Metadata editor puts Album Artist data in wrong field

Windows 7, Audacity 2.1.2
When exporting a track to .mp3 the data manually entered in the metadata editor for Album Artist ends up tagged Contributing Artist and causes the Album Artist’s name not to appear in Windows Media Player nor in our broadcast streaming system.

The only way I could find to correct this was to edit the data from Windows Explorer by selecting the exported file, right clicking and selecting Properties, then the Details tab. I can then fill in the data for Album Artist. I then delete the entry for Contributing Artist. This is a time consuming process when handling a lot of tracks for broadcast.

Is there a way to remap the entry properly in Audacity? I have a gut feeling there is a configuration setting somewhere but I can’t find any reference to this.

Audacity has no standard field for “Album Artist” and exports all non-standard fiekls as TXXX user-specified frames: Missing features - Audacity Support.

I don’t know where exactly you are looking in Windows Media Player but generally Windows does not see TXXX frames at all (for example in the file properties).

Audacity’s standard “Artist” field is misread as “Contributing Artist” in Explorer’s file properties, leaving the “Album Artist” field blank, which I regard as a Windows error not Audacity’s: Losing Audio Tag information upon exporting - #2 by Gale_Andrews .

The solution is to use a better media player (or better shell integration tool for looking at properties in Explorer) or to use a more standards-compliant tag editor.


Feb 2020 reply to a 2016 thread - Audacity 2.4.1 on Windows 10

To people who wish to address this issue, and other tagging issues, without going into details it’s to your advantage to use a third party tag editor like MP3tag. I came here hoping to find a tweak in preferences or something. It sounds like this is a low-priority bug since the 1.x days. By the time I’m done writing this I will have used about one year of time that I would devote to using a third party tagging tool to address this issue. Just get the tag editor and add it to your routine. Someday after an update you’ll notice you didn’t have to “do that thing” that time.

There are two Artist tags in Windows that I’m aware of and I’ve learned to just put the same information in both fields.
Audacity and Windows have two more tag mis-alignments that I’m aware of: Audacity duplicates the year and the comment, both entered like YYYY and formatted like YYYY//YYYY when they’re read by Windows.

Tagging is the biggest headache for people who want to use multiple playback methods. When I started my music library I put very specific information in my tags. The day I brought my personal favorites collection into one of my playback methods (device/software) and discovered it had created a hundred single-song albums with the same album name and individualized cover art that corresponded to an album that had the tagged song title by the tagged artist. That was the first time I faced the reality of using precision tagging and with different systems. Great example of YMMV. Just be prepared to simplify your tags in one master library or have specific tags that require multiple libraries.

Finally, Audacity's standard "Artist" field is [u]misread[/u] as "Contributing Artist" in Explorer
Granted, Audacity runs on the three most important OSs, so it may be seamlessly compatible with one of them. But to state an OS reads a tag wrong flips the priority: The OS hosts the program. It’s up to the program to present the correct tag. It’s like bringing cheese to a vegan party, oops, but the party goers can decide for themselves. I’m only volunteering an opinion, fully conscious, to rework a phrase, "we all have an opinion:’ These guys are world-class programmers, but it seems like something that can be addressed before the program is compiled. Until then, NP, I’ll include MP3tag as part of my task.

2020 :open_mouth:

Good choice, especially for MP3s. I used to use that on Windows. I also use EasyTAG.

It’s not really an OS thing. It’s common for different apps running on the same OS to disagree about metadata. I’ve not checked lately, but the last time I looked WMP, WinAmp and iTunes (all on Windows) only agreed on about half of their tags.

Regardless of the platform (“OS”), ID3 has at least 4 incompatible “standards”.

OGG and FLAC tend to be less problematic as they both use “Vorbis Comments”, for which there is an actual “standard” (Ogg Vorbis Documentation)

You’re right Daddy-o

Audacity does not handle metadata very well, it couuld do with a big overjal (but we are very short of developers on this Open_Source project).

Searching for “metadata” on or Bubzilla bug tracker fives all these logged issues
This is just the live ones - many have been fixed over the years.

The worst is I think this one:
Bug 701 - Metadata: Embedded album art and lyrics metadata discarded

Certainly when I was digibitting my LP and tape collection with Audacity, I did the metadata management external to Audacity. I used iTunes, as my target device at the time was an iPod. I needed to rework it all for the hi-fi WAV jukebox that also carries all my music - but that gets done on the device itself via a webpage.