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ID3 Tag Date unravelled

Posted on November, 26. 2014 at 23:45 » Blog

For many years now I am using ID3 tags for MP3 files very extensively. This kind of meta data does not only cover the standard information like artist, title, album and genre, in ID3v2 there is also enough space for the album cover, original download links, related license information and much more that could be useful for radio podcasts or netaudio artists – if you use them correctly (and I discovered I did it not).

ID3v2.3: Two or Three Tags for One Information

But the data formats used for dates are somehow not very intuitive as of ID3v2.3. Instead of writing something like the well-known from the ISO 8601 standard, you need at least two separate tags:

the four-digit year
four digits for the day of the month and the month itself as DDMM
the time as HHMM (two digits the hour, two the minute)

You can also use TRDA to specify a "free-format" recording date.

ID3v2.4: Nice Date-Time Tags – But Who Supports Them?

ID3v2.4 replaces the tags named above with more precisely tags: because they are ISO 8601 and you do not need several tags for one information, because there are for example:

encoding time
original release time
recording time

But which tag editor currently supports the latest standard? Unfortunately the id3lib based id3v2 command line program does not recognize v2.4 tags – although the latest standard and the latest id3lib version 3.8.3 are both from 2003.


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