How to Create and Edit ID3 Tags in Audacity

By Tee Morris, Chuck Tomasi

Unlike iTunes where you tag individual files after they are created, Audacity lets you set up a template for the ID3 tags that gets applied when MP3 files are created.

Creating and editing ID3 tags in Audacity

To create this template, open Audacity and follow these steps:

  1. Choose File → Open Metadata Editor.

    The Edit ID3 Tags (for MP3 Exporting) window opens. The ID3v2 option is already selected by default.

  2. Fill in these fields:
    • Title: The episode name and/or number
    • Artist: The podcaster or name of the podcasting crew
    • Album: The show’s name or website
    • Track Number: Optional, unless numerical order is a priority in your podcast
    • Year: The podcast publication’s year
  3. From the Genres drop-down menu, select the option best suited to your podcast.

    Click the More button to add a customized tag. You can also add additional ID3 tags and save your tags as a template.

    Don’t make your comments a long, detailed description of your podcast’s content. Keep it simple and brief. For example, if the creators of The Average Geek Show were to write comments for Show #88, it wouldn’t say “On this show we share the mic with Kenny Rotter of the Dumbells & Dragons podcast, chat about Star Wars, Joss Whedon directing Batgirl, and how Chris Evans is looking at the future of reprising his role as Captain America.” Instead, the podcast would boil down this description to “Show #88 — Geek News with Dumbells & Dragons host, Kenny Rotter.”

  4. Click Done.

And that’s it! When Audacity generates your MP3, your show is tagged and ready for uploading.

Audacity’s ID3 tagger does have its limitations. It cannot embed artwork into your audio metadata. For that extra touch, use an ID3 Tag editor such as IDTE or iTunes.

Creating and editing ID3 tags in iTunes

Using iTunes to tag your files offers more flexibility in customizing genres and even incorporating artwork than Audacity does. Apple’s media player, encoder, and podcatcher also make adding and editing ID3 tags extremely easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Single click your newly created MP3 in iTunes. Choose Edit →  Get Info or press ⌘  +I (Mac) or Ctrl+I (Windows).

    The Info window appears, which gives you a summary of your MP3 file.

  2. Fill in the following fields:
    • Song: The episode name or number.
    • Artist: The name of the podcaster or podcasting crew.
    • Album: The show’s name or website.
    • Album Artist: This would be a good spot to give credit to the artwork artist or show producer.
    • Composer: Fill in this field if you have a separate sound engineer, a tech guru handling the editing, or if you’re doing the work yourself.
    • Grouping: If you’re part of a group or network like Farpoint Media, or FriendsInTech, give credit here.
    • Genre: Select one of the offered genres from the drop-down menu, or you can select the genre in the field and type Podcast (or whatever genre you want to use to classify your work).
      Year: The podcast publication’s year.
    • Track Number: This is optional, unless numerical order is a priority in your podcast.
    • BPM: If you’re doing an exercise show or a music podcast featuring original house mixes, give your Beats Per Minute here. Listeners will dig that.

      One of the cool bonuses of iTunes is how you can create custom genres. Choose Edit →  Get Info →  Info and enter your own genre here. Or go to the song in your iTunes Library and click in the Genre column and edit the genre name. When you return to the Info window later, you can see your custom genre offered as an option on the Genre drop-down menu.

    • Comments: A brief version of show notes.
  3. Take a last look at your ID3 tags to make sure everything is spelled properly and listed the way you want it, and then click OK.