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Posted 1 Mar 2005


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Read MP3 header information and read/write the ID3v1 tag

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1 Mar 20051 min read
A small solution for reading MPEG audio headers and the ID3v1 tag


There are many other articles at The Code Project describing the audio header and tag information, but none in VB.NET. So it's time to update my very old article (Reading and writing MP3 ID3v1 tags ) with nicer code and extend it to read the MPEG header information.

I don't want to go into detail about the structure of MPEG audio headers, because Konrad Windszus already has a very good article (MPEG Audio Frame Header) about that. If you're interested in the structure of the audio header or the ID3 tag format i recommend to visit the following sites:

Using the code

I wrote two classes to handle the header and tag information, called MP3Info and ID3v1Tag. The following code will show the structure to use the classes:

Dim objMP3Info As New _
With ListView1
    ''' Set the filename property
    objMP3Info.Filename = "c:\test.mp3"

    ''' Add the header information to a listview
    .Add("Filesize").SubItems.Add(objMP3Info.Filesize & " Byte")
    .Add("SamplingRateFrequency").SubItems.Add _
     (objMP3Info.SamplingRateFrequency & " Hz")
    .Add("Padding").SubItems.Add(objMP3Info.Padding & " Bytes")
    .Add("Bitrate").SubItems.Add(objMP3Info.Bitrate & " bps")
    .Add("FrameSize").SubItems.Add(objMP3Info.FrameSize & " Byte")
    .Add("Length").SubItems.Add(objMP3Info.Length & " s (" 
     & Int(objMP3Info.Length / 60) & ":" & _
      objMP3Info.Length Mod 60 & " m)")

    Select Case objMP3Info.MPEGVersion
        Case MP3.MPEGVersionEnum.MPEG1
            .Add("MPEGType").SubItems.Add("MPEG 1")
        Case MP3.MPEGVersionEnum.MPEG2
            .Add("MPEGType").SubItems.Add("MPEG 2")
        Case MP3.MPEGVersionEnum.MPEG25
            .Add("MPEGType").SubItems.Add("MPEG 2.5")
    End Select

    Select Case objMP3Info.Layer
        Case MP3.LayerEnum.LayerI
            .Add("Layer").SubItems.Add("Layer I")
        Case MP3.LayerEnum.LayerII
            .Add("Layer").SubItems.Add("Layer II")
        Case MP3.LayerEnum.LayerIII
            .Add("Layer").SubItems.Add("Layer III")
    End Select

    Select Case objMP3Info.Protection
        Case MP3.ProtectionEnum.None
        Case MP3.ProtectionEnum.CRC
            .Add("Protection").SubItems.Add("By CRC")
    End Select

    Select Case objMP3Info.ChannelMode
        Case MP3.ChannelModeEnum.DualChannel
            .Add("ChannelMode").SubItems.Add("Dual Channel")
        Case MP3.ChannelModeEnum.JointStereo
            .Add("ChannelMode").SubItems.Add("Joint Stereo")
        Case MP3.ChannelModeEnum.SingleChannel
            .Add("ChannelMode").SubItems.Add("Single Channel")
        Case MP3.ChannelModeEnum.Stereo
    End Select

    Select Case objMP3Info.Emphasis
        Case MP3.EmphasisEnum.CCIT
        Case MP3.EmphasisEnum.MS5015
            .Add("Emphasis").SubItems.Add("50/15 ms")
        Case MP3.EmphasisEnum.None
    End Select

    Select Case objMP3Info.Encoding
        Case MP3.EncodingEnum.CBR
        Case MP3.EncodingEnum.VBR
    End Select

    ''' Add the ID3v1 tag information to a listview
    If (objMP3Info.ID3v1Tag.TagAvailable) Then
        .Add("ID3 Title").SubItems.Add _
    End If

    ''' Update the tag
    objMP3Info.ID3v1Tag.Title = "Another title"

End With

Please have a look at the sample and the class code to see all the features.

Points of Interest

Unlike other articles, this class will handle CBR and VBR encoded files, so the playtime is calculated correctly.

The class is well-commented with XML comments made by AxTools CodeSmart 2005 and NDoc . I included the generated HTML help file in the download.

