How To Edit Music Tags With Kid3 in Linux

Managing a messy music library can be a serious pain. Even if you ripped all of your music yourself, there’s still a pretty good chance that your ripping application got at least a few things wrong.

Kid3 is a simple graphical meta tag editor for music files that can help you get everything straightened out.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to Install Kid3
  • How to Edit a Song’s Tags
  • How to Change Multiple Files at Once
  • How to Get Album Art

Edit Music Tags With Kid3

Edit Music Tags With Kid3.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Arch
Software Kid3
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install Kid3

Kid3 is an open source application tied to KDE. Since this is the case, you won’t have any trouble installing it on just about any Linux distribution .


$ sudo apt install kid3


$ sudo dnf install kid3


$ sudo zypper install kid3

Arch Linux/Manjaro

$ sudo pacman -S kid3

Edit a Song’s Tags

Once you have Kid3 installed on your system, go ahead and launch it. You’ll find it with your other multimedia applicatons on most desktop environments.

Kid3 Running on Linux

Kid3 Running on Linux.

When you first launch Kid3, it should display a list of folders in your Music directory. If not, press Open, and navigate to the location of your music.

With your music open in Kid3, use the file browser to the left of your screen to open the folder you want to work with, and select a song to edit.

Edit a Song in Kid3

Edit a Song in Kid3.

The table to the right of the window will populate with information about the song. If you want to try importing the song information, press File in the upper left of the window, and choose one of the import sources to try. At this point, though, you’re probably better editing the song manually. To do that, click in the fields that you want to edit to activate them, and type in the correct information. When you’re done, press Save in the top menu.

Change Multiple Files at Once

There’s a fairly good chance that you want to edit multiple songs at once, especially if it’s something like an artist name or album title that’s wrong.

Editing multiple songs at once is simple with Kid3. On the left side of the screen, in the file browser, select the first file that you want to edit. Then, hold Shift on your keyboard, and select the last file. If you’d prefer to pick and choose, hold Ctrl instead, and select each file.

Edit Multiple Songs in Kid3

Edit Multiple Songs in Kid3.

Now, take a look at the table. The fields that are the same across all your selected files will stay the same. The fields that differ will display a not-equal simple, indicating that the fields weren’t the same and can’t be edited together. Like before, select the field that you want to modify, and make your changes. Then, press Save at the top of the window.

Get Album Art

Kid3 can also retrieve album art for your music. Press File in the upper left corner of the window. Then, select Browse Cover Art… from the menu.

A new window will open up. Don’t worry too much about the window iteself.. Instead, press Browse at the bottom.

Add Cover Art in Kid3

Add Cover Art in Kid3.

Kid3 will send a search for your album’s artwork to your web browser. Find the correct image, and drag it to the left of your Kid3 window where it says “Drag album artwork here.” Kid3 will apply the artwork to your file(s). Press Save to make it permanent.


There is certainly more that you can do with Kid3, but you’re ready to start fixing your music library’s tags. Some music players are going to be slow to accept the changes. Clementine, for example, seems not to pick up on the altered tags until you try to alter them to match in Clementine itself.

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