Fixing Windows Media Player tag problems

I recently installed MusicBrainz Picard to edit tags in my music files that had been created under Wiindows Media Player (WMP). What happened was that I had made many corrections to my tags using WMP. When I moved to a new computer all of these changes were lost because they existed in the WMP database and were not actually part of the .wav files. I found the title of the first track of nearly all of my CDs had disappeared and these tracks had been recatagorized to “unknown albums”. If I had entered all the track titles for a CD by hand in WMP, they were all gone. It was big work given about 500 CD folders to fix this, but MusicBrainz was an ideal tool. The “Tools” / “tags from filenames” feature saved me. They are all fixed to my satisfaction now.

My question is this: Are these files safe from Windows Media Player now? Are the tags now actually part of the .wav files meta data? Should I write protect these files? I have disabled WMP’s ability to access the internet. Will this prevent it from making unwanted changes to my files?


There has been issues with WMP changing tags in the past, I had a look for the thread/s, but couldn’t find them sorry. But I think you are correct to be wary.

Honestly, I would use this as an opportunity to check out some new players. Why use software you can’t trust 100% (iTunes and WMP, both cause threads to pop up every so often). Foobar2000 and MusicBee have both been recommended by users on here and have cause 0 ‘my player is breaking my files/tags’ posts that I know of :slight_smile:


Welcome and thanks for the positive feedback on Picard. I’m happy it helped you clean up the tags.

Yes, the tags are part of the files then. And actually in this specific case they are pretty safe from WMP, because it ignores most of them :slight_smile: Let me explain:

WAVE files don’t actually have great tagging support. By default they offer their own tags, the so called RIFF INFO tags. Those are really basic. You only have the most basic tags available (think album, artist, track title, track number and a couple more). Also those tags only support western characters. Software support varies.

But for WMP those are the tags it sees and can handle

To allow storing more tags with full Unicode support Picard stores in addition to the RIFF INFO tags also ID3 tags. For WAVE this is non-standard and not all software supports it. WMP does not see those tags and ignores them, but some other players and tools, such as e.g. foobar2000, will use the ID3 tags.

From the above also follows my general advise: Tagging support for WAVE really is not great, and software support for it varies highly. If you have problems with tagging WAVE files because some software does not show the tags or not all of them, or because some international characters don’t display properly, consider converting the WAVE files to a lossless format with proper tagging capabilities, such as FLAC.

If you for some reason need to stay with WAVE try to find software which supports ID3 tags in WAVE.


@outsidecontext has pretty much nailed it with such a detailed and informative answer. :smile:

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Thank you. I may do that.

Wow! that helps. I am a bit worn out from what I just did but I will consider a switch if my amp can understand it.


MusicBee also supports full ID3 tags in WAV, although I don’t know if the structure is exactly the same as what Picard follows. That’s the trouble with WAV.

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Yes, MusicBee is also compatible, as is MP3Tag.

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I downloaded MusicBee and used it to convert a mirror of my music files to .flac. So I now have copies of all my music files in .wav and in .flac. Feeling pretty good about that. Thank you everyone for your help.