I'm working on reading and writing the much more complex ID3v2.x tags at the moment (80% done, just compressed frames are a little bit tricky). If you are interested in this, i will update this article in the future.


27.02.2004 Release of version 1


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Thommy Mewes
Software Developer (Senior) CIBER AG
Germany Germany
Feel free to contact me via Email or MSN Messenger (

Comments and Discussions

QuestionAlbum art Pin
Raghubir_Sarkar16-Oct-12 1:02
MemberRaghubir_Sarkar16-Oct-12 1:02 
GeneralCRC Protection? Pin
Member 357297015-May-11 15:19
MemberMember 357297015-May-11 15:19 
GeneralIDv2 Pin
Sousuke_31-Aug-10 11:35
MemberSousuke_31-Aug-10 11:35 
QuestionWie kann ich Änderungen speichern? MP3 Pin
michaelroswitha13-Jan-10 9:25
Membermichaelroswitha13-Jan-10 9:25 
QuestionHow to read the actual genre string when it is "other" Pin
a1penguin18-Jun-09 18:05
Membera1penguin18-Jun-09 18:05 
GeneralVBR File Pin
nitesh gaba19-Mar-09 22:30
Membernitesh gaba19-Mar-09 22:30 
QuestionWhat i write to the tag doesn't show up when viewing the property details in the file system. Pin
MattRoy1018-Mar-09 15:11
MemberMattRoy1018-Mar-09 15:11 
AnswerRe: What i write to the tag doesn't show up when viewing the property details in the file system. Pin
mazin221-Dec-10 14:11
Membermazin221-Dec-10 14:11 
Generalhip hop songs and dance Pin
Jigga Hov12-Dec-08 6:58
MemberJigga Hov12-Dec-08 6:58 
GeneralGNU OpenSource Tag Library for .NET Pin
someonestupid196910-Dec-08 5:55
Membersomeonestupid196910-Dec-08 5:55 
GeneralSet mp3-Tag with objMP3Info Pin
squirrel9128-Jul-07 0:45
Membersquirrel9128-Jul-07 0:45 
QuestionIs it? Pin
Rola /anglian/12-Jun-07 1:03
MemberRola /anglian/12-Jun-07 1:03 
GeneralRemote MP3 Pin
ohadioe230-Apr-07 6:33
Memberohadioe230-Apr-07 6:33 
GeneralOverFlow searching Genres Pin
ricsamma15-Nov-06 18:25
Memberricsamma15-Nov-06 18:25 
AnswerRe: OverFlow searching Genres Pin
Thommy Mewes15-Nov-06 21:39
MemberThommy Mewes15-Nov-06 21:39 
GeneralAdding Info to a listbox Pin
John Dovey7-Sep-06 3:36
MemberJohn Dovey7-Sep-06 3:36 
QuestionHow to use this dll in Exel Macro? Pin
strangerland26-May-06 19:16
Memberstrangerland26-May-06 19:16 
AnswerRe: How to use this dll in Exel Macro? [modified] Pin
bill-tor4-Jan-07 18:50
Memberbill-tor4-Jan-07 18:50 
GeneralBitrate problem Pin
Alberto Venditti15-Feb-06 10:12
MemberAlberto Venditti15-Feb-06 10:12 
GeneralRe: Bitrate problem Pin
Andy Lang15-Jul-07 16:17
MemberAndy Lang15-Jul-07 16:17 
GeneralRe: Bitrate problem Pin
LegoMindstorms5-Apr-08 11:44
MemberLegoMindstorms5-Apr-08 11:44 
GeneralRe: Bitrate problem Pin
vardos10-Sep-11 0:51
Membervardos10-Sep-11 0:51 
QuestionUpdate Missing Pin
Iftikhar Ali17-Jan-06 0:54
MemberIftikhar Ali17-Jan-06 0:54 
AnswerRe: Update Missing Pin
Thommy Mewes17-Jan-06 9:44
MemberThommy Mewes17-Jan-06 9:44 
GeneralRe: Update Missing Pin
Iftikhar Ali17-Jan-06 21:33
MemberIftikhar Ali17-Jan-06 21:33 

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