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Music library management can be an entirely frustrating experience, especially if you have years of unorganized music waiting to be sorted and labeled properly. Poor music library management will come back and bite you later when you’re listening to music on-the-go and you can’t navigate your songs without confusion. Fortunately, there are a few great tools made specifically to help you in these things.

I purge my music collection on a regular basis so I, admittedly, don’t have a huge music library, but it’s still large enough that I avoid organizing it due to the inevitable headaches. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be if I actually had dozens of gigabytes of music. If you can sympathize with these frustrations, here are some tools that will cure those headaches.

ID3 Remover

music-management-id3-remover

Sometimes you just need to start over from scratch. Maybe the ID3 tags across your music library have no rhyme or reason to them and they do more harm than good. Or maybe you just want a clean slate on a few albums so your automatic tagger can do its thing. Whatever the reason, sometimes you just need a tag remover. ID3 Remover does that right away.

Open the program, drag and drop whichever files or folders from which you want to delete ID3 tags, and click “Remove.” Done. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

MP3Tag

music-management-mp3tag

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MP3Tag is a lightweight program Organize and Tag your Music Library with Mp3tag Organize and Tag your Music Library with Mp3tag Read More meant to aid you in managing the metadata for songs in your library. MP3Tag supports most of the common metadata formats including ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, iTunes MP4, WMA, Vorbis Comments, and APE Tags, so you’ll have no problems managing your music regardless of the type of music you have.

MP3Tag has a few advanced features to make your life easier if you so choose to use those features:

  • Full Unicode support when editing tags.
  • Batch tag editing for when you need to edit multiple songs at once.
  • Album art downloads for completing your music library’s polish.
  • Tag data imports from popular music databases, including Amazon, MusicBrainz, discogs, and freedb.
  • Rename files based on tag information and import tags from filenames.
  • Export music library lists and reports to HTML, RTF, and CSV.
  • Supported formats include MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, MP4, WMA, MPC, OPUS, APE, OFR, OFS, SPX, TAK, TTA, WV.

Use MP3Tag if… you just need a one-time library metadata revamp and don’t need many advanced features. MP3Tag is great for batch editing tags and album art, yet lightweight enough that you aren’t bogged down by extraneous features you’ll never use.

MusicBrainz Picard

music-management-musicbrainz-picard

For those of you who don’t know, MusicBrainz is a wonderful central database full of CD information and metadata. MusicBrainz Picard is an open source program that taps into the MusicBrainz database and matches up various songs and albums according to what the database says. Unlike most auto-taggers, which rely on filenames and album types to make their matches, MusicBrainz operates with acoustic scans of the songs themselves.

Features you’ll find in MusicBrainz Picard:

  • Excellent support for Unicode.
  • Uses audio fingerprints to identify songs.
  • Automatically tags songs based on the MusicBrainz database for accurate results.
  • Tags your audio files using an album-oriented approach for maximum organization.
  • Functionality can be extended through plugins.
  • Supported formats include MP3, OGG, FLAC, AAC, MP4, WMA, WAV, MPC, APE, OFR, WV, and SPX.

MusicBrainz Picard is one of the most popular ways to fix up a disorganized music collection 4 Easy Ways Fix Music Tags & Organize Music Library 4 Easy Ways Fix Music Tags & Organize Music Library Read More . Fortunately, the MusicBrainz Picard website has a quickstart guide on how to use this program to auto-tag your music library in just a few minutes. If you’ve never used it before, I highly recommend it.

Use MusicBrainz Picard if… you didn’t like MP3Tag for whatever reason. Whether it was too simple, didn’t match your expectations, or maybe you just didn’t like the interface. There’s a lot of overlap between MP3Tag and MusicBrainz Picard and I’d say it mostly comes down to personal preference.

MediaMonkey 4 and MediaMonkey Gold

music-management-mediamonkey

If you’re looking for a music player and music manager all wrapped into one, MediaMonkey is exactly what you want. Keep in mind that MediaMonkey is not a lightweight music player Play Music Like An Audiophile With Foobar2000 [Windows] Play Music Like An Audiophile With Foobar2000 [Windows] Foobar2000 is the desktop music player of choice for audiophiles, tinkerers and anyone looking for a lightweight, efficient program. We have it listed on our page of the best Windows software for a reason, although... Read More like Foobar2000 and it has no intention of being so. Instead, it’s designed to be powerful and feature-complete and it really shows.

