An MP3 file can support three different types of tags (that I am aware of): ID3V1, ID3V2.4 and APE. I would like to know how to remove an APE tag in an MP3 file or files, since it is giving me headaches with my audio player. I am familiar with EasyTag and, more recently (today), with Mp3Diags; however, none of them seems to be able to just delete the APE tag.

2 Answers 2


Install the good old apetag (github), then do something like this:

find /some/dir -iname '*.mp3' -exec apetag -i {} -m overwrite \;

It's probably a good idea to make backups, and try the operation on a small subset of files first.

  • Use the version at GitHub instead. The old version (1.12) seems unable to read an APE tag from a MP3 file with an ID3 v1 tag.
    – n.r.
    Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 12:40

To purge only the APE tag from an MP3 file, use the erase mode from newer versions of apetag available at GitHub

apetag -m erase -i file.mp3

(This preserves the ID3 v1 tag if any.)

  • This preserves (IDE v1 & ID3v2.3) tags and just removes junk APE tags. For glob use for f in *.mp3; do apetag -m erase -i "$f"; done
    – Teque5
    Commented Jan 19 at 19:25
  • Unfortunately does not work if there is a Lyrics3 tag.
    – Teque5
    Commented Jan 19 at 20:41

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