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ID3 is a metadata container most often used in conjunction with the MP3 audio file format. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, and other information about the file to be stored in the file itself.

There are two unrelated versions of ID3: ID3v1 and ID3v2. ID3v1 takes the form of a 128-byte segment at the end of an MP3 file containing a fixed set of data fields. ID3v1.1 is a slight modification which adds a "track number" field at the expense of a slight shortening of the "comment" field. ID3v2 is structurally very different from ID3v1, consisting of an extensible set of "frames" located at the start of the file, each with a frame identifier (a three- or four-byte string) and one piece of data. 83 types of frames are declared in the ID3v2.4 specification, and applications can also define their own types. There are standard frames for containing cover art, BPM, copyright and license, lyrics, and arbitrary text and URL data, as well as other things. Three versions of ID3v2 have been documented, each of which has extended the frame definitions.

ID3 is a de facto standard for metadata in MP3 files; no standardization body was involved in its creation nor has such an organization given it a formal approval status.[1] It competes with the APE tag in this arena.

Lyrics3v1[2] and Lyrics3v2[3] were tag standards implemented before ID3v2, for adding lyrics to mp3 files. The difference with ID3v2 is that Lyrics3 is always at the end of an MP3 file, before the ID3v1 tag.

ID3 tags may be edited in a variety of ways. On some platforms the file's properties may be edited by viewing extended information in the file manager. Additionally most audio players allow editing single or groups of files. Editing groups of files is often referred to as "batch tagging". There are also specialized applications, called taggers, which concentrate specifically on editing the tags and related tasks. Some, such as puddletag offer advanced features such as advanced batch tagging or editing based on regular expressions.

Non-MP3-implementation and alternatives

ID3 tags

ID3 tags may be edited in a variety of ways. On some platforms the file's properties may be edited by viewing extended information in the file manager. Additionally most audio players allow editing single or groups of files. Editing groups of files is often referred to as "batch tagging". There are also specialized applications, called taggers, which concentrate specifically on editing the tags and related tasks. Some, such as puddletag offer advanced features such as advanced batch tagging or editing based on regular expressions.

Non-MP3-implementation and alternatives

ID3 tags were designed with MP3 in mind, so they would work with

ID3 tags were designed with MP3 in mind, so they would work without problems with MP3 and MP3Pro files. However, the tagsets are an independent part of the MP3 file and should be usable elsewhere. In practice, the only other formats which widely uses ID3v2 tags are AIFF and WAV. In AIFF the tag is stored inside an IFF chunk named "ID3". Windows media ASF files (WMA, WMV) have their own tagging formats but also support ID3 Tags embedded as attributes.[24]

MP4 also allows the embedding of an ID3 tag.[25]

See also