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Chapter 8. Processing and Posting Your P... > What You Need to Know About ID3 Tags

What You Need to Know About ID3 Tags

The MP3 standard is pretty good at storing recorded music information. In its original form, though, it didn’t have the ability to store any information about the recording—no facilities for carrying title, artist, album, date, or any of the other facts we use to organize the recordings in our collection. Think about it—there was, in the original specification, no way to identify the file and its contents except through the name of the file.

Fortunately, there were, pretty quickly following the development of the spec, those who recognized the need for some system to organize files, and ID3 was born. In the original ID3V1 specification, there were fixed lengths and locations for the information, which was limited in scope and contents. These limitations were addressed in ID3V2, which became the version of ID3 tags used by most MP3 players and software. The only reason to think about ID3V1 is that there are still some users with software that can only read the older tags; if you want the maximum compatibility and can live with the limitations of the earlier version, you can specify ID3V1 when you’re writing your final podcast file. It’s possible, in fact, to use both, and many people do in order to cover the greatest number of users. Most ID3 tag editors clearly show which tags are used in a particular specification, and there are many fewer tags to worry about in ID3V1. For the rest of this section, we’ll assume that you’re going to use ID3V2 for your podcasts.


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