But the coolest gadgets of the eighties are pale compared to the toys that the 21st century kids have. Today’s teenagers don’t do cassette tapes. The portable music players have gone from magnetic tapes to digital files – mostly MP3s. One such player could hold (tens of) thousands of songs and the batteries last for almost a day.
But this miracle of modern technology brings with it an unexpected problem: music management. Nobody I know has a perfectly clean and tidy music collection. Most of their songs are not properly tagged: song titles, artist, genre, numbering, capitalization and so on.
Not because they don’t want to, but because tidying up thousands of song tags is not the kind of fun activity everybody has in mind. That’s why we need the help of music tagging utilities. Something like Tagr.
Start The Tagging With Tagr
If you have lots of songs with messy tags in your collection – like almost everybody else in this digital age – and you want to tag your music and put them in order without all the hassles, then Tagr might be the answer to your prayers.
After downloading and installing the latest version of the app (v. 3.1.1 at the time of writing), you can put it on duty right away.
The main window is divided into two parts: the tagging area on the left and the song list area on the right. Using Tagr to tag your music is as simple as dragging and dropping the songs onto the song list area and correct the tags via the tagging area. You can do the tagging manually or (almost) automatically, one song at a time or in bulk.
Please note that you can’t drag songs directly from the iTunes interface. However, you can select folders from within the iTunes Library in Finder.
I tried the app by dragging a folder of one music album to the app. A list of the songs instantly appeared in order in the right pane sorted by the song number, while on the left pane we had ready-to-edit fields of information which corresponded to the selected item(s) on the right.
You can edit the tags at the upper area of the tagging pane called “Attributes” or directly on the list by clicking on the text.
However, I was dying to try the “automatically search for song data” feature located at the bottom of the window. So I selected all the songs, and then clicked the “Search in Amazon” option from the pop-up menu.
This action opened up Amazon in my default browser using the artist and album as the search string.
Then I tried the “Search in Discogs“. This time, Tagr switched to a “Cover Flow”-like interface and showed me the results there. Depending on your internet connection, this process could take some time.
If you want to apply one (or more) of the results, just select the result and click the “Copy to Selection” button on the middle right.
Tools Of The Trade
Tagr provides its users with a set of tools to make the whole process easier.
The first is the “Numbering” tool. Select the songs and click on the icon, and you can append numbers to the songs based on your preferences.
The second is the “File Naming” tool. This is the tool to tidy up the file names of the original files.
Third is the “Capitalization” tool. This tool will help you fix this: “tiTLe oF THe SonGS” and turn it into this: “Title Of The Songs” (or all UPPERCASE or lowercase).
And to sum up, the “All in One” tools. Clicking this icon will apply all of the above tools at once, based on the settings you chose for each tool.
Catch The Cover Art
If you happen to have the digital cover art for the album, you can add the image by selecting the song and then dragging and dropping the picture to the “Artwork” area. The image will then be embedded to the file as part of the file so you won’t ever lose it.
Another cool thing about this embedding image thing is that you can add more than one picture to the file. You can just drag and drop another picture, or use the “plus” button. To delete a picture from the file(s), use the “minus” button.
Tagr will tell you how many images are there in the file(s). Use the left and right arrow buttons to browse through cover art. Embed the pictures to the songs by clicking the button on the right.
Rinse & Repeat
And when everything is set, click the “Save to Disk” icon at the top left of the window to keep your changes.
After that, all you have to do is rinse and repeat the process for other songs and other albums to tag all of your music. As you might have guessed by now, the process helps you the most when you go in bulk rather than individual files.
What method do you use to tidy up the tags of your music collection? Have you ever tried Tagr? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.