I have some MP3s on my Mac. I want to import them into my iPhone. The problem is that, using iTunes, the iPhone automatically create several folders or albums, depending on the artist, the album, the genre (and so on) of one particular MP3 file.

Using Windows it's easy to prevent this, since I can delete manually all of these tags and file information, but using the Mac I seem to not be able to do this. Is there any way to delete this information?

  • You don't have to copy the files into the Library and so it creates no new folders - is this what you want?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 12:04
  • It will only create artist / album folders, and maybe a compilation folder. I haven't seen genre folders "and so on"... Commented Oct 18, 2016 at 22:17

3 Answers 3


I'm answering this because it's the first result in Google and this is a more complete answer to the question title than exists in other Q&As I see.

To reliably remove "Comment" data, macOS file metadata "Where from" URLs, and all regular audio metadata for an audio file like mp3/m4a/m4b including embedded artwork:

First check existing metadata:

  • In macOS Finder you may see artwork in the thumbnail of the file, or via Cmd-I (File > Get Info).

  • To potentially see more complete data that the GUI doesn't show:

    • First install homebrew then do brew install exiftool
    • Now in Terminal do both mdls file.mp3 and exiftool file.mp3

Remove everything:

Here is a Terminal method.

For all file types:

  • To remove macOS "Where from" metadata, do xattr -d com.apple.metadata:kMDItemWhereFroms file.ogg

MP3 files:

  • First install homebrew then do brew install id3lib.

  • To obliterate all mp3 tags and embedded artwork, do id3convert -s file.mp3

M4A / M4B files:

  • First install homebrew then do brew install exiftool
  • Do exiftool -all:all= file.m4b

Check metadata again to make sure you have a clean file!


Within iTunes, you can select the file and press command-I to get the file information. You can then delete all the meta-data associated with the mp3.

  • It doesn't work on the Music.app on Catalina. Apparently the app does not save the changes made to the metadata.
    – rraallvv
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 3:59

I simply put the mp3 file in GarageBand and export it as a new mp3 file. Done!

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