WAV audio files can hold several metadata types. These metadata types were introduced over the years into the WAV format, which is extensible by nature. WAV is based on the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF), and made of chunks of data. Contrary to popular misconception, adding metadata to WAV files does not break the format. Any well-behaved WAV reader is able to handle every WAV file even if doesn't understand all the chunks it contains, in which case it simply ignores them. The following is a description of the different WAV metadata types, and the software that support them.

Jump to list of software that support WAV & BWF metadata

INFO List Chunk

The original WAV specification which was published in 1991 defined an INFO List Chunk that can store information about the file such as Title, Artist, and Genre.

Broadcast Audio Extension Chunk

In 1997 the European Broadcast Union published the specification of the Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) for the seamless exchange of audio material between different broadcast environments and between equipment based on different computer platforms. BWF is essentially a WAV file with a Broadcast Audio Extension chunk (Bext) that can store metadata.

ID3v2 Tag

ID3v2 tag, which was introduced in 1998 and originally designed for MP3 files, can be written by some software into WAV files. Due to lack of standard, three ways for writing ID3v2 tag into WAV files emerged by different software, which cause a compatibility problem.

XMP

The specification for Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), which was introduced by Adobe in 2001 and is now commonly used in JPEG images, also defines a way to write it into WAV files.

iXML

iXML is an XML based metadata format designed for BWF files. It is more flexible than the Broadcast Audio Extension chunk and can hold more information. It was introduced in 2004.

Cart Chunk

Cart Chunk is a metadata format which was designed for WAV files used in the radio industry. It was formally ratified as a standard in 2002 by the Audio Engineering Society (AES).

WAV & BWF Metadata Software

List of software that support WAV & BWF metadata.

Tag Editors

  • Adobe Bridge - Supports editing of INFO and XMP. (Windows, Mac)
  • BSI Info Editor - Supports editing of INFO and Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Windows)
  • BWF MetaEdit - Supports editing of INFO and Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Linux, Windows, Mac)
  • BWF-Widget Pro - Supports editing of Broadcast Audio Extension chunk and iXML. (Windows)
  • IDTE-ID3 - Supports editing of INFO. Includes batch mode. (Linux, Windows)
  • Kid3 - Supports editing of ID3v2 tag (Type III). (Linux, Windows, Mac)
  • MetadataTouch - Supports editing of INFO, XMP, ID3v2 tag (Type I and II), Broadcast Audio Extension chunk, iXML, and Cart Chunk. Includes batch mode. (Windows)
  • Metadatics - Supports editing of INFO and ID3v2 tag. Includes batch mode. (Mac)
  • mp3Tag Pro - Supports editing of ID3v2 tag (Type I). Includes batch mode. (Windows)
  • Tag&Rename - Supports editing of INFO and ID3v2 tag (Type II). Includes batch mode. (Windows)
  • uTag - Supports editing of Cart Chunk. (Windows)
  • Wave Agent - Supports editing of Broadcast Audio Extension chunk and iXML. (Windows)
  • Yate - Supports editing of ID3v2 tag. Includes batch mode. (Mac)

Media Players

Sound Editors

  • Adobe Audition - Supports editing of INFO, Broadcast Audio Extension chunk, iXML, and Cart Chunk. (Windows, Mac)
  • Audacity - Supports editing of INFO and ID3v2 tag. (Linux, Windows, Mac)
  • Pyramix - Supports editing of Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Windows)
  • SADiE - Supports editing of Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Windows)
  • Sequoia - Supports editing of Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Windows)
  • soundBlade - Supports editing of Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Mac)
  • WaveLab - Supports editing of INFO, ID3v2 tag, Cart Chunk, iXML, and Broadcast Audio Extension chunk. (Windows, Mac)

Audio Converters


Do you know other software or music player that support WAV & BWF metadata?
Tell us about it at wavmetadata@yahoo.com

Page created on October 28, 2013. Last updated on December 21, 2014.