What a good sort!

Click for full image

The full version of Musicmatch pro­vides a very cool way to clean up those ID3 tags with its Super Tagging feature (sadly, the free version on the cover disc doesn't offer this particular feature, but it still gives iTunes a run for its money). Given a list of files, Super Tagging will collect whatever information is available to it from the file name, the directory structure, and any ID3 tagging on each song, then match that up with an online database to pinpoint which track it is and fill out the associated metadata automatically - see FIGURE 1. It can even grab album art - when it's working correctly, anyway.

Super Tagging does come with a couple caveats. First, when a song appears on multiple albums, the tagger can get a little confused. For example, you'll see different album art for tracks from the same album. To fix this, you need to click More... on the screen where you review the matches. This will pull up a list and let you choose the right one. You'll have to spend some time tweaking the tagger's recommendations, but this is still a lot quicker than finding and entering all that data yourself. The second and more important caveat is that Super Tagging needs at least some information to get it started. If you've got a folder of files named "track1," "track2," "track3" without ID3 tags, you won't get good results.

If that's your situation, turn to an app like MP3/Tag Studio 3 to help you fill in the gaps - see FIGURE 2. Plenty of capable shareware apps help you rename or retag files in batches. MP3/Tag Studio provides a powerful interface that lets you automatically tag files based on their names, rename files based on their tags, enter your own tags in batches, or even remove extended intros or outros from songs. It's simple and fast enough to make hand-tagging some of your files convenient and you'll find it on the cover disc.

A nice final step in reorganising is to create a consistent artist/album directory structure for all the songs. One easy way to do this is to let Apple's iTunes do all the work (we've put version 5 on the cover disc if you don't already have it). In the program, select Edit-Preferences, and click the Advanced tab. Set the iTunes Music folder location to a directory where you want your MP3s to end up and click OK to close the Preferences dialogue box - see FIGURE 3. Make sure this directory doesn't already contain any of your MP3s, or they won't get reorganised. Then select Advanced in the menu bar and click Consolidate Library. Click OK, and iTunes moves all your tunes to the directory you chose and sorts them into an artist/album folder structure. While consolidating your library, iTunes can also convert any WMA files you have to AAC or MP3 format so it can play them, but it won't convert any protected WMA files you've purchased from online stores. Nor can it handle similarly-protected RealAudio tracks.

If, after all that, you're up for some extra credit, check out a program called MPTrim (on the cover disc). The program detects and removes big pockets of digital silence, like the ones inserted before hidden tracks at the end of a CD. It can also clean up extraneous ID3 tags and strange info found in MP3s. The Pro version even normalises your songs so you don't get big jumps in volume between tracks.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Dahl

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?