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Thread: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    Besides the music data itself, MP3 files also include metadata that stores information like the artist, album, and track number. (These are also known as "tags".) This is so that various media players can display this information without having to ask you for it. Sometimes though, different ways of storing these tags (ID3v1, ID3v2, APE, etc.) can conflict, causing problems in programs like Rhythmbox. Since ID3 is the most common form in which MP3 files store their metadata, it might be a good idea to erase any other tags so as to avoid problems.

    PLEASE NOTE: Once you've erased APE tags, there's no way to get them back except for adding them to your files again one at a time. Although the apetag package used in this guide is able to add and modify APE metadata, the author cannot support this process. Use with caution!

    Here's how to get rid of the APE tags in your MP3 files:

    1. Download the "apetag" package

    Download apetag from here. Don't worry about the "i386" part; if you're on a 64-bit system, we'll take care of that shortly.
    2. Fulfill dependencies
    You may need to install libstdc++5 as a dependency. To check if you already have it installed, type this in the terminal:

    Code:
    dpkg -s libstdc++5
    If you see "Package `libstdc++5' is not installed", then run:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install libstdc++5
    If instead you see a bunch of information, then the libstdc++5 package is already installed.

    3. Install apetag

    If you're on a 32-bit system, simply double-clicking the .deb file and then clicking Install will install apetag.

    However, if you are running on a 64-bit computer, you'll need to force apetag to install itself even though you have the "wrong" architecture. Do that by opening a terminal in the directory where you saved your apetag .deb file and running this command:

    Code:
    sudo dpkg --force-architecture -i apetag_*_i386.deb
    Apetag will install itself and be fully functional. Now we can get to removing those pesky tags.

    4. Remove APE tags from MP3's

    To remove APE tags from a single file, run this in terminal:

    Code:
    apetag -i musicfile.mp3 -m overwrite
    You'll have to replace the red "musicfile" text with the name of your MP3, obviously. Don't forget to enclose the filename in quotes if it contains spaces or other funny characters.

    To remove APE tags from all of your MP3's at once, replace the red "music-directory" text with the name of your own music folder, then run this:

    Code:
    find music-directory/ -iname "*.mp3" -exec apetag -i {} -m overwrite \;
    This could take a few minutes depending on the size of your MP3 collection, so just sit back and wait a bit.

    ==================================================
    ==================================================

    This tutorial was tested on an Ubuntu 9.04 (64-bit) system.

    I would like to thank uziel and oyejorge from this thread for ideas on how to implement apetag, as well as everyone at Ubuntu Forums for generally being awesome.
    Last edited by aheckler; April 25th, 2009 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Updated for Jaunty

  2. #2
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    There is another option. You can just use pyRenamer along with EasyTAG.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install easytag
    sudo apt-get install pyrenamer
    1. Open pyRenamer
    2. Navigate to the offending directory of mp3s
    3. Select Substitutions from the tabs down the bottom
    4. Tick Replace
    5. Put mp3 in first column and ape in second
    6. Click Rename
    7. Open EasyTAG and delete the offending tags and save all the files
    8. Now you can change the extension back to mp3 with pyRenamer

    Peace out!

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    something's very wrong here. i tried to remove the tags using apetag and now gstreamer/rhythmbox reads them all wrong. it seems to have removed the genre and the last digit of the year. can anyone tell me why this is happening?

  4. #4
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    See my earlier post...

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    3pleT: I tested this on Jaunty and Rhythmbox still reads everything OK for me.

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    Tested with jaunty and it is ok, thanks

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    It's OK now. I did it the easiest way possible:
    1. Install Wine (if it's not already installed), download and install mp3tag: http://www.mp3tag.de/en/download.html
    2. Open mp3tag and open: Tools->Options, Tags->Mpeg, make sure Read->APE is checked and uncheck everything other than APE under Remove.
    3. Open the path to your audio collection.
    4. Arrange files by "Tag", select all files tagged with APE (they should be somewhere around the top), and remove their tags.

    Some files now seem to have tags other than APE or ID3. Rhythmbox still can't modify those.

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    Madverbs solution worked beautifully for me

    THANKS!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    I don't recommend madverb's solution, it cuts a couple of seconds at the end of mp3.

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Remove APE tags from MP3 Files

    Hello,

    I couldn't install the apetag dependency in Karmic.

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install libstdc++5
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree       
    Reading state information... Done
    Package libstdc++5 is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package libstdc++5 has no installation candidate
    So I tried madverb's solution with pyremover/easytag. It worked. Next I did some googling and found this post (see last post by Martin Mai:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...ox/+bug/127510

    Another solution is:

    1. Install exfalso in synaptic. Search for "quodlibet" to find the "quodlibet-plugins" and install them as well.

    2. Open exfalso and click on plugins, enable APEv2 to ID3v2 plugin. Close plugins box.

    3. Open music directory that is giving you problems in Rhythmbox.

    4. Highlight all the mp3 files in the lower left corner of exfalso window.

    5. Right click on the highlighted files and you will see the "APEv3 to ID3v2" option. Select it from the right click menu and all the files will now have the APE tags gone.

    6. Open up rhythmbox and you can now edit your ID3 tags in there and they will stick without the APE tag overriding your changes. You could also edit the tags in Easytag or exfalso as well.

    Them dang APE tags are gone! Hope this helps some of you other Rhythmbox users.

    Cheers,
    brookie

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