There aren’t any decent mp3 taggers

It took me a while but I just love mp3tag on Windows to tag mp3s. The free Tritag on the Mac is Ok, but doesn’t add artwork at all. And adding artwork doesn’t really work well with iTunes, sometimes it seems to get into the MP3 and sometimes not. Even when you manually add, it doesn’t.

And the best thing about mp3tag is that it is very smart about taking tags from a filename. Maybe The Tagger is the answer.

All things iPod, iPhone, iTunes and beyond | iLounge

Deadbeat Software has released The Tagger, its new MP3 and AAC tag editor for Mac OS X. According to the developer, The Tagger features support for batch editing of audio files and a wider range of ID3 tags than iTunes, search and retrieval of tags from Discogs, the ability to remove hidden personal data from iTunes Plus files, and more. The Tagger requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and sells for $29; a free 14-trial is also available.

VisualHub is dead, Handbrake is the answer?

Sad comment, Visualhub based on ffmpeg worked great. I gladly paid for it. Now, I guess its off to find another product.The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

VisualHub is gone. There are no current plans to move VisualHub to open source. The underlying engine for much of the compression magic, ffmpeg, is already open-source and present in other Mac tools such as Handbrake.

All things iPod, iPhone, iTunes and beyond | iLounge

The developers of Handbrake, a popular open-source DVD to MPEG-4 converter, are offering a pre-release build of the latest version, 0.9.3, on the app’s website. The new version, which is offered as a “snapshot” build and will therefore likely still contain bugs and present other issues, adds the ability to convert many different formats of video — not just DVDs like prior versions — to MP4, MKV, AVI or OGM files. Handbrake 0.9.3 (pre-release) is available as a free download for Macs running OS X 10.5 or later, PCs running Windows 2000, XP, or Vista, and Linux.

Playing 5.1 audio from a MacBook

This Much I Know – » 5.1 surround sound playback on Mac (and maybe Apple TV)

QuickTime doesn’t come with an [tag]AC-3[/tag] codec by default. There is an open-source QuickTime component available, called A52Codec, which enables QuickTime to open, import and export AC-3 audio. (It does this using a free AC-3 library called liba52.) A52Codec provides some form of support for working with AC-3 under QuickTime, at least for file conversion and export. What the A52Codec can’t do, however, is to enable applications to stream encoded AC-3 data straight to the optical output on the Mac.

Apple’s DVD Player application – included for free on every Mac – can play the 5.1 AC-3 audio from a physical DVD directly through the optical output of your Mac. DVD Player does this by streaming the encoded AC-3 straight from the DVD to the optical out, bypassing QuickTime. Some other players – notably VLC (which also uses liba52) – will stream AC-3 straight to your optical output, too. But any application which uses QuickTime for its audio playback – and this includes Front Row, iTunes, and QuickTime Player – works by first decoding audio into its discrete channels, before outputting it to your system audio device. The AC-3 encoding is lost in the process. So if you want a Mac Mini and Front Row to run your home theatre, with 5.1 sound from third-party movie files, then it’s not so easy.

Mac CD Stuck

I have this problem all the time with Windows as well. Basically, you insert a CD into your Mac and it doesn’t show up on the desktop, in iTunes or anywhere. At first I would just reboot, but that seems crazy to always do. Feels like a driver gets stuck. When you hit the eject, nothing happens, so what to do. Mainly I had not tried the press and hold the F12 trick.

Apple Portables: Troubleshooting the slot load optical disc drive

# If the drive does not eject discs, press the F12 key or, on original PowerBook G4 computers, the manual eject button located on the side of the slot. Holding down the trackpad button during startup should also eject a disc.
# Reset the parameter RAM (PRAM) and/or the Power Manager (PMU). PMU reset instructions for iBook G4/PowerBook G4 or for MacBook/MacBook Pro (both 15-inch and 17-inch models).

Lyrics and Artwork on the Mac

I’ve tried a bunch of tools. Pearlyrics is gone thanks to the RIAA, it was great because it would go through your whole set of songs. All the rest just do the current playing song and most are widgets now:

# “Harmonic: This seems to work the best. Listens to the current song and plugs the lyrics into iTunes and therefore into the MP3s.
# Cantopod. Nicest interface, but doesn’t automatically insert
# I Sing iTunes. This is most popular sing it handles Japanese and Chinese lyrics, but it seems to hang for me.
# “Album Art Thingy 1.9”: Reported downloads artwork and lyrics inthe background. Cost $15, but saves lots of time!
# “Amazon Album Art Widget”: is a manual utility and looks up the current song.
# “GimmeSomeTune”: is donationware that does lyrics and artwork.

