You will find below Metatogger documentation, in the form of frequently asked questions.
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Metatogger requires prior installation of the Visual C++ runtime 2015-2022 (x64). This runtime is installed automatically if necessary during the installation of the software. The user does not have to worry about it.
Metatogger is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Chinese and Russian. By default, Metatogger starts in Windows language if available, and in English if not. The language used can be changed at will in the options of the software.
Adding a language in Metatogger is very easy and does not require recompiling the software. Translation candidates are invited to contact the technical support. Thanks to its volunteer users, Metatogger is also available in Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Chinese and Russian.
Windows SmartScreen considers as suspicious files whose reputation and safety, depending on the number of downloads of the file in question, has not yet been established. This is, by definition, the case for any newly released file. As a result, each time Metatogger is updated, and for a few days thereafter, some rather alarming alerts may be displayed during installation:
If Metatogger has been downloaded from a reliable source such as this site or via the command
winget install SylvainRougeaux.Metatogger, this alert can be safely ignored. The Run anyway button will install Metatogger.
A permanent solution would be to electronically sign Metatogger binaries with an electronic code-signing certificate, but these are particularly expensive and have to be renewed periodically. Increases in the price of these certificates (x4 in 2023) have overcome the goodwill of Metatogger's volunteer developer.
Metatogger's original goal was to promote open standards in digital multimedia, especially those of the Xiph foundation (Ogg Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, etc.), hence the "ogg" in the product name. The first version of the software therefore only supported these file formats.
Today, Metatogger supports the most popular audio file formats: Ogg Vorbis, Opus, native FLAC, MP3, M4A (AAC and ALAC) and Windows Media Audio (including its professional and lossless variants).
Metatogger uses internally the open source TagLib library to read and write tags in audio files.
Metatogger offers a number of graphic themes to suit every user's taste. Themes can be selected from the File tab of the ribbon. You can switch between themes using the Alt+Left/Right keyboard shortcut, and see the results immediately.
Some of Metatogger's advanced settings cannot be modified via the graphical user interface. These settings are saved in a JSON file which can be opened in a text editor (e.g. Notepad or Visual Studio Code) by clicking on Edit advanced settings... under the File tab of the Ribbon. Don't change them unless you know what you're doing.
The following advanced settings are available:
true to automatically check for a new version at Metatogger startup, otherwise
false (default value:
"id3v24", default value:
"id3v24", default value:
true to disable Metatogger's automatic crash reporting, otherwise
false (default value:
true to disable automatic sending of Metatogger version number, and Windows version and language, on software startup, otherwise
false (default value:
true if a proxy is to be used to connect to the Internet, otherwise
false (default value:
true to enable reinterpretation of Latin-1 characters in ID3 tags when Latin-1 encoding is not the appropriate one, otherwise
false (default value:
true to prevent files filtered in the workspace from being impacted by Metatogger's various tools, otherwise
false (default value:
Once you have modified the desired parameters in the JSON file, simply save it. The modification is immediately taken into account in Metatogger.
The user can, if he wants, reset the Metatogger settings by clicking on the appropriate button available under the File tab of the ribbon.
Be careful, this reset will result in the loss of all customizations made in the software (workspace configurations, predefined tag sets, etc.). Moreover, this will lead to the reset of all default scripts.
Unlike other tag editors on the market, Metatogger does not rely directly on the file system tree. That's why it is necessary to load audio files in the workspace beforehand. The advantage is to be able to manipulate audio files that would not be stored in the same directory.
There are five methods to add audio files to the Metatogger workspace:
There are several methods to remove files from the workspace:
Metatogger's tools only act on checked items. Activating and deactivating items is therefore a common task that you should know how to do efficiently.
By default, hidden items in the workspace because filtered are not affected by the tag manipulation tools. It is possible to modify this behavior by setting the ProtectFilteredItems parameter to
false in the advanced settings file, accessible by clicking on Modify advanced settings... under the File tab of the ribbon.
All the necessary commands are available in the ribbon:
The automatic activation and deactivation tools are closely related to the selection.
Multiple selection works in Metatogger as in most programs: holding down the Ctrl key adds (or removes) another item from the selection, and holding down the Shift key selects (or deselects) all items in a range. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A allows you to select all items. Finally, it is possible to select items by drawing a rectangle with the mouse.
