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mp3 Frame Editor


If you collect mp3's from unreliable sources such as the internet you should have a tool to fix them. This mp3 editor lets you perform miscellaneous operations without decoding and encoding back to mp3, a process that reduces sound quality. It's not just a trimmer, splitter & joiner, or tag editor. It's all that and much more.

This program can perform lossless manipulations on mp3 files, such as standard edit functions (copy, paste, delete, cut, trim), volume and balance adjustment, file split and join, fade in/out and insert silence. ID3v1 and ID3v2 tag editors are included. Other tags can be viewed and removed.

System requirements and program limitations:
Windows XP or later. Minimum 128 MB RAM and 800×600 color screen. All modern desktops, along with most laptops, meet these criteria.
Mp3 Frame Editor can edit only 32, 44.1 or 48 KHz mp3's (all except lowest quality mp3's, normally not used in songs recording). You can't open multiple files with one instance of the program, but you may open multiple instances. The clipboard is local and other programs can't access it. Tag editor can edit only text (but it can display and save/load other fields). Unicode 8 and 16 bit characters are supported (majority of world's languages).

How to get it:
mp3 Frame Editor is cheap shareware. For just $15 you get my audio utility pack (3 programs: this one, mp3 Frame Remover and mp3 List Maker De Luhe), including updates for life. You can download free version from the bottom of this page. It will work just like the registered one but will expire after 50 files are saved. To register follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Important note:
There's a difference between an ordinary text, image, sound or other editor and mp3 Frame Editor. In order to preserve your computer resources (memory and therefore speed), mp3 Frame Editor doesn't really load mp3 files to memory. So, you can not erase or modify the original file and save later (like if you loaded the original file to memory, because you didn't). You edit virtual information, and your changes are applied on the source file in the moment when you click save or save as button. Keep this in mind.

A short instruction guide:
Here is a brief illustrated explanation of program's functions:

mp3 Editor main window

File menu:
Open (alt+L) loads a file using standard file dialog box. Save (alt+S) is used for quicksaving (to see current document filename, that it will save into, look at the target label, in the middle of the main window), and save as (alt+A) for saving to a different filename (using standard file dialog box). If you want the program to warn you before closing unsaved files or overwriting existing ones, use the options menu (you will notice respective switches there). Reopen (alt+R) is used to open the last opened file. Close (Ctrl+F4) isn't really needed and it's there for psychological purposes only - mp3 Frame Editor doesn't keep files on the disk opened. They are free to be erased, renamed, or used by other applications. Save the selection as (Ctrl+F8) saves selected section into a new file. Finally, multi-file functions enable you to split (Ctrl+F12) a file into two or three pieces or insert (Ctrl+Ins) a new file into the opened (source) one. Note that inserting files of different frequency or stereo mode is allowed but not recommended, since results might be incompatible with some software.

Edit menu:
Use edit menu or respective buttons to access standard editing functions: copy, paste, delete, cut, trim, select all, unselect, undo, as well as mp3 editor specific: volume & balance change, fade in, fade out, and add silence. Copy (Ctrl+C) copies selected frames to local clipboard. Note: the clipboard is not accessible by other programs. You can't copy from one file to another. You can't copy from one instance of the program to another. Paste (Ctrl+V) pastes previously copied frames (replacing the selection if it exists) to the cursor spot. Delete (Delete key) deletes selected frames. Cut (Ctrl+X) copies and deletes. Select all (Ctrl+A) selects all frames. Unselect (Ctrl+Alt+A) removes the selection. Undo (Ctrl+Z) cancels last operation. Notes: you can undo one operation only. Undo after save is allowed. Volume & Balance change (Alt+V) lets you adjust volume of one or both channels, and applies on selected frames (not necessarily on the whole file). You can amplify or weaken for up to 30 dB in a single function call (usually several dB will do the job). Note: balance change (different volume change on left and right channel) will function well only in case of full stereo or dual channel mp3 files. Effects on joint stereo files are not guaranteed. Fade In/Out (Alt+D) lets you change amplification gradually through the selected range. Add Silence (Alt+I) lets you insert empty (artificial silence) frames. Some of the images below show windows that appear if you use last three functions. Use controls to adjust parameters, then click OK (or close the window to cancel):

mp3 Editor Volume and Balance change (amplify) dialog mp3 Editor Fade in or fade out dialog mp3 Editor split a file dialog
mp3 Editor Add silence dialog mp3 Editor Save selection dialog

Scripts menu:
More about scripts in mp3 Frame Editor script language commands tutorial. From this menu, you can edit or run a script, and set some script related options, like whether you want a messagebox displayed or not when script execution is finished, should errors be ignored in silent mode (when script is running from the command line, as opposed to execution initiated by user's click on this menu), and what's the location of log file (it is written only in silent mode). You can also read the log file.

