mp3 decoder tests

  ID3v2 test  

ID3v2 tags give information about the music within an mp3 file. Unfortunately some decoders crash when they come across them.

ID3v2 test results table (10kB gif image)

What are the important results of this test?

Do we care?!

If an mp3 file refuses to play on your favourite player, one possible problem is the presence of an ID3v2 tag. ID3v2 tags can contain large amounts of information, e.g. album cover images, long title/track/artist names, web site links etc etc. If you're currently using a decoder that fails when an mp3 contains an ID3v2 tag (black in the above table), then you can pick one that will work correctly (blue in the above table). Alternatively, you can remove ID3v2 tags using a utility from GR8Soft. Now that Winamp supports ID3v2, the number of ID3v2 tagged mp3s circulating will probably increase, so it's better to pick a decoder that can handle them.

How was this test carried out?

An mp3 was generated using MusicMatch Jukebox. Lots of information was stored in the file - Long artist names, titles, lyrics etc etc. The ID3v2 information was then edited using Winamp 2.7. The resulting file was decoded using the programs on test, giving the results shown above. No measured accuracy tests were carried out on the resulting .wav - if it looked and sounded correct, it passed.

Is this test reliable?

Every ID3v2 tag will be different, and MusicMatch may interpret the format differently from other companies. Some of the above programs may cope with ID3v2 tags with fewer fields.


  1. What is an ID3v2 tag?
    See the ID3v2 website for full details. Basically, ID3v1 is a common way of tagging the title and artist of a song onto the end of an mp3 file. ID3v2 is a way of putting much more information at the start of an mp3 file.
  2. Where to now?
    Go back to the list of tests or go forward to the next test.