Other features of Metatogger can take the selection into account in their action: removing files from the workspace, saving or undoing changes, physically deleting files, showing items in the file explorer, etc.
If the items are grouped by column headers in the workspace, clicking on the group name of the group allows you to select all the items of the group, as well as its subgroups, if any.
A Search command (Ctrl+F), available by clicking on the magnifying glass at the top right of the workspace, opens a search field that will filter the items by acting on the values of all the columns. The filters are case-insensitive: flac will indistinctly return "FLAC" as "flac". Thus, only the items containing the filter entered by the user will be displayed.
A Filter editor... command is available by right-clicking on the column headers and allows the user to fine-tune any combination of filters that he wants to see applied:
The items loaded in the workspace can be sorted or grouped:
The workspace is very flexible, the user can customize it to his needs. Thus, it is possible to modify the display of the columns available in the workspace:
Once the workspace is configured to the user's needs, it is possible to save it and restore it later. This allows you to prepare several workspace configurations adapted to different tasks. The workspace configuration that will be used when the software is started can be defined under the File tab.
Several configurations are available by default in Metatogger. Unlike the "user" configurations, the default configurations cannot be deleted.
When the user saves a workspace configuration, Metatogger asks him which aspects of the workspace he wants to save: visibility, width or position of columns, grouping, sorting, number of fixed columns.
When a configuration is restored, only the saved aspects will overwrite those of the current workspace.
It is possible to export the selected items to a spreadsheet by simple copy and paste. Use the keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+A to select everything (Ctrl/Shift + click for multiple selection), Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste the data into a spreadsheet.
It is also possible to export the data from the workspace to Excel (.xlsx) or CSV (.csv) format by clicking on the Export Data button available in the File tab. Exporting in Excel format allows to keep the groups and filters defined in the workspace.
It is possible to record the work session, including the loaded audio files, the pending changes and the workspace configuration, to restore it later by clicking on the Save As or Load button on the File tab.
Metatogger work session files have the extension .jms (JSON Metatogger session). A file of this type is created automatically in case the software crashes to prevent the user from losing his work in progress. This recovery file is saved as
Playing audio files can be controlled in Metatogger with Play (Ctrl+P), Pause and Stop buttons. It is then possible to move forward or backward in the playback by moving the slider in the status bar. The line of the item being played back appears with a colored background in the workspace.
Modifiable values, such as tags, appear in black. Read-only fields, such as technical information on files, appear in color. Items that are disabled, protected against automatic changes, appear in gray. A colored band indicates that the file is being read in Metatogger.
Metatogger supports all tags composed of text. The only binary tag supported by Metatogger is the Cover tag, composed of an image.
Each tag has a dedicated column in the workspace. Metatogger dynamically adds the necessary columns so that all the tags can be managed in the same way.
It is possible to manually add a column to edit any user-defined tag by right-clicking on a column header and clicking on the Add a user tag... button.
As Metatogger automatically creates a column for each new tag it encounters in the audio files, it can happen that you end up with a large number of unwanted columns, especially after deleting the corresponding tags. It is then possible to use the Clean Columns command of a column header context menu to remove from the workspace all the columns that have become useless because they have no values to display. The standard columns (Artist, Title, etc.), available in Metatogger even when no file is loaded, cannot be deleted.
Multi-line tags are tags that contain a line break. All tags can be multi-line in Metatogger. For consistency and readability reasons, only the first line of each tag is displayed in the workspace.
The value of the tag is displayed in its entirety in the Property panel. The edition of a multi-line tag will be done through this panel, after having selected the concerned item in the workspace.
Multiple tags are tags that contain several values. For example, the song "Don't tell him" from the trio "Fredericks, Goldman, Jones" could have three tags Artist: ARTIST="Jean-Jacques Goldman", ARTIST="Carole Fredericks" and ARTIST="Michael Jones".
As a tag can have only one column in the workspace, the values of multiple tags are concatenated and separated by semicolons. The tags mentioned above would be displayed as "Jean-Jacques Goldman; Carole Fredericks; Michael Jones" in the Artist column.
Metatogger supports ID3 v1 (read), v2.2, v2.3 and v2.4 (read and write) tags. ID3 version 1 tags are converted to version 2 when saving files.
