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music: Using Kid3 to Tag Album collections

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Ok, there are times when I want to organize a collection of MP3s as a single anthology. That is I want to override the individual album names and also rename the files so they all go together. As an example, if I want all the Billboard Hot 100 songs of 2000 in a single place, there has to be an easy way to do that.

It does seem like every year I need a reminder for how to do it. Using Kid3 with brew install kid3 but basically to review:

  1. Install Kid3 and then open the directory where you have your files.
  2. The dialog that will open is super confusing, but you will see your music on the left and you select it all.
  3. If the various songs do not have a track number then Tools > Number All Tracks adds them.
  4. Then at the top you will see a label which is Format: ↑ which means take From either Tag 1 or Tag 2 and make this the filename. I know, right, who would have guessed this. Then you have a set of wildcards, so for instance, if you change the filename to Rich's Mix Tape 2022 - %{track} - %{artist} - %{title} then this means the file names of all the files are change to a common room, then the track number, artist and title.
  5. You should see the Titlebar go to Modified and when you choose Save, it will rewrite the filenames.
  6. If the Album inside each of the Tags (these are different variants of MP3 tags specifically the ID3v1.1 and ID3v2.3.0 tags, then you can just highlight all the tracks and type in the Album field. Again, you will see Modified and then choose File > Save.
  7. As an aside if you are making a complication do not kill the Album title but instead just put the complication into Comments so you don't lose the underlying Album data.

The strangeness that is Apple Music Playlists

  1. Once you've done this, then you go to Apple Music > File > Import and import them. Choose copy them into the Library.
  2. One note is that that to see them properly, you can create a File > New > Smart Playlist and then just pick the Filename contains, so you dynamically update them.
  3. And then you need to select all the items and choose Get Info and them Albim is a complication of songs by various artists to get it correct in Library/Albums
  4. Finally, to see the playlist, you have to click on the Playlist and choose View > Show View Options > Songs. And then add Tracks and click to sort them so they play correctly.
  5. Then apple does its magic and will automatically upgrade you the best quality track it has for that song which is pretty neat.

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