1. Home
  2. Tutorials
  3. MP3: Rip, Tag, Play
Yolinux.com Tutorial

Linux MP3: Rip, Tag, Play

Linux applications for ripping, tagging and playing MP3 audio files.

Digital music players, CD rip tools, taggers and digital encoders

This tutorial covers the playing and generation of MP3 files for use in MP3 players or with audio streaming (IceCast). This tutorial will list the most popular digital sound players as well as CD ripping and MP3 (and Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV) encoding tools, ID3 file taggers and playlists. Ripping and encoding covers the use of the Sound Juicer and Grip MP3 GUI rip tool as well as the command line interfaces used to generate MP3 or other digitally encoded sound files. Tagging adds metadata (artist, album, song, ...) in ID3 (ID3v2.4 format) to the files mostly for player display and cataloging purposes.

Digital audio (MP3) Players:


Description:Feature rich KDE audio player. Available plugins include an automatic scrolling of Lyrics. Supports M3U playlists.
From the GNOME toolbar: Applications -> Sound & Video -> Amarok
Formats:MP3, WMA, Real, Ogg, AAC, FLAC, ALAC (Apple), SHN, WAV. Also optical audio CD.
Installation:Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install amarok
If KDE is not yet installed, it will be when as this application is dependent upon Qt and KDE.
Linux MP3 player: Amarok

Description:Feature rich audio player. A Gtk2 fork and super-set of beep and xmmx players. Supports M3U, PLS and XSPF playlists
From the GNOME toolbar: Applications -> Sound & Video -> Audacious
Formats:MP3, AAC, AC3, APE, ALAC (Apple), FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, Musepack, TTA, WMA, several chiptune formats, MIDI, Playstation Audio, etc. Also optical audio CD.
Installation:Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install audacious
Red Hat EL/Fedora RPMs: EPEL (and plugins)
Linux MP3 player: Audacious

Description:Default Gnome player and jukebox. Supports PLS playlists. Based on Gnome gStreamer plugin framework.
From the GNOME toolbar: Applications -> Sound & Video -> Rhythmbox
Formats:MP3, AAC, AC3, APE, ALAC (Apple), FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, Musepack, WMA, Real. (very complete!) Also optical audio CD.
Installation:Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install rhythmbox
Fedora/Red Hat: Included on installation media. RPM package: rhythmbox
Linux MP3 player: Rhythmbox

Description:KDE player and jukebox. Integrates well with toolbar.
From the GNOME toolbar: Applications -> Sound & Video -> JuK
Formats:MP3, APE, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, Musepack. Optical CD not natively supported. Audio CD only with helper application.
Installation:Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install juk
Fedora/Red Hat (RHEL6): Included on installation media. RPM package: kdemultimedia
Linux MP3 player: Rhythmbox

Description:Console/command line MP3 player
From the command line: mpg123 file-name.mp3
Installation:Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install mpg123
user1@localhost:~/MP3$ mpg123 01_02_Tres_Brujas.mp3
High Performance MPEG 1.0/2.0/2.5 Audio Player for Layers 1, 2 and 3
version 1.12.1; written and copyright by Michael Hipp and others
free software (LGPL/GPL) without any warranty but with best wishes
Playing MPEG stream 1 of 1: 01_02_Tres_Brujas.mp3 ...
Title: Tres Brujas Artist: The Sword
Album: Warp Riders
Year: 2010 Genre: Metal
MPEG 1.0 layer III, VBR, 44100 Hz joint-stereo
[4:09] Decoding of 01_02_Tres_Brujas.mp3 finished.

Description:Console/command line MP3 player
From the command line: mpg321 file-name.mp3
Formats:MP3, WAV
Installation:Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install mpg321
user1@localhost:~/MP3$ mpg321 Slacktone_-_The_Bells_of_St_Kahuna_Live__KEXP.mp3
High Performance MPEG 1.0/2.0/2.5 Audio Player for Layer 1, 2, and 3.
Version 0.2.12-1 (2010/07/01). Written and copyrights by Joe Drew,
now maintained by Nanakos Chrysostomos and others.
Uses code from various people. See 'README' for more!
Title : The Bells of St. Kahuna (Live Artist : Slacktone
Album : Slacktone - Live @ KEXP 9/23/2 Year : 2011
Comment : URL: http://freemusicarchive.o Genre : rock
Playing MPEG stream from Slacktone_-_The_Bells_of_St_Kahuna_Live__KEXP.mp3 ...
MPEG 1.0 layer III, 320 kbit/s, 44100 Hz joint-stereo
[4:30] Decoding of Slacktone_-_The_Bells_of_St_Kahuna_Live__KEXP.mp3 finished.

