Streaming music services are increasingly popular, even with Linux users. Despite this, many people still prefer to forgo the streaming apps in favor of a local library of music files. Having a local backup is a decent solution, and it allows users to listen to whatever they want, rather than only what the app has officially licensed.
If you’re going to go the local file route on Linux, it’s imperative to keep your MP3 music files in order with the correct music tags. Failing to add the right tags will mess up your music player, and make it very hard to find music to enjoy.
The best way to keep music tags in order is to use an ID3 tag editor. These programs let the user quickly edit the metadata of any given music file to add artist information. Not sure what tag editor to use on Linux? We’ve got you covered! Here are the five best MP3 tag editing tools for Linux!
1. MusicBrainz Picard
MusicBrainz Picard is an open source, “next generation” music tagging application that can intelligently scan and apply data to music files by checking it with a database (users can also add tag information manually).
The program is a favorite for Linux users as it has an easy to navigate user interface and it can not only tag music files but also automatically organize the data it’s editing into easy to manage folders.
- MusicBrainz Picard can edit and read many different types of audio files, including AAC, MP3, Ogg, Opus, WAV and more.
- Uses AcpistID technology to analyze and detect the correct tags for any given music file. This feature works, even if the music file has no tag data at all.
- Can find tag information for entire albums, rather than one track at a time.
- Has support for third-party plugins, enabling users to add in features not already a part of MusicBrainz.
- Support for HiDPI ensures that MusicBrainz looks good even on the latest high-end displays.
- MusicBrainz Picard can edit the tags in media files with ease, even if they’re on a remote file system (like a Linux home server).
Finetune is a commercially available automatic MP3 tag editing tool for Linux, Windows, and Mac. It’s incredibly easy to use and is designed to take the tediousness out of adding information to music files.
While Finetune isn’t the first “automatic” tagging tool on Linux, it’s a great choice as it is cross-platform, meaning users will enjoy the same experience across operating systems.
- Fully automatic, and requires minimal user interaction.
- Finetune can read and write to all popular music file formats.
- Uses AcoustID to fingerprint your music and identify the correct information, rather than just making the best guess.
- Aside from being able to add the correct “artist” tags, Finetune can add composer and performer tags too, making the program perfect for scanning classical music.
EasyTAG is an ID3 tag editor for Linux that specializes in giving users ultimate control for tag editing, rather than only adding data through an automatic scanning system.
This program is robust and has dozens of editing features. It is the ideal choice for those on Linux interested in adding media information manually.
- EasyTAG can read/write metadata on dozens of different types of audio files like MP3, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and more.
- Lets users manually attach album art to individual tracks or albums.
- Aside from managing file metadata, EasyTAG can rename and manage music filenames and folders.
- Has an excellent autocomplete feature that makes entering the same information over and over much quicker.
- Even though EasyTAG is mainly for manual media tag editing, it can also scan and add data automatically from databases like FreeDB and GnuDB.
Puddletag is an open source audio tag editing tool that takes massive inspiration from the Windows tool “MP3tag”, and has equivalent features.
The tool is mainly for editing media files manually in a spreadsheet, though it is also possible to scan media files against online track databases.
- Is currently the best alternative on Linux for those that have made the switch to Linux from Windows and used MP3tag to edit music files.
- Puddletag supports all popular audio formats.
- The user interface is modifiable, and users can tweak it to better suit their own needs.
- Puddletag lets users add album art to individual tracks, or in bulk by selecting multiple items at once.
- The “preview” feature allows users to view the edits made to music files before saving them.
Kid3 is a music tag editing tool for Linux. It uses the Qt framework and is open source. Like most editors, Kid3 can work with all of the popular media file formats, allows users to import information to files from various online sources (Amazon and others), and can manipulate playlists.
Kid3 is a useful tag editing tool for those that like the idea of tagging things manually, but also would like automatic features like browsing for cover art, auto-tagging, etc.
- Kid3 can import data for use with music tags from many different places. Information sources include Amazon, Discogs, Gnu DB, MusicBrainz and more.
- Kid3 lets users create, save and modify playlist files, in addition to editing music metadata.
- The tool can scan filenames and use them to generate ID3 tags.
- Users can export existing ID3 tags as a CSV file, HTML file, XML and many other formats.
- Users can use the “automate task” feature to make repetitive tasks more manageable.
Keeping track of your music file metadata is the difference between a good music library and a lousy music library. Without the correct information in music files, even the best music players that Linux has to offer won’t be able to offer up a good browsing experience.
Long ago, having music files with the correct information required a lot of effort on Linux. Thankfully, with modern editors like the ones on this list, it’s easier than ever to keep everything organized.