Feel let down by your audio software choice?

4 years ago when I started ripping my CD collection to a bunch of WAV files onto my hard drives, I researched the options carefully. I chose MusicMatch, which at the time was consistently one of the best-rated jukebox software. Indeed, I find it continues to organize my collection well, and I love the Audio DJ feature.

Unfortunately, MusicMatch is no longer supported. Supposedly it's going to be integrated with Yahoo's product (which I find much inferior). The alternative, iTunes, I use on my Mac but it, too, lacks some of the features that I would want in a music management software.

And, of course, now I have WAV files that MusicMatch organizes well, but iTunes has a limited ability to read the metadata (tags) in those files, which make them difficult to port over to iTunes. To complicate matters, Slim Devices Squeezebox does not support MusicMatch.

What I really want is a product that allows for easy management of large amount of (potentially uncompressed) music data, that can have pieces of that full collection selectively (and automatically) exported to different "libraries" in a compressed format for synchronization with one or more portable players. Is it that hard for the industry to see that there's a niche for that kind of product?

I just feel let down by the leading software in music management.

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The reason iTunes can't read the wav tags is that there is no such thing as a wav tag. If there is more information about the song being displayed by your program then it is stored somewhere other than a tag that is part of the wav file.

If you have notes or pictures or other info it has to be in another file that is managed by your program. That's why iTunes can't access it.

It seems unlikely you will find a program that can read and import all the "tag" info that your program has stored unless your program has the ability to export the library in some standard format.

I believe iTunes could do what you want with the compressed files as long you are using iPods. I don't think it supports other players. I'm sure other programs can produce MP3 files but iTunes is what I use so I don't know much about the other ones.
if you need windows software.. Media Monkey Gold and it can sync to Ipods (and pull songs off!) It can play FLAC files and tag them, it can rip also.
Various programs (MusicMatch included) have ways of tagging WAV files, but they're inconsistent and not well standardized.

Funny someone should mention Media Monkey. I've played around with about 6 "lesser known" applications, and so far Media Monkey is my favorite. I'm going to be using it to reorganize my collection into FLAC files on my Linux server, so that a Squeezebox can subsequently use those files.

Even though Media Monkey seems closer to the ideal than some of the other choices, I still feel that we still have a ways to go in terms of audio file management software. What I want is an application that will do for audio files what Aperture does for digital photographs.

Various programs (MusicMatch included) have ways of tagging WAV files,

I’m sure that is true, but once you tag a wav file in the conventional sense by imbedding the tag information in the file itself then it is no longer a wav file. There is a specific structure to a wav file and imbedding tags corrupts this structure so it is no longer useable by other programs as a wav file. I assume that is what you mean by

they're inconsistent and not well standardized.
Herman, Michael's right--there are some fields in wav files that can be used for tag data. But, it is completely nonstandard and won't translate.

Michael, not sure whether you are on a Mac or PC platform. I'm guessing Mac, since you mentioned Aperture.

If you are on a Mac, you may be able to import some data into iTunes. Google "doug's applescripts"... You should be able to find one that will at least create iT tags for Artist/Album/Song from the directory structure (you do have them organized in an Artist/Album/Song structure, I hope).

If you are on the PC side, look into Foobar. Its ugly out of the box, but there is a pretty good tutorial on www.lifehacker.com on how to customize it and make it pretty. One of Foobar's features is masstagger, which will allow you to write a little script to do the same kind of thing I mentioned that Applescripting can do.


Try using Max to translate your WAV files to an iTunes compatible format. (make sure you have "Use iTunes compatibility mode" selected in Max's preferences) I do not know if it will pick up the meta-data but it's worth a try (it's free).

Web site seems to be down at the moment. Give it a couple of hours. Or try VersionTracker or MacUpdate.

If you need help, just email me.

Can't tag WAV files with Masstagger in Foobar. But I believe there is a plugin that somehow allows WAV file tagging. I haven't tried the plugin.
Well you learn something new everyday. Everything I've ever read says you can't tag a wav file. Since it is the standard format for consumer audio files you would think there would be a standard for the tags.
Thanks Ed, I've been looking into a couple of those programs. Media Monkey actually appears to do a lot of what I need, because it can read MusicMatch's tagged WAV files (consistently), and offers reasonable help with viewing by file and exporting to FLAC (which I believe is the optimal format right now for lossless data storage).

