Tech Tip: Tag your music files for a better music library

Music is now more prominent in digital form than ever before. The internet has made music files more accessible and the proliferation of digital music players means that these files are not confined to just one device. As we obtain more and more music from various sources it becomes harder to keep this music organized. Who is the Unknown Artist on the Unknown Album in your music library? Where can you find the song you are listening to on your hard drive? Fortunately there are many tools we can use to help organize our music libraries and make our songs easier to find.

Tagging Files

The best way to ensure that your library remains organized is to tag your files before adding them to your music library. Tagging a file simply means appending metadata such as title of the track, artist name, album name, genre to the file. Music players use this metadata to display information about the songs in your music library and on playlists you create. Most media players such as iTunes and Windows Media Player allow you to tag and rename files. These programs also offer to keep your music library organized but with limited options.

Free programs such as Mp3tag and easytag offer a wider range of options when tagging and renaming your files. These include case correction as well as the ability to move renamed files to any directory you choose. These programs can use the information in a file’s tags to generate its filename or use the information in the file’s filename to populate its tags.

Whichever way you choose to tag your files,  it is the first step in creating and maintaining an organized music library. As your library grows this becomes an invaluable step that may save you a lot of time in long run. Properly tagged music is easier to identify on disk and locate in search results.

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