WAV metadata portability on Windows devices

I am new to Audacity (yesterday) but have been recording vinyl to computer for several decades; never thought much about info associated with my WAV files, but now have amassed a fairly large library and this metadata could be very useful to me.

My previous research leads me to believe that a plain vanilla WAV file is mostly (audio) data and very little else (sans metadata); The Broadcast WAV file format (BWAV) metadata is mainly reproduction information useful to broadcasters and other audio professionals. I am interested in the type of metadata that in the MP3 file format is called “tags”.

My specific question is this (I’ll try to be succinct, but no promises): Windows 10 (my current OS) will optimize folders in File Explorer as music folders and then allow file properties to be associated with the files contained therein. Information contained in columns that look just like the tags in MP3 files and other music file formats. Am I correct in thinking that the file properties that I can create there for my WAV files (in the file structure of my W10 computer) is limited to my computer only? That is, not portable?

Some specific info: OS - Windows 10 home (up-to-date); have been using for years as my audio processing/fixing/recording interface - Diamond Cut Audio Restoration Tool (10).

I just downloaded Audacity because I read that it had functions to access the associated file properties of WAV files store on my W10 OS. (And in fact it does, as several trials on my system prove out.)

DC ART creates playlists in an xml file format and I had begun editing that to include all the tag information I would like associated with my library, but I do not believe the information I create there can be imported into the associated WAV file properties on my hard drive, which I’d then hoped to use to convert those files to MP3 with the associated tag information.

I apologize for the long forum entry, and I hope I explained what I’m hoping to do in enough detail not to be booted off the forum.


Audacity writes two kinds of metadata into WAV files: INFO chunks and ID3 tags. INFO chunks come from the original standard and include fairly limited fields which often isn’t too useful (such as IENG and ITCH, which have info about the audio engineer and audio technician who made the file). ID3 is the same thing that MP3 files use and not officially part of WAV, but since everyone just plops it in at the end of the WAV file, it doesn’t get in the way and is fairly well supported across most things which touch the file.

In all cases, the metadata is part of the file.

Thank you LWinterberg. I have just recently learned the basics of ID3, and I assume that this recent download of Audacity writes those tags in ID3v2.3 (or 2.4)? That is good info and good news - the metadata stays with the files.

I know this isn’t a Windows forum, but do you know of a way that I might associate the tag info in my xml playlist back onto the existing WAV files. I have considerable time already tied up in that effort, but I think i know what the answer is.


I don’t understand what you’re trying to do but usually your media player software reads the playlist and then it can get the metadata from the audio files (WAV, etc).

If you’re having trouble with metadata… It’s kind-of a “weak area” for Audacity. The main weaknesses I’m aware of is that it doesn’t support album art and when you can’t just edit the metadata in an existing file without creating a new file over-writing the whole file. (That’s an issue with lossy compression where you’re going through another generation of lossy compression.)

Whenever I edit tags or add artwork I use Mp3Tag (which works with almost all audio formats, not just MP3).

And tagging for almost all other formats is better-standardized than for WAV. So if you want lossless, FLAC may be a better option if you can use it. Plus with FLAC your files will be smaller. (FLAC doesn’t use ID3. It uses “Vorbis comments”.)