Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Diagnose and repair your music collection with MP3 Diags

First, answer the following questions:

  • Do you download music from the Internet?
  • Have you ever bought MP3 music CDs?
  • Do you rip music from CDs?
  • Have you tagged or renamed your music collection, downloaded album art, normalized music files etc with various software?

If you answered yes to even one of the above questions, then chances are your music collection is corrupt. Many MP3 software that rip music albums, create or edit MP3 files are broken and as a result the files created using such tools have various issues.

“But... but my music plays just fine”, you might say. Right. That’s because most media players are designed to tolerate these errors, but it doesn’t change the fact that your MP3 files are corrupted. And someday you might come across a player that refuses to play your songs or crash.

mp3diags

I didn’t realize this either, until I discovered a software called MP3 Diags. This software is a one stop solution that identifies more than 50 different issues in MP3 files and provides the means to fix many of them.

Some of the more important issues that can be found are

  • broken tags / headers / audio
  • duplicate tags / headers
  • incorrect placement of tags / headers (ID3V2, ID3V1, LAME, Xing, ...)
  • low quality audio
  • missing VBR header
  • missing track info / cover art
  • broken track info / cover art
  • missing normalization data
  • character encoding issues (for languages other than English)

Some of the fixes and changes that MP3 Diags can do:

  • Adding / fixing track info, including album cover; information can be retrieved from several sources: Internet, clipboard, file name, local files, and (obviously) keyboard
  • Correcting files that show incorrect song duration
  • Correcting files in which the player cannot seek correctly
  • Converting characters for non-English names
  • Adding composer name to the artist field, for players that don't handle the composer field
  • Renaming files based on their fields
  • Changing word case for track info

MP3 Diags lets you scan your entire music collection or specific folders. It analyzes each individual files and provides a detailed report of all the errors found. You can then filter the results by specific errors and apply available fixes for that issue, or you can apply all available fixes to all files, which can take a considerable amount of time depending upon how large your collection is.

One thing I liked about the interface is that the icons resize itself depending upon the size of the widow. When you grab and drag one edge of the window to resize, the icons resize to precisely fit the length of the toolbar without losing it’s clarity. 

MP3 Diags also carry an assortment of tools like tag editor, file renamer, file sorting, normalizer, album art and music file information download from databases like MusicBrainz or Discogs, etc making it one of the most comprehensive MP3 editor.

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