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MP3/ACC ID Tag issues (iTunes / PS3) – Part 2

If you missed my first rambling, see it here – Part-1

Now in Part 2, I’ve brought back more food for thought and some updated info between PS3’s ability to read MP3 tagging and AAC tagging as well.

So after some further testing, I’ve realized the broken part seems to be in iTunes MP3 tagging forArtwork only.

Setup used:

Windows 7 (and a few pre-encoded files from Vista for comparison)
iTunes 9.0.2.xx (latest as of Jan.5.2010) – Default ID Tag v.2.2 (but tested with 2.3 conversions)
dBpoweramp  13.3 using Lame 3.98.2 and ID Tags v2.3
PS3 – Fat and Slim models (tested on Firmware 3.00 and 3.15) which can read ID Tag v.2.1, 2.2, and 2.3

Here are the results I’ve found (based on MP3 encoding):

  1. A song encoded with iTunes that auto grabs the Artwork and using ID Tag v.2.2 (or even altering the same song to v.2.3) doesn’t show up properly under the PS3 or Windows Explorer.
  2. However, using that very same song encoded in step one, if I copy and paste a graphic from the internet etc. and drop it into the Album Artwork window in iTunes, it will then show up on my PS3 and through Windows Explorer!
  3. I decided to move back to dBpoweramp and run some test encodes/tagging for comparisons. While using dBpoweramp, all ID Tagging worked out of the box, all art work pulled from the net and inserted correctly, which was readable by all applications (iTunes, Black Berry, PS3, Windows Explorer, iPod, Sandisk Mp3 player) etc.


There’s obviously something different with how artwork is stored when iTunes grabs it from the web (automatically) versus when you copy/paste artwork into the album art window.

I know (and have known) iTunes kept a separate “Album Artwork” folder, but it never dawned on me that they wouldn’t also keep that info in the headers as well.  So it seems when you copy and paste Artwork (vs. Auto-grabbing) in iTunes, it then writes it / tags it in the headers properly.

I guess they were trying to achieve a better way of Artwork storage? I guess we’ll see when I send off my letter to Apple, if they write back.


As for the AAC part of this….it’s Sony’s fault, mostly……

While iTunes does the exact same thing with Artwork as the MP3’s, the Artwork doesn’t show up properly no matter what you encode with (dbPoweramp, EAC, etc) as the PS3 is expecting the container to be a 3GP/AAC file! Arrrgggghhhhh my PS3 isn’t a damn cell phone.

So until Sony updates the PS3 (like the later PSP updates) to read the entire m4a container (and tags) properly, it seems we’re out of luck for AAC encoded files (unless you go through a huge mess)

Note: However, there are ways around all of this crap, you could just use a streaming media server, but then we wouldn’t have learned this little bit of info.  😉

Published inMacMusicSoftware


  1. gazZa gazZa

    Hi There, I can’t help with the AAC but I can share some insight to the PS3 and album covers that I have recently learnt, it seems that the PS3 has a limit of 100K to size of the image embedded within the MP3. I determined this after trying many different sizes. I never had a problem with icons when I was browsing my albums no mater what size (I can not confirm if ps3 media server was resizing my images on the fly) but when I played the file the album cover would not show in the bottom left hand size. If I resized to under 100k no problem. My only issue now is performing this task with some automation 🙂 Thx 4 the post

  2. Tim Tim

    Hey, a couple of years ago i ripped all my CDs to 192kbps mp3-files using windows mediaplayer 9 and/or 10. None of those files show up on my ps3. The system just say something like “there are no files in this folder” when i try going into album folders. If i push triangle from the flder and choose play, it says “there are no files to play”. Wierd!
    I have my files on an external HD connectet via usb. Alot of my other mp3 files on the same drive play fine… but not all. Tried copying everything to the interneal HD but that didnt change anything. The files just did’nt show in the menu. Now im not shure if they are still there… as i could not select them and hit delete 🙁
    Any idea why my files does not show and play?

  3. The Cantankerist The Cantankerist

    Tim: You need to press the triangle button *outside* the folder (i.e. when the external HD itself is selected) and select “Display All” maybe?

  4. mike mike

    what is acc?

  5. Sammy Sammy

    You have just solved several of my problems. I just purchased dBpoweramp, and re-rip my entire collection.

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