I have a Squeezebox, and am running the Server on my (Natty) machine. This server scans my music directory and adds all files found therein to the server's library, to be streamed over the network to the devices.


There's a problem though — not all of my files are recognised due to the server's tag parser being buggy. I've filed a bug upstream about this.


To fix this problem, I'd like to erase and rewrite the ID3 tags on my MP3s. Ideally I don't want any of the tags to change. Do you know of a program or script which can do this? Somehow iterate over all of my files and save their metadata, then erase it from the file leaving just the audio before writing it back. I'm trying to avoid writing a script to do this myself (although I will do if nobody knows a program/can come up with one). Hopefully this clean rewrite will then be accepted by the server. If not, well, at least we tried.

  • you could also give EasyTag a try. sudo apt-get install easytag. Feb 18, 2011 at 6:25

4 Answers 4


Picard is an amazing program, highly recommend it. +1 to ssweeny's rec.

However, if you just want to rewrite all existing tags, I think Ex Falso (apt link) and id3convert (apt) will better suit your needs. You might be able to do this all in Ex Falso, but I like knowing the original tags were removed.

Incidentally, Ex Falso has a plugin to tag via MusicBrainz just like Picard.


  1. Use Ex Falso to rename all your files using the fields you want to keep (tip: hit "Preview", then "Save").
  2. Delete all your tags: find . -type f -iname '*.mp3' -exec id3convert -s {} \;
  3. Check to see tags are really gone: id3info example.mp3
  4. Use Ex Falso to retag based on the file names or MusicBrainz.

Ex Falso renaming files

  • Cheers, I'm going to mark this as the answer — it did what I asked for, but unfortunately that didn't fix the problem :( Silly Squeezebox
    – Iain Lane
    Feb 21, 2011 at 13:57
  • Maybe it's a problem with tags written at the end vs beginning of the file? I don't know if ExFalso lets you choose, but I know Foobar2k does. You could install fb2k in wine, strip the tags again, and experiment with the order.
    – djeikyb
    Feb 21, 2011 at 22:15
  • I just used mp3gain to normalise the mp3s (and thereby rewrite the data), and now they work. Oh well.
    – Iain Lane
    Feb 28, 2011 at 13:24

You can also use id3v2 if you are familiar with the shell.

idv3 is a command to add/modify/remove/view ID3V2 tags, convert/list ID3V2 tags and also supports ID3V1.

To install, type:

sudo apt-get install id3v2

To list the tag already present in a file:

id3v2 -l some_file.mp3

To set the artist on a file:

id3v2 -a "The name of the artist" some_file.mp3

For more information:

man id3v2

For a task like this I recommend MusicBrainz Picard (apt link)

It allows easy manipulation of MP3 tags, and will even query the MusicBrainz database and update/correct your tags.


Give a chance to "Ex-Falso", which features both "replacing" and "add to existint" tags. It is easy to use and with a few clics you can do some useful tasks, like: Edit Tags, Tags from Path, Rename Files and Track Numbers.

Information about this software can be reached by clicking the next link: http://code.google.com/p/quodlibet/

A screenshot is placed here for your convenience:

enter image description here

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