File Export with Full Meta Data?

I have just noticed that when I convert/export my music library with reasonably exhaustive meta data, the only tags that appear to be carried forward are Artist and Title.

Is it possible to somehow expand this via Preferences?

If you are exporting to WAV then that format does not support a wide range of tags.

Actually I’m exporting from WAV (to FLAC).

How did you put exhaustive meta data INTO a WAV file?

I was looking at this last year, and found there are multiple standards for putting meta data into WAV files and damned little software supports any of it, beyond the artist and title.

Mainly with Media Monkey, but in recent months I have largely dumped that and moved over to Foobar2000 thanks to a reco from Steve; still having a little trouble getting the skinning/layout spot on, but overall I’m delighted with the switch.

i don’t know about the latest versions, but when I looked at them, neither would put extensive tags in WAVs that could be read anywhere else. Tagging WAV files is like milking unicorns, you won’t find many people doing it.

Wow! You’re so knowledgeable you are able to dismiss my comments out of hand and take the piss without carrying out even the most rudimentary research – very impressive.

I guess I’d better delete all my imaginary Genre, year, Album Title, Producer, BPM, etc, etc data quick, now that you have disabused me of the possibility of its existence.

Shay, i did say that I don’ tknow about the latest versions–but the old ones wouldn’t do that, and most software won’t recognize it. Since you didn’t say how many fields you were populating, you leave us to guess what ‘massive’ is. Since you don’t mention versions, you leave us to guess, again. GIGO.

And it will still come down to “there’s no widely supported standard for that”. If you don’t enjoy hearing it, that won’t change it. As you’ve just found out, whatever they are doing now, is not being supported. When and if that changes, do fell free to pitch in and let the rest of us know.

The format “WAV (Microsoft) PCM” is a type of “RIFF” file

In the Microsoft specification for WAV files, metadata is not defined. There is no “standard” for metadata in WAV files.
Audacity and some other programs offer limited support for metadata in WAV files as metadata is “allowed” according the the RIFF standard and is not “prohibited” by the WAV standard.

The RIFF standard allows metadata to be stored in the INFO chunk. You can find a brief summary of the most commonly supported RIFF INFO data here:

Audacity currently supports the following metadata in WAV files:
Artist Name,
Track Title,

As there is no official standard, there is no guarantee that other programs will support this or other metadata in WAV files.
See also:

There may be additional subchunks in a Wave data stream. If so, each will have a char[4] SubChunkID, and unsigned long SubChunkSize, and SubChunkSize amount of data.


One such SubChunkID may be ID3, in which case the WAV file specification allows fully for the inclusion of standards compliant ID3 v2 tags of the common garden variety found in MP3 files.

Whether Microsoft recognises this as a standard I neither know nor care; I don’t event know how to launch Windows Media Player and haven’t used it for donkeys years.

But the simple truth is that for me it is a de facto standard used on the players I have an interest in; Media Monkey and Foobar (and Traktor). The same would logically seem to hold true for all users of those popular media players.

As for Audacity the decision to apparently not even include the ‘Genre’ tag specified by Microsoft must be a choice. Fair enough. However, please note that your implementation of the tag ‘Year’ appears to be buggy.

Sorry, I don’t see any mention of ID3 on that page.

Do you mean because your other audio programs don’t recognise it?
Another good media with very good metadata support is VLC

For WAV files:
Foobar2000 does not recognise the year tag from VLC.
VLC does not recognise the year tag from Foobar2000.
Audacity does recognise the year tag from Foobar2000, but Foobar2000 does not recognise the year tag from Audacity.
MediaInfo recognises Audacity’s metadata bus does not recognise metadata from Foobar2000.
MediaInfo recognises some of the metada from VLC.

Confusing, isn’t it. This is the problem when there are no accepted standards.

No Steve I am not at all confused. I know what works for me which is basically everything I use with the exception of Audacity.

That said I occasionally use VLC as a light weight player for certain video codecs, but I doubt you will find many people who use it as the player of choice for organising their music library.

However, it occurs to me that EAC also doesn’t support WAV ID3 tags, and as such it seems that a common theme here is open source. As such I suspect the real issue is that no open source libraries provide that support rather than the spiel about standards.

Support for what? Support for Media Monkey’s way of tagging WAV files?
It’s not an open source/closed source difference.
Windows Media Player, Foobar2000, JetAudio (Cowon), WinAmp… none of these are open source and they all have different ways of adding Metadata to WAV files.

The only real “standard” that I know of for WAV file metadata is Broadcast Wave Format (BWF)
BWF metadata is supported in BWF MetaEdit (open source) along with numerous professional audio library applications.

Audacity does not currently support BWF but it is a popular feature request on the wiki feature request page. Would you like to vote for this option?

Mediamonkey does not currently support BWF, though they have it as a “To Do” for the near future.

No thanks. I have significant time invested in ID3 tags and will look for an alternative tool that supports them.