My original point is that we have the technology to inexpensively store the equivalent of thousands of CD's and DVD's and digital photographs. What we need is better software for truly managing and easily retrieving the information, as well as extracting pieces of it to send to one or more portable players, and to allow creating archives of the data as a backup. (Aperture does this very cleanly on the digital photography side with vaults.)

I run all major operating systems in my house (Linux, Mac OS 10.4, and Win XP), so I am open to software running in any of those OS's.

I've actually switched over to Apple Lossless myself, but I gather that is pretty similar structurally to FLAC anyway. My fear with FLAC is the lack of external support--good user community, but the majors haven't thrown any weight behind it, so it leaves me feeling like I could be stranded in a few years.

I hear you w.r.t. managing information. There are so many things I want in a player that I don't get--even things as simple as being able to create genres that span multiple tags--classify Los Lobos as "Rock" and "Hispanic," for example.

Remember also that you are still, FBOW, on the leading edge. The WAV file was created largely as a simple PC file package for storing straight PCM data. People really weren't thinking about how those would be used 5 or 10 years later. They figured it out at the MP3 stage, but it was too late for WAV users.

@bigamp, I haven't messed with foobar recently (or masstagger). I may have misspoke anyway--I probably meant to say that masstagger will create metadata entries for its own database from the file structure. Strictly speaking, its not a tag, since it isn't part of the file, but foobar has a database and lets you store metadata about WAVs, right?
Edesilva-Not sure. I use WAV files and would like to tag them (or tags into a DB) in Foobar with masstagger. But I've not been able to do so, and have been told it's not possible. Basically, masstagger outputs an error that WAV is an improper file type. If it is possible, even by storing the tags in a database, I'd like to know how to do this as well.
I swear foobar built a database. Like I said, its been a long time. I figured it was built like iTunes, which reads the information out of the tags into an XML database, then supplements the database with non-tag items like album art, last played, etc.

I just poked around with google... Have you tried this:

Hmm...That's what I tried and it didn't work. I'll try again this weekend and post a reply.

In this thread, I'm av newbee (appropriate):

Michael: Try JRiver MediaCenter. It may have the features you're looking for. I believe it has a 30 day trial period. I use it with 100+ uncompressed WAV files. It automatically tags WAV files and retrieves cover art. I've found it to have the most detailed and cleanest sound when used in Direct Sound mode-better IMHO than foobar.
Thanks for the suggestion, bigamp. I haven't tried JRiver MediaCenter yet, so I'll have to give it a try. I'm presently using MediaMonkey in a process of reorganizing my data files into a directory structure and lossless format that I believe will be more universally usable by other software.

I also use JRiver Media Center. Fine audio, lots of features, fast database. I've got about 6000 Flac tracks in it and retrieves quickly. Good Theater view too. It's on a dedicated PC hooked up to the stereo via a USB DAC.

I also use Foobar for quick playing,if I'm working at the office computer and want to use minimal resources.

I think Media Monkey is good also. Frankly, Media Center is just prettier.
I use exactaudiocopy (freeware recommended by Stereophile) to copy CDs onto HDD without any compression, into .wav files. Play them back using WMP 11, excellent quality. Not using any sound card, just the on board sound of my Gigabyte motherboard. Give it a try.
It's been exactly one month since I started this thread, so I thought I'd provide an update. Thanks in large part to MediaMonkey, I now have achieved in digital audio what I've been searching for about 4 years now. I took my collection of WAV files, placed them into an organized directory structure (very difficult considering most of my collection is classical), converted them to FLAC (the lossless format that I've settled on), and tagged them in a consistent fashion.

The entire is collection on a Linux server, managed by MediaMonkey on a Windows machine. (I also have exported the files as MP3's for use on iTunes on my Mac.) Slimserver software sits on the Linux box, and this drives the Squeezebox (via gigabit ethernet over Cat 6 wire) in my basement that's connected to the stereo.

I have a laptop running Linux that I use preferentially over the Squeezebox's remote control for easier control of playlists and such while I'm listening.

I must say that I'm now thrilled with the results. My music has never been more accessible, and sounds wonderful. Friends who come over are amazed at the power of this system. And frankly, so am I.