How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

I have to confess it and I’m not ashamed I was used to downloading my music illegally when I was younger. The first reason was I didn’t have money to spend in music and the second was there wasn’t a good legal music downloading service at the time. Sure there was iTunes but let’s be honest paying 99cts for a crappy mp3 with annoying DRM that restricted how to use your music… hum…it didn’t sound right.

But in 2007 a French company named Qobuz started to sell for a fair price music with CD quality and without DRM. I started to use Qobuz back in 2014 and since it’s only pure pleasure! The quality is at least 16bits in lossless and up to 24 bits. And you can choose the file format you want .alac, .flac, .wav, etc…

When I download my music I buy the 16bits version simply because my ears don’t allow me to make the difference between 16bits and 24bits and also because I don’t use high-end headphones.

Also, illegally downloading music is stealing and it didn’t help the artists you like. When doing so the artists don’t earn money for their work and personally, I wouldn’t like to work for free so it’s the same for artists. They worked and they have to be paid for their work.

The second reason why I don’t like downloading crappy mp3 is that those mp3 are poorly compressed and some frequencies are removed also the bitrates is very low, the best mp3 you can find has a bitrate of 320kbps but sometimes it’s 256kbps or even 128kbps and this is bad for your ears and your brain. When listening to this kind of audio signal I deeply think your brain get used to this lack of quality and you lose the ability to hear these same frequencies. It’s just like listening to your music too loud, you’re damaging your ears and brain.

Now you know where I get my music, let’s talk about my and your iTunes Library.

As I said on Instagram a couple days ago I’m very pride of my iTunes Library. All the songs I owned are lossless files and in 16bits (CD Quality) with only a couple of mp3 when there is no lossless version.

Also, all the songs have their artwork and tags right with Track Name, Artist, Album Name, Track Number, Year, BPM, Genre and also lyrics. It literally took me years to achieve this but today here we are.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

The secret to achieving this is first Qobuz who provide music with already a lot of tags included in the music file. And then I spend time gathering other information such as lyrics, bpm, and explicit/clean tag.

For the lyrics I simply google:

And I used the result and copy past it in iTunes

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

For the BPM tag is use an app called beaTunes it’s $34.95. It also adds a lot of useful information you might like if you’re like to mix your music or if you like DJing.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

For the Explicit tag, I use an app called Mp3tag originally developed for Windows a version for MacOS is available here. Choose the Wine.app already installed version It’s free and by following the next step you’ll be able to add the E that stands for Explicit at the end of the track name in iTunes.

1° Tell Mp3tag where is located your iTunes Library, by default, it’s in /Users/YourUserName/Music/iTunes/

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

2° You need to know that iTunes can’t read the Explicit tag in mp3 so you might need to convert it into AAC in order to display the Explicit tag.

3° In Mp3tag right click the file and select Extended Tags option. The explicit tag isn’t by default available in Mp3tag, so you’ll need to add it via the first of the three buttons on the right of the Metadata list.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

4° Now in the windows that just appears, add in Field: ITUNESADVISORY and in value, you can choose between 2 options:
1 will give the song the Explicit tag
2 will give the song the Clean tag

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

5° After adding the tag click OK, then OK and play your song in iTunes you’ll see the E appears at the end of the track name.

And don’t forget if you don’t want to miss new articles subscribe to my Twitter account and to the mailing list on the right side.

So I have been annoyed with this problem for quite some time. I get all my music from CDs, but like seeing that Explicit tag. I use a tag editor to manually put the “Explicit” tag and logo on the explicit songs. In iTunes it works perfectly and everything is displayed as if it were bought from the iTunes store. But on my iPhone, those same songs do not show the little “E” next to them, when the few songs that I did get from iTunes which are Explicit do. Is there a way to fix this?

Posted on Nov 23, 2013 9:09 PM

Hi! I was looking through Google, and came across this. I too had this problem. I started fiddling around with some settings, but that didn’t work. I re-synced it, but that didn’t work. Then, I deleted all of the songs off my iPod (only the affected songs, not the whole library) and re-synced my iPod. Then, to my surprise, it worked! The “explicit” sign showed up next to all the songs. Not sure if this will work for you, but it worked for me. Reply to me if this works! Hope I helped,

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 6:43 PM

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  • Helpful answers
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Hey! Thanks, I will have to try this out when I can get some free time. I tried searching for a long while to find the answer but it’s so specific and hard to search. I really appreciate your help!

