In ncmpcpp (an itunes-like ncurses client for mpd) I sort my music files by ALBUMARTIST tag. In my collection I have mp4 files, then mp4 doesn’t support ALBUMARTIST tag and all mp4 goe to “empty” section in not with others files in the same album.

So, how can I force to set an ALBUMARTIST tag for mp4 or, if it isn’t possible, in witch format (probably of the MPEG family) supporting ALBUMARTIST tag can I export my mp4 without losing quality?

  • As mp4 is only a container format, the answer depends on the audio format included (could officially be mp1, mp2, mp3, AAC, MPEG4-part3); ffmpeg -i <file> will show you. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14
    – ridgy
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


MP4s do apparently support the Album Artist tag. Using ffmpeg, the syntax is

ffmpeg -i in.mp4 -c copy -metadata album_artist="YourArtist" out.mp4

In Mediainfo, this shows up as "Artist/Performer: YourArtist"

BTW, the comment by @ridgy has it backwards. Tags are the purview of containers, not codecs. The tag writing functions are in the source code for the muxers, not encoders. My above command doesn't even require the presence of an audio stream in the MP4.

  • Thanks, you are right. Found an interesting feature comparison in Wikipedia
    – ridgy
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 11:48

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