Additional Digital Audio Players:

  • Alsa
  • Banshee - Gnome media player (CDs, audio books, Podcasts, Radio, Videos, ...)
  • Exaile - Python/Gtk+ full featured player
  • Muine Gnome
  • MPlayer - (not just a video player)
  • XMMS.org - 4Front Multimedia
    Note: Typing the letter 'l' will open a dialog box which will allow you to select a new file.
    Use as GUI or command line: xmms file-name.mp3

[Potential Pitfall]: Many of the audio players require an internet connection to connect to music information repositories on the internet. Gnome based applications will require one to set the GNOME proxy configuration if your LAN is behind a corporate proxy. See GNOME proxy configuration to set this configuration for the GNOME desktop and GNOME applications.


Linux MP3 ripping and encoding tools:

"Ripping" a CD is the term used to describe the act of converting a sound track on an audio CD to a compressed digital format such as an MP3 file on your hard drive for the distribution and use on an electronic device such as your phone, automobile or home stereo. The reason it is not a regular file copy is because audio CDs do not have a file system and the audio encoding in WAV format is large and uncompressed. Thus the audio files are typically encoded to a more efficient and compressed format.

Here are some tools for ripping and encoding audio CDs:
Sound JuicerCurrent Gnome CD ripper
Connects to MusicBrainz.com for CD and track information.
Gripdeprecated Gnome CD ripperYNYYYY
AsunderGUI MP3 ripping program. Build from source.YYYYYY
KaudioCreatorKDE desktop ripper/encoder. Configure with KDE Control Center (kcontrol)
System Settings -> Sound and Multimedia -> Audio CD
CD ParanoiaCommand line CD to WAV,AIFF,AIFF-CNNNNNY
RipperXSupports CDDB lookups.
apt-get install ripperx
Ruby RipperUses CDDB-info.
Install: apt-get install rubyripper rubyripper-gtk
Dependencies: cd-discid cdparanoia flac lame mp3gain normalize-audio ruby-gnome2 ruby vorbisgain
MP3cMP3 creator - X-11 and console program - connects to the CDDB databaseYNYYNN
abcdeCommand line MP3 ripping console programNNYYYN

Audio Formats:

  • MP3: patented format. Lossy data compression.
  • Ogg Vorbis: lossy open audio format
  • FLAC: Free Lossless Audio Codec. Non-proprietary, unencumbered by patents
  • AAC: Advanced Audio Coding. Apple iPod format. Patented. A patent license is required for all manufacturers or developers of AAC codecs. Thus FOSS implementations such as FFmpeg and FAAC may be distributed in source form only, in order to avoid patent infringement.
  • WAV:
  • CDDA: Compact Disk Digital Audio. Raw compact disc format.

Wikipedia comparison of audio formats

Digital Audio Encoders:

The encoder takes the raw digital music representation and converts it to the compressed format desired.

LAMELAME is a high quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder licensed under the LGPL. MP3
Fraunhofer technology licensed by Technicolor
Commercially available mp3HD command line encoder for Linux.MP3
BladeEncBladeEnc is a fast freeware MP3 encoder. Homepage no longer available. MP3
Ogg VorbisOpen, non-proprietary, patent-and-royalty-free, general-purpose compressed audio format for high quality (44.1-48.0kHz, 16+ bit, polyphonic) audio. ogg
FAACAdvanced Audio Coder (MPEG2-AAC, MPEG4-AAC).. AAC
FLACcommand line encoder: source
FraunhoferLGPL. MP3

Here is a detailed review of the installation and use of some of the more popular ripping and encoding tools:

Sound Juicer: Ripping MP3, OGG, FLAC files from an audio CD

Sound Juicer is the current (Fedora 4+) Linux Gnome desktop audio CD ripping and encoding tool.
Launch application: Applications + Sound and Video... + Audio CD Extractor

Due to licensing issues, MP3 encoding is not installed by default. Encoding available with the base Linux distributions include Ogg Vorbis and WAV. See instructions below to add MP3 encoding capability.

  • Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS:
    • The sound-juicer RPM is included in the DVD ISO images and can be installed during installation or afterwards from the DVD.
    • yum install sound-juicer
  • Ubuntu: apt-get install sound-juicer

Sound Juicer configuration:

The digital encoders used by Sound Juicer are configured using the "Gnome Audio Profiles" tool.

(RPM package: gnome-media)
(Ubuntu install: sudo apt-get install gnome-media-profiles)

Be sure to check "Active" to make this available.
Gnome GUI configuration tool
Gnome GUI configuration tool
Select "New" and enter "Profile name".
Gnome GUI configuration tool
EnterGstreamer encoding parameters. See below.

MP3 encoding parameters:

Profile NameGstreamer pipelineFile extension
Mp3 - Lossyaudio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=encmp3
Mp3 - High Quality (Lame)audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc vbr=4 vbr-quality=2mp3
Mp3 - Portableaudio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc vbr=4 vbr-quality=6mp3
Ogg Quality, Lossyaudio/x-raw-float,rate=44100,channels=2 ! vorbisenc name=enc quality=0.5 ! oggmuxogg
WAV Voice, Losslessaudio/x-raw-int,rate=22050,channels=1 ! wavenc name=encwav

Ripping and encoding:

Once encoder profiles have been configured, start Sound Juicer: Applications + Sound and Video... + Audio CD Extractor

Options for file naming can be selected under "Edit" + "Preferences":
Gnome GUI CD ripping and encoding tool
Set destination "Folder".
Set preferences by selecting encoder.

Folder Hierarchy generated by Sound Juicer:
  • Album Artist,Album Title
  • Track Artist,Album Title (I use this)
  • Album Title
  • Album Artist
  • Album Artist - Album Title
MP3 File Name generated by Sound Juicer:
  • Track Number - Title
  • Track Title
  • Track Artist - Album Title
    (Select this option if the CD has a collection of various artists)
  • Track Number. Track Artist - Track Title
    (This option provides a name which is more identifiable when copied outside of the directory structure)
  • "Sortable" refers to listing the last name first for alphabetical sorting.
    Example: "Joe Satriani" becomes "Satriani, Joe"
  • A comma refers to a "/" directory separator. "Track Artist,Album Title" becomes "Track Artist/Album Title/"
  • If "Strip special characters" is selected then blanks, "?", etc become "_".
  • Sound Juicer configuration file: ~/.gconf/apps/sound-juicer/%gconf.xml
Sound Juicer main panel:

Gnome GUI CD ripping and encoding tool
Put CD in tray. Sound Juicer will attempt to identify the Title, Artist, Tracks, etc from MusicBrainz.com. If not you get this display.

[Potential Pitfall]: This feature requires an internet connection to connect to the music information repository at MusicBrainz.com. One must set the GNOME proxy configuration if your LAN is behind a corporate proxy. See GNOME proxy configuration to set this configuration for the GNOME desktop and GNOME applications.

Once the CD and contents have been identified and all settings have been configured, select "Extract" to "Rip" and encode! Sound Juicer rings a bell when done.

Sound Juicer can also duplicate audio CDs.

Gnome GUI CD ripping and encoding tool

Adding MP3 encoding capability to Sound Juicer:

Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Suse and Mandrake RPM based Linux distributions:

In order to encode to MP3 one must install the MP3 encoder which is not available with either the default Ubuntu or Red Hat distributions. Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Suse and Mandrake RPM based Linux distributions will require the installation of the gstreamer-plugins-ugly RPM package. The available encoder configurations can be seen or modified with gnome-audio-profiles-properties.

