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Tuesday, 28 August 2012



Read MP3 Tags

With this application, I think that I am finishing the topic of listing folders/files with Excel and VBA. An issue that started with Folders, Subfolders, and Files and continued with Move Files To Subfolders. So, with this workbook, you can quickly create a list of your MP3 files. By creating an index of your MP3 files is much quicker to find a specific song; Excel search is much faster than hard disc search.  For your ease, every time that the application detects a new artist or a new album, it highlights the appropriate cell with red or blue colour correspondingly. This means that the highlighted cells contain all the unique artists and the unique albums that are included in the folder you selected. Moreover, the filters on each sheet will help you find the duplicate songs of your music collection.

The application is based on the GetDetailsOf method of VBA to get the properties of MP3 files. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I did not manage to find a way to edit the MP3 tags and save the modified tags back to the MP3 files (i.e., to do the exact opposite from this application). I tried even with external DLL libraries like CDDBControl.dll and CDDBControlRoxio.dll, but I could only write one edited MP3 tag at a time, before Excel crashes.

Bear in mind that the simple ID3v1 tags can be edited with Excel if the MP3 files are treated as binary files. However, I decided not to include this option here because most MP3 files have ID3v2 tags that the application wouldn’t be able to edit. You can find numerous freeware MP3 programs that can modify your MP3 tags on the internet. So, although this application only reads MP3 tags, I believe that is still quite useful for organizing your music collection.

How to use it

The short video below demonstrates the application in use.



Download it from here


This file can be opened with Office 2007 or newer. It could be opened even with older Office versions that incorporate the compatibility pack from Microsoft. However, do not forget to enable macros before using it.


Update 14/10/2012

Harm from The Netherlands asked me if it is possible to attach the cover of each MP3 on the list that this small application creates. Well, as far as I am concerned, there is no way to get the artwork that it is stored on an MP3 tag by using VBA code. However, there is some kind of substitute for this.

My MP3 collection is organized like this:
  1. Artist (ex. Dream Theater)
  2.  Album (ex. 1992 – Images And Words)
  3. In each album (folder) I have a JPG image with the name “Folder,” so that windows can recognize it and create a thumbnail of the album with that picture. In this way, you can view the artwork of the album when you are browsing through your folders (see the image below).
Read MP3 Tags (With Artwork)

This excel file “Read MP3 Tags (With Artwork)” reads from each folder the picture with name “Folder.jpg” and inserts it in each file of the folder as a comment. So, if you run the program at the 5th column (album) of the excel sheet a comment is inserted with the artwork (see next figure). If there is no picture, no comment will be added.


So, in case you have organized your MP3s using this “Folder.jpg” technique, you will be able to see the album's artwork as a comment. Of course, this doesn’t work on collections; if you have songs from various artists in a folder, then you will have the same image in all songs since you cannot have multiple instances of “Folder.jpg” in the same folder.


Download it from here


You can open it with the same versions as the above file.


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Mechanical Engineer (Ph.D. cand.), M.Sc. Cranfield University, Dipl.-Ing. Aristotle University, Thessaloniki - Greece.
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