Also you want to automatically get artwork. ITunes finds artwork, but unless you manually go a Get Info and put it in, it doesn’t copy it into the MP3.

Ripping CDs on a Mac

On Windows, I use Lame and a specialized encoder because most experts think Lame is way better in making MP3 than iTunes (no surprise there, Apple likes its AAC format). I normally use Max, but it uses MusicBrainz as its database whereas iTunes uses GraceNote. So a good solution is a “ituns-LAME”: script that uses iTunes/Gracenote and then encodes with Lame. Documentation is terrible, so I’d use Max, unless it couldn’t find an album then drop back to iTunes-Lame.

iTunes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Importing of audio CDs into MP3 can also be accomplished using variable bitrate (VBR), however it has been noted in a double-blind experiment conducted in January 2004 of six MP3 encoders, where the iTunes encoder came last, that the quality of the files produced by iTunes was below par. These results were later refuted because the method of testing using in the experiment was questionable.

A word about encoding music and iTunes… | creativebits

LAME ( is a fantastic, free encoder that can achieve all the above. This program is normally run from the command line, which can be a problem for many Mac users who normally prefer something a bit slicker.

There are now two good solutions for the Mac.

– Max (
– iTunes-LAME (

itunes inconsistent in how it handles artwork

If itunes finds the artwork for you, it never adds it to your MP3 files, so you have to Get Info and copy and past it. If you have art yourself, then you have to copy and paste them in. A little strange.

Pushing Album art to MP3 files – Mac Forums

n my experience they only way to get the artwork stored into the ID tags is to manually do so.

-If iTunes finds the artwork on it’s own, to add it to the ID tag, ‘get info’ of one of the songs on the album, go to the artwork tab, select the album cover, copy it (command-c in OSX, control-c in Windows), then highlight all the songs on that album, ‘get info’, click in the blank artwork field, then paste (command-v or control-v) and hit ok. It will then embed the artwork in the ID tag.

-If iTunes doesn’t find the artwork and you add it yourself, it’s a little easier…just find the relevant artwork (I usually get a 300×300 pixel or larger file; I check Wikipedia first, then I do a Google image search based on album name), copy the picture in the browser (or download the jpeg if you’d like, although it’s an unnecessary step) by right clicking (or control clicking if you have a 1 button mouse), select copy image, then ‘get info’ on all the songs on the album and paste in the blank artwork field like in the above case…which will then embed the artwork you found in the ID tag

Audiobook Cd Backup with Max Mac Fission for splitting and MP3 Trimmer for joining

If you have a series of audiobook CDs that you want to backup. What is the easiest way to do it. Well, you can use iTunes to back it up. You want to set it to use very small files. I normally go to iTunes/Preferences/Advanced/Importing and set it to MP3, custom with 32Kbps and 24Khz sampling rate. This can take a 6 CD collection that normally takes 3.6GB uncompressed or 700MB at high quality down to 100MB or so. The main issue I’ve found with iTunes is that it leaves with lots and lots of tracks (normally 130 tracks in a 6CD set). What I really want is a single 100MB file that remembers my position. However when I use MP3 Trimmer to glom together a bunch of MP3s, it doesn’t work. Something about how iTunes writes the files causes it just to play the first track and quite. Ugh.

I found that “Fission”: is a great MP3 editor and trimmer for making ringtones and cutting files up. This is great for ringtones as iPhone now support open ringtones. You use Fission to find what you want. it is lossless because it edits MP3 directly. Then you load into Garageband to product the .m4r files. Stick them into the ringtone directory of itunes and you are off.

But what if you have a bunch of Audiobooks on CDs. You don’t want things in five minute chapters, you want a few big files. Then you need something that does the reverse. Something that joins files. “MP3 Trimmer”: is more general purpose than Fission and appears to handle joining as well. Giving it a try now and it seems to work, but unfortunately, it isn’t writing MP3s right. While iTunes thinks it has a 7 hour MP3, it actually only plays 2 minutes that is the first segment, so the copy isn’t quite right. Too bad!

So in the meantime, I hope you have Parallels, I use the Windows program “MP3Merger”: to do MP3 joining and that works well.

A little complicated to join, but you essentially choose Tools>Join MP3 files or press CMD-J, this shows a window and you drag and drop the MP3s to be joined together. They alpha sort this by default, so pray that your files work that way 🙂 Seems to work fast and great.