How to Change Song Information (ID3 Tags) with iTunes

ID3 tags contain all the information about a song

change song information itunes - screenshot

Songs you copied from CDs into iTunes or download from the music site usually come with information such as artist, song, album name, the year the album was released, genre, and more. This embedded information is metadata, which is also called ID3 tags. iTunes uses metadata to categorize music, identify when two songs are on the same album, and sync music to iPhones and iPods.

Songs usually have all the metadata you need, but in some cases, this information may be missing or could be wrong. If this happened after ripping a CD, check out what to do when iTunes doesn't have CD names for your music. In this situation, change the song metadata using iTunes.

Information in this article applies to iTunes 12 and iTunes 11 unless otherwise indicated.

How to Access Song Information (ID3 Tags) in iTunes

The information window for a song in iTunes provides access to edit information about the song. The fields you edit are the ID3 tags.

  1. Open iTunes and select a song or album.

  2. Press Command+I on a Mac or Control+I on a PC to open the information screen for the song and display the song metadata grouped in a series of tabs.

  3. Select each tab and review or change the metadata iTunes stored about the song.

The tabs in the information screen are Details, Artwork, Lyrics, Options, Sorting, and File, which is new in iTunes 12. Each tab contains related information you may want to check out or change.

The Details Tab

Details, called Info in some older versions of iTunes, is the most common place to edit iTunes song information. Go to the Details tab to edit the song name, artist, album, year, genre, star rating, and more. Select the fields with the content you want to add or edit, then type to make changes. Depending on what is in your iTunes library, autocomplete suggestions may appear.

The information screen for a Bob Dylan song

The Artwork Tab

The Artwork tab shows the album art for the song. To add new art, click the Add Artwork button (or Add, depending on the version of iTunes), then select an image file on your hard drive. Alternatively, use the iTunes built-in album art tool to automatically add art to the songs and albums in your library.

Artwork tab in iTune song info screen

The Lyrics Tab

The Lyrics tab lists lyrics for the song when available. Automatically including the lyrics is a feature of the latest versions of iTunes. In older versions, you need to copy and paste lyrics into this field. To override the built-in lyrics, click Custom Lyrics, then add your own.

Lyrics field in iTunes song metadata

The Options Tab

The Options tab controls the volume of the song, automatically applies an equalizer setting, and determines the start and stop time of the song. Click the Skip when shuffling check box to prevent the song from appearing in Up Next or a shuffle playback.

Options Tab in iTunes

The Sorting Tab

The Sorting tab determines how the song, artist, and album show up in your iTunes library when it's sorted. If a song includes a guest star in its Artist ID3 tag, this makes it appear in iTunes as separate from the album it's a part of. For example, a song by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard would show up as a separate artist with a separate album, even though the song is from a Willie Nelson album.

If you add the artist and album name to the Sort Artist and Sort Album fields, the songs in the album show up in the same album view without permanently changing the original ID3 tag.

Sorting tab of metadata in iTunes

The File Tab

The File tab, which is a new addition in iTunes 12, provides information about the song time, file type, bit rate, iCloud or Apple Music status, and more.

New File tab in iTunes

When you're done making edits, click OK at the bottom of the window to save your changes.

If you select an album with multiple songs, use the arrow key at the bottom of the information screen in iTunes 12 to move from one song to the next, either forward or backward, so that you can edit the data for every song.