Dec 9, 2013 10:06 PM

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Hi! I was looking through Google, and came across this. I too had this problem. I started fiddling around with some settings, but that didn’t work. I re-synced it, but that didn’t work. Then, I deleted all of the songs off my iPod (only the affected songs, not the whole library) and re-synced my iPod. Then, to my surprise, it worked! The “explicit” sign showed up next to all the songs. Not sure if this will work for you, but it worked for me. Reply to me if this works! Hope I helped,

Dec 3, 2013 6:43 PM

Hey! Thanks, I will have to try this out when I can get some free time. I tried searching for a long while to find the answer but it’s so specific and hard to search. I really appreciate your help!

Dec 9, 2013 10:06 PM

what program did you use becuase i been wanting to add explicit tag .

Jan 9, 2014 10:13 AM

I tried re syncing but im preety sure i messed it up. so can u plz tell step by step how u did it in detail. thanks so much

Jan 14, 2014 3:01 PM

I use either Metax. Just tell it which songs to do, and you can do multiple songs at once. If you keep the location the same and set it to overwrite, it will replace the song and not change a thing. The only thing after that is to play the song to have it update and show the tag.

Jan 16, 2014 6:13 PM

Yeah, I still can’t get it to work. I accidentally said that other post helped, but meant to like it instead, I can’t switch it back. I have tried so many times, doing everything. It seems like there is someway it only shows if it was bought from iTunes. I have iTunes match, and that doesn’t help either, I thought it would download the tags, but instead it wiped all the tags already in my iTunes I set. Appearently, any user added tags don’t get saved the same way iTunes store bought songs do?

Is there anyway to look into this, or any way to work around? I’m asking this to anyone reading who may be smarter. But I have tried everything myself, and it’s weird why it won’t display the tags on the iPhone.

This tutorial can help with two issues we’ve seen when viewing your music on your Android phone. Sometimes you can not see your album art and sometimes the artist/album/title are either “Unknown Artist” or not the same as in iTunes. If you are experiencing either one of these issues, read on.

Why does what I see in iTunes not match what I see on my Android phone?

The reason for this is that iTunes has more information then what is stored in your music file (commonly mp3). However, your Android music player only has access to whatever information is stored in the mp3 file. This information is referred to as your song’s “tag” information.

Fortunately, there are many apps out there that will help you correct your tag information or even add album art to your tag. For this tutorial, I am going to use “MP3Tag” on Windows. However, you can find and use whatever app you want. This is just an example.

Here are the general steps you can use to update your tag information.

1. Backup Your MP3’s Before Starting

2. Download and install Mp3tag

4. Find the song you want to update in iTunes

5. Right-click on the song and select “Show In Windows Explorer”

6. Note the directory where the file is located

8. Go File->Change Directory

9. Navigate to the directory you noted in step 5

10. Select the song you want to update

11. Go “Tag Sources”->”Amazon.com” (try others if Amazon does not work)

12. Ensure you have the right album name

14. Select the right album

16. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to align your song with the matching one

18. Now your updated tag information will show up the next time you sync the song to your phone. If the song is already on your phone, you will need to delete is so that iSyncr will copy over the new one. It assumes your song did not change, so it will not update it automatically.

19. Repeat for as many albums and songs as you want!

I have to confess it and I’m not ashamed I was used to downloading my music illegally when I was younger. The first reason was I didn’t have money to spend in music and the second was there wasn’t a good legal music downloading service at the time. Sure there was iTunes but let’s be honest paying 99cts for a crappy mp3 with annoying DRM that restricted how to use your music… hum…it didn’t sound right.

But in 2007 a French company named Qobuz started to sell for a fair price music with CD quality and without DRM. I started to use Qobuz back in 2014 and since it’s only pure pleasure! The quality is at least 16bits in lossless and up to 24 bits. And you can choose the file format you want .alac, .flac, .wav, etc…

When I download my music I buy the 16bits version simply because my ears don’t allow me to make the difference between 16bits and 24bits and also because I don’t use high-end headphones.

Also, illegally downloading music is stealing and it didn’t help the artists you like. When doing so the artists don’t earn money for their work and personally, I wouldn’t like to work for free so it’s the same for artists. They worked and they have to be paid for their work.

The second reason why I don’t like downloading crappy mp3 is that those mp3 are poorly compressed and some frequencies are removed also the bitrates is very low, the best mp3 you can find has a bitrate of 320kbps but sometimes it’s 256kbps or even 128kbps and this is bad for your ears and your brain. When listening to this kind of audio signal I deeply think your brain get used to this lack of quality and you lose the ability to hear these same frequencies. It’s just like listening to your music too loud, you’re damaging your ears and brain.

