I need a Linux bash program that will enable me to type a command that will edit the tags of a .flac file. I've learned so far how to use id3v2 and eyeD3 but I've found them to not be fully compatible with .flac files.

Explanation: I use Rhythmbox to play my music and if I view a tagged .flac file with the command id3v2 -l myfile.flac, it returns me that the file is not tagged at all but in the Rhythmbox music player I do see tags.

Edit: I also could have used a specific music database which can tell me what is the composer of the songs. If I had find a suitable database I would have used the software called "picard" in which you can edit the URL of the database you would like to use.
Therefore, If someone here knows an online free database which holds a composer tag for the songs it could be even more helpful.

  • and by the way: it would help if you let us know with which program (better the exact command) the file was tagged! Oct 2, 2015 at 9:27
  • I used the rhythmbox GUI to edit the tags for these .flac files and I've checked the version's issue and that's not the solution. I typed: id3v2 -C mysong.flac and after that the same command with -l instead and still the output was: No ID3 tag Oct 2, 2015 at 9:50
  • id3v2 is specifically for mp3 files - FLAC tags are conceptually similar but stored differently technically.
    – Jonas
    Mar 4, 2022 at 12:58
  • It is unclear what you mean by MusicBrainz not being a suitable database - MusicBrainz is an online database and is free to use - do you perhaps have special requirements that does not fit the licensing offered by MusicBrainz?
    – Jonas
    Mar 4, 2022 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


FLAC files, although they can in principle contain ID3 tags, officially employ Vorbis comments of Flac Tags. See the official FLAC website for the reference.

The metaflac utility should be able to read/modify/write the FLAC file metadata, along with any other tool that can edit vorbis comments (such as the reference tool vorbiscomment which is part of vorbis-tools).


I would strongly recommend a tool that can takes the open data from Musicbrainz into account.

Best MusicBrainz client is Picard but that's a GUI application, where you seek something for the command-line.

If you sometimes want to skip the GUI, then maybe Operon (part of music player Quod Libet, and in Debian and derived distributions part of package exfalso) might be suitable for you.

If you want to locally rip and auto-tag full albums, then I recommend whipper. Other similar but more sloppy tools are abcde and ripit.

For only tagging, but still oriented towards full albume, there is Flactag.

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