Wav Metadata Not Shown in Windows Explorer

Mac Finder shows RIFF metadata from Wavelab wav files coded with RIFF and ID3.
Windows Explorer shows RIFF metadata from other program’s RIFF and ID3 coded wav files.
But Windows Explorer doesn’t show any metadata from Wavelab wav files.

Also, if I edit even one field of another program’s RIFF metadata in Wavelab (from Foobar, Audacity, XRecode), the files that formerly showed all RIFF in Windows Explorer show no metadata at all in Windows Explorer.
The tags still seem to be correct in Wavelab and within the other programs, but are not shown within Windows Explorer.
RIFF ID3 Wavelab Mac.png

I guess Windows Explorer only searches for meta-data at a certain location in the file, while it can be placed anywhere, eg. at the end. This is a limitation of Windows Explorer.

Since Win7, Windows Explorer is useless anyway, not being able to show bit depth and sample rate, just ‘Bit rate’.

I’ll put in a complaint with Microsoft, but I don’t really expect a fix. The other RIFF wav programs I mentioned in another thread put it where the operating system wants to see it, so I hope you reconsider moving it.

I put in a complaint with Microsoft about the sampling rate / bit depth columns Arjan spoke of when Vista or Win 7 came out, and nothing came of that. Windows explorer has a hundred available window columns, so it would be nice to be able to display what is available.

I hadn’t noticed the Mac sampling rate / bit depth data until taking my screenshot. If anyone knows how to make more columns like that available in Finder windows I’d be interested in knowing. In Mountain Lion I still see only about 10 column headings available for Finder windows, and SR/BD is not one of them.

The third-party Windows Explorer replacement XYplorer added sample rate and bit depth columns earlier this year.


The third-party Windows Explorer replacement XYplorer added sample rate and bit depth columns earlier this year.

Good software. I use it all the time.

anyone testing windows 10 now would be good time to leave feedback concerning this wav metadata.

Me too. And I found it because I saw that PG was using it :slight_smile:

I think I open Windows Explorer about 3 times a year now that I use XYPlorer.


Thanks for the XYplorer suggestion. Very nice.

I think I found the definitive thread on the Windows column subject:
So sad. You can add window columns for everything under the sun having to do with digital photographs (white balance, exposure, lens model (!) etc. etc.) but not Wav sampling rate. It’s crazy. I’d still like to see Microsoft put the columns back in a Win 7 update. A shell extension is mentioned in the discussion, but it seems to be only for AAC support.

But MP3 does pretty well with Windows columns (nearly all ID3 info columns available).

Mac, I’m surprised. Still only the same 9 window columns that were available in OS9. But I found if I went to the Music folder there were a few more music columns available there. But not Wav audio sampling rate and bit depth. The Mac OS info can see them, but not do columns. That’s also pretty sad. Couldn’t find any third party apps like XYplorer for Mac.

Good find on that unfortunate and arrogant reply from Microsoft! I intend to try out XYplorer, but for years I’ve had a simple workaround: a list of bit rate ‘translations’ as part of my Windows desktop… Like so:
Wallpaper Bitrates.jpg

Nice. Thanks Arjan.

Apparently Windows will only see List Info tags written at end of file. If they’re written at start of file they won’t be seen by Windows.


I think I just found another answer for this. It seems Windows Explorer will not read Wavelab RIFF INFO unless the Wavelab file also contains at least something in the BWF (or whether adding the BWF moves the RIFF to the spot in the file Explorer wants to see, I don’t know). Mac Finder doesn’t care either way (Mac Finder seems to always read the Wavelab RIFF Info, BWF or not).

The first picture is the metadata of a Wavelab file with RIFF INFO only. Windows Explorer won’t display the RIFF INFO in this file. The second picture is the metadata of a Wavelab file with the same RIFF INFO, but BWF added. Windows Explorer will read the RIFF INFO from that file.

The BWF metadata is also related to importing Wavelab wav files in Pro Tools. Pro Tools (with AES31/BWF prefs on, which I believe is the default) will say the file needs to be converted if it doesn’t contain the BWF. With the BWF, there’s no such message, and the file can be added directly to a Pro Tools session.
Wavelab RIFF Info only.PNG
Wavelab RIFF Info and BWF.PNG


Pro Tools WL no BWF.png
Pro Tools WL with BWF.png

why do I have to use a third-party program to do something so basic? Microsoft?

Do you mean why did Microsoft remove Audio Sample Rate, Audio Sample Size, and Number of Channels from Windows Explorer? Might be something to bring up on the Windows 10 discussion at gearslutz, which is frequented by a Microsoft representative. Maybe it hasn’t been requested there.