foobar2000:Components/m-TAGS (foo_tags)

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Developer(s) Luigi Mercurio
Release information
Initial release
Stable release 1.2 (August 6, 2018)
Preview release
foobar2000 compatibility
Architecture {{{foobar2000_architecture}}}
Minimum version 1.3
Maximum version {{{foobar2000_maximum}}}
UI module(s) N/A
Additional information
Use Tagging
Discussion thread {{{discussion_thread}}}
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The m-TAGS format offers a simple yet powerful solution to the media-metadata separation problem, which impacts the efficience of digital music collections and media distribution services alike. An m-TAGS file is media-independent. It just contains metadata (tags) describing a certain media source and a locator which identifies the source to which the metadata applies.

The format of an m-TAGS file is very simple. Each tag is represented by a pair "<tag name>" : "<tag value>", with the special @ tag containing the location of the media resource. This format allows the defininion of any tag name and the assignment of any value to a tag. Support for multivalued tags is included, as well as for multi-part media indexing.


For a first "taste" of how the m-TAGS mechanism works, select File / m-TAGS / Create m-TAGS (in same folder) from the main menu. Then browse to a folder where you have some audio files and press OK.

A new file will be created in your folder, named !.tags. If you open this file with any text editor, you will see that it contains the metadata of your audio files in plain text. You can edit the metadata directly if you wish.

If you drop the file into a foobar2000 playlist, it looks like your audio files are loaded into the playlist, just as if you had dropped a playlist file. However, if you look at the properties of the playlist entries, you will notice that the !.tags file was loaded instead.

Your audio files will play normally, but any changes to the metadata will be reflected in the !.tags file, and NOT in the audio files. As long as you use m-TAGS files to load your music into foobar2000, your audio files will play normally, but they will never be touched by foobar2000. They will be treated as "read-only" audio sources. Even the ReplayGain tags will be read and written from / to the !.tags> file.

Note: Keep in mind that also all copy / delete / move / rename file operations will be performed on the m-TAGS files!

See also

External links