Meta ID3 Tagger for Mac

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soundinmotiondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 23, 2008
710
268
DFW, TX
I have recently switched from PC to Mac for my music laptop.

I keep my music organized in a folder & file structure that I prefer to manage. I use MixedInKey during initial track prep. I DJ with Traktor. That much of my workflow will remain the same.

On Mac, I have been experimenting with several different tools that are free, or offer a free trial. I am not (yet) upgrading the Mac to Catalina (there are some known driver issues with HW that I have), so I am not able to evaluate the "iTunes" replacement "Music." But, early reports are positive about cleaning up the bloat from iTunes. I still do not view iTunes or Music as offering the tools and capabilities that are needed to manage a DJ collection over time. I would prefer to avoid running Windows applications under Wine -- that is not supported in Catalina, and I will likely upgrade in the next year or so as the driver issues are resolved.

I have settled on "Meta" as a collection & ID3 tag manager for the Mac. The batch editing options are good, it will alter filenames and directories based on the tags, tags can be "composed" of text and other tags, and it offers good support for find & replace in tags. It is not perfect, but it is the best I have found in a month of looking around....at least for my needs. It is not "scriptable" in a meaningful way that I have found...but I am still a new user, so that may be in there somewhere.

https://www.nightbirdsevolve.com/meta/
 
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steve149

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I have been using iTunes for almost a decade and find it manages my music good enough (I'd like a little more flexibility in tagging though). I haven't played much with "Music", though I do have it on a MB Pro. I do most of my music management on my desktop (Win 10) which still has iTunes (and a boatload of disk space - overall, close to 30Tb).

Switching to an alternate would take some effort, as I use 2 iPads as backup as well as usually loading my iPhone with music as an emergency, emergency backup (or just for listening around the house).

If Meta was dual platform (MacOS/Win10) I'd probably give it a look.
 

soundinmotiondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 23, 2008
710
268
DFW, TX
On PC, I use MediaMonkey as my main music collection manager -- and ID3 tagger. I have used "mp3Tag" and "mp3 Tag Studio" as batch tag editors in the past. But with some community scripts for MM, I have not needed to use those in years.
 

soundinmotiondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 23, 2008
710
268
DFW, TX
I have been using iTunes for almost a decade and find it manages my music good enough (I'd like a little more flexibility in tagging though).
If it works for you, by all means keep going that way.

I STRONGLY prefer to have a folder & file arrangement that I manage. I DJ for professional dance competitions (think "Dancing with the Stars" only different dances). Keeping my music for each dance in a folder is ESSENTIAL, for me. Take away the ability to manage (and see) the folder structure and I am at a significant disadvantage when picking my next song.

iTunes has a fundamental assumption that it will manage the "physical" files, and you will manage the library as one giant blob. Yes, I do understand that you do not have to let iTunes manage the files, but a lot of the tight integration of iTunes breaks down at that point. I have a reasonably large music collection, and iTunes has significantly slower performance when loading or when doing large batch edits than I prefer.

Meta is good enough that I am surprised not to see more reviews and posts about it. So, I decided to help get the word out. It is not a replacement for MediaMonkey, but it is a great leap forward in terms of features and functions over the other ID3 tag managers I see on Mac.
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
26,466
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Connecticut
If it works for you, by all means keep going that way.

I STRONGLY prefer to have a folder & file arrangement that I manage. I DJ for professional dance competitions (think "Dancing with the Stars" only different dances). Keeping my music for each dance in a folder is ESSENTIAL, for me. Take away the ability to manage (and see) the folder structure and I am at a significant disadvantage when picking my next song.

iTunes has a fundamental assumption that it will manage the "physical" files, and you will manage the library as one giant blob. Yes, I do understand that you do not have to let iTunes manage the files, but a lot of the tight integration of iTunes breaks down at that point. I have a reasonably large music collection, and iTunes has significantly slower performance when loading or when doing large batch edits than I prefer.

