Class ID3Lib::Tag
In: lib/id3lib.rb
Parent: Array

This class is the main frontend of the library. Use it to read and write ID3 tag data of files.

Example of use

   tag ='shy_boy.mp3')

   # Remove comments
   tag.delete_if{ |frame| frame[:id] == :COMM }

   # Set year
   tag.year   #=> 2000
   tag.year = 2005

   # Apply changes

Working with tags

You can use a ID3Lib::Tag object like an array. In fact, it is a subclass of Array. An ID3Lib::Tag contains frames which are stored as hashes, with field IDs as keys and field values as values. The frame IDs like TIT2 are the ones specified by the ID3 standard. If you don‘t know these IDs, you probably want to use the accessor methods described afterwards, which have a more natural naming.

   tag.each do |frame|
     p frame
   #=> {:id => :TIT2, :text => "Shy Boy", :textenc => 0}
   #=> {:id => :TPE1, :text => "Katie Melua", :textenc => 0}
   #=> {:id => :TALB, :text => "Piece By Piece", :textenc => 0}
   #=> {:id => :TRCK, :text => "1/12", :textenc => 0}
   #=> {:id => :TYER, :text => "2005", :textenc => 0}
   #=> {:id => :TCON, :text => "Jazz/Blues", :textenc => 0}

Get and set frames

There are a number of accessors for text frames like title, performer, album, track, year, comment and genre. Have a look at ID3Lib::Accessors for a complete list. They can only be used for text that is encoded with ISO-8859-1.

   tag.title    #=> "Shy Boi"

   tag.title = 'Shy Boy'
   tag.title    #=> "Shy Boy"

   tag.track    #=> [1,12]
   tag.year     #=> 2005

You can always read and write the raw text if you want. You just have to use the "manual access". It is generally encouraged to use the frame_text method where possible, because the other two result in an exception when the frame isn‘t found.

   tag.frame_text(:TRCK)                  #=> "1/12"
   tag.frame_text(:TLAN)                  #=> nil

   tag.frame(:TRCK)[:text]                #=> "1/12"
   # Raises an exception, because nil[:text] isn't possible:

   tag.find{ |f| f[:id] == :TRCK }[:text] #=> "1/12"
   # Also raises an exception:
   tag.find{ |f| f[:id] == :TLAN }[:text]

Because only ISO-8859-1 encoded text frames can be set with accessors, you have to add special frames by hand.

   # Add two comments
   tag << {:id => :COMM, :text => 'chunky bacon'}
   tag << {:id => :COMM, :text => 'really.'}

   # Add an UTF-16 text frame with BOM (byte order mark)
   tag << {:id => :TIT2, :text => "\xff\xfe\x60\x4f\x7d\x59",
           :textenc => 1}

   # Add an attached picture
   cover = {
     :id          => :APIC,
     :mimetype    => 'image/jpeg',
     :picturetype => 3,
     :description => 'A pretty picture',
     :textenc     => 0,
     :data        =>'cover.jpg')
   tag << cover

Get information about frames

In the last example we added an APIC frame. How can we know what data we have to store in the APIC hash?

   #=> [:textenc, :mimetype, :picturetype, :description, :data]

We see, the last element of the info array obtained through ID3Lib::Info.frame is an array of field IDs needed by APIC.

Have a look at the ID3Lib::Info module for detailed information.

Write changes to file

When you‘ve finished modifying a tag, don‘t forget to call update! to write the modifications back to the file. You have to check the return value of update!, it returns nil on failure. This probably means that the file is not writeable or cannot be created.


Getting rid of a tag

Use the strip! method to completely remove a tag from a file.



Included Modules



padding  [RW] 

Public Class methods

Create a new Tag. When a filename is supplied, the tag of the file is read. tagtype specifies the tag type to read and defaults to V_ALL. Use one of ID3Lib::V1, ID3Lib::V2, ID3Lib::V_BOTH or ID3Lib::V_ALL.

   tag ='shy_boy.mp3')

Only read ID3v1 tag:

   id3v1_tag ='piece_by_piece.mp3', ID3Lib::V1)


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 167
167:     def initialize(filename, readtype=V_ALL)
168:       @filename = filename
169:       @readtype = readtype
170:       @padding = true
172:       @tag =
173:, @readtype)
174:       read_frames
175:     end

Public Instance methods

Simple shortcut for getting a frame by its id.