The gstreamer-plugins-ugly RPM and dependencies can be found at http://rpm.pbone.net/

  • Package: gstreamer-plugins-ugly
    • gstreamer-a52dec
    • gstreamer-dvdread
    • gstreamer-lame
    • gstreamer-mad
    • gstreamer-mpeg2dec
    • gstreamer-sid
  • Package: libmp3lame
    Provides: libmp3lame.so.0
  • Package: libmpeg2
    Provides: libmpeg2.so.0
  • Package: liba52
    Provides: liba52.so.0
  • Package: twolame
    Provides: libtwolame.so.0
  • Package: libid3tag
    Provides: libid3tag.so.0
  • Package: libopencore-amrwb
    Provides: libopencore-amrwb.so.0
  • Package: libopencore-amrnb
    Provides: libopencore-amrnb.so.0
  • Package: libsidplay
    Provides: libsidplay.so.1
  • Package: libmad
    Provides: libmad.so.0
  • Package: libx264_112
    Provides: libx264.so.112
Example: The installation of MP3 supplemental packages on my Red Hat 6 Enterprise Linux (64 bit) Workstation:
rpm -ivh gstreamer-plugins-ugly-0.10.17-13.el6.x86_64.rpm libmp3lame0-3.98.4-22.el6.x86_64.rpm libmpeg2_0-0.5.1-5.el6.x86_64.rpm liba52_0-0.7.4-7.0.1.el6.x86_64.rpm twolame-0.3.12-2.el6.x86_64.rpm libid3tag-0.15.1b-7.el6.x86_64.rpm libopencore-amrwb0-0.1.2-2.el6.x86_64.rpm libsidplay-1.36.59-1.2.fc6.rf.x86_64.rpm libmad0-0.15.1b-4.el6.x86_64.rpm libopencore-amrnb0-0.1.2-2.el6.x86_64.rpm libx264_112-0.112-14_20110114.2245.el6.x86_64.rpm

Debian/Ubuntu: 12.04

Encode (record) Options:
  • Lame: (note that gstreamer is used as an interface to lame)
    • Ubuntu install: sudo apt-get install lame lame-doc libmp3lame0
      See gstreamer config file (default contents shown): /usr/share/gstreamer-0.10/presets/GstLameMP3Enc.prs
      Ubuntu package: rhythmbox-data
      Also see Gstreamer lamemp3enc encoder
      For high quality MP3 encoding at a 320 kbps bitrate try the following settings:
      Gstream pipeline setting: audio/x-raw-int,rate=44100,channels=2 ! lame name=enc mode=0 quality=0 bitrate=320 ! id3v2mux

Decode (play) Options:
  • Open Source Solution: Installation: apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse

  • Commercial Solution: Fluendo (Fluendo is a company specialized in delivering licensed products for Unix and Linux multimedia.)

    Use the "Ubuntu Software Center" to download and install the Fluendo MP3 codecs.
    Ubuntu Software Center Fluendo: MP3 codec installation
    This installs package: gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3
Choose only one of the above two options. The two can not co-exist.

Selection of encoders for Sound Juicer
Selection of encoders for Sound Juicer.

GRIP: Ripping MP3 files from a CD

Note that Grip is no longer the default Gnome CD ripper. Grip has been replaced by Sound Juicer.

Grip is available in RPM form with Fedora Core (1,2,3) and Red Hat distributions. On older Red Hat 7 releases, it was available on the Red Hat Powertools CD The source is still available from the Grip home page. This GUI is a front-end to Linux command line tools. It utilizes cdparanoia (cdparanoia is actually built into Grip or you can use the external cdparanoia command) or cdda2wav (my choice) for CD "ripping" and lame (best choice), bladeenc, mp3encode, gogo, xingmp3enc or l3enc to encode the MP3 file. Set the appropriate options under the "Config" tab. Grip also has a built-in CD player (GCD) and connects to CDDB (freedb.freedb.org) to obtain track titles where available.

  • Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS: yum install grip
  • Ubuntu: apt-get install grip


  • # Install MP3 encoder (detailed below): # Download lame source and compile (detailed below). (or bladeenc)
  • Start Grip: /usr/bin/grip
  • Configure Grip:
    • Select "Config" + "MP3" (or "Encode") + "Encoder" tabs.
      • Set the "Encoder" pull down menu to "lame" or "bladeenc"
      • Set the MP3 encoder: /opt/bin/lame or /opt/bin/bladeenc
        (Note: Fedora Core comes with lame and Grip is pre-configured.)
      • Default file format: ~/mp3/%a/%d/%n.mp3
        This will put the ripped and encoded MP3 files into the directory/file: $HOME/mp3/Artist-name/Disc-title/Track-name.mp3
  • Select tracks to convert. Select the "Tracks" tab and select the tracks with the middle mouse button (three button mouse or two at once for a two button mouse).
  • Select the "Rip" tab + "Rip+Encode" button to begin.
Note: Grip will also generate a playlist (.m3u file) of the tracks converted and put it in your $HOME/mp3/ directory.

