The project is in a healthy, maintained state
Id3Taginator is a ID3v1, ID3v2.2/3/4 tag reader and writer fully written in Ruby and does notrely on TagLib or any other 3rd party library to read/write id3tags. It aims to offer a simpleway to read and write ID3Tags.
 Project Readme


  • Introduction
  • Installation
  • Implemented Frames
  • Usage
    • Read Tags
    • Modify Tag
      • Remove Tag
      • Modify existing Frame
      • Create new Tag
        • What is the difference?
    • Write Audio File with modified Tags
    • Options
      • default_encode_dest
      • default_decode_dest
      • padding_bytes
      • ignore_v23_frame_error
      • ignore_v24_frame_error
      • add_size_frame
      • How to set Options
    • Create Entities
    • Custom Frames
  • Development
  • Contributing
  • License
  • Code of Conduct


Id3Taginator is a ID3v1, ID3v2.2/3/4 tag reader and writer fully written in Ruby and does not rely on TagLib or any other 3rd party library to read/write iD3 Tags. It aims to offer a simple way to read and write ID3Tags. It follows the specifications as seen here:

It can write ID3v1 and ID3v2 to the same file. For ID3v2 only 1 version can be used. It is recommended to stick to ID3v2.3, because for now, it seems to be the most supported version.


from rubygems

gem 'id3taginator'

or from the sources using

gem build id3taginator.gemspec

and then execute

gem install id3taginator-x.x.x.gem

Implemented Frames

The following frames are implemented and fully supported. Not implemented frames can still be added by using a custom frame. See more about custom frames in the Usage part. Most Frames are self explaining. For other documentation about the frames and their meaning, please check the documentation - ID3v1, ID3v2.2, Id3v2.3, Id3v2.4

Hint: If a frame is currently not implemented, it can still be read and written using Custom Frames. In this case, if an MP3 file is written that contains a not implemented frame, that frame will simply be saved as a Custom Frame, can be modified as such and will be written as it was once the file is saved.

Implemented Frame Description ID3v2.2 ID3v2.3 ID3v2.4
x AENC/CRA Audio encryption x x x
x APIC/PIC Attached picture x x x
ASPI Audio seek point index x
x COMM/COM Comments x x x
COMR Commercial frame x x
CRM Encrypted meta frame x
x ENCR Encryption method registration x x
EQUA/EQU Equalization x x
EQU2 Equalization (2) x
ETCO/ETC Event timing codes x x x
x GEOB/GEO General encapsulated object x x x
x GRID Group identification registration x x
x GRP1 iTunes Grouping x x
x IPLS/PLS Involved people list x x x
LINK/LNK Linked information x x x
x MCDI/MCI Music CD identifier x x x
MLLT/MLL MPEG location lookup table x x x
x PCNT/CNT Play counter x x x
x POPM/POP Popularimeter x x x
POSS Position synchronisation frame x x
x RBUF/BUF Recommended buffer size x x x
RVAD/RVA Relative volume adjustment x x
RVA2 Relative volume adjustment (2) x
RVRB/REV Reverb x x x
SEEK Seek frame x
SIGN Signature frame x
SYLT/SLT Synchronized lyric/text x x x
SYTC/STC Synchronized tempo codes x x x
x OWNE Ownership frame x x
x PRIV Private frame x x
x TALB/TAL Album/Movie/Show title x x x
x TBPM/TBP BPM (beats per minute) x x x
x TCOM/TCM Composer x x x
x TCON/TCO Content type x x x
x TCOP/TCR Copyright message x x x
x TDAT/TDA Date x x x
TDEN Encoding time x
x TDLY/TDY Playlist delay x x x
TDOR Original release time x
TDRC Recording time x
TDRL Release time x
TDTG Tagging time x
x TENC/TEN Encoded by x x x
x TEXT/TXT Lyricist/Text writer x x x
x TFLT/TFT File type x x x
x TIME/TIM Time x x x
x TIT1/TT1 Content group description x x x
x TIT2/TT2 Title/songname/content description x x x
x TIT3/TT3 Subtitle/Description refinement x x x
x TKEY/TKE Initial key x x x
x TLAN/TLA Language(s) x x x
x TLEN/TLE Length x x x
TMCL Musician credits list x
x TMED/TMT Media type x x x
TMOO Mood x
x TOAL/TOT Original album/movie/show title x x x
x TOFN/TOF Original filename x x x
x TOLY/TOL Original lyricist(s)/text writer(s) x x x
x TOPE/TOA Original artist(s)/performer(s) x x x
x TORY/TOR Original release year x x x
x TOWN File owner/licensee x x
x TPE1/TP1 Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s) x x x
x TPE2/TP2 Band/orchestra/accompaniment x x x
x TPE3/TP3 Conductor/performer refinement x x x
x TPE4/TP4 Interpreted, remixed, or otherwise modified by x x x
x TPOS/TPA Part of a set x x x
TPRO Produced notice x
x TPUB/TPB Publisher x x x
x TRCK/TRK Track number/Position in set x x x
x TRDA/TRD Recording dates x x x
x TRSN Internet radio station name x x
TRSO Internet radio station owner x
x TSIZ/TSI Size x x
x TSOA Album sort order x
x TSOP Performer sort order x
x TSOT Title sort order x
x TSRC/TRC ISRC (international standard recording code) x x x
x TSSE/TSS Software/Hardware and settings used for encoding x x x
TSST Set subtitle x
x TXXX/TXX User defined text information frame x x x
x TYER/TYE Year x x x
x UFID/UFI Unique file identifier x x x
x USER Terms of use x x
x USLT/ULT Unsynchronized lyric/text transcription x x x
x WCOM/WCM Commercial information x x x
x WCOP/WCP Copyright/Legal information x x x
x WOAF/WAF Official audio file webpage x x x
x WOAR/WAR Official artist/performer webpage x x x
x WOAS/WAS Official audio source webpage x x x
x WORS Official internet radio station homepage x x
x WPAY Payment x x
x WPUB/WPB Publishers official webpage x x x
x WXXX/WXX User defined URL link frame x x x


