PuddleTag is now my favourite MP3 Tagger.

Posted 26 January 2011 by

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W

hat is the best MP3 Tag Editor? Since moving to Linux full time, which was somewhere around the middle of 2009, I’ve been in search of a replacement, for my favourite WIndows MP3 Tag Editor MP3Tag, which as far as I’m concerned, is the holy grail of MP3 taggers. Until now…

Ladels and Gentlespoons, I introduce you to PuddleTag.

The biggest problem I’ve had with all the available Linux MP3 Tag Editors is that none of them can do something so simple as being able to move the listed MP3′s up and down without having to change the track order for each individual file, which is incredibly laborious. In WIndows, MP3Tag uses drag and drop. You can’t get more simpler than that. Try doing that in EasyTag, for instance, which up until now, has been the best of a bad bunch of Linux MP3 Tag editors. Over the last two years, I’ve sent plenty of requests to the developers of EasyTag, asking if they could implement something so simple as being able to use Ctrl-+and Ctr– to move a selected file or files, up or down. I guess my requests never got through.

So, after first hearing about Puddletag and trying it out, I found that it, too, didn’t have this simple ability. But, within a few days of first downloading it, the developer introduced this very same feature at someone else’s request. Awesome.

Why do I need this feature, I hear you ask? Because I listen to Podcasts. I am ADDICTED to Podcasts. For those that don’t know what a Podcast is, I supposed I can only describe it as an internet radio show. You can listen to many of these shows live, or use a programme to download them, whenever they become available to download. These programmes are called Podcast Aggregators. My aggregator of choice is gPodder which is fantastic for it’s simplicity and does the job well.

The first thing I do in the morning is open gPodder, download the latest podcasts, and click “transfer to device”. The MP3 files are copied over to my MP3 Player, which is a Sansa Clip+ 8GB. I have a Clip V2 as well, which I think is the better model, but that’s another story. After that, I fire up my MP3 Editor. I need to use an editor because Podcasters don’t often care to fill in even the basic MP3 tag information, such as Artist, Title, Album, and if they do fill them in, there’s never any consistency between them, except for their own shows. Sometimes, not even their own shows. I put that down to being in a hurry to get the show released ;)

Everything about EasyTag works really well, and I think it’s a top notch programme, except that I can’t easily sort into my daily listening order. Sure, selecting a track, giving it a track number, then selecting the next track, etc, is good if you have the time, and yes, it’s fine if all you do is listen to Music as the track numbering is something you only have to do once, and then it’s done. But,t that’s not the case for Podcasts and I just can’t help thinking that MP3 Tag developers just are aren’t into listening to podcasts, or perhaps they just stick with iTunes ;) But, for me, in the morning, I just want to get on with my day and I need something that’s fast and easy to use.

(The following is still a Work in Progress)

Puddetag has now come to my rescue. I open that up, it remembers where to look on the Sansa Clip for my Podcasts and presents me with the list of them:

Puddletag - Connected to my Sansa Clip

The first thing I do, is select all the Podcasts I’ve already listened to, which in this case are rows 1 to 31. I click on Row 1 and then Ihold the shift key down and click row 31. I then press the Delete key.

Delete MP3's I've already listened to.

Next, for some generic fields I just give them the same info throughout. For example, I change all the album & genre fields to “podcast”, Year, Comment will be set to Blank:

Then, I use the Convert Tag->File feature which is also represented by the “F” icon on the Toolbar, and this changes all of the Filenames to the following format ” $num(%track%,2) – %title% – %artist%” (Track number first – Title & Artist):

Screenshot to come

Then I choose the listening order. Some days I just add the latest podcasts to the end. Then on other days, I may have some new podcasts, such as the Daily Source Code, or No Agenda or Dan Carlin, that I just have to listen to immediately. So, these get selected…

Screenshot to come

…and shifted to the top using Ctrl-+(Ctrl key and the =+ Key.

(If those key combo’s don’t work for you, you can go into Edit/Preferences/Shortcuts, look for “Move Selected UP” and “Move Selected Down” in the Description column,and change the key mappings to anything you like.)

Screenshot to come

There it is, what I’ve been wanting in Linux all this time. The ability to easily change the listening order in an MP3 Editor. Something so simple and yet so neglected. Thanks you

So, now I’m happy with the listening order, it’s time to save and create a Playlist with File/Save Playlist.
I can now remove the Sansa Clip and get on with my day.

I’d give credit to the actual main developer, but I don’t know who he (or she) is. The developer gives credit to those that have helped him but I can’t find his name anywhere.

If you want to try PuddleTag, you there is also a PPA for it, which for which the instructions to install are here at Webupd8.Org. One of my favourite sites.

Bad Kiwi.
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