Configure Select Tracks

Ripping and encoding MP3 files from a CD: - Using the command line

It is easiest to use the GUI tool Grip as described above. You may choose to use the command line interface as detailed here:

Dump tracks on an audio CD to wav files on your hard drive:

cdda2wav -D 0,4,0 -B /tmp/prefix-of-music-file
The files will be written out as /tmp/prefix-of-music-file_01.inf /tmp/prefix-of-music-file_01.wav /tmp/prefix-of-music-file_02.inf ...

You may have to be root. See YoLinux managing groups tutorial to configure system for regular users with CD-ROM access.

Encode MP3: Convert WAV to MP3

Use one of the following encoders:

  • Lame:
    lame prefix-of-music-file_01.wav  song.mp3          - Fixed 128kbs stereo encoding
    lame -h prefix-of-music-file_01.wav  song.mp3       - High quality
    lame -f prefix-of-music-file_01.wav  song.mp3       - Fast and low quality
    lame -b 112 prefix-of-music-file_01.wav  song.mp3   - Encode at a bit rate of 112 kbs
    Type lame --help to see file "USAGE" and get list of command line options.


    • Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install lame

    Man pages:

    Use mlame script to convert multiple wav files.
    ./mlame -r -o "-v -V 0 -b 112" a*.wav

    mlame Options:

    • -h: help text
    • -r: remove files after encoding
    • -o: "<lame options>" overrides script default options "-h -d -m j -b 128"


  • Bladeenc:
    bladeenc prefix-of-music-file_01.wav  song.mp3

Note: The size of the MP3 file will be approximately 10% the size of the wav file.

MP3 encoders

I was e-mailed the following tip: "Found that the BladeEnc MP3 encoder works better (for my ears) encoding NewAge/Classical/etc and that lame is better for harder music genres." Judge for yourself.

One may notice that the MP3 encoders are often missing from Linux distributions. The reason is that since 1998, the German research lab that holds the MP3 patent, Fraunhofer, imposes fees to license and distribute the encoder. This may lead to the eventual rise of Ogg Vorbis as a standard format although the recording industry rejects it due to the lack of anti-piracy mechanisms.

Building Lame from source: (MP3 encoder)

The "lame" command line MP3 encoder is used in the conversion of wav files (and other formats) to the MP3 file format.

The "lame" encoder RPMs currently ships with the Fedora Core. If you wish to build the latest:

  • The Lame home page: http://lame.sourceforge.net/
  • tar -xzf lame3.70.tar.gz
  • cd lame-3.70
  • make
  • mv lame /opt/bin
  • mv mlame /opt/bin (Script to handle multiple files)
  • mv auenc /opt/bin (Script to handle multiple files)
  • mv doc/man/lame.1 /opt/man/man1
  • mv doc/html /usr/share/doc/lame/ (or on older systems: /usr/doc/lame) - Linux doc location

Building BladeEnc from source: (MP3 encoder)

The "bladeenc" command line MP3 encoder is used in the conversion of wav files to the MP3 file format.

  • Download source from the BladeEnc source code page: web archive [cached]
  • Click on "Sourcecode" (left frame)
  • tar -xzf bladeenc-0.9x.x-src-stable.tar.gz
  • cd bladeenc-0.9x.x
  • ./configure --prefix=/opt
  • make
  • make install

Determine the MP3 File Encoding Specs:

The Linux "file" command can list the MP3 file specs.

[prompt]$ file ~/Music/Matchbox_Twenty/More_Than_You_Think_You_Are/d1t11._Matchbox_Twenty_-_You_re_So_Real.mp3
d1t11._Matchbox_Twenty_-_You_re_So_Real.mp3: Audio file with ID3 version 2.3.0, contains: MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1, 320 kbps, 44.1 kHz, JntStereo

[prompt]$ file ~/Music/Matchbox_Twenty/More_Than_You_Think_You_Are/d1t01._Matchbox_Twenty_-_Feel.mp3
d1t01._Matchbox_Twenty_-_Feel.mp3: Audio file with ID3 version 2.3.0, contains: MPEG ADTS, layer III, v1, 160 kbps, 44.1 kHz, JntStereo

Note that the same CD ripped in a sinlge session can have two different bitrates. The lame bitrate settings are generally reflective of the highest level quality available for the originating material. The above were ripped using Sound Juicer with gstreamer and lame with a bitrate set to 320kbps and frequency set to 44100 Hz.