The usage is pretty straight forward. The audio file will be read and parsed, and provides access to all available frames, allows to add or remove frames and finally, write the file.

To modify and/or read a tag, simply create an audio file:

audio_file =  Id3Taginator.build_by_path('path/to/audio_file')

this will automatically parse the ID3 tags, if an ID3tag is present.

Read Tags

v1_tag = audio_file.id3v1_tag
v1_tag.title # => 'ID3v1 Title'
v1_tag.artist # => 'ID3v1 Artist'
v1_tag.album # => 'ID3v1 Album'

# this can either be a ID3v2.2, ID3v2.3 or ID3v2.4 tag
v2_tag = audio_file.id3v2_tag
v2_tag.version # => 2.3.0
v2_tag.title # => 'ID3v2 Title'
v2_tag.artists # => ['ID3v2 Artist1', 'ID3v2 Artist2']
v2_tag.album # => 'ID3v2 Album'

Modify Tag

existing tags can either be modified, or a new tag can be created, or an existing one removed.

Remove Tag


will remove the ID3vX tags.

Modify existing Frame

There are already methods defined to modify a frame. Each frame has one. A Frame that is only allowed once, has only one Getter and one Setter. If a Frame is present, the Setter will update the existing Frame. If no Frame it is present, it will create a new Frame.

If the Frame can be present multiple times, the Setter Method will update the existing frame, if a specific field with the unique identifier is the same (see the ruby doc to find out which field is the unique field). In those cases, the Setter is field= or alternatively add_field, e.g. comment= and add_comment(...) are the same. If no Frame with the unique field is present, a new Frame will be added.

The Getter methods will return nil if the Frame is not present or en empty array, if the frame is not present, but the result is an array.

v1_tag = audio_file.id3v1_tag
v1_tag.title = 'My new Title'
v1_tag.title # => 'My new Title'
v1_tag.title = nil
v1_tag.title # => nil

v2_tag = audio_file.id3v2_tag
v2_tag.title = 'My new Title'
v2_tag.title # => 'My new Title'
v2_tag.title # => nil

v2_tag.languages # => []
v2_tag.languages = %w[eng ger]
v2_tag.languages # ['eng', 'ger']
v2_tag.languages = %w[eng]
v2_tag.languages # ['eng']
v2_tag.languages # => []

v2_tag.comments # => []
v2_tag.add_comment(Id3Taginator.create_comment('eng', 'my descriptor', 'my comment'))
v2_tag.comments # => [Comment('eng', 'my descriptor', 'my comment')]
v2_tag.add_comment(Id3Taginator.create_comment('eng', 'another descriptor', 'my other comment'))
v2_tag.comments # => [Comment('eng', 'my descriptor', 'my comment'), Comment('eng', 'another descriptor', 'my other comment')]
v2_tag.add_comment(Id3Taginator.create_comment('eng', 'my descriptor', 'my modified comment'))
# descriptor and language are already present, so it will update the comment instead of creating a new one
v2_tag.comments # => [Comment('eng', 'my descriptor', 'my modified comment'), Comment('eng', 'another descriptor', 'my other comment')]

v2_tag.remove_comment('eng', 'my descriptor')
v2_tag.comments # => [Comment('eng', 'another descriptor', 'my other comment')]

Create new Tag

If no tag is present, or a new one should be created, a few simple methods are present:

audio_file.create_id3v1_tag # => the id3v1_tag
audio_file.create_id3v2_2_tag # => the id3v22_tag
audio_file.create_id3v2_3_tag # => the id3v23_tag
audio_file.create_id3v2_4_tag # => the id3v24_tag

As mentioned before, it is recommended to use ID3v2.3, because it seems to be the most supported for version.

