For kicks I decided to remove all the ID3v1 tags from my music files today. They were just getting in the way and served no useful purpose — since I had perfectly fine ID3v2 tags — so they just had to go.
I cooked up a little command to help out here! But first, we need to make sure you have the command that we’re going to need here, id3v2. Install it from the official repositories using your distribution’s package manager. For example, on Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install id3v2
This command is used to view and manipulate ID3 tags inside of music files. One argument in particular is of use to us,
-s, which strips ID3v1 tags out of the specified file(s).
With that in mind the task is just getting a list of the files that you want to remove ID3v1 tags from. I’ve managed to solve that and fit it all in one line — don’t forget to replace the path with the correct one:
find /path/to/music -name \*.mp3 -type f -print0 | xargs -0 id3v2 -s
That’s it! After testing I ran it on my whole music library and it appears to have survived just fine. Just be patient (and careful) if you’re stripping tags out of hundreds or thousands of files.
Let me know how it works out for you, and any improvements you may have!