Entertainment

The 4 Best Tools to Manage Your MP3 Music Collection

Ste Knight Updated 01-06-2020

Managing your MP3 library can be both confusing and frustrating. Allowing your music to pile up, without any organization, can spell disaster down the line. The problem of poorly-managed MP3s can spread to other devices too. Especially if you move your music around between your laptop and, for example, your smartphone.

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Thankfully, there are plenty of tools available to help you get a handle on your MP3 management. So, here’s a selection of tools to help you cure your music management migraine.

1. MediaMonkey

screenshot of MediaMonkey editing artwork

MediaMonkey doubles up as both a music player and MP3-organizer software. This makes it a great tool to have on your desktop. Before you jump in and grab MediaMonkey, it is worth noting that this isn’t a lightweight app. It is a very comprehensive way to keep your music collection in check. This means beginners may struggle with the various tools available.

If MediaMonkey is of interest, though, then there is a whole world of MP3 management ahead of you. Firstly, you can organize your music based on the genre, year, artist name, or album title. This means finding files will be much easier. Not only that, but you can edit the tags for every single music file. The software includes multiple tools that can even do this for you, automatically!

Whether your MP3 collection is made up of podcasts, audiobooks, or plain old music, MediaMonkey offers consistency across the board. MediaMonkey will allow you to get your playlists in check, too, with full playlist creation and editing. In addition, every time you add music to the library folders on your hard drive, MediaMonkey will update it upon its next launch.

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One final feature we would like to highlight is the ability to share your music across devices. So, if your computer is set up as your media server, you can connect your smartphone to it wirelessly and play files remotely. This means you don’t even need to physically store the music on your smartphone, which makes organizing MP3s even easier! A Pro version is also available which adds many more features to the free version of the app.

Download: MediaMonkey for Windows (Free, Gold edition available)
Download: MediaMonkey for Android (Free, Pro edition available)
Note: MediaMonkey is also available for macOS as a Wineskin application

2. MusicBrainz Picard

MusicBrainz Picard main screen

MusicBrainz Picard is a cross-platform, open-source MP3 organizing software. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Haiku, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD.  Best of all, it is completely free! That means you can get your music collection in order without shelling out for an expensive package. Plus, it supports a huge range of formats. So, whether you have MP3, WAV, or FLAC files, MusicBrainz Picard is on hand to get it all looking ship shape.

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One of the best features, though, has to be the AcoustID song identifier. Even the most organized MP3 collection is going to have tracks with very little or no metadata. Perhaps even the track has been titled incorrectly. The AcoustID feature works by checking a track’s “audio fingerprint” against a database of songs. If it finds a match, it will fill out the tag data for you, saving you the job.

Of course, you can still edit all of the metadata yourself, too. Clicking on an MP3 file that MusicBrainz Picard has found will bring up the editing pane. This will display the current data, along with any missing entries. You can add these yourself using text entry. The more metadata matches up with, say, other tracks on an album, the more organized your MP3 collection will be. You won’t have random MP3 files littering your hard drive!

Download: MusicBrainz Picard (Free)

3. Mp3tag

Mp3tag Editor in editing mode

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Mp3tag is superb if you have a large number of rogue MP3 files. This is because it has a really cool batch converter. That means you can grab a whole bunch of your MP3s and let Mp3tag get busy sorting through them. You can also edit the metadata yourself. It is pretty similar to MusicBrainz Picard in terms of what it is capable of, aside from the batch converter. It can actually use the MusicBrainz database to grab file info.

Despite the name, Mp3tag supports a whole host of popular (and some less so) media formats. The app also supports cover art for albums, EPs, and singles. This will save the cover art to the file itself. So, not only will your music be organized, but it will also look the part as you scroll through your MP3s.

The app is also appealing as it allows you to export your library data. With HTML, RTF, and CSV exports all available, you will be able to see exactly what is in your collection. All in a nice tabular format. This will help you keep track of what is there and data can be organized in any way that suits you. You can download Mp3tag for Windows and macOS.

Download: Mp3tag (Free)

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4. Apple Music

Apple Music main screen

Some people love Apple Music and some people hate it. However, there is no denying the fact that it is a great tool for organizing your music. If you have an existing MP3 collection then, by-and-large, you can import it into Apple Music and let the program do all of the organizing for you. It will collect tracks from albums together under one album title, add art, and name all the tracks correctly. You just have to sit back and let Apple Music do the dirty work.

This isn’t always a perfect exercise. If your ID3 tags aren’t consistent, then Apple Music might not recognize that certain tracks belong to a collection. In this case, you might be best to use an ID3 tag remover first. This will grant you a clean slate, which means you can then run your music through Apple Music without a hitch. With ID3 tags removed, Apple Music should be able to arrange your music the way it should be arranged, if it couldn’t in the first instance.

Obviously, Apple Music also has the advantage of being a multimedia player, so you can organize ALL of your media libraries with it. Once you have added your MP3 files to Apple Music, it is all available to see with nice, shiny artwork, correct titles, and correct artist names. Apple Music is a very functional MP3 organizer and player that will have your music collection looking tip-top, taking much of the heartache out of managing your media.

Download: Apple Music (Free)
Note: Windows users can still download iTunes (Free)

The Best MP3 Organizer for You

Whether you’re a seasoned digital music pro, or you’ve only just entered the world of digital music from physical formats, there are plenty of tools out there to help you with your MP3 management.

Apple Music, combined with a tag remover, will organize your MP3 collection perfectly. So, all of your MP3 files will be ordered by artist name and broken down into album folders, making them very easy to find.

If you’d like a dedicated device to play your newly organized MP3 files, check out the best standalone MP3 players for all budgets The Best Standalone MP3 Player for All Budgets A dedicated MP3 player has many advantages over listening to music on your phone. Which is the best MP3 player for you? Read More .

Related topics: MP3, Music Album, Music Management, Organization Software, Windows Apps.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Davin Peterson
    June 1, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Forget Apple Music, What about Google/YouTube Music?

  2. Alvin
    December 5, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    I found nothing to be a good choice. What I wanted is to a tag ditor and the most important is organized into folders per artist and inside it is per album.Do you have anyone in mind?

  3. Tim Turner
    February 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Never found anything I liked better than Media Juke Box 12, still using it and refuse to update to Version 14. You can still find a copy of version 12 which is the best.

  4. Sherri
    February 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    I need some help and I am hoping you can. I have an mac computer and use ITunes for my library. I have ripped a lot of cd's to ITunes. It has my library messed up and it won't play full albums on my devices. Some devices can't even play my library. I want to get out of ITunes but don't know which way to turn for new software/ library management software.

    I would like to play my library on my iPhone or iPad but I hate clouds.

    What is out there that would solve my issues and allow me to play my music on any device at home or away from home?

    Please help, Sherri.

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

    MusicBee is also a notable free tool.

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

    The best combination:

    foobar2000 https://www.foobar2000.org/
    Mp3tag http://www.mp3tag.de/en/
    mp3DirectCut [Broken Link Removed]
    Spek http://spek.cc/
    MP3Diags http://mp3diags.sourceforge.net/
    MusicBrainz Picard https://picard.musicbrainz.org/

    There is no simple way.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. Anonymous
    January 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm
  10. 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

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

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

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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

  23. 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???????

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

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

  25. 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.

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

    Forgot MusicBee.

  27. 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!

  28. 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. :)

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.