As far as music management capabilities, MediaMonkey offers a lot:

  • A built-in tag editor that not only manages tag data, but also sets lyrics, edits artwork, organizes virtual CD details, and more.
  • A built-in automatic tagger that looks at contextual information (such as filenames and folder structures) to set tag and artwork data without requiring you to input details manually.
  • Organize your music library into more than just playlists: collections. Your library can have multiple collections and each collection can have multiple playlists. Great for those of you with huge libraries that defy traditional ideas of organization.
  • Volume normalization for when some of your songs are too loud or too soft. MediaMonkey has two types of normalization: Volume Leveling, which plays all songs at a consistent volume, and Per-Track Volume, which changes the volume of a particular track only.
  • Automatic file renaming, which is immensely useful for converting filenames into the pattern that you’ve been using for the rest of your music library (for example, Artist – Album – Track Title).
  • Supported formats include MP3, AAC, OGG, WMA, FLAC, MPC, WAV, CDA, AVI, MP4, OGV, MPEG, WMV, M3U, PLS, and more.

The $24.95 Gold version offers even more features.

For a deeper look at the available features, check out our MediaMonkey 4 review MediaMonkey 4: An Extremely Powerful Music Management Program [Rewards] MediaMonkey 4: An Extremely Powerful Music Management Program [Rewards] I recently got my hands on a copy of MediaMonkey Gold, the premium version of the free music player, MediaMonkey. This full-featured music manager was once known as Songs-DB back when it first hit the... Read More .

Use MediaMonkey 4 if… you want an all-in-one package that handles nearly every aspect of music management. Not only does it manage your song tags and metadata, MediaMonkey 4 is a full blown music player and library. If you only need to revamp your tags, MediaMonkey 4 would probably be overkill.

Conclusion

Music library management can be a daunting task, but don’t let it overwhelm you. With the tools outlined above, you’ll be able to clean up your collection in absolutely no time, making it easier for you to navigate your albums and find the songs you want when you want them.

What do you think of these tools? Do you know of any other music management tools that have been useful to you? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Image Credits: Tapes via Flickr

  1. Ed
    May 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    MusicBee is also a notable free tool.

  2. Stem75
    March 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    The best combination:

    foobar2000 https://www.foobar2000.org/
    Mp3tag http://www.mp3tag.de/en/
    mp3DirectCut http://mpesch3.de1.cc/mp3dc.html
    Spek http://spek.cc/
    MP3Diags http://mp3diags.sourceforge.net/
    MusicBrainz Picard https://picard.musicbrainz.org/

    There is no simple way.

  3. ThanatosJD
    February 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I am pretty daff but I quite like MusicBrains. Did what I needed to do, folder by folder albums of mp3's. Thanks Devs!

  4. Pete
    February 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    A dead easy way to clean up your music is songkong http://jthink.net/songkong - jut drag and drop and it does a good job of identifying most songs, and it can also find duplicates.

    You can also use the free version like shazam to identify songs when you haven got a clue what they are, just look at the report it creates at the end.

  5. Anonymous
    January 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm
  6. Mark
    October 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    IMO the best tag editor that I've found is

    Tag Scanner
    http://www.xdlab.ru/en/

    Nice Interface, easy to use, and frequent updates

  7. Dave
    October 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Great article with great examples of software to organize or re-organize your music collection.

  8. Zoran N
    October 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I prefer old MP3 Tag Tools (for editing, adding and removing tags, as well as writing filenames from tags) plus Bulk Rename Utility (for... well, bulk renaming of those files).

  9. Homar R
    September 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I believe Nightingale could be another option, and is cross-platform!
    Clementine and Amarok are also good, and are cross-platform too

  10. Eric N
    September 5, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I think foobar 2000 does a pretty good job. Windows Explorer itself also can do a good job editing the MP3 tags, although it has less options. I usually use the Windows Explorer's build-in feature as it is enough for me. Batch editing works too.

  11. Sylvia L
    September 4, 2013 at 4:06 am

    My MP3 player has mostly meditations and meditation music on it.......I have used Windows Media Player, which I find very confusing, resulting in some under the Artist's name & a lot o f tracks just part of a long random list. A lot of them have a long number sequence to identify them with....so much chaos here....very frustrating when trying to find a particular meditation, or music track....plus, if you delete a track & try to re-install it, WMP won't let you! Mine is not "I" compatible, but I do have a whole library of tracks on iTunes, which is a much better system, as I can make real lists under the artist's name & add to these lists....I can't afford to buy an 'i device', is there anything else I can use that can fix my problem? Like deleting all my tracks and re-loading them somehow? I am using Windows XP.....many thanks in advance...Sylvia

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:43 am

      I don't have an answer for you, Sylvia, but you may find better luck by asking your question over at MUO Answers. Good luck!

