Author Topic: AAC with ID3 tags  (Read 514 times)

thecomfychair

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I have heard rumours that AAC files can hold ID3 tags instead of the minefields that are the MPEG4 tags. Is it possible to convert between tag types in MusicBee, for as many tags as are compatible?

sveakul

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Raw ADTS AAC files have no native tagging format.  Some applications can force ID3 tags on them with unpredictable results/readability.  The best choice is to wrap the AAC files into M4A, which then offers a well-defined and recognized tagging system.  To losslessly wrap *.AAC to *.M4A, execute the following command line code in the folder containing the AAC files.  The original files will be kept.  Change the path of ffmpeg.exe to match yours.

Code
FOR %F IN (*.aac) DO C:\ffmpeg\ffmpeg.exe -i "%F" -codec copy "%~nF.m4a"

thecomfychair

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M4A, which then offers a well-defined and recognized tagging system
Is ID3 not also both of these?

Some of my files are already M4A, but I was hoping not to have to use this format or convert them all to MP3s. The project is for a microcontroller-based audio player, and I have a working solution to read ID3V2.3 because it's well documented, but the M4A tagging format is beyond my capabilities to reverse-engineer. Someone on another forum mentioned that AAC files would take ID3 tags, so I was hoping this would be a workaround that wouldn't require much conversion.

But it sounds like MusicBee won't support this?

Zak

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The short answer is that, no, MusicBee will not let you tag or retag files with unsupported container tag types like that.
I'm not sure what would, except maybe something like ffmpeg if you forced it with the right command line parameters.

The longer answer is that if you're writing your own music player, I don't think you'll find much joy in trying to support non-standard files like AAC streams with ID3 tags.

Could you use something like TagLib to handle tag reading for your player so you don't have to work out the atom metadata stuff yourself?

taglib.org

Another option would be to repackage your existing M4A files into Matroska containers as mka files.
This has the dual benefit of easily readable metadata but without the quality loss you'd get from converting them to mp3s.

(note that MusicBee doesn't appear to support mka files)
Bee excellent to each other...

thecomfychair

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In that case, I have been misled. Thank you both for your expertise!

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Could you use something like TagLib to handle tag reading for your player so you don't have to work out the atom metadata stuff yourself?
I have had a bit of a look into Taglib before investigating this workaround, seems like a great tool for running on computers but might be beyond me to convert to an Arduino-style library.