simple is beautiful - command line id3 tagging

generally speaking, my set of mp3s is very well tagged. for my personal mp3s, i used to exclusively use easytag to tag them, and now i use a combination of easytag and amarok (which is totally awesome by the way!)

but sometimes, i have to mass edit id3tags for mp3s on the server, and i don’t have the luxury of using such gui tools for the editing. as thus, i’ve been mainly using id3v2 within some perl scripts to tag mp3s. this turns out to work great, but i also wanted to be able to add album art to the mp3s from the command line.

i couldn’t figure out how to do it using id3v2 (perhaps using the custom frames, there’s a way, but nothing extremely simple and obvious from what i was looking at). then i found the solution in the form of a id3lib-ruby, a ruby wrapper for id3lib, the same library that id3v2 is based on.

with this, everything turns out to be extremely easy -

require 'id3lib'
tag ='myfile.mp3')
cover = {
   :id => :APIC,
   :mimetype => 'image/jpeg',
   :picturetype => 3,
   :data =>'cover.jpg')
tag << cover

and that’s it. nice and simple. by the way, a picturetype of 3 denotes a front cover and is the default value (just learned that from a quick search). oh and the output mp3 image cover shows up fine in both linux and on itunes. beautiful!

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