TagLib Audio Meta-Data Library

TagLib is a library for reading and editing the meta-data of several popular audio formats. Currently it supports both ID3v1 and ID3v2 for MP3 files, Ogg Vorbis comments and ID3 tags and Vorbis comments in FLAC, MPC, Speex, WavPack TrueAudio, > WAV> , AIFF, MP4 and ASF files.

Source: >

As I said (trying to be helpful) _Another good media with very good metadata support is VLC (uses TagLib)

I don’t think there are many other Windows applications that use TagLib, but if you find one with good library management please post, I’m sure it will be useful for others.

But that is not the issue. I merely posted the link to show you an off the shelf package that facilitates the use of ID3 tags within WAV files.

But presumably it is not that difficult for a competent programmer to implement from scratch, and indeed I would guess that is precisely what the Foobar2000 developers have done or the authors of this software here:

Tag&Rename - music files tag editor

. . .you can keep your music collection organized with Tag&Rename. It . . .has full native support for . . .ID3v2.3. . .tags. . . lossless Wav.

I think it is quite obvious that the availability of proper tagging significantly enhances the usability of WAV files, and I am asserting the fairly widespread usages of the ID3 device I have shown above constitutes a de facto standard, albeit one that I would agree is emerging; for example I see that the TagLib change log only shows the incorporation of WAV files from the end of 2009.

However, in the absence of a mutually agreed definition of the term ‘standard’ this discussion is simply a load of semantic drivel and a complete waste of time. Nevertheless what I think is clear is that your position is basically a strong argument in favour of the lowest common denominator, but that is not really what I’m looking for.

I don’t want to flog a dead horse here, but I genuinely believe there is some confusion regarding standards in this discussion, and not only the semantic definition of the term.

In this respect I found the following document largely written in plain English helpful.

PCM Audio and Wave Files
Posted by Vinayak Raghuvamshi on January 18th, 2005

. . .The WAVE file format is based on Microsoft’s version of the Electronic Arts Interchange File Format method for storing data. In keeping with the dictums of IFF, data in a Wave file is stored in many different “chunks.”

So, if a vendor wants to store additional information in a Wave file, he just adds info to new chunks instead of trying to tweak the base file format or come up with his own proprietary file format. That is the primary goal of the IFF.

. . .there are three chunks that are required to be present in a valid wave file:

  1. ‘RIFF’, ‘WAVE’ chunk
  2. “fmt” chunk
  3. ‘data’ chunk

All other chunks are optional.

The last sentence is in bold. The standard is specifically designed to facilitate the inclusion of alternate chunks, such as the ID3 chunk. These are optional and not mandatory, but that is in no way the same as contrary to the standard.

It goes on:

An application that uses a WAVE file must be able to read the three required chunks although it can ignore the optional chunks. But, all applications that perform a copy operation on wave files should copy all of the chunks in the WAVE.

The last bit is again in bold and veeeeery interesting. Copy doesn’t strictly speaking exist in Audacity but is in my view objectively equivalent to export; as such Audacity is in non-compliance with the standard by:

A) failing to properly write the standard tags specified; and

B) stripping out any optional data chunks written to the WAV file in accordance with the standard

Of course all assuming that the above document is a fair reflection of the original IBM/Microsoft specification from the mid eighties.

I’ve searched through the “Feature Request” page on the wiki and there are a lot of feature requests that relate to metadata support, but I don’t think that your request is covered.

So as not to confuse your request with other feature requests relating to Metadata I think that we need a clear and concise description of exactly what you are requesting.
I don’t think that it is sufficiently clear to just say “support for id3 tags in WAV files” because, as already discussed, that does not guarantee compatibility with other programs that support id3 tags in WAV files (and as you are no doubt aware there are significant variations in id3 support between different vendors).

I think that your feature request will need to be quite specific, for example, if saving id3 data in an optional chunk, would this be in addition to saving the current RIFF INFO data? Similarly, when exporting to FLAC format, would the id3 data be saved as id3 data (using the --keep-foreign-metadata option) or converted (where possible) to Vorbis comments?

If supported, I think that saving ID3 tags in WAV files would need to be optional as there is a high chance that some programs will choke on the additional chunks (even though they should be ignored if not supported).

Steve, many thanks for your post and offer to put together a feature request. Honestly through I really feel we have wasted enough time on this discussion already, and think we should just drop the matter.

I didn’t intend to use the term catering to the lowest common denominator in a pejorative way. I think it is a perfectly valid concept with a rational basis, even though it doesn’t suit my needs :slight_smile:

I also want to apologise for getting a little heated in this discussion; I’m afraid that spilled over from what I considered to be smart-arse and borderline troll-like comments from ‘Hello Sailor’ – sorry if you caught the backlash from that.

You’re certainly not the only person that wants more extensive metadata support in WAV files - this one has just come in: