Can Engine DJ / OS read the ID3v2 Tag Rating

I noticed that the Engine DJ at least has a rating column and it can indeed be set. What I am wondering, is if upon adding songs into the collection, if the songs already have the standard ID3v2 Tag POPM used for rating set, would the Engine DJ actually read it?

For the moment my experience has been it does not. In which case, I wonder, if someone knows the actual ID3v2 tag that Engine DJ uses to store rating (because I could have my other song editing software I use (Musicbrainz Picard) write out the rating into a different tag)? Or, is the rating not stored within the file at all but instead in the Engine DJ Database?

Don’t you wish these things were standardized across the board? This has always been a pain. Personally I think Engine DJ (making assumptions here) should do what picture cataloguing software do, which face the same issue: write the rating into the file itself, since the file should be portable on its own. Then also write it into the DB for speed improvements.



Because they aren’t standard and each software can use their own rules to store and display them, maybe POPM would be the best way but I guess we’d also need to see what Serato DJ, Rekordbox DJ, Traktor are using too to keep it interoperable between DJ softwares. I think supporting their methods would be more beneficial.

iTunes/Apple Music is stored in the database. Many DJs use iTunes/Music when DJing so maybe a database to POPM conversion would work? This is something I’ve wanted to know for a long time and I’m also curious as to how we could keep the POPM format and use some iTunes to POPM conversion when importing.

For anyone wanting to know how messy the standard on star ratings are, here is a little excerpt from Wikipedia: ID3 - Wikipedia

  • There is a loose de facto standard for implementation of song ratings. Most apps will display 0 to 5 stars for any given song, and how the stars are expressed can vary. For instance, when rating a song in [iTunes], the rating is not embedded in the tag in the music file, but is instead stored in a separate database that contains all of the iTunes metadata. Other [media players] can embed rating tags in music files, but not necessarily the same way, so as a result a song which is rated on one media player sometimes won’t display the rating the same way, or at all, when played on other software or mobile device.*

Thanks for your feedback.

I know the rating and even a lot of other tags in ID3 is messy. We really ought to have switched to the license free ogg vorbis eons ago. They have much better tags too. I mean WTH is POPM? Why not just, you know, RATING?

As for the rating…we’re in an age of algorithms. Would not be too hard to scan the fields and identify potential fields, present it to the user and even infer the scale it uses. It really can be deduced. The one hard limit per source would likely have to be that all the songs from that source would need to be uniform in how they use the rating and what field they store it in.

I am a big proponent of metadata living with the object they describe. Why? Portability. Pictures, songs are prime candidates. They may be played or viewed in a software, but you should be able to take the file and send it to a different application, OS, device, friend…and they should be able to reconstruct all the metadata.

I do agree with each software ‘caching’ the relevant data in their DB for speed. That makes total sense. But I hate it when said software puts exclusively some metadata into the DB and not also into the file. Writing the info into the file as well as the DB is not such a burden. It’s the lookup that needs to be fast.

And besides. If your DB were to crash and burn…if your files all have the metadata…you can rebuild it again. I know here some may say ‘well just backup the DB’. And that is a valid point. But given the portability I spoke of and also just plain more robustness if the metadata is also in the file - it just makes more sense to me.

Still would like Denon to confirm where they store the rating. This is a PRIME (yes, pun intended) example of interoperability. I may already have a collection of songs with a lot of them rated. Why on Earth should I have to start over just because oh la la, now I am using Denon hardware and so let’s start from scratch? Makes precisely ZERO sense.



You’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head and perfectly explained why we need it. It’s a mess with a lot of the non-standard tags and they way some softwares read or write to these kinda things.

I hope things move in a more standard way in the future but it’s still a long way off getting people to change what they’ve already done.

I wonder if there’s some software that can convert? Rekordcloud/Lexicon’s developer (Christiaan?) adds features quickly and if there was a conversion module written for it that could take all star ratings from databases or other ID3 fields and write then to the tag, it would be a feature to help convert our library to a more standard way of thinking.

He added a feature that I suggested in literally a day as typing in your own custom keys is now possible after I made a suggestion.

Maybe a little conversion tool that writes database files to ID3 tags could be added?

Hit him up here: Lexicon - Advanced multi DJ app library manager with full Engine DJ support! Testers needed for open beta!

It’s a ‘paid for’ product but it’s something you can use to turn on and off the sun as and when you want to add batches of music. The beta is currently in open beta too so grab it!


I think what you’re looking for in Lexicon is the tag writer. Lexicon reads star ratings from any DJ app that supports it (or from ID3 tags) and if you want to write them back to the file you can do that too.

And I would love to see standardized DJ ID3 tags but that would take huge effort for quite a few big companies. But like you said, the main reason we save everything in a central database is for speed. Random file access is so very slow and fragile so you’ll always need some kind of database.