Meta is good enough that I am surprised not to see more reviews and posts about it. So, I decided to help get the word out. It is not a replacement for MediaMonkey, but it is a great leap forward in terms of features and functions over the other ID3 tag managers I see on Mac.
iTunes (or Music) can manage folders 2 ways .. 1) it decides - using a artist/album/track standard ... or 2) you decide - building a folder structure you want and it just overlays a library file. I do it both ways, since occasionally I rip in iTunes and other times I use something else (like EAC) when I prefer lossless encoding. Same effect .. it shows up in iTunes with searchable fields.
 

soundinmotiondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 23, 2008
710
268
DFW, TX
I hope you're on the NI's Traktor Forum, beating them to death to implement "Smart Crates", "Smart Playlists", or whatever the "Smart" du jour is. If they do, it will make your life much easier.
+1

There are not many things I like about iTunes, but Smart Playlist are one of the greatest things ever.

Apples decision to kill iTunes and replace it with Music -- leaving all the major DJ platforms scrambling for some hack to get integrated again is not helping my desire to upgrade. That the new "Music" is dropping support for smart playlists leaves me with nothing to look forward to in an upgrade.

I have a LOT of muscle memory invested in Traktor at this point -- but the lack of progress on features like this is really frustrating.

I have been looking at Rekordbox for a while -- and wondering if jumping over is viable. The mappings for my current set of NI controllers is spotty, and that is a big disincentive to move.
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
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Sep 26, 2011
26,466
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Connecticut
+1

There are not many things I like about iTunes, but Smart Playlist are one of the greatest things ever.

Apples decision to kill iTunes and replace it with Music -- leaving all the major DJ platforms scrambling for some hack to get integrated again is not helping my desire to upgrade. That the new "Music" is dropping support for smart playlists leaves me with nothing to look forward to in an upgrade.

I have a LOT of muscle memory invested in Traktor at this point -- but the lack of progress on features like this is really frustrating.

I have been looking at Rekordbox for a while -- and wondering if jumping over is viable. The mappings for my current set of NI controllers is spotty, and that is a big disincentive to move.
Apple Music has Smart Playlists ..

 

soundinmotiondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 23, 2008
710
268
DFW, TX
Apple Music has Smart Playlists ..
Good to know. The initial press releases about the new Music app were not explicit about that. As I said, I have avoided Catalina for other reasons and haven't had an opportunity to really root around in the new app.
 

ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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If you're looking for a good tag editor, I use Mp3Tag (https://www.mp3tag.de/en/). Extremely easy to use and you can setup 'rules' and apply them to a batch of files in one sweep. I use both Windows and Mac. My Mac's are on High Sierra and Windows are W10. As Steve has mentioned, I also use iTunes as a music manager.
 

Handinon

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Oct 1, 2014
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If you're looking for a good tag editor, I use Mp3Tag (https://www.mp3tag.de/en/). Extremely easy to use and you can setup 'rules' and apply them to a batch of files in one sweep. I use both Windows and Mac. My Mac's are on High Sierra and Windows are W10. As Steve has mentioned, I also use iTunes as a music manager.
I think Mp3Tag has to run under Wine with Mac OS
 

soundinmotiondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 23, 2008
710
268
DFW, TX
I didn't really intend this thread to go this direction. I found and like Meta as a Mac native tagger. It does what I need and expect for my DJ collection.

I have used MP3Tag. On windows I prefer Media Monkey -- which to be fair is FAR more than just an ID3 tagger. I have a number of MM scripts and addons that I have found and tweaked over the years. Overall, I am happy with the capabilities that it provides.

For various reasons, I prefer to have "native" apps. Meta is a Mac native tagger that does most of what I want. Before I ported MediaMonkey to Mac, I would probably just switch to Swinsian as a collection manager.

https://swinsian.com/
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
483
278
Los Angeles, CA
I use Serato, which is also my DJ app. Nice to have everything in one app.

Serato will write quite a bit of info to the ID3 Tag, including cue points, loop, title, artist, bpm, etc.

I actually no people that use Seato to DJ to do all their tagging but then end up using another app to DJ for whatever reason.
 
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ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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Totall understand the native thing.

Considering I use both for playback, I need to make sure the library and tags are available to both. For me, I run everything through Mp3Tag .. at that point, the library is available to both Windows, Mac or whatever .. and whatever app I choose. :) My personal preference is to index in iTunes and let the DJ apps access the iTunes index.