Different Audio Formats In MC

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Using Both Flac and MP3 (ID3v2.3) Files With MC


MC is automatically reading and, if you set that option for the MC field in question (Tools>Options>Library & Folders>Manage Library Fields>Store in file tags (when possible)), writing file tags to/from certain stock fields in MC. Since flac and mp3 files have different types of tags there are some information and tricks that can be useful when having both file types in your MC library.

Currently this page only deals with the audio formats flac Vorbis comments and mp3 ID3v2.3 tags. The case where a flac file, contrary to the specifications for such files, has ID3v2.3 tags is not dealt with. Please feel free to correct and supplement the information.

Viewing the Raw File Tags in MC

You can in MC view, for one file at the time, the actual file tags although all tags have not been imported to MC library fields:

  • Select in MC just one audio file
  • Select Tag in the Action Window (in the lower left corner of MC)
  • In the Tag window click the top row of text (indicating the file type and size)
  • A new window shoving the raw file tag opens. Right click in that window if you would like to copy the information to the clipboard

MC Custom Fields

If there are mp3 ID3v2.3 tags or flac Vorbis comments in your files that are not supported by stock MC library fields, you can create custom MC fields to import the information. Create in MC a custom library field named exactly as the tag/Vorbis comment in your file, excluding the ID3v.23. "TXXX " and "COMM " parts if any. After you have done that you can in MC select all your audio files and select Tools>Library Tools>Update Library (from tags) to actually import the tag information.

Should the same type of information be contained in file tags with different names in flac and mp3 files, you will have to create in MC two custom library fileds. If you want just one field/column instead of two you can use this expression for a column or a custom field named after your liking to merge the two fields:

ListCombine([Custom Field 1],[Custom Field 2])&datatype=[list]

In two situations it is currently not possible to import information from file tags into MC:

  • If the file tag is using the exact same name, excluding the ID3v.2.3 "TXXX " and "COMM " parts if any, as a stock MC library field (but is not supported by the stock field)
  • If the file tag is a declared ID3v2.3 tag, i.e. has only a four letter name, TORY, for instance, which is not supported by any MC stock field (A borderline case is the iTunes specific compilation tag with a four letter name TCMP which actually can be imported into an iTunes Compilation MC field.)

In these situations you can as a workaround use an external tag editor to change the name of your file tag to something that can be imported into a custom MC field.

Multiple Vorbis Comments

If there are multiple values for a file tag, several artists, for example, the recommended Vorbis comment standard is to have multiple Vorbis comments with the same name. Such multiple Vorbis comments in flac files are currently not supported by MC. MC will read only the first Vorbis comment if there are several with the same name. MC will, if that option is set, write information to only that first Vorbis comment, but MC seems to leave the other Vorbis comments with the same name untouched.

A workaround is to use an external tag editor to combine the multiple Vorbis comments in your files into just one Vorbis comment. If you do that, it is recommended that you use in the combined Vorbis comment a delimiter character to separate the different values. MC supports ; as delimiter character.