Best free mp3 organiser and tag-editor?

With so many experts and enthusiasts on this forum with experience and strong views, I hesitate to ask this question in case it provokes arguments… but here goes anyway!

What is the best, simplest, most user-friendly free software app for organising and cataloguing music mp3s on a computer?

Of course the stock response is “it all depends what you want to do”. Well, I want a programme which can

  • search for and organise my mp3 music collection by the usual categories (artist/title/album/track etc);

  • find and add database info (CDDB or similar);

  • find and add album-cover pictures;

  • enable the checking, correcting and editing of ID3 tags;

  • and (possibly) have the capability to ‘normalise’ mp3 levels before burning, to avoid clipping and similar problems.

But I don’t need

  • screens with dancing lights or other disco visual effects;

  • option screens full of unfamiliar technical jargon and acronyms and a multitude of boxes which require me to choose all the settings before the programme will function;

  • buggy programmes which crash my computer;

  • programmes which require the installation of other supporting apps in order to operate;

  • ripping or burning ability (I rip using CDex, and burn with Roxio/Nero/Sonic);

  • trial programmes which will only work for a limited time.

I have started looking, and so far I have found…

Mediamonkey - seems to do it all, but offers much more than I think I need, and the interface is too busy and complicated;

Teen Spirit - compact, and simpler. How reliable is it?

Organiser MP3 - looks the best option of those I’ve seen;

MP3 Collector - from collectorz.com - was recommended, but it’s not free, only a 15-day trial

Winamp - well-known and loved, but does very much more than just organise, and after using Windows Media Player for so long, I just can’t get used to Winamp.

Any other suggestions or recommendations (or votes for/against any of these)?

br1anstorm

I do all those things with my MP3s and find WinAmp to be able to do it all. Especially the newest version with GraceNote (it ‘listens’ to a song and fills in the tag automatically). Sorry about WMP. I’m not familiar with the program as I’ve rarely used it. When I need to do some major tag fixing I sometimes use The GodFather.

Thanks - I’d found The GodFather after posting my question above, and it looks quite good. But maybe I’ll have to take a deep breath and try once again to get accustomed to WinAmp. One of the things I don’t like about it is the way it seems to insert itself all over the computer and makes itself the default player. I prefer to make my own choices, not have WinAmp elbow aside other programmes automatically.

br1anstorm

Actually, that’s one thing I like about WinAmp…go to ‘File Types’ in the preferences and choose away. I keep ‘Restore file associations…’ turned [I]ON [/I]because I don’t like other progs stealing the associations.

My MP3 files are good enough to save so I try http://www.id3butler.com for MP3 hosting.

Have you tried Mp3tag?

I used to use a nice program called Shuffle something long back. It was made by some folks in Dallas, TX. Small shop but one of the best apps when I was regular. Lost it / Dont know what the full name was.