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cross-platform, Python 2.x/3.x audio metadata ("tagging") library based on TagLib

Project description


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pytaglib is a Python audio tagging library. It is cross-platform, works with all Python versions, and is very simple to use yet fully featured:

pytaglib is a very thin wrapper (≈150 lines of code) around the fast and rock-solid TagLib C++ library.


See the Changelog.

Get it

In most cases, you should install pytaglib with pip:

    pip install pytaglib

See installation notes below for requirements and manual compilation.


>>> import taglib
>>> song = taglib.File("/path/to/my/file.mp3")
>>> song.tags
{'ARTIST': ['piman', 'jzig'], 'ALBUM': ['Quod Libet Test Data'], 'TITLE': ['Silence'], 'GENRE': ['Silence'], 'TRACKNUMBER': ['02/10'], 'DATE': ['2004']}

>>> song.length
>>> song.tags["ALBUM"] = ["White Album"] # always use lists, even for single values
>>> del song.tags["DATE"]
>>> song.tags["GENRE"] = ["Vocal", "Classical"]
>>> song.tags["PERFORMER:HARPSICHORD"] = ["Ton Koopman"] 

For detailed API documentation, use the docstrings of the taglib.File class or view the source code directly.

Note: pytaglib uses unicode strings (type str in Python 3 and unicode in Python 2) for both tag names and values. The library converts byte-strings to unicode strings on assignment, but it is recommended to provide unicode strings only to avoid encoding problems.


This package also installs the pyprinttags script. It takes one or more files as command-line parameters and will display all known metadata of that files on the terminal. If unsupported tags (a.k.a. non-textual information) are found, they can optionally be removed from the file.

Installation Notes

  • Ensure that pip is installed and points to the correct Python version
    • on Windows, be sure to check install pip in the Python installer
    • on Debian/Ubuntu/Mint, install python3-pip (and/or python-pip)
    • you might need to type, e.g., pip-3 to install pytaglib for Python 3 if your system's default is Python 2.7.
  • For Windows users, there are some precompiled binary packages (wheels). See the PyPI page for a list of supported Python versions.
  • If no binary packages exists, you need to have both Python and taglib installed with development headers (packages python3-dev (or python-dev) and libtag1-dev for debian / ubuntu and derivates, python-devel and taglib-devel for fedora and friends, brew install taglib on OS X).

Linux: Distribution-Specific Packages

  • Debian- and Ubuntu-based linux flavors have binary packages for the Python 3 version, called python3-taglib. Unfortunatelly, they are heavily outdated, so you should instally the recent version via pip whenever possible.
  • For Arch users, there is a package in the user repository (AUR).

Manual Compilation: General

You can download or checkout the sources and compile manually:

    python build
    python test  # optional, run unit tests
    sudo python install

Note: The taglib Python extension is built from taglib.cpp which in turn is auto-generated by Cython from taglib.pyx. To regenerate the taglib.cpp after making changes to taglib.pyx, set the environment variable PYTAGLIB_CYTHONIZE to 1 before calling or pip.

Manual Compilation: Windows

The following procedure was tested for Python 3.5 and Python 3.6 on Windows 10. Other platforms might require different steps; see e.g. this page.

  1. Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. In the installation process, be sure to enable C/C++ support. Alternatively, install Visual Studio 2017, but install the "v140" C++ toolset and use the "Visual Studio 2015" version of the developer command prompt below.
  2. Download and build taglib:
    1. Download the current taglib release and extract it somewhere on your computer.
    2. Start the VS2015 x64 Native Tools Command Prompt. On Windows 8/10, it might not appear in your start menu, but you can find it here: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Visual Studio 2015\Visual Studio Tools\Windows Desktop Command Prompts
    3. Navigate to the extracted taglib folder and type: cmake -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64" -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=".\taglib-install" to generate the Visual Studio project files.
    4. Type msbuild INSTALL.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release which will "install" taglib into the taglib-install subdirectory.
  3. Still in the VS2015 command prompt, navigate to the pytaglib directory.
  4. Tell pytaglib where to find taglib: set TAGLIB_HOME=C:\Path\To\taglib-install
  5. Build pytaglib: python build and install: python install


For bug reports or feature requests, please use the issue tracker on GitHub. For anything else, contact me by email.

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