9 Replies Latest reply: May 16, 2015 12:49 PM by bruebontaguebanta
bowlerboy Level 1 Level 1
Yesterday, I encountered an mp3 file that refused to be added to the iTunes library, and I couldn't figure out why. Thanks to insights provided by contributors to the Apple Discussions, I learned that I was not alone in encountering this problem. Apparently, iTunes 8.x is a lot fussier than its predecessors ever were regarding the reading of ID3 tags, to the extent that iTunes 8.x will not even bother to report back that an mp3 file already in my library may not play, or that mp3 files with garbage in their tags may not even be imported.

Of course, such mysteriously bad behavior in such a great product sent me on a day-long mission to learn more about ID3 tags, tag editors, and mp3 tag evaluators to find the fix. I reviewed what I think are all of the related comments in the Apple Discussion groups, and I did some extensive Google searching.

By the end of the day, I learned that, in response to requests for help on the subject of mp3 files not playing, or not getting imported in iTunes, respondents here in Apple Discussions were universally referring people to a September 2008 web site article by Trevin Chow ( http://trevinchow.com/blog/tag/mp3-tag-validator/ ) which explains the nature of the problem. Following Chow's lead, they then recommend using a free, Windows-based, Open Source product called MP3 Validator (commonly known as MP3val) to check out—and fix—their mp3 files.

When Mac users ask if there is an equivalent mp3 evaluator on the Mac, the thread either ends, or they are told "No."

Based on my research yesterday, that answer appears to be misleading and wrong!

I am a little mystified as to why no one with much more expertise than I have in this area has yet reported on this, but, for several months already, there really IS a Mac equivalent of MP3val available for those of us who want to *+get the same functionality of MP3val without loading Windows!+* Instead of following the advice of Mr. Chow, a Microsoft Senior Program Manager, and finding a "friend with a PC" to fix our mp3 file problems, Mac users really do have their version of MP3val to play around with.

It is called MP3 Scan+Repair, and, like MP3val, this Macintosh equivalent of MP3val is free, Open Source software that you can use to evaluate and repair your mp3 files. According to documentation provided by its author, Christian W. Zuckschwerdt, "the MP3 Scan+Repair Cocoa Interface uses the fast and reliable mp3val as engine," so, essentially, he has done us all a great service by putting a Mac OS X interface on top of the exact same software engine that drives the Windows MP3 Validator software that everyone here has been recommending.

As he adds in his introductory notes (which, in concordance with GNU public licensing terms applicable to Open Source, or Free Software, are essentially lifted—with permission—verbatim from the MP3val site itself), Zuckschwerdt says:

"MP3 Scan+Repair for Mac OS X is a small, high-speed tool for MPEG audio file validation and (optionally) fixing problems. It was primarily designed for verification of MPEG 1 Layer III (MP3) files, but supports also other MPEG versions and layers. It can be useful for finding corrupted files (e.g. incomplete downloads).

"MP3 Scan+Repair (with the mp3val core) supports:
• MPEG-1, 2, 2.5; Layers I, II, III
• ID3v1 tags (must be at the very end of the file)
• ID3v2 tags (must be at the very beginning of the file)
• APEv2 tags

"This program is for Mac OS X only. See the mp3val project ( http://mp3val.sourceforge.net/ ) for Windows and Unix version.

"This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

"The latest version of MP3 Scan+Repair (including sources) can be downloaded from the official web site." ( http://triq.net/mac/mp3-validator-mac-os-x )

The main reason that I wrote so much about this issue is that I think Mac users ought to be able to find solutions here and that we should share those solutions when we discover what they are, rather than recycle outdated or incorrect information, as is occurring in regards this particular topic. I hope that this extensive report saves other Mac users from having to waste a whole day researching the solution to the problematic mp3 files in iTunes. Instead, we can now spend that time using an elegantly designed Mac product to evaluate our mp3 files! Enjoy.


PowerMac G4; iMac G5; MacBook Pro., Mac OS X (10.5.7), Running Leopard, Tiger, Panther. LAN. Cloned LaCie FireWire drives as backups.
  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4
    Thanks for that bowlerboy - I'm sure many here will be grateful for this information, and I've bookmarked both the link and this thread.
  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9
    Thanks for the contribution. Not an issue I have encountered using an older version of itunes. I tried the application you suggested and the beta2 release currently crashes on my PPC with Tiger 10.4.11 (I reported it to the developer), so luckily I don't really need it.

