Mutagen Tutorial

There are two different ways to load files in Mutagen, but both provide similar interfaces. The first is the Metadata API, which deals only in metadata tags. The second is the FileType API, which is a superset of the mutagen API, and contains information about the audio data itself.

Both Metadata and FileType objects present a dict-like interface to edit tags. FileType objects also have an ‘info’ attribute that gives information about the song length, as well as per-format information. In addition, both support the load(filename), save(filename), and delete(filename) instance methods; if no filename is given to save or delete, the last loaded filename is used.

This tutorial is only an outline of Mutagen’s API. For the full details, you should read the docstrings (pydoc mutagen) or source code.

Easy Examples

The following code loads a file, sets its title, prints all tag data, then saves the file, first on a FLAC file, then on a Musepack file. The code is almost identical.

from mutagen.flac import FLAC
audio = FLAC("example.flac")
audio["title"] = "An example"
from mutagen.apev2 import APEv2
audio = APEv2("example.mpc")
audio["title"] = "An example"

The following example gets the length and bitrate of an MP3 file:

from mutagen.mp3 import MP3
audio = MP3("example.mp3")

The following deletes an ID3 tag from an MP3 file:

from mutagen.id3 import ID3
audio = ID3("example.mp3")

Hard Examples: ID3

Unlike Vorbis, FLAC, and APEv2 comments, ID3 data is highly structured. Because of this, the interface for ID3 tags is very different from the APEv2 or Vorbis/FLAC interface. For example, to set the title of an ID3 tag, you need to do the following:

from mutagen.id3 import ID3, TIT2
audio = ID3("example.mp3")
audio.add(TIT2(encoding=3, text=u"An example"))

If you use the ID3 module, you should familiarize yourself with how ID3v2 tags are stored, by reading the the details of the ID3v2 standard at

Easy ID3

Since reading standards is hard, Mutagen also provides a simpler ID3 interface.

from mutagen.easyid3 import EasyID3
audio = EasyID3("example.mp3")
audio["title"] = u"An example"

Because of the simpler interface, only a few keys can be edited by EasyID3; to see them, use:

from mutagen.easyid3 import EasyID3
print EasyID3.valid_keys.keys()

By default, mutagen.mp3.MP3 uses the real ID3 class. You can make it use EasyID3 as follows:

from mutagen.easyid3 import EasyID3
from mutagen.mp3 import MP3
audio = MP3("example.mp3", ID3=EasyID3)


Mutagen has full Unicode support for all formats. When you assign text strings, we strongly recommend using Python unicode objects rather than str objects. If you use str objects, Mutagen will assume they are in UTF-8.

(This does not apply to strings that must be interpreted as bytes, for example filenames. Those should be passed as str objectss, and will remain str objects within Mutagen.)

Multiple Values

Most tag formats support multiple values for each key, so when you access then (e.g. audio["title"]) you will get a list of strings rather than a single one ([u"An example"] rather than u"An example"). Similarly, you can assign a list of strings rather than a single one.