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.

Retrieve Product License

Please note this applies to direct (website) customers only.
To recover lost product licenses:

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

What Tags does Meta support?

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
Disc № Mood Radio Owner Year
Discs Movement Rating
Encoder Movement № Release Time
Encoding Info Movements Remix Artist
Encoding Time Original Album Sort Album Artist
File Owner Original Artist Sort Album
File Type Original Filename Sort Artist

What’s the difference between buying from your website and the Mac App Store?

Purchasing from the Mac App Store shows major drawbacks:

The Mac App Store version of Meta is 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 contain a bug (still not addressed by Apple), where file access would be denied when opening more than 3.000 files at once… which is a very plausible scenario using Meta.

By purchasing directly via this website, you are free from those Sandbox-related issues, and also you are supporting me (👋🏻 hello), and this software better. If making sufficient income from sales, I can pursue efforts in keeping this software up to date and bug-free.

Apart from those considerations, the apps will be identical.

How do you save 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.

Can Meta display/edit multiple album artworks (front, back, etc…)?

Meta only allows for displaying and editing a single artwork image, the front cover, and that is by design.
Most players don't allow for displaying more than one cover image, so such support saw limited interest.

Why is the artwork not 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.

How can I edit track/disc numbers to have them start with a leading zero. Example: 01, 02, …09?

You can't, and that is by design.

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.

How can I force iTunes/Music.app to refresh after making changes in Meta?

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.

How can you scroll 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.

I edited WAVE audio files with Meta, why are the tags not showing in iTunes / Music App / 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

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.

I have some audio files opened in program X, why aren't the changes I made using Meta showing?

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.

When editing mp3s, the “Grouping” tag value does not show in iTunes, why?

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.

Accessing Tag capitalisation and string transforms

Select a group of files you wish to edit, then use either method:

In the sidebar

  • Click on the desired tag's label.
  • Choose the desired string-transform operation.


In the files list

  • Right click (or control-click) the selected files above the desired column/tag.
  • Select the column/tag's context menu.
  • Choose the desired string-transform operation.

What is the difference between Capitalize and Titlecase?

Capitalize will make the initial letter of every word uppercase and everything else lowercase.

Titlecase behaves in a similar way, only it does not touch words that are already uppercase, and will apply some context: Terms like LP or EP will always be uppercase, and small words (articles, coordinating conjunctions) will be kept lowercase.

Does Meta support pulling track information from online services, such as FreeDB or Discogs?

Meta offers the possibility to find & download album cover art using the optional “Cover Finder” in-app purchase.
Finding metadata, is not yet supported, but is a planned feature.

Meta just crashed, where do I find the 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.