ID3 Tags:

ID3 tags are present in the MP3 (and FLAC, Ogg-Vorbis) file format and hold title, artist, genre, album, track, year, album cover image and other relevant information.

Linux tagging tools:

Description:Feature rich commercial product (free for 30 days), cross platform Java. My favorite for auto-tagging my whole music collection at once or incrementally. It works! Successfully added tags (artist, album, song (title), genre, year) and album cover image which were all properly displayed in Rhythmbox. Uses online databases including MusicBrainz.
Formats:Mp4, M4a, M4p, Mp3, Wma, Flac and OggVorbis
Installation:Java required. Java installer. Java program started with a shell script.
Linux MP3 tagger: Jaikoz

Description:Gnome based tagging GUI tool.
Formats: MP3, MP2, MP4/AAC, FLAC, Ogg Opus, Ogg Speex, Ogg Vorbis, MusePack, Monkey's Audio, and WavPack files
Installation: Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install easytag
Red Hat el6: rpm -ivh easytag-2.1-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm
Use: Fill tag scanner formats:
  • %a : Artist
  • %b : Album
  • %c : Comment
  • %p : Composer
  • %r : Copyright
  • %e : Encoded by
  • %g : Genre
  • %i : Ignore
  • %l : Number of tracks
  • %o : Original artist
  • %n : Track
  • %t : Title
  • %u : URL
  • %y : Year
I used: %b/%n. %a - %t
Pitfalls: Easytag did not automatically tag all music selected in bulk (select all). It seemed to only tag the first 10% of my music collection. Further investigation showed me that it added a second and almost identical tag. Hmmm. I only want one set of tags. While there were settings for CD databases, no new tag information was imported (eg. year, genre, album cover image, ...). This application needs work although it does add basic tags to a reasonable selection like a single album or an artist's collection of albums.
Linux MP3 tagger: EasyTag

MusicBrainz Picardhttp://musicbrainz.org/doc/MusicBrainz_Picard
Description:Python (cross platform). Uses weird kingo.
Supported tags
Formats: MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MP4 (AAC), Musepack, WavPack, Speex, The True Audio and Windows Media Audio.
Installation: Download tar file from http://musicbrainz.org/doc/MusicBrainz_Picard
tar xzf picard-1.2.tar.gz
cd picard-1.2
sudo python setup.py install
Run: /usr/bin/picard
Green box = Ok. Any red indicates a problem identifying the music file.
The "CD Lookup" button is way off and returns nonsense.
Linux MP3 tagger: Picard
[Picard Pitfalls]: If you get this error: AttributeError: 'QNetworkAccessManager' object has no attribute 'deleteResource'
RHEL6 uses PyQt4 (PyQt4-4.6.2-8.el6.x86_64.rpm, PyQt4-devel-4.6.2-8.el6.x86_64.rpm)
Fix requires an upgrade: rpm -Uvh PyQt4-4.6.2-9.el6.x86_64.rpm PyQt4-devel-4.6.2-9.el6.x86_64.rpm
Then you must remove source, re-extract the tar file and rebuild picard: rm -Rf picard-1.2, ... otherwise you will get the following error when trying to run picard:
ImportError: No module named astrcmp

Description:KDE/Qt tagger. Seems to be specifically targeted to editing/changing tags rather than auto-tagging
Formats: MP3, Ogg/Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, MP4/AAC, MP2, Opus, Speex, TrueAudio, WavPack, WMA, WAV, AIFF files and tracker modules (MOD, S3M, IT, XM)
Installation: Ubuntu Install: sudo apt-get install kid3
Red Hat el6: build from source RPM: rpmbuild --rebuild kid3-3.0.2-1.src.rpm
Must have cmake28 (/usr/bin/cmake28) installed and soft linked to /usr/bin/cmake
RPM did not build but code did so I could install build from /home/user/rpmbuild/BUILDROOT/kid3-3.0.2-1.x86_64/
Run:I must admit I just didn't get this tool. I was not able to successfully tag anything.
Linux MP3 tagger: Kid3