  12. Jim Bruce
    September 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    TuneUp Companion for iTunes is the perfect batch processor fixing tags, artwork, and itegrating perfectly with iTunes

  13. Jim Bruce
    September 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    TuneUp Companion for iTunes is the perfect batch processor fixing tags, artwork, and itegrating perfectly with iTunes

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:42 am

      That's a great suggestion for our readers who use iTunes. (I don't, so I didn't know about it). Thanks!

    • Daryl B
      September 6, 2013 at 5:20 am

      It also depends on the number of files you have. It's not good on libraries over 10,000 I believe.

  14. Daryl B
    September 3, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I use everything listed except the first product listed because MP3Tag removes ID3 info also.

  15. Jeremy G
    September 3, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Media Monkey has been my favourite for years. I have multiple hard drives, and various collections of mp3's in amongst these. So long as I have specifically lettered (eg. F:, M:, N:) drives, Media Monkey keeps a record of all my music, even when they're not plugged in. It makes removing duplicates simple.

  16. Anonymous
    September 2, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Jaikoz is the way to go

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:44 am

      Hmm. I'd never heard of Jaikoz but I took a glance at it and it looks useful. I'll check it out. Thanks!

  17. Dean
    September 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I think Banshee is more than sufficient for most people. It can organize based on Album or Artist, and it can automatically create folders in your Music library. You can edit music tags easily. Native for GNU/Linux. What's not to love?

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:40 am

      It's been years since I used Banshee so I can't really agree or disagree, but I do remember liking it somewhat so perhaps it is a good lighter-weight alternative to MediaMonkey for Linux. Thanks!

  18. Rob Pilgrim
    September 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    The one, and only, reason I haven't gone over to Linux on my Jukebox is that there is no program with the abilities and flexibilities of Media Monkey for Linux - and it doesn't play nice with WINE

  19. Aditya R
    September 2, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    have been using Tag&Rename

    • rajesh
      September 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      i guess you are indian ......... in india we get to download music from songs pk mostly for bollywood ,they put the name of song like "jai ho-song.pk" how to remove this song.pk from the song name

    • rajesh
      September 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      i mean is there any which will remove it automatically???????

  20. Joe W
    September 2, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    MusicBrainz looks nice, one for movies/series would be awesome

  21. Bryan M
    September 2, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    When my music collection was in complete disarray, I used a combination of MusicBrainz Picard and the freedb plugin for Foobar2000 to get most of my tagging done.

  22. Matjaž M
    September 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Forgot MusicBee.

  23. Djordje D
    September 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    http://getmusicbee.com/

    Best Music manager/player ever. You imagine a tool that you need to manage music - Musicbee has it! You name it!

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:41 am

      MusicBee is a good one. I personally think MediaMonkey outshines it but if it works for you, that's all that matters. Thanks!

  24. Jeff B
    September 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Like everyone else above, I use mp3Tag as well. I remove almost everything including album and run em all by artist. I also find it handy to edit whatever someone thought was one genre and switch it.

    Thanks for the list Joel, I'm off to check out the others you mentioned

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:38 am

      You're welcome. I hope they serve you well. :)

  25. Darren R
    September 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I have been using MP3Tag for years, its a great app, easy to use and free.

  26. Guillermo
    September 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    And what about Clementine, Amarok... free, easy and very usefull

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:38 am

      While they do have music management features, I consider them to be music players first and foremost with management being supplementary. MediaMonkey was on this list because its management capabilities far outshine the competition, in my opinion.

      But yes, for music players that have good library managers, there are some good ones out there like Clementine and Amarok.

  27. Greif
    September 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    You can use MP3Tag itself to remove id3 tags. Select the mp3 then go to File/Remove tag (Ctrl+R).

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:36 am

      Yes, you can indeed.

  28. Anonymous
    September 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Nice post, I use MP3Tag to manage my library. I like its simplicity, Batch Edit, and renaming tags.

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:35 am

      Batch edit rocks!

  29. Anton
    September 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    That's a good list, but it seems to be Windows only. I use OSx or Linux.

    • Greif
      September 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Anton, you can use MP3Tag with wine. It runs perfectly on Linux.

    • Andrew
      September 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      I recommend Musicbrainz, myself. And its available for linux, I know because I use it lol

    • Joel L
      September 4, 2013 at 5:35 am

      Sorry about that. It can be hard to find non-Windows alternatives for semi-niche programs. Fortunately, as mentioned by Greif and Andrew, MP3Tag and MusicBrainz can be run on Linux!

    • Ray M
      September 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      EasyTag is in the Ubuntu repositories.

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