Wav to Flac using Dbpoweramp

I have a lot of music in uncompressed wav format which was ripped using dbpoweramp. I have read that wav format can have a problem with tags. I am not sure what that means exactly for me, but if I convert them to flac or apple lossless using dbpoweramp, what will happen to the tags?
Most WAV files do not have tags imbedded in them, although some do use extensions for limited tagging. The software player you are using is probably maintaining the tags separately. If you simply use dBpoweramp to convert the files, new tags will be added from the database that dBpoweramp uses. Presumably, the artist, album and track information will be obtained from your existing folder and file names. If you have a lot of custom tags, like for classical music, you will probably have to re-enter them. You can get a free version of dBpoweramp and give it a try. That will probably give you the best idea of how the process will work.

Note that dBpoweramp has a "batch mode" which will convert all the the files/CDs without you having to do each one individually.

What player software are you currently using?

dBpoweramp can also tell you what tag information is in a file. You just select the file with Windows Explorer, click on properties and there is a option to see the tags. I think this may be in the version you have to pay for. But, if you are doing a lot of tagging, it is very handy.
From reading your post, it looks like you already have dbPoweramp. Also, if I'm reading correctly, you are not sure what tags are. Tags are information that gets attached to an audio file to describe it. (Artist, Title, Year, Album, ets). Tags are also called metadata. It seems simple, and it is, but can be very frustrating if you are not aware of certain things. The biggest problem that people have with tags is confusing them with file names. Like most people you probably have a music folder. Inside that folder is probably folders labelled with artists. Inside artist folders, albums. You get the idea. Thats not, necessarily, what you see in the library view of whatever music player you happen to use. There can be big differences between what you see in your library and what you see in your file system. I know from experience that it can drive you crazy if you are not aware of what is going on.

I will stop here for 2 reasons. 1. You may already know this. If not, I will be glad to continue. 2. You need to decide what you want to do. Some people hear differences between different music file types. Not just from lossy to lossless, but differences between different lossless files like WAV and FLAC. In your case, flacs are much easier to tag but I know some prefer WAV for sound quality. I suggest you experiment to see if you want to change to flac or another file type fist. That will effect what you have to do with regards to tagging your music. Also, some people prefer different music players. It will be good to know what music player you will be using, as well.
Zd542 - thanks for correcting me, very politely, on the fact that the OP already has dBpoweramp. The only question is whether he has the free or full version.

I find using dBpoweramp to see what tags are actually in the file to be very useful. Before I starting using it, I was, as you state, confused about what tags were in the file and what were in the player software.
Thank you for the excellent responses! I do have the full version of dbpoweramp. Zd542 you are exactly right in what I am seeing. The file in which my music is stored and the way windows media player contains the info is very different and it does drive me crazy. WMP has a lot of music in an unknown folder. It is confusing.
My plan will probably be to move to an Apple Mac mini with attached additional memory, connected asynchronously via usb to my DAC as a front end, using wav files.
Right now I stream from a laptop wirelessly to a Pioneer N50 which connects via optical to my Esoteric DAC. The sound quality is very good but selection of music (via N50 smartphone app) is best through the music file rather than through WMP, because of the problems above, which is not ideal.
I suppose I am really most concerned that by ripping to wav I have lost tags? If I convert to Flac or another format using Dbpoweramp, will any lost tags be recovered? Will the mess in WMP be cleared up with Flac vs wav? I also want to use other formats for the car and ipod etc. (btw - I have made no manual tag corrections)
Tag conversion is always a little mystifying until you go through it. One reason people like formats other than WAV is that the tags can be stored in the files.

I use J River Media Center for a player and it has the option to store tags in a separate J River folder or in the files or it both places and options to copy tag information from the file to the library and from the library to the file. I am not an apple user, so am not familiar with the tagging options on Apple, but you should look into them before choosing a play. If I remember correctly, WMP has little or no tag editor capability.

Bear with me, if you already know this.

A CD has almost no tag information beyond the album name and artist. When you rip a CD, the ripper (dBpoweramp in your case) looks up the album in an online database and fills in the main tags. You can see this by putting a CD in and call up the dBpoweramp CD ripper. You will see that there is little information therem, but there is an option to choose a particular album from the database to use for tags. Once you choose the album, tag information will be filled in. It is usually limited to basic tags like album name, artist, track name, genre, composer, date. Any other tags you have to enter manually.

For wav files, none of the tags are entered into the file itself. However, the artist, album and track are typically part of the file structure, usually with the a folder name for the artist, a sub folder for the album name and individual files for each track. Since you originally ripped with dBpoweramp, you should know your file structure. Add since you say you have not made any changes to the tags, the file structure should be able to provide most of the tag information on conversion.

If you batch convert your existing library, dBpoweramp can pick up the artist, album, track names from the file structure, assuming a format like I described above. However, once the conversion is done, you can go back and add them using the dBpoweramp tag editor which you can access from Windows Explorer and Properties. You can edit a single track or multiple tracks. I do not think dBpoweramp can do automatic tag lookup from its database except when ripping, but I may be wrong. Alternatively, you can have you player software look up additional tag information for its online database, which is what I do with J River.

The biggest problem is often the cover art, which will not be transferred. You neeed to go through and have dBpoweramp (through properties) or your player find the art on the Internet and pull it into the FLAC file.

Sorry if you already know much of that, but some of it might be helpful.

Probably the best thing to do is to try a couple of albums and see how it goes. It will take some effort, but it is certainly not as bad as doing the original rips.

Good luck.
Sorry I wasn't able to get to get back to this thread sooner. Thanks to Dtc for saving me a lot of typing, as well. Excellent description of the whole process. All the info in Dtc's post is very accurate. The only thing I can add is a few tips on how to make all this a little easier to implement from a practical standpoint.

As stated above, you can view your music files 2 ways; as a file structure and in a library view in a music player (Metadata). Let me give an example of something I did not too long ago. I imported a bunch of Rolling Stones albums. My file structure was nice and orderly. Main folder was Rolling Stones. Inside were all the albulms. Inside the albums, the songs. In my library view on my music player I had a bunch of different bands (Rolling Stones, The Rolling Stones, Rolling Stones, The). Same thing with Genera (Rock, Classic Rock, Rock & Roll, Rock and Roll). I also had some unknowns, as well. That just means the software was not able to find a match for the music you imported and was not able to tag it. There is nothing wrong with the music files, you just have to tag them manually.

For me, at least, this is the biggest drawback to having the software auto tag. If there is the slightest difference in a field, you have 2 or more fields when there should only be one. The upside is that this is very easy to fix. Instead of going into library view and trying to find everything and relabel it all piece by piece, you use file view. Using my Rolling Stones example, I went from Library view in my music player to file view (You do all this in you music player; just to be clear.) Once in file view, I highlight my Rolling Stones master file, with all the albums in it, and tag certain fields all at once. Its usually just the artist name and genera. Now when I switch back to the library, I can at least get everything in one place so I can see it. From there I can just check each album and fix whatever is not right.

One last thing. Its not a bad idea to have a few different music players. No one player does it all. There is one player I really like to use for tagging. Its called Quod Libet and its free. It also works on Mac, Windows and Linux. Thats what I use for most, if not all of my tagging. Foobar2000 and Clementine are also good choices, as well. The main reason I mention Quod Libet is that its very easy and clear when it comes to switching back and forth between file view and library view. It has a lot of other great tagging features too.

Anyway, that’s where I would start. If I wasn't clear on something, just post and I'll see if I can help.
Thank you all for taking the time to give such great feedback. I am hoping for some breathing space from work so I can digest it fully and try a few things. Thanks for the feedback so far.