Now you know where I get my music, let’s talk about my and your iTunes Library.

As I said on Instagram a couple days ago I’m very pride of my iTunes Library. All the songs I owned are lossless files and in 16bits (CD Quality) with only a couple of mp3 when there is no lossless version.

Also, all the songs have their artwork and tags right with Track Name, Artist, Album Name, Track Number, Year, BPM, Genre and also lyrics. It literally took me years to achieve this but today here we are.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

The secret to achieving this is first Qobuz who provide music with already a lot of tags included in the music file. And then I spend time gathering other information such as lyrics, bpm, and explicit/clean tag.

For the lyrics I simply google:

And I used the result and copy past it in iTunes

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

For the BPM tag is use an app called beaTunes it’s $34.95. It also adds a lot of useful information you might like if you’re like to mix your music or if you like DJing.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

For the Explicit tag, I use an app called Mp3tag originally developed for Windows a version for MacOS is available here. Choose the Wine.app already installed version It’s free and by following the next step you’ll be able to add the E that stands for Explicit at the end of the track name in iTunes.

1° Tell Mp3tag where is located your iTunes Library, by default, it’s in /Users/YourUserName/Music/iTunes/

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

2° You need to know that iTunes can’t read the Explicit tag in mp3 so you might need to convert it into AAC in order to display the Explicit tag.

3° In Mp3tag right click the file and select Extended Tags option. The explicit tag isn’t by default available in Mp3tag, so you’ll need to add it via the first of the three buttons on the right of the Metadata list.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

4° Now in the windows that just appears, add in Field: ITUNESADVISORY and in value, you can choose between 2 options:
1 will give the song the Explicit tag
2 will give the song the Clean tag

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

5° After adding the tag click OK, then OK and play your song in iTunes you’ll see the E appears at the end of the track name.

And don’t forget if you don’t want to miss new articles subscribe to my Twitter account and to the mailing list on the right side.

The universal tag editor and more .

Mp3tag is a powerful and easy-to-use tool to edit metadata of audio files.

It supports batch tag-editing of ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, iTunes MP4, WMA, Vorbis Comments and APE Tags for multiple files at once covering a variety of audio formats.

Furthermore, it supports online database lookups from, e.g., Discogs, MusicBrainz or freedb, allowing you to automatically gather proper tags and download cover art for your music library.

You can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words in tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists and more.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Main features:

Batch Tag Editing Write ID3v1.1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, MP4, WMA, APEv2 Tags and Vorbis Comments to multiple files at once.

Support for Cover Art Download and add album covers to your files and make your library even more shiny.

Import from Discogs, freedb, MusicBrainz Save typing and import tags from online databases like Discogs, freedb, MusicBrainz, and more.

Replace characters or words Replace strings in tags and filenames (with support for Regular Expressions).

Create Playlists automatically Create and manage playlists automatically while editing.

Rename files from tags Rename files based on the tag information and import tags from filenames.

Export to HTML, RTF, CSV Generate nice reports and lists of your collection based on user-defined templates.

Full Unicode Support User-interface and tagging are fully Unicode compliant.

Besides these main features Mp3tag offers a variety of other functions and features ranging ranging from batch export of embedded album covers, over support for iTunes-specific tags like media type or TV Show settings, to combining multiple actions into groups that can be applied with a single mouse click.

Supported Audio Formats

  • Advanced Audio Coding (aac)
  • Apple Lossless Audio Codec (alac)
  • Audio Interchange File Format (aif / aifc / aiff)
  • Direct Stream Digital Audio (dsf)
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec (flac)
  • Matroska (mka / mkv)
  • Monkey’s Audio (ape)
  • Mpeg Layer 3 (mp3)
  • MPEG-4 (mp4 / m4a / m4b / m4v / iTunes)
  • Musepack (mpc)
  • Ogg Vorbis (ogg)
  • IETF Opus (opus)
  • OptimFROG (ofr / ofs)
  • Speex (spx)
  • Tom’s Audio Kompressor (tak)
  • True Audio (tta)
  • Windows Media Audio (wma)
  • WavPack (wv)
  • WAV (wav)
  • WebM (webm)

Introduction.

AAC stands for Advanced Audio Coding. It’s an audio codec that features a better audio compression than the well-known MP3 format. AAC audio files can have .aac, .m4a, .mp4, and several other extensions (depending on the container format). This codec is actively supported by Apple.