Options menu:
Automatically select all on load: yes or no. If checked, mp3 Frame Editor will select all frames upon loading a new file, and then you can apply global volume and balance change immediately.
Automatically check "Remove unknown data & RIFF": yes or no. If checked, mp3 Frame Editor will check "Remove unknown header", "Remove unknown footer" and "Remove RIFF header" checkboxes upon loading a new file. If you do use some exotic tags, other than id3v1, id3v2 and lyrics3, leave this option off (unchecked). If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can freely strip this non-sound data from your mp3's (check this menu).
Prompt to save changes when closing: yes or no. If checked, mp3 Frame Editor will ask you if you want to save changes each time you close a file (either by opening another, reopening, just closing the current, or attempting to exit the program).
Reload after overwriting the source file: yes or no. Determines if you want the editor to reopen the mp3 or close it after you save it overwriting the original (source).
Don't write ID3v2 fields without content and description: yes or no. ID3v2 tags often contain empty fields. If you want them removed when you save a file, check this menu.
On processing error: fail, prompt, or try to continue. Fail will cause the program to abort processing each time an improperly formatted data is encountered inside an mp3. Prompt will cause it to display a messagebox and ask you if you want to continue. Try to continue, preferred action for most users, will make program process anything that seems like a valid mp3 file.
Overwrite existing files when saving: never overwrite without prompt, prompt to overwrite only when "saving as", or always overwrite without prompt. If you choose the first option, you will always get "Are you sure you want to overwrite the existing file" messagebox when try to save over an existing file. If you choose the second option, you will get this messagebox only when you use "save as" function. Quicksaving will not produce this prompt. Note that this is the default behavior of most applications. If you choose the third option, you will never waste time confirming you want to overwrite an existing file (do it on your own risk for your own benefit and don't complain to me if you erase something you didn't want to).
Automatically exit the program when closing a file: never, if called with a parameter, or always. Do you want mp3 Frame Editor to auto-close when you close a file? Perhaps never, check the first option if you think so. Call with a parameter is when operating system (or another application) opens a file using mp3 Frame Editor (like right-click an mp3 in Window explorer and "open with" using mp3 Frame Editor). Each such call (file open) will create a new instance of mp3 Frame Editor. If you want it to auto-close when you're done, check second option here. Or, if for some reason you want the program to always close when you're done with a file, check the third option.
New ID3v2 tag format: ID3v2.2, ID3v2.3, or ID3v2.4, each with or without unsynchronisation. Use either standard you like, depending on other software you use. ID3v2.4 has more features than ID3v2.2, but older the software greater the chance it's incompatible with it. Unsynchronisation is a process of encoding mp3 frame header alike patterns inside the tag and thus preventing old, ID3v2 incompatible software from interpreting tag parts as mp3 frames (sound). Although performing unsynchronisation doesn't consume much resources and is a safe reversible process, most modern software (read: probably all software you have ever heard of) deals with ID3v2 tags quite well and doesn't require unsynchronisation.
Remember magnitude of volume/balance adjustment: don't, remember but reset after closing the file, or always remember. If you want volume control to always be reset to zero, choose first option. If you want the value to be saved until opening a new file, choose second option. If you want it to be saved permanently (until you change it again), choose third option.
Remember magnitude of fade in/out: don't, remember but reset after closing the file, or always remember. Like the previous option, only for fade in/out control weakening magnitude. Default value is 30 dB.
Save complete configuration, Load complete configuration, or Reset complete configuration to installation default: options, all of the above and others, including but not limited to windows positions and default folders, may be saved to a file. So you can have two or more different sets of options that you can switch between.

Play menu:
Use play menu or buttons to play either input (means last loaded) file, output (means last saved) file, selection (selected part of the file), or preview (if you've made any changes). Play selection and play preview create a temporary file and then play it. Play commands call external registered player for mp3 file type, just like when you click an mp3 filename in Windows Explorer. Means that if you don't have a player for mp3 files, mp3 Frame Editor will not play them. For newcomers into the world of computers and mp3's, the player most people prefer is Winamp (one of several good reasons for this is ts ability to cope with files with cut frames and missing data, such as those you will use mp3 Frame Editor on). If you encounter problems playing (keep getting error messages you don't understand), you may need to check your "Set Program Access and Defaults" in control panel -> Add/Remove Programs. All »Enable access to this program« checkboxes related to media should be checked (if in doubt, check them all). Running the program as administrator or/and in compatibility mode in newer versions of Windows may help as well.

Info menu:id3v2 and id3v1 tag editor
Use it to read basic program information, and to read local help file, or script language local help file. You can also view frame colors legend image.

Bitrate frame count listbox:
Displays a number of frames of different bitrates in the input or edited file. If you right-click on it, you can switch between input and edited count view.

