I have a large collection of MP3 files, accumulated over the years. The collection is intermittently tagged, and many filenames are totally nondescript as well (e.g. file01.mp3, file02.mp3, etc). The total collection is currently stored on a ubuntu 12.04 server.

I am looking for a command line tool which can read the file, generate an audio fingerprint to identify the song (e.g. file01.mp3 -> Rick Astley's 'Never gonna give you up'), and populate the id3 tags. Being able to save album art or rename the file would be a bonus.

There appear to be piecemeal tools which do what I need - though may of them are GUI driven. But I haven't found a single package which combines all of them.


2 Answers 2


I think beets is what you're looking for. It is very flexible and it can automatically change tags to what it thinks is best, with your permission of course, it uses musicbrainz as a backend.


  • Beets doesn't work with untagged files, (See Overview). ...the music may have bad tags, but it’s not completely untagged... I don't know that what Dave is looking for exists. I attempted to spin up beets and the chroma plugin to test myself, but confirmed that untagged files don't work. Beets just throws a TypeError calculating the levenshtein distance for having no data on the existing tags. Apr 24, 2015 at 3:33

I had a similar need and ended up creating a simple command-line utility for the purpose - feel free to check out idntag https://github.com/d99kris/idntag

Idntag updates music files meta-data (artist, title) and also updates the filename to an Artist-Title format.

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