It is however possible to force the conversion to one of the minor versions of the ID3 v2 standard. The JSON file of Metatogger's advanced parameters, accessible by clicking on Edit advanced settings... under the File tab of the ribbon, contains two parameters: MinID3Version set to
"id3v23" and MaxID3Version set to
"id3v24". By default, ID3 v2.2 tags will be converted to v2.3 format, while ID3 v2.4 tags will not be converted at all. Simply set these two values to
"id3v24" to force the conversion of ID3 tags to these standards.
But beware, the ID3 v2.4 standard is only supported by Windows from its version 10 Creators Update (1703). If you want to be able to read your tags with Microsoft software (e.g. file explorer, Windows Media Player) provided in older versions of Windows, you will have no other choice than to set the MaxID3Version parameter to
Please note however that some ID3 tags can only be registered in ID3 v2.4 because they are new in this version: RELEASEDATE, TAGGINGDATE, MOOD, PRODUCEDNOTICE, ALBUMSORT, TITLESORT, ARTISTSORT. Similarly, the Genre tag(s) must be chosen from a closed list of choices in the v2.2 and v2.3 standard. Consequently, Metatogger will ignore the MaxID3Version parameter if respecting it results in not being able to register certain tags or tag values.
For technical reasons related to the use of XAML and/or to comply with the Vorbis Comment standard, the following characters cannot be used in tag names:
. " ' [ ] ( ) / = ^
Any UTF8 character can be used as a tag value.
All changes made on tags in Metatogger are saved only when the user decides to do so, by clicking on the Save All Items, Save Selected or Save Checked button.
You can see on the screenshot below that the modified tags appear in bold. By hovering over the cell of a modified or deleted tag with the mouse cursor, the previous value of the tag is shown in a tooltip.
Changes can be cancelled at any time by clicking on the Revert All Items, Revert Selected or Revert Checked button. This command cancels all the modifications made to the items concerned.
It is also possible to cancel the modifications applied to a particular tag, on one or more previously selected items. To do this, simply click on the Revert Current Tag button or press the Ctrl+Alt+Backspace keys, after having selected a cell in the column corresponding to the tag whose changes are to be cancelled.
Adding a tag whose edition is not proposed by default implies the creation of a user tag, by clicking on the link Add a user tag... of the tool Add or modify tags or in the column header context menu. A dialog box will then allow the user to add a column in the workspace.
It can be indicated to Metatogger not to touch the tags that would already exist in the items. This allows to complete only the missing tags.
For Metatogger tools with a dedicated panel, the behavior of Metatogger is indicated by a checkbox at the bottom of the panel, called Overwrite Existing Tags.
For direct application tools that do not have a dedicated panel, Metatogger asks the user for the desired behavior.
Identifiers, used by some Metatogger tools, are variables that will contain the value of the tag they define. They are formed by the name of the tag, surrounded by the character " | " :
|tag_name|. They will be replaced by the value of the corresponding tag. The identifiers are case-insensitive, so
|artist| will return the same tag.
In addition to the value of the tags, other information can be retrieved through an identifier:
|codec_name| returns the name of the codec (e.g. MP3, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus);
|codec_version| returns the version of the codec (e.g. Opus 1.3);
|sample_rate| returns the sample rate (e.g. 44100, 96000);
|duration| returns the duration of the piece;
|seconds| returns the duration of the piece in seconds;
|bitrate| returns the bitrate;
|bits_per_sample| returns the number of bits per sample (e.g. 16, 24);
|channel_mode| returns the sound spatialization mode (e.g. mono, stereo, 5.1);
|channels_number| returns the number of channels;
|filename| returns the filename of the file, without its extension.
It is also possible to use the joker identifier
|fake|, corresponding to any information that Metatogger should ignore.
Identifiers are most often used as a mask. For example, if I indicate that my filenames are composed according to the mask
|artist| - |fake| - |title|, a file named Coldplay - whatever - Viva la vida.flac, will allow Metatogger to deduce that the artist is "Coldplay" and that the song title is "Viva la vida".
