[ID3 Dev] ID3 tag and audio file formats

Scott Wheeler wheeler at kde.org
Wed Mar 1 05:36:39 PST 2006

On Wednesday 01 March 2006 13:12, Michal Vician wrote:
> Sorry, I've forgotten to say that I've read the following:
> -----
> ID3.org receives one frequent question in various forms:
>     * What is the tagging format in my Windows Media File?
>     * What is the tagging format in my iTunes file?
>     * What is the tagging format in my ogg vorbis file?
> Answer? All audio formats can, and most probably do, use the ID3 tag
> format. They do this because the ID3 tag standard is so wide spread and
> implementation libraries are readily available.
> ------

This information is incorrect and should be removed from the web site.  ID3v2 
tags will break formats which are container-based such as Ogg Vorbis and WMA.

> - Does it mean that I can write an ID3v2 tag to formats like wma, ogg...
> without any doubt?
> - Can I also write ID3v1 tag into this files?
> - Can anybody give me a list of audio file formats, where can I write ID3
> tags?

> > I would like to implement support to my application also for other audio
> > file formats, not only for MP3 (eg. for wav, wma, ogg, aac ...). However,
> > I'm not sure if I can write ID3v2 tags to such kind of files in the same
> > way like in MP3. Can anybody help me with this, please?

For those formats:

- WAV has no tags
- WMA has its own tagging format, which is specified in the wma spec, 
available in the MSDN (which unfortunately, basically does not allow Open 
Source implementations)
- Ogg Vorbis uses "Xiph Comments" (same as later versions of FLAC and Speex), 
which are embedded into the Ogg container.  You can find information on these 
in the comment and container specs on xiph.org
- AAC uses yet another tagging format, which does not at present have a 
published spec

I wrote TagLib specifically for this sort of problem.  It currently supports 
MP3s (with ID3v1, ID3v2 or APE tags), Ogg Vorbis, FLAC (with Xiph Comments or 
ID3 tags), and MPC files (with APE tags).  The next version will support AAC 
as well.  WMA support won't happen unless someone reverse engineers the 


Had this been an actual emergency, we would have fled in terror, and you would 
not have been informed.

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