The Strange Behaviour of iTunes (and its ID3 tags)

I’ve got some fairly large files in iTunes – audiobooks and radio shows. Add to this the fact that they’re stored on a network drive, and that I usually connect to the network using plain Airport (ie the 802.11b version, not Extreme) and updating the ID3 tag on a single file can take some considerable time. Unless I convert it to and ID3v2.3 tag (from iTunes’ default v2.2 for MP3s) in which case changes seem to be almost instantaneous. What’s going on?

The mystery is not the strange anomaly between the speed of updating a v2.2 and v2.3 tag (although I really can’t explain this). The mystery is, given that iTunes can read and write v2.3 tags, and convert (go to Advanced > Convert ID3 tags) why doesn’t it do this by default and speed everything up?

Update: Ah. I may have posted prematurely. I’ve been changing the tags with the excellent Easytag which updated to v2.3 and speeded things up. Updating with iTunes does not seem to speed up subsequent changes, so it’s obviously something groovy Easytag is doing…

About Simon Wood

E-learning officer, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See for more...

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