Identifiers can be placed within conditional blocks, materialized by the characters " < " and " > ". If one of the required tags in the block was missing, the whole block would be ignored. So, if I ask Metatogger to rename my files according to the mask
<|artist| - ><[|album| #|tracknumber|] >|title|, the filename could be Coldplay - [Viva la vida #07] Viva la vida.flac, but will be Coldplay - Viva la vida.flac if the ALBUM or TRACKNUMBER tag is missing. This avoids finding characters separating missing information in the filename, such as Coldplay - [ #] Viva la vida.flac.
A contextual menu, accessible by right-clicking, makes it easy to enter masks by offering a list of the most common identifiers.
An embedded cover is stored in a binary tag of the audio file, while an external cover is saved as an independent file, placed in the same directory as the audio files it accompanies. Metatogger allows to manage both types of covers.
An embedded cover can be copied as an external cover and vice versa by clicking on the Copy Covers command in the Tools tab of the ribbon or by right-clicking on it in the Properties panel. This contextual menu also allows to delete or export the image.
The name of the file that will be searched by Metatogger for the external cover is configurable in the File tab of the ribbon. By default, this name is set to folder.jpg and corresponds to the name used by Windows Media Player to display the album cover in its interface.
When the cover art recovery tool is used to save images as a file in the audio files folder, two options are available to the user:
Add or modify a tag on several items at the same time is done by using the tool Add or modify tags.
A click on the name of the tag allows to activate or deactivate the edition on this tag. Leaving the field empty will delete the tag.
For the tag GENRE, a drop-down list will allow the user to choose among the 124 most common musical genres. However, it is still possible to enter an arbitrary value in this field.
It's possible to use identifiers in input fields such as
Original Pink Floyd song, performed by |artist|, with the identifiers replaced by the corresponding tags. Using an identifier as the target value is still the most efficient way of copying the value of one tag into another, so there's no need to use a script to do this.
Metatogger supports multiple tags. You just have to separate the different values in the tag input field by a semicolon. Thus, entering
Artist 1;Artist 2 in the Artist field will create two ARTIST tags, containing respectively "Artist 1" and "Artist 2".
Another way to do this is to uncheck the Overwrite Existing Tags box in the Add or modify tags tool. The entered tags will then be added to the existing ones.
A list of choices, available in the Track number field, allows you to choose an Automatic option, which will automatically increment the track number for each identified album. The tracks will be numbered in the order in which they are displayed in the workspace.
The Remove unwanted tags tool allows the user to delete tags that he no longer needs.
Just click on the name of the tags to be deleted in the tool. The tags whose deletion is requested appear in red.
The tool Get tags from file name or its path allows to get tags from file name or path.
To do so, you should indicate how the file names (without the extension) or file trees are constructed using the appropriate masks. The masks are composed of identifiers.
For the definition of the file tree, it is necessary to specify only the names of directories containing the tags (it is useless to start at the root of the partition) and then to go up to the folder where the files are saved. The different directories must be separated by a backslash (" \ ").
An immediate preview of the result can be obtained by selecting any item in the workspace.
Even if the file name or path does not contain any usable information, and even if the title of the song or its performer is unknown, it is possible to try to tag the file automatically. Metatogger uses Acoustid technology for this purpose.
Acoustic fingerprint recognition does not allow to recover tags other than Artist and Title. It is true that once the track has been identified, it is tricky to determine which disc it comes from (original album, single, best of, remastered version,...). But it is possible to search for the album from which the track comes from in the database of records.
The identification is launched by a click on the Tag From Fingerprint button on the Tools tab of the ribbon. It can be stopped at any time by clicking on the Cancel link in the program's status bar.
The tool Edit tags with C# scripts allows the user to apply a personalized treatment on the tags. This tool is based on the use of scripts written in C#. This feature makes Metatogger a very flexible tag editor, because the range of handling applicable to tags is not limited.
By default, Metatogger provides the following ready-to-use C# scripts:
Default scripts can be modified, but not deleted or renamed. If an unfortunate modification has been made, it is possible to restore one of them by clicking on the Reset link or to restore all of them by resetting the parameters of the software.
A click on the + button, to the right of the script names, is enough to create a new script, which should be named. Metatogger automatically adds a code skeleton, simply returning the tag values without modifying them.
files, to be used in scripts, is of the type IEnumerable<AudioFile>. The AudioFile class contains various properties and methods to manipulate the tags of the checked items in the workspace. It is recommended to use Visual Studio Code to develop your scripts to benefit from automatic code completion (IntelliSense).
