I’ve written a couple of articles previously about my favorite ID3 tag editors for Linux. As I’ve looked back, all of them were either designed for, or fit in very well with, the GNOME Linux desktop. There are certainly tag editors designed specifically for KDE users as well, and today I took a look at one of them. Called Kid3, this tag editor has a ton of features. Its interface is a bit different from what I’m used to, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kid3 is a very powerful tool.
First, a bit about ID3 tags. Whether you’re talking about MP3 or WAV, Ogg or FLAC, music files don’t “know” what song they are. Sure, the title of the song is usually contained in the file name, but how does your MP3 player know what artist, album and song each track really is? It’s all due to ID3 tags, little bits of text embedded inside the MP3 file (and other formats), which your MP3 player or computer knows to look for. By editing these tags, we can provide all kinds of information, including song lyrics, composer, year, track number and more.
Kid3 allows tagging of multiple file formats, including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, MP4 and AAC, MP2, Speex Audio, TrueAudio, WavPck and WMA. The benefit to using a program like Kid3 is that you can tag common elements all at the same time. This means that when tagging all the songs from an album, many of the tags will be identical (artist, album, year, cover art). Since Kid3 can adjust all these tags at once, quite a bit of time can be saved from individually typing them over and over.
One other area Kid3 benefits users of all sorts of devices is that it includes support for both ID3v1 and ID3v2 tags. Since certain portable devices might prefer one or the other, having the option to use either is a nice benefit. And if your music files already have one version of the ID3 tag and you want to use the other, you can convert between the two, so again, no excessive typing is necessary.
Another benefit to Kid3 is how it can rename your files based on tags. Let’s say your music is all 100 percent correctly tagged. Artist, album, song title, track number, year, composer, comments… everything is as it should be. Unfortunately, the songs themselves are named “track1.mp3” “track2.mp3” and so forth. Not very descriptive.
Fortunately, Kid3 includes an option to rename your files (and even the folder they are located in), according to tags. So if you want your music to be held in a folder named after the album name, which is inside a folder named after the album’s artist, there is a preset for that. Conversely, if your files don’t have any tags at all, but are named correctly, you can use the names (and folders the music is contained in), to create tags.
One other feature Kid3 boasts is a nice bit of Web integration. There are numerous online song data databases (MusicBrainz is one of the more well-known), and Kid3 is able to access them in order to automatically tag your music for you. The process is pretty simple: load up the files you want to tag, choose your information provider and input the artist and album. Kid3 will search the provider for tag information available in its database and allow you to choose, then edit, the information it provides.
There’s nothing really amazing or revolutionary about the features Kid3 has to offer. In fact, it’s pretty similar to many of the programs I’ve already looked at (Ex Falso, EasyTAG and a couple others), but it is the first I’ve looked at written specifically for KDE. The other programs could be used with KDE, no doubt, but Kid3 is written for it, and as such will fit in better, both visually and in how it behaves. So if you’re a KDE user, and need a tag editor, check out Kid3. It has a ton of features and is quite easy to use, for all your tag editing needs.