Metadata lost

Audacity and I continue to make a mess of my record collection. Transferring from vinyl too digital for over a year now (close to 100 albums with hundreds more to go). Many saved files have all the metadata (album title, artist name, track title), but now end up as “unknown album” and/or “unknown artist”. I have saved as WAV (but prefer not to), FLAC, and M4Ps (my preferred format). I seem to never lose track titles so how best to preserve Artist Name and Album Title in my M4P files? My OS is Windows 10, Audacity is 2.1.2

Do you know “when” it was lost?

Metadata for WAV is not well-standardized or widely supported, but I think if you save it when you export, Audacity can read it.

The metadata storage is different for different formats, and the fields can be different, but of course every format has an album and artist field.

…I generally use MP3Tag for entering/editing metadata. It supports most audio formats (not just MP3) but it doesn’t support WAV. I just find it easier… You can select a folder-full of files (usually an album) and fill-in the common information once, then select the files one at a time for the title and track number (and, you can cut & paste the file name into the title field if it’s the same).

I’ve pretty much stopped using WAV format; my SanDisk Connect doesn’t like it, and my Sony receiver sometimes will play 'em, sometimes not. I’ve been using the M4P format since first of the year but on closer evaluation, the problem seems to be loss of Artist information and that goes back before December of last year. The PC I use was originally a Win XP machine, updated when Win 10 came out. Nothing else has changed: same turntable, preamp, AD converter, and I think same 2.1.2 versiion of the software.

So, if I can get Audacity to retain Artist metadata when I save files as M4Ps, I think I can successfully organize my music.

I just saved a file in the flac format and the metadata is all there when I access it via my Sony receiver on my network. Album title, artist name, track name are all displayed. The flac format created a file twice as large as the M4P file, though. With hundreds more albums to go I’ll run out of space on my computer’s hard drive!

Stil hoping for an answer on how to preserve all the metadata in compressed file format.

OK, I agree. I converted from MP3 to WAV, then to MP4/AAC and I lost the Artist and the year. And, I lost the artwork but I already know Audacity doesn’t support the artwork.

I’ll try a couple more experiments later…

So, your WAV files are OK, right?

I converted a file from WAV to M4A with [u]TAudioConverter[/u] and the artist did get copied and it shows-up in Windows Media Player, Winamp, and MP3tag. However, it does not show-up in Audacity. (And I lost the year.)

I think WAV files contain the correct metadata (I have over a hundred files to go through so I can’t say there haven’t been problems there, too). I shall try some of these 3rd party programs you mentioned. Thanks for that info. Is there any reason to install Ver. 2.2.2?

Probably not right now, as Audacity 2.3.0 is due to be released very soon (weeks).
Audacity 2.3.0 has a lot of bug fixes and enhancements compared with Audacity 2.1.2.

To DVDdoug, thanks very much for your recommendations. The software for adding/editing metadata works perfectly and is extremely easy to use. It took me two days to get all my files done but without it it would have never happened. I really appreciate your help!

FYI I have confirmed that the problem with losing the Album Artist and Album Year metadata when creating M4A (AAC) files was not fixed in version 2.2.3. This may be a bug in the FFmpeg library rather than Audacity itself.

It certainly seems to be related to FFmpeg, though I don’t yet know if the problem is FFmpeg itself, or the build of FFmpeg made for Audacity, or Audacity’s implementation of FFmpeg. This is logged on the Audacity bug tracker.

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