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No doubt it's possible to corrupt an MP3 file if an MP3 tag editor is somehow buggy. That's why I tend to take the time to listen to MP3s after I rip a CD and then tag the files (or take an existing MP3 and just re-tag it...I'm paranoid in that way).
But what about files that have simply been left sitting on disk for months or even years?
I have MP3s that seem to have developed audible clicks and ticks and simply garbled sound without me having changed them in any way, shape or form (as far as I can tell). If an MP3 player offers to "automatically update tags with information downloaded from the internet", I disable that.
I realize bit rot is a thing, but if I'm otherwise not noticing any sort of data corruption with any other type of file...why would this only happen with MP3 files? Digital files are just that, 0s and 1s, and I see no reason for them to change on their own over time (that should simply not ever happen)...yet I'm hearing evidence some of my MP3s are not what they used to be...
v1 Tags are appended to the end of the file, while v2 tags are prepended, if I remember properly. There is no reason for a tagging software to modify anything inside the audio stream.
I digitalized all my cd's to mp3 years ago, and I still listen to them, having transfered them numerous times between my computers/phones/NAS; I never noticed any degradation of the audio signal.
Did you test offending files on several equipments, to be sure the file is the culprit?
"Five fruits and vegetables a day? What a joke!
Personally, after the third watermelon, I'm full."
As others have said, I would suspect the player not the files. The only 'scratches' I hear from my library are those tracks that were ripped from CDs.
BTW, long ago I started a personal project to catalog my music library by using the ID3 tags. I found out quick that they are totally unreliable and have major shortcomings that made them unsuitable for that purpose. (truncated names either at 30 or 60 chars depending on version)
I find it doubtful it's the player, as I've tried WMP, VLC (my player of choice) and foobar2000.
Also--and more importantly--every once in a while I come across one of those files, then look it up in my most recent backup set. If I'm lucky, I didn't yet overwrite the "good" backup of the MP3 with the version on my NAS (now with the audible clicks). And if I do a file compare, the files are different. I think that, by itself, rules out any sort of playback mechanism subtleties between different players.
I've come across .TS files before, and I believe they tend to originate from Tivo and live stream type of boxes that receive streaming data you're not "supposed" to get to. And it's hardly compressed (to the point of being total overkill - as in, gigabytes for just a few minutes worth of video).
My first encounter with .TS was with an early version of a Chinese Digital Video Recorder.
They tried to sell it as "able to deliver H264 streams", but the streams were not in standard H264 format at all, instead it produced .TS
They cleaned up their act btw (but you never know what tricks they are up to next of course)