Track numbers in WAV metadata?

I’m using Audacity 2.0.3 still, with Win7. If I export a project as multiple WAV files, the WAV file metadata does not contain any track numbers, artist or album title, etc. They’re blanks, while other software like cdex will gladly put in track numbers when ripping music.

So am I missing something? Does 2.0.4 improve this? Or is the only way Audacity can indicate track numbers, is in the filename? i.e. it will show
01 Filename.wav, 02 Filename.wav, but the only way it can put the track numbers in, is in the filename??

I’ve only seen one piece of software, a pricey professional package, that claims to edit WAV file metadata. Apparently there is no shareware or “cheapware” that will touch WAV files, beyond the filename?


If you subscribed to our announcements list or looked at our home page you would have learned that 2.0.4 now supports LIST INFO tags and ID3 tags for all seven default Metadata Editor tags.

More information here: .


Thank you, Gale! That’s great news.

Dare I hope that next year might find a stand-alone WAV tag editor, or at least, a way to simply fix existing WAV files without importing, opening, and resaving them one by one?

If you mean “provided by Audacity”, probably not.

Many of the more flexible ID3 tag editors will read ID3 tags in WAV files. Otherwise I think most people would edit tags of WAV files in their player application and accept that only that player would probably be able to read the tags.

I use dBPowerAmp to edit tags on the rare occasions I want to. It works as a shell extension, so you can right-click over a file to edit the metadata directly. It reads LIST INFO and ID3 in WAV files.


I don’t know, Gale. It has been a year probably since I went looking for a WAV file tag editor, and at that time nothing (nothing) would do it, except supposedly one high priced professional app that of course was designed for the professional market.

Lots of things will READ the tags, but at that time, none wrote them. Windows7 of course refuses to edit the file properties (tags) in the same way it would edit MP3 tags, I haven’t tried Win8. WMP isn’t any help at all, although it can make a WAV file ripped from a CD with some of the tag data.

After more than three decades of PCs, it is surprising that there are still such basic gaps with no tools. I’ve seen numerous posts online asking for one, but any reply that says “Oh you can use…” is inevitably flat out wrong. Evidence that dogs can still access the internet.

Audacity 2.0.4 is already installed and happy here, so at least that won’t be a problem going forward on projects. The legacy library, otoh, still could use one.

This particular gap is probably because the “WAV (Microsoft) PCM” file specification does not include any specification for metadata (it does not exclude the use of metadata either). On the other hand, BWF is an extension of WAV format, primarily used in professional applications, that does specify metadata.
My gripe is that 3 decades of PCs on, lousy quality MP3s are as popular as ever :wink:

No published file specification? How curious, I’d guess a legacy of the old days before “compatibility” was spoken. Still, it should be so hard to figure out what is in the files and how. Although I’ll admit I tried “just” using a hex editor to change information, and that bombed. Probably because something is generating a check code and I didn’t look for that.

Ratty MP3s don’t surprise me in the least. I used to have extremely good hearing and whenever a high-end audio shop tried to convince me a pricier product was better, they’d be flustered that I could a/b the two apart. I did a hearing test last year and found out how much I’ve lost (not a lot, just the top end) which probably explains why so many things sound so much better [sic] these days. But tin ears…yeah, there’s a lot of them around.

What I’d like to know is why so many CDs have track breaks that simply don’t match up with the tracks. I’ve found some that need to come in Audacity (thanks again) to be stitched back together, so they can be split in the proper places.


If you want tagged lossless files, I suggest using FLAC or ALAC (lossless compression) instead of WAV. The tagging is more standardized, and as a bonus the file size will almost be cut in half!

FLAC is one of my favourites - it’s a well established standard and it doesn’t have Apple or Microsoft changing the format every time they want to sell an update :wink: Tagging FLAC files is well supported in Foobar2000 (one of my favourite media players on Windows).

What I’d like to know is why so many CDs have track breaks that simply don’t match up with the tracks.

