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How can I stop Windows/WMP from messing with my MP3 metadata? Answered

I generally set the ID3 metadata manually (in Windows Explorer Properties or when encoding in Audacity). Then I go to play it back a day later, and something has messed with it without asking me... It'll change from the original album name to some greatest hits anthology, or make up some band name, then tell me a Lennon song was recorded in 1994. Kind of annoying when I'm trying to organize my library. I originally thought it was Windows Media Player, but it happens even when I've never opened WMP. Seems to happen on both XP and Win7, but more often in Win7, though it's hard to tell because I move files between the two so often.

Are there any options I can disable that I don't know about? All I can find online is people who somehow want this to happen, or want to strip the ID3 entirely.


In WMP go to > Tools > Options > Library Tab

Under "Automatic media information updates for files"; make sure the option below to "retrieve additional information from the internet" is selected to "only add missing information"... I'm guessing you also have "overwrite all media information" selected.

You'll have to do this on each machine that you share files.


That's how I set it on the initial setup. I've since deselected "retrieve additional information from the internet" entirely. Hence my annoyance that the Fn thing keeps doing it, and I'm not convinced it's WMP at all.

Oy vey... this is a bigger issue than I was aware of... so I get your frustration. 

I found a forum with some promising information. You'll have to scroll about a 1/4 of the page down before you get past the "ya me too" comments...

User: _DHV_ noticed the same issue, that the metadata would revert, unless you changed it to "read only"...

User: grOmmet suggests there's an issue with compatibility and says to use only ID3v2.3 tags, and offered a link to a universal mp3 tag editor that is compatible.

Perhaps you may find more info as you scan through the forum if the above ideas don't work.

Hi Guys, I know this thread is very old, but I also did not find the answer here. So I decided to write my solution to help other colleagues in future.

It seems the problem is with playlists in Windows Media Player.

If you delete the playlist, with the songs you had edited the metadata, form WMP (just delete playlists not the mp3 file itself), when you re-create the playlist, WMP will get the new metadata!

source: http://www.last.fm/pl/forum/85189/_/754841

To confirm that it's not WMP, try de-selecting download media information from the Internet. That way you will know for sure if WMP is causing it. I also like canucksgirl's suggestion below.