If you have MP3′s that are skipping, sounding weird, or that a media player like iTunes won’t open, sometimes you just need to run them through an MP3 validator app to check and repair the files. A great free MP3 checker is called MP3 Scan+Repair, it’s got an easy drag and drop interface that will repair MP3′s quickly.
Repairing MP3 Files
- Download the MP3 Validator here
- Launch the app and then drag MP3 files into the interface for them to be automatically checked.
- When an error is detected in an MP3 file, a little icon will appear next to the name in the app
- To initiate the repair, click on the hammer icon to repair the file
- Note that you might want to make a backup before repairing the MP3 since it does overwrite the original file.
- The repaired MP3 will appear in the same location as the original corrupt MP3
The process is pretty quick and you can repair a bunch of songs at once, it fixed one of my stubborn MP3′s immediately and now it plays and opens fine with iTunes.
I’ve never really figured out exactly why some MP3 files will become corrupted and then need to be repaired, but it’s nice to come across a free app that handles the repairs quickly. In my experience MP3 corruption usually happens when downloading music from new music sites and blogs, so perhaps the file becomes corrupted in the transfer process.
If you don’t want to download any additional software you can try some other methods. I’ve found creative workarounds in the past when iTunes won’t play a song that involves importing the file into QuickTime and exporting it as a movie track before reimporting into iTunes… this works fine but it’s a bit of work just to play an MP3.