ID3 Files


ID3v2 version

Although ID3v2.4 is the latest version, its support in music players is still lacking. While some software has no problem using version 2.4 tags, others may not be able to read the tags and display the information. Support for ID3v2.4 in other media players (such as smartphones) is variable.

Other than native support for multi-valued tags in v2.4, the Picard Tag Mapping section will show you what you lose when choosing v2.3 instead of v2.4.

ID3v2 text encoding

The default for version 2.4 is UTF-8, the default for version 2.3 is UTF-16. Use ISO-8859-1 only if you face compatibility issues with your player.

Join ID3v23 tags with

As mentioned above, ID3v2.3 does not support multi-value tags, and so Picard flattens these to strings before saving them to ID3v2.3 tags. This setting defines the string used to separate the values when flattened. Use ‘; ‘ for the greatest compatibility (rather than ‘/’ since tags more often contain a ‘/’ than a ‘;’) and for the best visual compatibility in Picard between ID3v2.3 and other tagging formats.


This setting is explicitly only for ID3 v2.3 tags, because those don’t support proper multi value tags. Hence this separator setting is actually more of a workaround to this fact.

Because Vorbis tags allow the same tag to exist multiple times, and hence support multi valued tags by default, there actually is no separator at all there. It is just multiple values, shown using whatever the player software uses as a separator.

If for some reason you want all the values of the tag in a single field separated by some separator you could use a script like:

$set(musicbrainz_artistid,$join(%musicbrainz_artistid%, / ))

to flatten all the values into a single field separated by ” / “.

Save iTunes compatible grouping and work

Save the tags grouping and work so that they are compatible with current iTunes versions. Without this option grouping will be displayed in iTunes as “work name” and work will not be available.

See the Picard Tag Mapping section for details.


For other players supporting grouping and work you might need to disable this option. MusicBee is one example of this.

Also include ID3v1 tags in the files

This is not recommended at all. ID3v1.1 tags are obsolete and may not work with non-latin scripts.