What is the difference?

ID3v2.2 is the oldest ID3v2 tag, and for example only uses 3 characters for the Frame ID and offers far less Frames as the successors. It should be avoided, because it is kinda outdated.

ID3v2.3 and ID3v2.4 are very similar. ID3v2.4 added a few more frames, and allows 2 more encodings in comparison to ID3v2.3, but most of the new added frames or changes are not game breaking and most probably not used by most people. Some of the useful new frames like Album Sort Order or Title Sort Order are officially not part of ID3v2.3, but most players will interpret them nevertheless, as long as they are present. Per default ID3Taginator allows to add those ID3v2.4 only frames even to ID3v2.3 Tags.

Write Audio File with modified Tags

Once a file is modified, it must be written to save the changes. To do this, Id3Taginator provides to 2 methods:


Which writes the modified file to the specified path. The audio data will be cached, so the file can be written to the same path that is used to read the MP3 file, essentially overwriting it.

The other alternative is to write the result to a byte array represented as a String:


This will return a byte array represented as a String (str.bytes) with the modified audio file, and the decision how to handle it, is completely yours.


The following options are available:


This is the encoding that should be used to encode the data if applicable. For example most Text Frames are encoded and the encoding byte is prefixed to the encoded data.

Default is UTF-16


This is more or less only for internal use and doesn't affect the written tag. This encoding is used to decode the tag if an encoding is applied and later on, when the tag is written the default_encode_dest is used again.

Default is UTF-8


After the last Frame is written, optionally padding null bytes can be written. Padding bytes can for example be used to add additionally information, e.g. an ID3 Footer without rewriting the whole tag.

Default is 20


Some Frames are available for ID3v2.4 but not for ID3v2.3, for example the Sort Order frames like TSOT. But some application still interpret them correctly, hence they can be used in ID3v2.3 even if they are not in the specifications. When this flag is true, no error will be raised if an invalid Frame should be added to the Tag. In those cases it is for example possible to add an ID3v2.4 only Tag to an ID3v2.3 Tag.

Default is true


Same as ignore_v23_frame_error just for ID3v2.4 Tag.

Default is true


ID3v2.3 has a size (TSIZ) frame that contains the file size in bytes without ID3v2 Tag size. When this flag is true this Frame will be added automatically if it is not present.

Note: In ID3v2.4 this Frame was removed. So in order to use this flag for ID3v2.4 Tags, the flag ignore_v24_frame_error must be true too.

Default is false

How to set Options

Options can be set on a global level, then those options will be applied to all Audio Files that are created, or the option is only applied to one Audio File.

To define global options, simply create an Id3Taginator instance and apply the options:

id3taginator = Id3Taginator.global_options

audio_file = id3taginator.build_by_path('path/to/file')
# => options are applied
another_audio_file = id3taginator.build_by_path('path/to/another/file')
# => options are applied too

if options should be applied to one audio file, create the file and apply the options directly to this file

audio_file = Id3Taginator.build_by_path('path/to/file')

Here, the options are only applied to this Audio File instance. All other created instance use the default options.

Create Entities

Some Setter such as copyright= or add_picture require an Entity Instance as an argument. All arguments can be created like this

Id3Taginator.create_buffer(42, false, 5)
Id3Taginator.create_picture_from_data('image/png', :COVER_FRONT, 'Description', 'Some picture data')

There is a create method for all Entities.

Custom Frames

If a frame is currently not implemented, but is required, it can still be added or modified using Custom Frames. If the Frame is already present in the ID3v2 Tag, then it will be available as a Custom Frame. Custom Frames can be added and modified as all other Frames

# CSTM is the frame id of the frame we want to fetch
my_custom_frame = v2_tag.custom_frame('CSTM')
frame_content = my_custom_frame.content
# modify the content
v2_tag.add_custom_frame('CSTM', frame_content)

v2_tag.add_custom_frame('ABCD', 'my new frame content')

Here, the old content is replaced by the new content, and a new custom Frame is added. If multiple custom frames with the same Frame ID should exist, an optional selector_lambda can be passed as an argument.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/cfe86/id3taginator. This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

Code of Conduct

Everyone interacting in the Id3taginator project's codebases, issue trackers, chat rooms and mailing lists is expected to follow the code of conduct.