Album Artist field is not populating Export AAC

Hi All,

I am converting my Cassette collection and noticed that the Artist Name field is not populating the Album artist nor the Contributing artist field when I save the file as an AAC file (.m4a).
When I open the file in Groove, Sony Music Center or HP Connected Music the Artist field is not populated.

Why is that happening and how can I get it to work?

I did export the same file as MP3 and noticed the artist name there. However, I read that AAC is supposed to be better than MP3.
Is there a fix for the AAC issue?

Unfortunately there are few real standards for metadata.
There are well defined standards for metadata in OGG and Flac files, but for other formats there are many variations and non-standardised implementations. The only way to guarantee that tags will show up correctly in specific software, is to use that software for the tagging.

Audacity supports the most common tags for many audio formats - but that does not guarantee full compatibility between Audacity’s tags and your player’s tags.

There are some specialist tagging apps (such as MP3Tag and EasyTag) that support many standard and non-standard tags, and can add / modify / fix tags in batch mode. Once you’ve worked out which tags are supported by your software, these specialist tools can be useful for editing the tags of your music collection to work with your media player(s).

I have observed the same problem, i.e. the AAC (.M4A) files created by Audacity do not have the Album Artist or Album Year fields set even though they were entered into Audacity (version 2.2.3, under Windows 10). Not having the Artist information is a significant headache for importing to iTunes. I also note that it is not just iTunes, Groove, Sony Music Center or HP Connected Music that don’t recognize the metadata—Windows itself says these fields are empty (can see, or alter, them by right-clicking on the file name, asking to see the file Properties, and selecting the Details tab).

So with all due respect to Steve, I don’t think this is really a problem with lack of standardization of the metadata, it seems to me this is truly a bug, and a bug that was not corrected in the recent 2.2.3 update). It seems to me the bug may be in the FFMpeg add-on rather than Audacity itself.

There is no such version of Audacity. The version number can be found in “Help menu > About Audacity”.

AAC (.M4A) encoding is done by FFmpeg rather than by Audacity. This seems to be a problem / limitation with FFmpeg exports and is logged on the Audacity bug tracker.

Interestingly, when I open the .M4A file (exported from Audacity) in VLC, it shows the Artist name.