I think it has to do with the drive and your ripping software. [u]EAC[/u] allows you to detect gaps as a separate step. I’ve never had a problem and never bothered with it…

When copying individual tracks or copying a CD, I’ve never noticed a problem If I’m copying a CD, I’ll rip to one big WAV file can create a cue sheet. Or if I’m ripping a “live” CD, I’ll rip it to one big WAV file, then if I want to make separate song files I’ll edit to fade-in and fade-out the crowd noise.

"If you want tagged lossless files, "
But I don’t. I want to tag WAV files, specifically. You know very well that choice is sometimes made for good reason, and FLAC simply is not as standard and supported as WAV is. Let’s just agree not to go there, that discussion was beaten to death long ago elsewhere.

“>> why so many CDs have track breaks that simply don’t match up with the tracks.
I think it has to do with the drive and your ripping software.”

No, again, I meant just what I said. There are commercially pressed CDs out there, where the music segues from one track into the next, and the track is actually split in the wrong place. Track #1 may end with applause and someone announcing “thank you that was xx on the bass and yy on the drums. (silence) And now we’re going to do a little something new called…” before they start playing Track #2. But the CD has been pressed, and the track split, so that the conclusion of track #1, is actually the intro of track #2. And the entire narration is in Track #2, when any idiot could tell you the credits belong in Track #1.

Not to mention, sometimes it is not narration but music tailing off and changing.

This is not “What software did you rip it with?” this is called the recording company screwed the tracks up. On an older LP release, it is clear where the tracks originally were.

Heck, for that matter there are plenty of CD’s where all the metadata is IN ALL CAPS or other strange mixes, sometimes with the data missing, or contradicting itself from track to track. This is not a software problem, this is called lack of quality control.

I’ve mentioned one free app that will. It’s free if you don’t want to encode MP3’s with it.

You can edit WAV metadata in Windows Media Player Library. Select the file in the Library, right-click over a column, display/move up the columns, then right-click > Edit the contents of the column. This won’t change the file’s metadata itself, nor will Windows or other applications see the change.

You can also change “Contributing Artist”, Genre and Album in Explorer in Windows 7 (at the bottom of the window). This does actually change the file metadata, but WMP Library carries on seeing any independent metadata you already added there :confused:

But really, just migrate to something better. :wink:


“You can edit WAV metadata in Windows Media Player Library. …This won’t change the file’s metadata itself, nor will Windows or other applications see the change.”
Yes, but updating the library on one computer, isn’t my goal. Updating the file itself, so the correct information moves wherever the file is, is.

WMP seems to still be the bastard child at Microsoft, it never quite gets what the other children get. After all these years I find it still sometimes rips a CD and says “unknown album unknown artist” or puts in “Track1” instead of reading a track number. The problems are infrequent and generally not reproducible, but the word “robust” would never be used to describe any part of WMP, would it?

“I use dBPowerAmp” OH! It wasn’t at all clear that you use it to edit WAV tags, you just said “tags”. Thanks, I’ll have to try that.

I have no attachment to WMP, it just conveniently ships with the machines.

I did say “It reads LIST INFO and ID3 in WAV files”. I like it because it gives you an info popup of file type information and metadata when you hover over the file, and because of the right-click-over-the-file ability to edit the metadata.

It may be too clunky if you want a polished standalone tag editor.


Well, any editor beat no editor. I’ve dl’ed it and if it works here, I’ll be tickled pink. Like eating an elephant, I can fix the library masters one at a time, sooner or later.


How nice, integrated into the explorer. I can live with that. Looks like it works, and I’ll even have the ugly option to recompress my MP3s to fit on the currently full memory card in my phone. (Oink, 64GB SDXC card, and the library won’t fit in vbr-2 form.) I know, I’d do better to reconvert the WAVs but until the tags get fixed…Hey, a Norelco CaryCorder once sounded good, considering where it was playing.