Command Line Tagging tools:

  • mid3v2: command line tagging tool
    Ubuntu install: sudo apt-get install python-pip;sudo pip install mutagen
  • id3tool: command line tagging tool
    Ubuntu install: sudo apt-get install id3tool
    Example: id3tool -t "song title" -a "album name" -r "artist name" -y "year" -c track number, no quotes, just the number, like 1 filename.mp3
  • lltag: command line tagging tool. Optional automated batch processing.
  • id3v2: based on id3lib
  • eyeD3: command line or python program
In addition, many players (JuK, Banshee, Rhythmbox, Amarok) can also tag MP3 files.

Description:KDE player/Jukebox with limited tagging capability. One can view tags and change/edit tags. I could not find a way to auto tag mass quantities of MP3s. Seems limited to tagging one file at a time. Not a bad feature if this is your media player anyway and you want to clean up an error you stumble upon. It's a better Juke box player than tagger.
Linux MP3 tagger: JuK
JuK tag editor

Description:Default Gnome player and jukebox with limited tagging capability. One can view tags and change/edit tags. Does not auto tag mass quantities of MP3s. Seems limited to tagging one file at a time.
Linux MP3 tagger: Rhythmbox Linux MP3 tagger: Rhythmbox
Rhythmbox tag editor: select song -> Music + Properties
or right click on song -> Properties



Most digital music players (Audacious, Rhythmbox, Totem, Windows Media Player, iTunes, Winamp, ...) can play a "playlist" in M3U format. Many MP3 digital audio players can generate playlists. This is also true for many of the ID3 tagging applications. The playlist will list the file names (absolute or relative path) or URLs to play.

There are only two directives in a playlist:
  • #EXTM3U
    This is the header and first line of the file.
  • #EXTINF:length,Artist Name - Track Title
    Where length is given in seconds. A length of "-1" tells the player to ignore the length.
    This directive is then followed by the file name (using absolute or relative path) or URL (of type: audio/x-mpegurl) of the digital audio file.
    Any format (mp3, ogg, ...) which can be decoded by the player will be valid.
#EXTINF:133,The Offspring - Staring at the Sun
#EXTINF:256,AFI - The Interview
In this example the playlist is ~/Music/Rocklist_1.m3u and the MP3 files are ~/Music/The_Offspring/Americana/03._The_Offspring_-_Staring_at_the_Sun.mp3 and ~/Music/AFI/DecemberUnderground/05._AFI_-_The_Interview.mp3

Tip: Directory and file names can be listed using the shell command: find ./

Also see: IETF streaming multi-media data file format M3U standard

Other formats:

MP3 Best Practices:

When using MP3s in automotive entertainment systems and with other commercial stereos it becomes apparent that there are limitations for the equipment of various manufacturers. Incompatible file name lengths, directory name lengths, USB and flash card formats, etc, can all potentially prevent one from using an MP3 effectively.

MP3 tips:

The first and most obvious error I noticed was the image error when I used album cover images which were too large. MP3 tips and best practices:
  • Max folder depth: 8
  • Max folders: 500
  • Limit file/folder names to 40 char
  • Max files per folder: 4,096
  • Max files per device (USB stick): 65,025
  • Image file size limit: 512 Kb
  • Image size limit: 8192 W x 7680 H pixels
    Progressive format image size limit: 1600 W x 1000 H pixels

USB tips:

I have found that not all USB memory sticks were acceptible to my Kenwood automotive stereo. If you find that a USB stick is not read by the system, it may have an incompatible file system format. USB tips and best practices:
  • Format USB stick: sudo mkdosfs -F 32 -I /dev/sdg1
    Sometimes the default vfat format is not right FAT format. This works on my Kenwood.
    Ubuntu 14.04 installation: sudo apt-get install -y dosfstools
    Man page: mkdosfs
  • Add a volume label: sudo mlabel -i /dev/sdg1 ::MUSIC-A-G
    Ubuntu 14.04 installation: sudo apt-get install -y mtools
    Man page: mlabel
  • Use an 8Gb USB drive. Larger 16Gb and 32Gb USB thumb drives would mount but my stereo would not read past the first 8Gb. The list of folders and files would be greyed out by the system and be unaccessible.


Bookmark and Share