Frequently Asked

Some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
If you need more help, please contact us via email or twitter @meta4mac.

Website vs. Mac App Store version of Meta

For short, consider purchasing directly from this website for a faster and safer experience.
Apart from the considerations listed below, the apps will be identical.

Direct License

By purchasing directly via this website:

  • You are free from Sandbox-related issues.
  • You are supporting this software's developer better, financially.
  • Once license lets you activate and use the app on up to 3 computers.

Mac App Store

Meta's Mac App Store version is required to be sandboxed, meaning you will see additional security access dialogs show up every-time you need to access a new location on your hard drive (for example when moving or renaming files). Also, some smaller features might be more limited or unavailable.

The Sandboxed environment, when enforced on macOS is known to have a limitation, where file access would be denied when opening more than 3.000 files at once.

Retrieve Product License

Please note this applies to direct (website) customers only.
If you purchased through the Mac App Store and are prompted for a license, you need to delete the app from your applications folder, and install Meta from the Mac App Store directly.

To recover a lost product license:

  • Launch Meta
  • Select “Meta” menu
  • Select “Retrieve License…”

Supported Tags

Meta supports almost all tags defined in the ID3v2 Specification, across all Metadata formats, plus a few extras.
Here's the complete list, sorted alphabetically:

Album Genre Original Lyricist Sort Composer
Album Artist Grouping Original Release Time Sort Title
Artist ISRC Playlist Delay Subtitle
BPM Involved People Podcast Subtitle for Set
Comments Key Podcast Desc Tagging Time
Compilation Language Podcast ID Title
Composer Length Podcast URL Track №
Conductor Lyricist Producer Notice Tracks
Copyright Lyrics Publisher Website
Credits Media Type Radio Name Work
Description Mood Radio Owner Year
Disc № Movement Rating
Discs Movement № Release Time
Encoder Movements Remix Artist
Encoding Info Original Album Sort Album Artist
Encoding Time Original Artist Sort Album
File Owner Original Filename Sort Artist
File Type

Supported Online Services (Discogs API, iTunes API)

Meta offers the possibility to find & download high quality album covers using the Cover Finder feature,
and additionally to find & download Tags (and album covers) from the Discogs catalog thanks to the Tag Finder feature.

Saving Changes

There is no need to explicitly save anything, Meta saves changes each time you commit editing (i.e. pressing return/enter in a textfield). Of course, you can Undo any changes you may not be satisfied with.

Refreshing changes in iTunes/Music

iTunes/Music.app maintain their own internal metadata database. As such, the programs need to invalidate and mark their internal tag representations as obsolete and re-read the metadata from the files, when the embedded metadata has been changed by an external source (ie. Meta).

You can do so by using the “add to Library” function of Meta, that will force the library to re-read the files metadata. Sometimes still, the target program will fail to invalidate the artworks, and sadly the only option will be to remove & re-add the files.

Scrolling the display horizontally

When using a traditional scroll-wheel mouse, horizontal scroll can be performed by holding the Shift Key ⇧, while scrolling. This will work with any macOS app.

Converting lossless WAV audio files to ALAC

To convert WAVE audio files to ALAC (.mp4):

  • In Finder, select desired files
  • Reveal the context menu (Right-Click / Control + Click)
  • Select “Encode Selected Audio Files”
  • Choose “Apple Lossless” as the Encoder

You can then easily copy the tags over from WAVs to their MP4 (ALAC) counterpart, by opening both in Meta.
To do so:

  • In Meta, select the original uncompressed files
  • In Meta's main menu, select EditCopy ⌘C
  • Select the MP4 files in the same order and choose EditPaste ⌘V.

Why can't I prepend leading zeroes to the track/disc number tags?

Track number, disc number, track total, and disc total tags cannot be saved with a leading zero, because they are represented internally as integers, and not as strings.

To use zero-padding when converting tags to file names or directory names, enable the “Zero Padded Track & Disc. Number” preference in the “Converter” section of Meta's preference pane.

Why might the artwork not be showing in macOS's Finder?

macOS's Finder won't be able to read tags from .flac and .wav formats, and as a consequence, a correctly tagged file of this type will appear as displaying the default icon in macOS's Finder.

Why might the WAV tags I edited not show in iTunes/Music or the Finder?

iTunes.app / Music.app simply don't read any tags embedded in WAV audio files.
They instead rely on storing metadata in their own private database.

In the meantime, if you wish to preserve iTunes/Music.app compatibility, your best option will be to convert your WAV files to audio formats such as AIFF or ALAC → See how to do this

Why might the changes I made using Meta not show in program X?

There's a fair chance your program only reads metadata once (upon startup, or when scanning files) and doesn't automatically detect live changes to the files you are editing with Meta. Another possibility is that the program uses its own database, and hasn't refreshed the changes yet.

To show the changes, try reopening the program so that it parses the files' Metadata again, or try changing the current folder in your program's file browser, to force a refresh.

Why might the “Grouping” tag value not show in iTunes/Music, when editing mp3s?

Meta reads and writes the 'Grouping' tag as defined by the ID3v2 Standard, to the frame TIT1.
iTunes behaved similarly until recently with the release of iTunes 12.5.4.42.
iTunes now writes "Grouping" values to a new, private ID3 frame GRP1.

Associated ID3 Frames:

Grouping Work
In Meta: TIT1 TXXX
In iTunes: GRP1 TIT1

This is a breaking change, as all other programs and music players have been using TIT1 to store grouping information.
Meta will by default stick to the standard in an effort to not break compatibility, but offers the ability to use iTunes/Music compatibility if desired.

To do that, please head to Meta's “Metadata” preferences, and enable the checkbox as pictured below.

Finding crash reports

To find any crash reports, open Console.app, located under /Applications/Utilities.

  • In Console.app, find the section called “User Diagnostic Reports”.
  • Click the preceding triangle to disclose the list, and show all the crashes that you’ve had on your machine.
  • Select the .crash files whose name begin with “Meta”, and drag them to your mail window to drop them as attachments.