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Will have a look. I run on linux, so not a big fan at all of applications that only run on windows/mac. Would have to see if I can make it run using wine. I actually made Denon’s DJ Desktop app run on linux using wine, so there’s that. And the absolute only reason I even run Denon’s Desktop DJ app is so I can import my music into the ‘collection’ - really the db - and then use it on my Prime Go. Because despite all the hype how Prime Go is independent, I realized on 1st day it cannot build up the DB from your inserted usb/SD card, which was a HUGE disappointment. I mean huge. Because now I had to spend time figuring out how to run the desktop app under linux. Precisely the issue I was hoping to avoid when I bought the Prime Go, which was being sold as one not needing to be tethered to a laptop.

And again, I do not think I am being understood when it comes to where to store tags. I fully understand for searching that the tags be in a DB. Can’t match that speed vs file access. But I believe applications like Engine OS and Desktop DJ should write changes back to the files too. Changes occur much less frequently and they could be scheduled to be flushed from the db when there is less cpu usage, or even worst case a sync DB to files options could exist.

But it will likely not be implemented as the management will never see value in this.

Still waiting for someone who knows the actual answer the original question: where are the ratings stored in Engine OS? DB? File? If file, what ID3 tag?


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Agree… same on Prime4. And don’t show any mp3 tags on folder view. Hope in next update Denon guys take into consideration to change this.


Do you mean to import tracks/playlists from a Denon USB stick back into Engine DJ Desktop?

No, I mean songs that were never imported into Denon and wanting to import them into the DB on the Prime Go so I can actually search for songs by bpm, key, artist, genre and not have to peruse the SD card and search it in the file manager. Once you actually play the song once, it then adds it to the DB it seems. The Prime Go - and from @Obocaman 's post neither the Prime4 (and thus I infer Prime2 neither) offer this capability. So this whole independence touted about Prime Go especially, how you are not tethered to the laptop is not entirely true as you have to still use a computer to first build up the library. Which is a huge problem for folks like me that don’t like to run spyware like windows. And frankly from what I have seen thus far, Engine Desktop - I am not that impressed. But I do like the Engine OS on the device itself. I am sure it is in need of some improvements as many mentioned here in the forums, and I do understand the balancing act between features and back end coding…I only got the prime go 2 weeks ago so had not had that much time to explore it yet. I have been focusing on getting my library in order.

So in summary I feel that Engine OS on the devices themselves not allowing importing songs from inserted media into its DB is a huge letdown and frankly I do not understand the rationale behind this either, as clearly the code exists in the desktop version! In a perfect world you could simply go to the source options page and run ‘rebuild library from media’. Come on!



100 agree, the so called stand alone needs more work on the Laptop then I like to spend too. Love to build a DB on the Go as there is a 1TB SD Card inside, that is enough, a SSD with 2 TB on the USB for a backup and just connect once the laptop to transfer the itunes mediathek for a start. Then new playlists and Songs could be add direct to the prime in my case Go

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Yup. You’re in the same exact boat as me! Seeing what is happening, in the next few days I will post this (library import from songs directly on the device) as a feature request.


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Thank you I guess that is something a lot of people are like to have.

I was going to post a request for new feature, but there is already such request. You might want to go there and vote on it New Feature Request

My English is not so great as you guys. But I totally supports this threat and it blows my head why something so simple have not been achieved yet. It the past I rated my songs in Itunes. Then use a extension for itunes to write it to the id3 tag. That time I was using traktor with the mc6000. After buying the prime 4 and importing my songs I see engine doesn’t read them. I got some tips. Mainly to alter my analyzation process or use this lexicon software. But also in my opinion engine should read the id3 tag and then use this data to import it in his DB.


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The objections based on ID3 complexity is a red herring. Other DJ software handles Rating as do most popular music players.

All Denon has to do is decide WHICH RATING tag to use for STORING the rating, use it, and provide documentation of the full set of tags being used.

READING a specific rating tag, could be slightly less trivial, but simple logic could determine which tags to read, in order and use the first one found.

e.g. IF %RATING% exists use it ELSEIF %POPM% exists use it ELSEIF %RATING WMP% exists use it ELSEIF %RATING WINAMP% exists use it ELSEIF %RATING MM% exists use it ELSE Leave RATING blank

IF the track Rating is changed in Engine Prime, or on the hardware set the %RATING% tag.

This need not be complicated. Once ANY metadata tag is set, we can use any of the many metadata management tools available to manipulate and copy as necessary, but right now Denon is giving us NOTHING.


My biggest issue is that I don’t listen to music on my controller, nor within Engine DJ Desktop.

I listen to my music outside of these things and I rate and organize outside of these things.

Then I decide I want to mix it and put bring it into my controller. Being able to rate a track outside of Engine DJ and to re-import that data is pretty very important. Being able to see this track rating within Engine DJ Desktop to know which files to import is just as important.

I really hope that Denon can figure out a way to deliver this feature.