How can I change artist of multiple selected mp3 files in finder?

Like in windows we can select multiple mp3 files and can change the artist of all selected file in properties.


7 Answers 7


I am 99% sure that Finder cannot change tags. Check here for free ID3 editors.

  • 1
    This is correct (I'll vouch for the last 1% chance) - the mp3 file format embeds the artist information and although finder uses quicklook to show you that information - it's as unwilling to edit inside an mp3 as it is to edit inside an excel spreadsheet. You'll need a tool that can read/write those files and luckily for you there are thousands.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 15:23

For those seeking a free terminal-based solution

  • Per the rest of the answerers in here, Finder (as of El Capitan) does not do this.
  • I arrived at id3v2 referenced in a Linux forum.


Via HomeBrew - Update HomeBrew and install commands

brew update && brew install id3v2

Example Usage

Change Artist to Prince

id3v2 -a "Prince" 01\ Wow.mp3

Change Title to Wow

id3v2 -t "Wow" 01\ Wow.mp3

iTunes can do this for you easily. You cannot do it in the Finder, so do it in iTunes instead. You do not need any third-party program. This method works for iTunes on Macintosh as well as iTunes on Windows.

1) Select multiple files

enter image description here

2) Right-click or control-click and select "Get Info"

enter image description here

3) Read the dialog box and click "Yes". enter image description here

4) In this dialog, any change you make will impact all the multiple files you selected. Click OK when you are done. enter image description here

  • 1
    Very nice explaination but I wanted to do it through Finder. Thank you. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 16:26
  • The definitive answer, then, is: No. The Apple Macintosh Finder does not provide any means to edit ID3 tags. Therefore, you need to find another way to do this.
    – user9290
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 19:01
  • My point, cloudlight, is that the Apple Mac OS X Finder does not provide exactly the same features as the Explorer in Windows Vista. For some things on the Mac, you need other apps or utilities. There are also some things that are built-in to the Mac that cannot be done by Microsoft Windows by itself as well.
    – user9290
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 19:37
  • The big question is do changes to tags made in itunes actually change the tags in the files themselves, or only in itunes internal database? personally, i find itunes to be incredibly unitative and painful to use, but if it works, it has one function at least. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 21:23

Finder doesn't have the smarts to change this - but finder does have a services menu that will allow you to craft a custom automator service that would help automate the process.

You can pop up a dialog to get the artist name, store it, import the songs to iTunes and set the Artist (and/or many of the other tags)

This is a nice way to learn automator if you care, but Finder won't be doing the writing of the mp3 tags. iTunes will launch and do the writing once finder hands off the file(s) and the variable name storing the artist string to iTunes.

enter image description here

  • Your script uses an import in iTunes step. Won't this give rise to any unwanted side-effects if e.g. iTunes is set to auto manage the library? Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 8:07
  • Yes indeed - this implies the songs get imported and you will have to manage / delete these songs. That is a big down side of using the tools provided and a nice benefit of the tools intended to just edit the tags in place.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 10, 2011 at 15:49
  • You say this Automator workflow uses iTunes is used to change the value of the MP3's ID3 tags. Maybe it would be better to combine your workflow idea with the ID3 tag editors suggested in the accepted answer. That way, the workflow could open the editor app (or maybe not open it fully, if it can run in the background), let it make the changes, and then it exits. It wouldn't need to start up the whole iTunes app or import the tracks into the library. The workflow could also use a shell-based ID3 tag editor, too. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 14:37

A very easy way is using VLC Media Player.

Right click into select the song and click at Window -> Media Information. Shortcut +I.

enter image description here

enter image description here

It saves to the file automatically.

  • 1
    Don't work for me. No such options on right click =\ Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 14:20
  • 2
    Now you have to go to Window > Media information...
    – Suragch
    Commented Dec 31, 2020 at 2:59
  • Command + I works for me Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 1:42

In iTunes you can change a field (artist, album, ...) of multiple mp3 files at once.

If you don't want to use iTunes (what's the alternative on OSX?), I'll think you'll have to use a special editor (like ID3 editor) to do so.


As Wheat said it before, it's not possible to do it directly in the Finder.
The closer (UX wise) you can get is doing it via a Finder plugin such as MP3-Info freeware (see screencast).

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