[ID3 Dev] Clarifying the TCON Frame

John Slane jaslane64 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 6 05:42:23 PST 2007

The ID3v2.3 spec as written on the ID3.org website says:

"The 'Content type', which previously was stored as a one byte numeric value only, is now a numeric string.  You may use one or several of the types as ID3v1.1 did or ..... define your own."

The various music-management software I am using (MediaMonkey, Mp3tag, etc.) are writing alphanumeric (English words) data to this type (Genre) frame.  So I would like to clarify a few things.

(1) Is a TCON frame really supposed to contain a numeric string?  If so, what is the definition of a "numeric string"?  

(2) If I have English words in a TCON frame
e.g. TCON = Soul R&B Motown
will that cause a problem with any apps down the road?

(3) If alphanumeric words are allowed, what is the best way to delimit multiple values in the frame?  Are there any characters - delimiters or otherwise - that should be avoided in a TCON frame?

So far, I have experimented with simply adding the multiple genres as a text string delimited only with spaces (as in the earlier example).  This seems to work OK for now, since I typically am searching for files with TCON containing a certain substring.  Is this a robust use of the TCON frame?  Are there rules/guidelines for entering multiple values into a Text Information Frame?  

One other question (which will show off what a newbie I am):

What is the essential difference(s) between Text Information Frames (TALB, TBPM, ...) and Comments Frames.  As best I can tell, a Text Information Frame is to contain a single string of text, with no carriage returns allowed.  A Comments Frame can contain carriage returns (newlines).  Is that the essential difference?  Also, is the USLT (Lyrics) frame type basically the same as a COMM frame, but simply with a specific purpose?  

Thanks for any advice/guidance you can offer.

Food fight? Enjoy some healthy debate
in the Yahoo! Answers Food & Drink Q&A.
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