Like ID3 tags in MP3 files, AAC files offer some space for meta information like title, artist, track number, year, comments, genre, album. These tags are important for searching and sorting, they can be used to organize a music collection. Besides, most players nowadays read tags and expect files to have them.

To edit AAC tags, you can use a tool like mp3Tag Pro.

Step 1: Download and install the program.

Download mp3Tag Pro to a known location. Run the downloaded setup package and follow on-screen instructions to install it.

Step 2: Start the program. Select files to edit AAC tags.

Launch the AAC tag editor. Browse to the folder where your AAC files are stored. You can browse as usual, by double clicking folders to enter them and by double clicking ‘..’ to exit a folder (or use the “Level up” button), or selecting folders on the left. Alternatively, click the folder icon in the address field of mp3Tag Pro to invoke a usual “Browse” dialog.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Once you are in the correct folder, AAC files should be shown, like on the screen shot above. If mp3Tag Pro shows no files on your computer, but AAC files are there, click View and select the “Show files” submenu:

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Step 3: Edit AAC tags.

Now you have various possibilities to edit AAC tags. mp3Tag Pro supports downloading tag information from FreeDB and Amazon tagging services, importing tags from a CSV file and other tagging methods. As our filenames already contain information about artist, titles and track numbers, we can do the following.

Select all files in the directory by clicking the “Select all” button, as shown on the first screen shot. Alternatively, you can press “Ctrl” + “A” on your keyboard.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Click the “Generate tags” button. This will open a new window.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Our filenames consist of three parts: Artist – Track number – Title. Let’s tell the AAC tagger this in its format field in the left upper corner of the window. We type %A – %# – %T and choose to overwrite the existing tags. See results in the preview area.

Finally, click “Generate tags” at the bottom of the window to save the information extracted from filenames to AAC tags.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

So, we have easily filled out three fields. If you know some additional information about the files, or want to add your comments, select all files again and type any information you want into the corresponding fields.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Click “Save” to save changed fields into all selected files.

Both the above described methods can be used for up to 10000 AAC files at once. To select files in more than one folder, use “Scan subfolders” button near the address field of mp3Tag Pro.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

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Sometimes when you rip a CD onto your computer to make backup MP3 copies, the ripping app neglects to export the tags and album art, leaving you with a messy-looking file. If you have ripped a lot of CDs, all without their identifying tags and album covers, then retagging them can be a tiring and tedious process. Free program Mp3tag is here to make that process a lot faster and a lot easier.

Choose the folder where your MP3 files are located and they will appear on the right hand side. The boxes to add the tags and album art are on the left.

Mp3tag 2.54 is an absolute delight to use, and my MP3 files are finally starting to look halfway organized. What Mp3tag does is give you an extremely easy-to-use user interface in which you can add the information you need to identify the file. You can also drag and drop album art with your mouse directly onto the MP3tag app and it will automatically attach.

The tags—which you can edit—include the title of the song, the artist, the album, the year it came out, what track number that particular song is, and the genre. When an album cover is attached, you can alter the aspect ratio in case it is not the right size or if it is distorted.

You can really save time with the batch editing. Use your mouse to select as many of the files in the folder as you want and add information and album art to all of them at the same time. Remember to click the save button afterwards though, otherwise any changes you made will be lost. This is one of the very few downsides of Mp3tag: no automatic real-time saving by the app. You have to press the button yourself and if you forget…whoops, back to square one.

But if you use it right, batch editing can make all the difference. Highlighting all the files at once, I was able to search for the tags and album art, add it and save it all in just under 30 seconds. That’s for a standard 12-track album. If you did it by hand individually, you’d be lucky to do one file every 30 seconds, never mind all 12 at once.

The features go on: Generate playlists, generate HTML, RTF or CSV reports showing a list of all the files you currently have in MP3tag, as well as support for iTunes-specific tags like media type or TV Show settings.The jewel in the crown, as far as I’m concerned, is MP3tag’s ability to search external sources such as Amazon USA, Amazon Germany, and two other sources called Discogs and Musicbrainz. By entering search terms in the box provided, Mp3tag will go to the source (such as Amazon) and bring back the relevant tags and album art for you. If you like it, you can click “OK” and it will all be automatically inserted for you.

There’s no need to go searching for album art as MP3tag will do it for you. They will even add your tags as well, courtesy of Amazon.

Mp3tag program that MP3 collectors should have on their PC by default. It’s free and it’s easy to use. The days of messed-up MP3 files are long gone, thanks to babies like this.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.