    Shareware MP3Trimmer has been out for a number of years and has a scan and repair feature. I can't think of any files I have had that have actually needed repairing so I don't know if this issue is something specific to a different set of files or if MP3 Trimmer is doing a different kind of check. Anyway, it's worth noting for PPC+Tiger users who may be encountering the issue with newer iTunes.
  • bowlerboy Level 1 Level 1
    I am happy to report that I used MP3 Scan+Repair to examine my iTunes 8.1.1 library of about 3,000 songs, and that, running under Leopard, Mac OS 10.5.7, the utility functioned flawlessly. The design is very clean, very easy to use, and very fast.

    Essentially, from your Finder, you drag and drop folders containing mp3 files into MP3 Scan+Repair's window, and it immediately begins to scan those files for errors and garbage in the metadata. You filter out the files needing repair from the entire batch provided for analysis, and you then click on the Repair icon. MP3 Scan+Repair then transparently copies the damaged mp3 files and displays a set of cleaned-up files in its operational window, while sending the damaged source files to the trash.

    I was astonished to discover that about 90% of my mp3 files had some kind of metadata irregularity in them which begged to be repaired. About 1% actually had no ID3 tag assigned to them at all, a situation which I later rectified in iTunes, after MP3 Scan+Repair pointed them out to me.

    This being my first exposure to the software, when I ran MP3 Scan+Repair, I kept the number of tracks down to small gulps of under 200 files cumulative in each set of folders I dragged and dropped into its operational window. MP3 Scan+Repair only took a few seconds to scan them and deliver a column-based report on their status. After I completed the initial scan of my mp3 files in this piecemeal method, I then dragged-and-dropped the iTunes music folder containing ALL of mp3 files to see if MP3 Scan+Repair could handle a much larger gulp of files. No problem! It took longer to process, of course, but the application handled the larger task without choking.

    About the only interface design improvement I would suggest to the developer would be addition of an audible signal to signify when the repair of damaged files is completed. The utility is already capable of reporting a sound, as demonstrated by the fact that it rings a bell sound the moment it completes the scan of all the files you drag into its window.

    However, there is no similar sound to signal the user when the repairs are completed on a set of damaged files. I got around this design oversight by opening the Trash folder and monitoring the incrementing of damaged mp3 files being sent there after MP3 Scan+Repair was done with them. When the addition of mp3 files into the Trash ceased, I knew that MP3 Scan+Repair had finished its clean-up job, so it was time to provide MP3 Scan+Repair with a new batch of mp3 files to scan and repair.

    The inclusion of an audible signal to tell me when MP3 Scan+Repair completes its repair work would be a worthy improvement to this fine utility. And, since the program is Open Source software, any programmer with the skills to effect such an implementation has an opportunity, in accordance with the terms of the GNU license, to plunge right in and make such a thing happen. If the original developer is no longer available to blend that particular feature into his creation, let's hope someone else will.

    In the meantime, I recommend iTunes user to run your mp3 files through this digital washing machine: you might be as surprised as I was to learn that your music files weren't as cleanly meta-tagged as you had believed.

  • bowlerboy Level 1 Level 1
    In closing out this thread, I visited the MP3 Validator for Mac OS X web site, and it looks like developer Christian Zuckschwerdt has released version 1.0 of his MP3 Scan+Repair application, which is an ID3 tag evaluator for the Mac. Get it at:

  • RamonaB Level 1 Level 1

    This thread is DOA


    Suggested fix is out of date and unusable for 10.7.3 OS

  • andintroducing Level 1 Level 1

    Any other solutions for people with similar issues or "Gapless Playback" problems from corruptions and are now running 10.7 or 10.8?

  • lyonacre Level 1 Level 1



    I spent hours buggering about trying to work out why I couldn't import. Searcing the web only found lots of "me too" - cant undertsand why people have to publish that they have the same problem without giving answers, must be a genetic fault - anyway, I suspected an ID tag problem so made sure I had valid information in them. Then I found your post!



  • Michel Linee Level 1 Level 1


    Works fine in 10.68 and 11.04 ITUNES SYSTEM

    A series of mp3 files with itunes detected by end 11.04 a 1'30 "for all files.

    treatment in MP3 validator, two passages, the files are repaired.


    FONCTIONNE très bien dans le SYSTÈME 10.68 et ITUNES 11.04

    Une série de fichiers mp3 avec une fin détéctée par itunes 11.04 a 1'30" pour tous les fichiers.

    traitement  dans MP3 validator,,, deux passages, les fichiers sont réparés.

  • bruebontaguebanta Level 1 Level 1

    Two thumbs WAY WAY UP for this program!!! This is why the Mac community continues to rock my world. Thank you bowlerboy - I appreciate you.