ID3 Format
Version 2 of the format (ID3v2) supports variable-length fields that hold titles of any length as well as the album cover image. The tags are at the beginning of the file so that song information can be displayed at the start for streaming audio.

The original version of the format located the data in the last 128 bytes of the file and was limited to 30-byte text fields, a 4-byte year and 1-byte genre (80 categories). Version 1.1 (ID3v1.1) added CD track number. For more information, visit See music CD identification, music search, metadata and streaming audio.
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to automatically recording songs as MP3s and allocating ID3 tags to the files, the new version saves MP3s straight to an SD card.
Audials software can now record this audio streaming at the highest quality, isolate each individual piece of music and automatically save them with ID3 tags, images from the music albums and lyrics.
QMobile's cool My Jukebox feature lets users remotely browse and select playlists created on the NAS to suit their mood by song title, artist, album, even ID3 tags.
Pieces of music are recorded automatically with superior quality, cut with a unique system and stored using ID3 tags, cover pictures and lyrics.
ID3 tags are extracted and organized into an appropriate metadata structure.
With an average search time of 25 seconds Radiotracker isn't just quicker at locating music, but also finds considerably more of the desired music, which is then perfectly and automatically cut and made available to the user together with cover pictures, lyrics and ID3 tags.
Many users are already familiar with the automatic Internet search for ID3 tags, cover images and song lyrics from other Audials products.