IdEst – ID3 Editing and Scripting Tool (split by chapter):   Section:   Chapter:FastBack: Frames   Up: Top   FastForward: Modify   Contents: Table of ContentsIndex: Concept Index

4 Viewing Existing Tags

Viewing existing tags is simple. Just give idest a list of files to extract information from, with no additional options:

$ idest file.mp3
title: Diamonds & Rust
album: Diamonds & Rust
track: 1
artist: Joan Baez
year: 1975  
genre: Folk

This operation mode is called query mode. By default, idest shows all these fields in this order. If there are several comment fields, they will be shown in the fully-qualified form, e.g.:

$ idest track01.mp3
title: Plou i fa sol
album: Camins de Tarda
track: 3
comment:eng:my: Comment text
comment:eng:encoder: lame
artist: Josep Tero
year: 1995
genre: Folk

If you wish to display another frames, use the --filter (-F) option:

$ idest --filter=artist,title,year file.mp3
artist: Joan Baez
title: Diamonds & Rust
year: 1975  

The names given in the filter list can be either IDv1 or IDv2 names, idest will convert the to IDv2 automatically.

Frames can also be given in a fully-qualified form, for example:

$ idest --filter=title,comment::encoder track01.mp3
title: Plou i fa sol
comment:eng:encoder: lame

You can also define a string which will be printed instead of the frame name in the output. This string is given as a prefix to the frame name. The two parts are delimited by a percent sign, e.g.:

$ idest --filter=Title%title,'Encoded by'%comment::encoder \
Title: Plou i fa sol
Encoded by: lame

To describe frames in a verbose manner, use the --describe (-D) option:

$ idest --describe --filter=artist,title,year file.mp3
Lead performer(s)/soloist(s): Joan Baez
Title/songname/content description: Diamonds & Rust
Recording time: 1975  

For compatibility with previous versions, the --query option (or -q, for short) is supported. When used without argument it forces the query mode. If argument is supplied, it must be in the same format as for the --filter option and has the same effect (e.g. idest -qartist,title,year file.mp3).

If the long option form (--query) is used, then the frame list must be separated from the option by an equal sign, with no surrounding white space. If the short option form (-q) is used, the list must follow the option letter, with no white space in between.

There is a special option which instructs idest to output all frames: the --all (-a) option:

$ idest --all track01.mp3
title: Cor i arbre
album: Fronteres
track: 1
comment:eng:Bit_Rate: 320
comment:eng:Sample_Rate: 44100
TENC: Myencoder 1.0
artist: Josep Tero
year: 2009

All textual fields are displayed using the current locale settings. Sometimes it may be necessary to force displaying them in another locale. The --charset option allows you to do so. Its argument is a valid character set name. For example

$ idest --charset=iso-8859-2 track06.mp3

This will cause all textual tags to be converted to iso-8859-2 on output. Notice that such conversion is not always possible, for example if the tag is stored internally in UTF-8 and is using characters not present in the iso-8859-2 plane.

You may occasionally encounter files with textual frames stored as iso-8859-1 strings, but actually using another 8-bit encoding. Such frames are displayed as sequences of unintelligible characters. You can display them properly if you know or can guess the actual character set they were written in. To do so, use the --broken-8bit-charset option. For example, the following command will assume all textual options use the iso-8859-2 character set and will convert them to the output character set:

$ idest --broken-8bit-charset=iso-8859-2 dm.mp3

IdEst – ID3 Editing and Scripting Tool (split by chapter):   Section:   Chapter:FastBack: Frames   Up: Top   FastForward: Modify   Contents: Table of ContentsIndex: Concept Index