Why would itunes strip data from .wav files? 3 Qs:


Friends,

Turns out I did not lose metadata, only data. But I am having a meta-bummer ("a bummer about bummers") as a consequence.

Three months ago, I began to store itunes music from a large CD collection on an outboard 500 GB WD hard drive. Lots of good advice here at Audiogon re: how to hi fi a computer system. Audiogon posts, along with some generous consults from veterans, led me to buy a second hard drive (also a WD, but bigger at one TB), along with a Squeezebox, and an Ipod.

I have been slowly ripping CDs to itunes, and had about 3,000 songs as .wav files. I plan to convert them to ALC in a Smart Playlist once my Ipod gets full.

When I copied HD#1 contents to HD#2, both hard drives dropped artist, album, genre, composer and showed lots of "can't find the path" exclamation points (!).

With help from several Audiogon users I have successfully recovered my .wav files and reduced !s. (delete Library, Import Folder from HD#1 titles 'itunes music'). But everything appears as a song name only.

QUESTION #1: CAN I FIND THE MISSING DATA? IS THERE A SEARCHABLE FILE EXTENSION? OR DID THEY SIMPLY DISAPPEAR?

QUESTION #2: THERE SEEMS TO BE NO ALTERNATIVE TO RE-RIPPING HUNDREDS OF CDS BY PHYSICALLY PLACING THEM IN MY PC'S CD DRIVE. (NO ONE DESCRIBES A PROCESS OF SIMPLY SENDING CD DIGITIAL OUT TO LAPTOP AS A PCM STREAM.) IF I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT LIVING HECK AGAIN, HOW DO I AVOID A RECURRENCE OF THE DATA LOSS DURING BACKUP?

QUESTION 3: Apparently because I use an external HD, I have to disable error-correction when ripping in itunes. I am not too computer facile (this may already be apparent), but as long as I am taking the time, I would like to invest a few more minutes and use error correction in itunes. (I am not ready for EAC yet.) Can it be done?

Thanks to all of you who posted and emailed.

Cheer,
Rick_van
rick_van
OK, some questions about your setup/process. First, what platform are you using (Mac or Windows)? Second, when you copied the data from HD 1 to HD 2, did you subsequently add the contents of HD 2 to the library (or is HD 2 on a directory that is automatically scanned by iTunes)?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are saying that you used to have metadata for WAV files that included song name, artist, etc but now WAV only has song? You may be discovering the dark side to using WAV files (which is why I argue for FLAC use instead). WAV does not have good standard ways to represent metadata. Some software can simulate metadata in WAV files by storing data external to the files; someone who knows the working of iTunes better than me can confirm if iTunes is one of those programs.

Michael
Per Sufentail; I don't believe you can 'tag' WAV files with Metadata. You may need to take two extra Advil for you Metabummer. That said, iTunes has some means within the software to associate metadata with the WAV files. You have somehow broken the link, I suspect. Unfortunately, like yourself, I am only marginally binary-literate. You may be able to salvage the files themselves by re-importing them into iTunes (though I doubt you'll get all of the metadata back that way). My two strong suggestions is to seek advice on the Apple forums (plenty of Star Wars-loving types there with large craniums bursting with knowledge they are happy to share), or make an appointment at your local Genius Bar (at every Apple Store) for Mensa Martini.

Marco
Marco, WAV files DO have segments that are reserved for metadata-like information. The problem is that there isn't a standard way of placing the information into these segments. Next-generation lossless formats (such as Apple Lossless and FLAC) are much better in this regard (and use only about 50% of the space). That's one of the major reasons why when we have a WAV vs FLAC debate, I'm firmly on the FLAC side.

Rick_van, if you copy the data back to the original location, does it get better? And which library did you delete? Did you create a new library for the files in the location that you copied TO, and then deleted it (leaving the old library in the original location), or did you only have 1 library to start with, and subsequently delete it?

The good news is that if you do need to re-rip the CD's to reestablish all of the info that you're missing, there are commercial services where you send them CD's and a hard drive and they do the legwork. Maybe you'll choose Apple Lossless format instead of WAV.

Michael
iTunes did not "strip" the data. It was never part of the song file. The other stuff was stored elsewhere and the link to that data is gone. It now shows as a song name only because that is all that the wav file contains.

It was a bad idea to use a program like iTunes to store wav files since it was designed to store data as mp3 or Apple lossless. You can avoid a re-occurence by using the program as intended and use Apple Lossless. You can always create a wav from Apple Lossless if you feel the need to do so.

Apparently because I use an external HD, I have to disable error-correction when ripping in itunes.
Why? I have ripped a lot of CDs to external drives with error corerction on.
Thanks for the correction, Michael. So is metadata-like information actually attached to the file, or is it a function of the software? I learned just enough about this stuff to be dangerous, so am open to learning more in order to become a lethal weapon! I found out about the WAV drawbacks when I discovered that I could not manually attach album artwork to my WAV rips within iTunes - yet some of my WAV files had the artwork imported from Apple. So obviously there was some way to attach the data - I assumed it was indirectly through the software.

Marco
Yes it is indirectly. The artwork is not attached to the wav files. It is stored elsewhere and there is a link to the song file. It the "elsewhere" gets corrupted or the link is broken or corrupted iTunes will never be able to find it.

Apple lossless will store the data concerning that song as part of the file as tags so it won't get lost. It stores this info about wav files elswhere so it can get lost.

BTW the artist's name is not metadata. Metadata is data about other data. Artist names, album titles, song titles, genre, etc. is just data.

Metadata would be things like playlists, play count, your ranking of albums, etc.
I use iTunes to rip and manage and Apple lossless, but I have ongoing Album Art problems. The most vexing problem is when I ask SlimServer to access my iTunes library. Countless albums (and I think some but not necessarily all songs within a given album) show up with no album art! Is there a better alternative for ripping on Macs assuming you want lossless tracks?
I thought the proper way to do what you were needing to do was use the "consolidate library" feature under the advanced menu. This way will keep all your directories correct. I had no problems when I did this. To convert all of your library to Apple Lossless why can't you just command A everything and do a batch process under the advanced menu as well? It will take a while to process but it will double your hard drive space(not literally but it will free up tons of room).
Synthfreek, you can convert them to Apple Lossless BUT when the source file is itself a lossy MP3 file, you've already lost data from the original CD, and now you're converting it to lossless -- too late. To preserve all of the information, you need to go straight from the CD (or another lossless format, such as WAV or FLAC).

Michael
I thought they were still .wav files.
You're right -- I confused this with another thread. His source files were WAV, not MP3. My bad.

Michael