A mix of paid and free software

Often when you download your music from unofficial sources, it comes with no metadata and no album artwork. Metadata can get lost due to various other reasons as well, such as when you convert your files from one format to another but the converter doesn’t carry over the required tags.

This metadata is actually what allows your music player apps to organize your files. When your files lack this information, they remain unorganized and make it difficult for you to filter through your files.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

One of the ways to fix the problem is to edit the MP3 metadata of your files. This way, you can add the missing information in each of your music files and make them searchable using various filters. There are plenty of apps to tag MP3s and you can use any of them to edit your files’ metadata and add in the missing information.

MusicBrainz Picard (Free)

MusicBrainz Picard is a multi-platform open-source tool that lets you easily add metadata to your music files that miss them. It supports almost all the music file formats available out there and so your files don’t necessarily have to be in MP3 format in order to edit the metadata

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

It uses something called AcoustID that helps it identify your music files by their contents and not their other meta fields. So even if your MP3s have zero data available, you can use the tool to add the missing information.

MP3Tag (Free)

MP3Tag is a popular app to tag MP3s and it supports batch processing as well. That means if you have a number of music files sitting on your computer without any metadata, you can load them all into this tool and let it find and add the required metadata for you.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

It looks up various online databases to find the required information and album artwork and adds that to your files. It even lets you rename your MP3 files based on the tag information.

Frigate3 (Paid)

Frigate3 is actually a file manager but it has various other features as well. One of these features lets you view and edit MP3 metadata. You basically need to navigate to the folder where your MP3 files are, click on any one of them, and you have a window open on the right-hand side pane to add the missing information.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Besides letting you edit MP3 metadata, it lets you view other information as well such as the MP3’s bit-rate and the frame numbers.

The GodFather (Free)

If there are several MP3 files that you want to add metadata to, The GodFather can help you do it with ease using its batch processing mode. It supports various tag formats even for non-MP3 files, helps update all the tags at once, lets you use the replacement matrix, and also allows you to delete all the tags at once, if you want to do it.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

The tool is suitable for those of you wanting to update the metadata of a number of MP3 files at once. It makes the job a whole lot easier for you.

ID3 Tag Editor (Free)

ID3 Tag Editor is a Unicode supported app to tag MP3s and you can use it to add missing metadata values to your files in various languages. It also lets you add a cover art to your MP3 files which remains embedded in the main file itself.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

Other features include the ability to add custom comments to your files, remove all the tags at once, and compatibility with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.

Music Tag (Paid)

Most apps that let you edit MP3 metadata use manual methods to do the task. Music Tag is unlike those apps and lets you automatically download and add missing metadata to your music files. To use the app, all you basically need to do is give it your MP3 files and it’ll download the required information and add it to all of your MP3 files.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

This way it’s quicker than the other apps and gets the job done in no time. Also, it recognizes over 35 million music tracks and it’s highly likely your files are included here.

TigoTago (Free)

If you like Excel spreadsheets, you’re going to love the TigoTago app to tag your MP3s. It uses a spreadsheet-like format to let you edit and add new information to your MP3 files. Any changes you make to your files are first visible to you before they’re actually applied to your files.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

It’s convenient for mass-tagging tasks and requires almost no typing as most of the data is fetched from online databases.

EasyTAG (Free)

EasyTAG is a feature-rich program for both Linux and Windows that helps you edit the metadata part of your audio files. It lets you view, read, and edit any part of the metadata for your files. You can also apply a single change to all of your MP3 files at once.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

It has an easy to use interface and is available in multiple languages.

Kid3 (Free)

Kid3 is both an MP3 metadata editor and a tag converter to help you convert your tags into multiple formats. You can use it to tag almost all the audio file formats out there including MP3, generate tags from file names, and import data from online databases to add to your files.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

It comes with a command-line interface as well to help you use it from a Command Prompt window and to automate some of its tasks.

Metatogger (Free)

Metatogger helps you both edit your existing tags in your MP3 files and clean-up any junk content in these tags. As you start using the app, you can go for either the manual mode or with C# scripts to speed-up the process. It also lets you organize your files by their tags content which is something not offered by many other tag editors.

How to add explicit or clean tags in itunes with mp3tag

It identifies your music files using the acoustic fingerprinting technology and downloads the required data from various online databases.

Mahesh has been obsessed with technology since he got his first gadget a decade or so ago. Over the last few years, he’s written a number of tech articles on various online publications including but not limited to MakeTechEasier and Android AppStorm. Read Mahesh’s Full Bio