APE key

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An APE tag item key is a key for accessing special meta-information in an audio file.

Member of APE Tag Item.

APE tag item keys can have a length of 2 (including) up to 255 (including) characters in the range from 0x20 (Space) until 0x7E (Tilde).

Typical keys should have a length of 2 ... 16 characters using the following characters:
Space (0x20), Slash (0x2F), Digits (0x30...0x39), Letters (0x41...0x5A, 0x61...0x7A).

Values can contain binary data, a value or a list of values. See here.
List of values can be mixed, i.e. contain UTF-8 strings and external references
beginning with file://..., http://www..., ftp://ftp....

Not allowed are the following keys: ID3, TAG, OggS and MP+.

Currently the following keys are defined:



Recommended format of value


Music Piece Title
Music Work

UTF-8 string
Subtitle Title when TITLE contains the work or additional sub title UTF-8 string

Performing artist
List of Performing Artists

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings

Album Album name UTF-8 string
Debut album Debut album name UTF-8 string
Publisher Record label or publisher UTF-8 string
Conductor Conductor UTF-8 string

Track Number
Track Number/Total Tracks Number



Name of the original composer
Name of the original arranger

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings

Comment User comment(s)

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings
List of Links

Copyright Copyright holder

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings

Publicationright Publication right holder

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings

File File location

List of Links

EAN/UPC EAN-13/UPC-A bar code identifier 12 or 13 digit Integer
ISBN ISBN number with check digit 9 digit number with a check digit (0...9 or X)
Catalog Catalog number sometimes in the EAN/UPC, often some letters followed by some numbers
LC Label Code LC + 4 or 5 digit Integer
Year * Release date Date
Record Date Record date Date
Record Location Record location(s)

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings

Genre ** Genre(s)

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings


Source Media Number/Total Media Number
Source Time

Media Integer/Integer
Media Time

Index Indexes for quick access

Index Time
List of Index Times

Related Location of related information

List of Links

ISRC International Standard Recording Number ASCII String
Abstract Abstract Link
Language Used Language(s) for music/spoken words

UTF-8 string
List of UTF-8 strings

Bibliography Bibliography/Discography Link
Introplay Characteric part of piece for intro playing Index Time Range
Dummy Place holder Zero data

*This key name is used to be upward compatible.

**Genre keywords should be normally English terms. A native language supporting plugin can translate common expression to the local language and vice versa when storing the genre in the file.