   #=> {:id => :TIT2, :text => "Shy Boy", :textenc => 0}

is the same as:

   tag.find{ |f| f[:id] == :TIT2 }


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 195
195:     def frame(id)
196:       find{ |f| f[:id] == id }
197:     end

Get the text of a frame specified by id. Returns nil if the frame can‘t be found.

   tag.find{ |f| f[:id] == :TIT2 }[:text]  #=> "Shy Boy"
   tag.frame_text(:TIT2)                   #=> "Shy Boy"

   tag.find{ |f| f[:id] == :TLAN }         #=> nil
   tag.frame_text(:TLAN)                   #=> nil


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 209
209:     def frame_text(id)
210:       f = frame(id)
211:       f ? f[:text] : nil
212:     end

Check if there is a tag of type type.


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 302
302:     def has_tag?(type=V2)
303:, V_ALL)
304:       @tag.has_tag_type(type)
305:     end

Returns an Array of invalid frames and fields. If a frame ID is invalid, it alone is in the resulting array. If a frame ID is valid but has invalid fields, the frame ID and the invalid field IDs are included.

   #=> [ [:TITS], [:TALB, :invalid] ]


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 316
316:     def invalid_frames
317:       invalid = []
318:       each do |frame|
319:         if not info = Info.frame(frame[:id])
320:           # Frame ID doesn't exist.
321:           invalid << [frame[:id]]
322:           next
323:         end
324:         # Frame ID is ok, but are all fields ok?
325:         invalid_fields = frame.keys.reject { |id|
326:           info[FIELDS].include?(id) or id == :id
327:         }
328:         if not invalid_fields.empty?
329:           invalid << [frame[:id], *invalid_fields]
330:         end
331:       end
332:       invalid.empty? ? nil : invalid
333:     end

Remove all frames with the specified id.


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 245
245:     def remove_frame(id)
246:       delete_if{ |f| f[:id] == id }
247:     end

Set the text of a frame. First, all frames with the specified id are deleted and then a new frame with text is appended.

   tag.set_frame_text(:TLAN, 'eng')


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 235
235:     def set_frame_text(id, text)
236:       remove_frame(id)
237:       if text
238:         self << { :id => id, :text => text.to_s }
239:       end
240:     end

Returns an estimate of the number of bytes required to store the tag data.


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 181
181:     def size
182:       @tag.size
183:     end

Strip tag from file. This is dangerous because you lose all tag information. Specify striptag to only strip a certain tag type. You don‘t have to call update! after strip!.



     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 291
291:     def strip!(striptype=V_ALL)
292:       clear
293:       tags = @tag.strip(striptype)
294:       @tag.clear
295:, @readtype)
296:       tags
297:     end

Updates the tag. This change can‘t be undone. writetype specifies which tag type to write and defaults to readtype (see new).

Invalid frames or frame data is ignored. Use invalid_frames before update! if you want to know if you have invalid data.

Returns a number corresponding to the written tag type(s) or nil if the update failed.



     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 262
262:     def update!(writetype=@readtype)
263:       @tag.strip(writetype)
264:       # The following two lines are necessary because of the weird
265:       # behaviour of id3lib.
266:       @tag.clear
267:, writetype)
269:       delete_if do |frame|
270:         frame_info = Info.frame(frame[:id])
271:         next true if not frame_info
272:         libframe =[NUM])
273:         Frame.write(frame, libframe)
274:         @tag.add_frame(libframe)
275:         false
276:       end
278:       @tag.set_padding(@padding)
279:       tags = @tag.update(writetype)
280:       return tags == 0 ? nil : tags
281:     end

Get the text of a user frame specified by description. Returns nil if the frame can‘t be found.

   tag.user_frame_text('MusicBrainz Album Id')
   #=> "f0d6c31f-8f9f-47fe-b5f5-3b96746b48fa"

   tag.user_frame_text('MusicBrainz Album Artist Id')
   #=> nil


     # File lib/id3lib.rb, line 224
224:     def user_frame_text(description)
225:       f = find{ |f| f[:id] == :TXXX && f[:description] == description }
226:       f ? f[:text] : nil
227:     end