The default scripts can be found in the GitHub repository of Metatogger scripts. You can contribute to the enrichment of this repository by proposing improvements to existing scripts or by submitting new scripts, through pull request .
Sometimes we know some information about the disc from which a track comes from (the title of one of the tracks, the name of the artist or the title of the album), but without this information being mentioned anywhere.
In this case, it might be useful to request a database of records released around the world. Thus, the items could be automatically tagged from information extracted from this database. Metatogger has for this purpose the Get tags from the MusicBrainz encyclopedia tool.
Metatogger has a SQLite database containing nearly 2.5 million disks. The data is provided by the MusicBrainz community.
If the database is downloadable from the Lumisoft site, it is then installed locally on the user's computer. Thus, the tool can be used without the need for an internet connection.
The database is updated approximately every three to four months. The Update Database button under the File tab will automatically download and install the latest available database if necessary. The number of artists, discs, tracks and covers contained in the database is displayed under this same tab.
Metatogger automatically downloads and installs its database from the internet, by clicking on the Update Database button, available in the File tab. However, this requires an internet connection.
It is possible to install Metatogger's database offline, without an internet connection. To do so, proceed as follows:
%LOCALAPPDATA%\Luminescence_Software folder, overwriting existing files if necessary;
The tools Get tags from the MusicBrainz encyclopedia and Get covers from the MusicBrainz encyclopedia are now operational. Concerning the Get covers from the MusicBrainz encyclopedia tool, you won't be able to save, subject to possible already cached covers, an internet connection as the database does not contain the covers themselves but only their internet address.
Querying the database consists in entering information (keywords) about the album you are looking for: its title, the name of the artist, or the title of one of its tracks. All these criteria are cumulative. For example, if I enter
Dire Straits in the Artist field and
Sultans of Swing in the Title field, Metatogger will return all the Dire Straits albums with a track entitled "Sultans of Swing".
It is possible to use the wildcard " % " which means "any string of characters;", or the wildcard " _ " which means "any character". For example, if I enter
%goldman in the Artist field, Metatogger will return the albums of "Jean-Jacques Goldman;" as well as "J.J. Goldman". If I enter
%goldman%, the software will also return the albums of the trio "Fredericks Goldman Jones".
Identifying an album would be useless if Metatogger didn't have powerful reconciliation features with the checked items in the workspace.
If the album selected in the database contains tracks that do not match the items in the workspace, because they have not been copied for example, just click on their title in the result window. Tracks that are disabled in this way will appear in gray and will be ignored when you reconcile them.
Metatogger has four methods to reconcile the information "tracks of the selected album in the database" to the "checked items of the workspace":
The Get covers from the MusicBrainz encyclopedia tool allows you to search for record covers that can either be embedded directly into the tags or copied to the folder where the file is saved.
Right-click on the thumbnails to export the image.
It is possible to choose the images of your choice by clicking on the link Open covers... or by dragging and dropping them directly into the tool.
The Rename and sort files according to their tags tool allows you to work on the name or path of audio files.
Its use is based on the use of masks, composed of identifiers and conditional blocks, indicating how and where the files should be stored.
The user who wishes to reorganize his media library has the choice of either moving his files, copying them or creating symbolic links (when the program is started with administrator rights, except with Windows 10 Creators Update (1703) and higher which allows the creation of symbolic links without administrator rights). Metatogger will create directories and subdirectories, if necessary, to reorganize the files.
An immediate preview of the result can be obtained by selecting any item in the workspace.
Metatogger includes a tool that will search for potentially duplicated audio files using acoustic fingerprint identification technology. Clicking on the Search Duplicates button will group the items by similarity, each identified duplicate being placed in a separate group.
There is a handy trick for identifying potentially duplicate audio files, when the file name differs but the title and artist are the same. Simply group the items by Artist and then by Title. Unless duplicated, there should be only one item per group. Clicking on the Collapse Groups With One Item command, available in the contextual menu of the grouping area, will highlight potential duplicates.
It will then be easy to delete, after verification, the identified duplicates.
To physically delete the audio files in the workspace, simply click on the Delete Selected Items button or on the Delete Checked Items button on the Tools tab in the ribbon.
In reality, the files are not permanently destroyed, but are sent to the Windows recycle bin.