View tag buttons and remove tags checkboxes:
You can inspect or edit the contents of several types of tags using these buttons. Most commonly used tags are header ID3v2 tag and footer ID3v1 tag, which you can edit using on-program tag editors. Functions of tag editors are pretty much straight-forward, just tab between the controls and enter text data for text fields, or display, save, or load binary fields data. When you're done click the OK button to save changes (or cancel button not to) and return to main editor window. While editing, you can stop a mouse over a textbox or combo to see some extra information in pop-up hint, or right-click a textbox or combo for some extra functions (both only if the respective field exists). Scan button is used to fill artist and title field with parts of the filename to the left and right of the hyphen. If you check album checkbox nearby, scan will also fill album field with the folder name. If split checkbox nearby is checked (available only if album checkbox is checked), then folder name will also be split into artist and album name parts, and artist will be omitted from the album field. Two buttons with a paper icon near the language textboxes, if enabled, let you edit the field as multiline (a new window will appear in which you can type multiple lines). You can set ID3v2 tag parameters such as unsynchronisation or padding (if you are interesting in learning more about these parameters, click nearby "?" buttons for help). If there are erroneous fields, you can prevent mp3 Frame Editor from saving them by checking the "Remove erroneous fields" checkbox. Inspect erroneous fields by clicking a small nearby button. Click big "Remove duplicate fields" button to remove all fields of the same sort except the first encountered. Note that multiple fields of the same sort are allowed, if they have different descriptions descriptions may be viewed by right-clicking the appropriate textbox and choosing content description). However mp3 Frame Editor will not examine the descriptions but simply remove the duplicates. There's a radio button specifying whether you want to view text, mixed and binary fields (not pictures) using a messagebox or external viewer associated with the text file type (something like notepad or wordpad, probably). Pictures are always viewed using system viewer for the picture type. You can change tag version, which may result in losing some fields if you downgrade it. Such fields will be restored if you revert to higher version number. Character set for non-ANSI characters display is an internal feature and isn't necessarily compatible with other programs. Choose appropriate set to enable mp3 Frame Editor to display text in your language. You need to have it installed, of course, have language bar operational, and extend support of advanced text services to all programs checked in control panel -> regional & language options -> languages -> details -> advanced -> compatibility configuration (path may vary depending on Windows version). Finally, you can cancel, save changes, or reload the entire tag (a single field may be reloaded with original content using on-right-click drop-down menu).

frame display area

Position controls (main window):
Mouse: left-click a point on frame display area (black rectangle with frames drawn on it, above the horizontal scrollbar, below the output file info) to position the cursor. Use the scrollbar below for equivalents of left (decrease time coordinate), right (increase time coordinate), page-up and page-down (decrease or increase time coordinate by visible area equivalent). Double-click a frame to display basic information about it (such as bitrate, frequency, etc). There are three ways to make multiple frames selection with your mouse. You can right-click on the spot different than the current cursor spot. You can also hold down the shift key while left-clicking. Alternatively, you can click to position the cursor and then drag (which means press down left mouse button on one spot and release it over another) to select the area between. There are also buttons below that you can use to increase or decrease either cursor position or end of selection position. Small "clear" button has the same effect as "unselect". Small "find" button that isn't visible on the main window image is used to locate (jump to) the cursor or selection when it's off screen (visible area, which displays 84 frames).
Keyboard: you can use the textboxes to enter cursor or selection-end time (in seconds; you may use colon to enter minutes and hours, i.e. 1:30:24.75 meaning 1 hour 30 minutes 24.75 seconds). In order to make a typed value effective, you must press Enter key. Invalid time values will be colored in red while you type them. Use Tab or Ctrl-Tab keys to change active control. You can also use PgUp, PgDn, Ctrl-Home and Ctrl-End keys to change the offset of frame display.

Other notes:
Mp3 Frame Editor may be used to "open mp3 files with" (or edit mp3's with) and drag-and-drop-onto using Windows Explorer (single mp3 file only).
Mp3 Frame Editor is different color schemes user-friendly, and the only part that doesn't change color is the frames display area (predefined colors on black background).
Variable bitrate (VBR) files usually contain some sort of seek header embedded in the first frame. Mp3 Frame Editor replaces this header with its own Xing header (most frequently used type of VBR seek header). Info headers of constant bitrate (CBR) files are discarded. There are no user commands to alter this.
Bug reports and improvement suggestions are welcome.

And now, if you like it, you can either:

 Order mp3 Frame Editor

or, better, you can try the free version (completely functional but expires after 50 "save [as]" button clicks) to see if it suits your needs:

 Download Windows shareware installer (1.8 MB) 
certified virus free

Installation issues:Windows protected your PC
Starting from Windows 8, Microsoft tries to put small vendors out of business by blocking their applications with SmartScreen (unless, of course, they pay for the certificate). If you get this message, you have to click More info and then Run anyway. Even then, the User Account Control window will pop up asking you if you want to allow the application to make changes to your computer. You must answer Yes in order to install the program.
If you have any doubts about the credibility of the publisher, this program has been around since the early 00's, and is listed at a considerable number of shareware listing sites. This can be verified by a Google query.