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What tag versions does the Mazda infotainment software read? What tag versions will it not read? And, if multiple versions, what is the order of precedence?

The issue I have is the question mark character '?' appearing at the end of my genres, albums, songs, and artists, such that I'll have duplicates: ex. Rock and Rock? or Bob Marley and Bob Marley?
.... this is really bad. I want to select Rock, and see ALL of my rock mp3s, but now I select Rock and I get some of my mp3s, and I have to change over to Rock? to get my other mp3s.


I have a 2017 Mazda3. I cannot remember the firmware version at the moment, I just remember applying the latest update in early 2017, and not updating to the next revision where they made it much more difficult to add tweaks, at the time.

I worked very hard over the years to maintain my file naming and tagging schema, so that I can queue any list by genre, artist, album, song, etc. I did have everything displaying in the Mazda just right a couple of years ago, but I have added a few more songs and albums since then, and I have used newer softwares to write mp3 tags to my newly added groups of mp3 files. That there are MANY versions of mp3 tags does NOT help the problem, not to mention probably softwares that don't do a great job of managing all the different tagging metadata in files. In trying to load my entire collection into various Linux (I do NOT do Windows, no thank you) mp3 tagging softwares, such as PuddleTag, EasyTag, mid3v2, MusicBrains Picard, etc. to homogenize my collection's tagging, things have actually gotten worse, possibly due to one or many of the functions these softwares do: writing version 2.3 or 2.4, erasing 2.1 or not, writing 2.1 if it exists, not actually re-writing the tag if I didn't change something in its data, etc., etc. MP3 tagging is a hot mess!
Oh, I should also note, that one of the first tweaks or settings I made was to turn OFF that damned third-party function that attempts to determine all my songs using some crappy database (forgot what that was called too). It's terrible! My Mazda ONLY displays my collection by mp3 tag, and that's the most accurate way to do it.
 

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What tag versions does the Mazda infotainment software read? What tag versions will it not read? And, if multiple versions, what is the order of precedence?

The issue I have is the question mark character '?' appearing at the end of my genres, albums, songs, and artists, such that I'll have duplicates: ex. Rock and Rock? or Bob Marley and Bob Marley?
.... this is really bad. I want to select Rock, and see ALL of my rock mp3s, but now I select Rock and I get some of my mp3s, and I have to change over to Rock? to get my other mp3s.


I have a 2017 Mazda3. I cannot remember the firmware version at the moment, I just remember applying the latest update in early 2017, and not updating to the next revision where they made it much more difficult to add tweaks, at the time.

I worked very hard over the years to maintain my file naming and tagging schema, so that I can queue any list by genre, artist, album, song, etc. I did have everything displaying in the Mazda just right a couple of years ago, but I have added a few more songs and albums since then, and I have used newer softwares to write mp3 tags to my newly added groups of mp3 files. That there are MANY versions of mp3 tags does NOT help the problem, not to mention probably softwares that don't do a great job of managing all the different tagging metadata in files. In trying to load my entire collection into various Linux (I do NOT do Windows, no thank you) mp3 tagging softwares, such as PuddleTag, EasyTag, mid3v2, MusicBrains Picard, etc. to homogenize my collection's tagging, things have actually gotten worse, possibly due to one or many of the functions these softwares do: writing version 2.3 or 2.4, erasing 2.1 or not, writing 2.1 if it exists, not actually re-writing the tag if I didn't change something in its data, etc., etc. MP3 tagging is a hot mess!
Oh, I should also note, that one of the first tweaks or settings I made was to turn OFF that damned third-party function that attempts to determine all my songs using some crappy database (forgot what that was called too). It's terrible! My Mazda ONLY displays my collection by mp3 tag, and that's the most accurate way to do it.
See my guide here for tips which may help.

View attachment USB Music Playback.pdf
 

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My setup before finally fixing the issue was ALL ID3v2.4 tags only (other formats stripped out), and that gave me the worst problems: where genres and artists were duplicated in the database.

I ended up forcing my software to NOT write ID3v2.4 but to write ID3v2.3 tags instead, while also stripping all other tags. That finally fixed the problem.

It seems that Microsoft never properly implemented ID3v2.4 (it was published in year 2000), and so for that reason the developers of the Mazda Infotainment software probably decided to make ID3v2.3 tags work correctly and not properly support ID3v2.4. I deduced this from the fact that reverting all my tags from 2.4 to 2.3 did the trick and from what I've read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3#ID3v2

"No version of Windows Explorer or Windows Media Player—up to and including Windows 10 (initial release) and WMP 12, respectively—interprets ID3v2.4 tags correctly. These programs can interpret ID3v2.3 and earlier, however.[19][20] Windows Explorer finally supports reading ID3v2.4 tags with the Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703), but the new Windows 10 version still cannot interpret the ID3v2.4 tag correctly with some of non-English and Asian characters."

Microsoft is just getting worse and worse. I stopped using Microsoft completely in 2011 (use Ubuntu 18, and it's awesome), but I've recently come back to it by necessity with the company I work for (I dual boot so I can use Lynk/Skype). The state of Windows 7 today is horrendous with all of its patches and updates! Microsoft has no idea how to maintain an OS over time. Windows 10 is glorified spyware and will be just as bloated and slow in a few years.

sc489, thanks for that guide! It totally confirmed the ID3v2.3 tag fix!
 

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The issue I have is the question mark character '?' appearing at the end of my genres, albums, songs, and artists, such that I'll have duplicates: ex. Rock and Rock? or Bob Marley and Bob Marley?
.... this is really bad. I want to select Rock, and see ALL of my rock mp3s, but now I select Rock and I get some of my mp3s, and I have to change over to Rock? to get my other mp3s.
I solved it by rewriting all my MP3's with Mp3tag after setting Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg/Write/ID3v2 to ID3v2.3 UTF-16. I have a 2016 Mazda6.
Mp3tag writes text metadata with a end-of-string NUL character (which is IMHO useless since the text length is also stored). For some reason, Mazda MP3 player shows this NUL as the question mark character '?' for ID3v2.4 UTF-8 but does not show it for ID3v2.3 UTF-16. IDK if the key is the ID3v2 subversion or the UTF encoding.

Winamp writes metadata (press alt-3 to edit) without NUL but I found no bulk update option so that's feasible only for a few files, one by one.

If you open the MP3 file with a hex viewer, it starts with "ID3",
  • in ID3v2.4 UTF-8 followed by a 04 byte, and the text with ASCII chars is readable without gaps,
  • in ID3v2.3 UTF-16 followed by a 03 byte, and even ASCII chars are all followed by a 00 byte.
 

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See my post above.I used iTunes to view the tracks in Library / Songs view then selected File / Convert / Convert ID3 Tags, then selected v2.3. I then consolidated the music library in iTunes by selecting File / Library / Consolidate Files. This generates the folder structure Artist / Album / Tracks. Check the tags for each music file are correctly set to v2.3 in Tagscanner. Cut the tag then paste it back in the same place to set v2.3 if the incorrect version is set.
 
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