Tag and Release

I used to remove the ID3 tag from every MP3 I acquired, change the filename to the format ‘(Artist) Title.mp3’, and drop it in my playlist folder. I don’t know why. It’s just a convention I adopted and stuck with. It worked well with Winamp for years, but I have recently discovered it isn’t really suited for browsing a playlist from within a lot of the front ends available for in-car PCs. I was a faced with the chore of adding ID3 tags and renaming my entire music collection. Lucky for me there’s a lot of software out there to make the job easier.

MusicBrainz Tagger
This little gem will compare your music files to a huge online database, find the best matches, and then write the ID3 tags for you. The database is constantly growing thanks to contributions from the community. Free registration is required.

ID3-TagIT and MP3 Tag Tools
These two programs pretty much do the same things. They can change the name of a file based on its ID3 tag, and vice-versa. They can also organize your collection into directories according to artist and album.

Album Cover Art Downloader
Now that you have your MP3s sorted by artist and album, you can download the cover art. This piece of software will grab images from Amazon and put them in your album folder. It’s not perfect however. Sometimes it will crash when it encounters certain non-alphanumeric characters in the album title. While it’s scanning your folders it will give you an error. Just ignore it and scan again. I had to run it seven or eight times before it made it all the way through my collection. This and the two programs I just mentioned above can include the album art in the ID3 tag. Some media players will display that image when you play the file. Winamp will do it with the right plug-in.

Now I just need to find a nice program for downloading and tagging song lyrics.

Cereal Killer

It seems like I’ve been blogging a lot about grocery shopping lately. Today I was making my way through the cereal aisle when something extraordinary caught my eye. Chocolate Lucky Charms. Clean up on aisle 7! I just soiled my pants!

They’re just like regular Lucky Charms but the oat pieces are chocolate flavored. They taste kind of like Cocoa Puffs. It’s really sweet. And I don’t mean sweet as in cool; I mean sweet as in every box comes with free juvenile diabetes.

All in all they’re not bad, but Count Chocula does the chocolate/marshmallow thing better. At least he used to. I haven’t had any of that since I was a kid.