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Confused by ID3 tag option in preferences

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Confused by ID3 tag option in preferences

Postby Headrush69 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:37 am

I'm a little confused by the write MP3 ID3 v2.4 tag as option in preferences.

The options are proper specification and iTunes compatible. Is this to say that iTunes has a problem or deficiencies using proper v2.4 ID tags?

Can you state the differences or provide a good link to any information on this?

I use iTunes the majority of the time, but if I choose iTunes compatible does this mean that some ID information might not be available when I use apps and hardware that strictly follow MP3 ID v2.4 tags?
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Write MP3 ID3 v2.4 tags as ...

Postby beastie » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:50 pm

Is this to say that iTunes has a problem or deficiencies using proper v2.4 ID tags?

ID3 v2.4 tags are supposed to have "synch-safe" frame sizes, that is, only using the lower 7 bits of each byte in order to ensure that MP3 players won't accidentally think they've found an MP3 audio header and try to play it. With regular (non synch-safe) frame sizes in v2.4 ID3 iTunes tags, they're effectively v2.3 tags calling themselves v2.4.

This isn't a problem for most data found in MP3 tags, as they're too small for there to be an actual difference - 127 bytes or less. Add artwork, and you have a problem. I haven't checked a recent version of iTunes to see if this problem still exists.

You can find people talking about this problem here:
forums.musicbrainz.org
www.anytag.de
forums.macrumors.com
episteme.arstechnica.com
etc.
I use iTunes the majority of the time, but if I choose iTunes compatible does this mean that some ID information might not be available when I use apps and hardware that strictly follow MP3 ID v2.4 tags?

Apps that read ID3 tags need to be (ahem) resilient to deal with all the poorly formed tags generated by various programs, so you shouldn't have a problem leaving it set to iTunes compatible. Some hardware MP3 players may have trouble showing the album artwork of MP3s modified by iTunes (or MPFreaker set to iTunes compatible mode), however.

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Postby Headrush69 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:44 pm

Thanks.
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