I really like that fact that Roon never overwrites or populates the metadata in your music file. Just about every other player including Studio and JRiver has the ability to overwrite metadata. And you have to be careful to ensure if such ability is turned on or not. I prefer Roon’s approach here. It is preferable to use a purpose-built metatag editor (like mp3tag) than to let any player software alter your file metadata.
I don’t no other players than AS and JRiver who overwrite metadata. In JRiver there’s a setting to disable it. The mistake of AS, in its first release, was that it was impossible to disable AS from writing metadata to the tracks.
IMO, AS’ development team needs to be strengthened with a good developer that is specialized in UI and library management. Damien is good for the sound, but not for that. One does not need to be a computing engineer to realize, for instance, that the fonts of AS are terribly small.
In JRiver, there are multiple settings found in different places to disable writing metadata – you have to be careful to go through ALL the settings.
Other player software writing metadata to files includes: foobar2000, Audacity, iTunes, Windows Media Player (you really should not be using these last two). As well, various sound editing and recording software write file tags too.
Damien chose to hire a Marketing Director instead of another developer. So now we get pretty looking web pages on Audirvana’s site,
It’s true that in JRiver the settings dispersed. It has a UI from the Windows 95 era.
I know Foobar only in its basic version for Mac, and it does not have this feature. I don’t know at all Windows Media Player and Audacity.
I don’t know how iTunes behaves on PC, but on Mac, it does not write metadata to the tracks. The only metadata it can write are pictures of covers that it gathers for you, if you enable this feature in the player.
I use foobar2000 to analyze DSD files and write their DR scores to the music files and to a create a separate file with all the scores.
You are much better than me for tagging. I learned already many things from you.
Foobar has great add-ons on PC, but absolutely nothing for the Mac.
I installed Foobar’s basic version on my Dell, and I’ll take the time to configure it with add-ons and plug-ins.
Unfortunately, the players with the best sound engines — HQPlayer, Neutron, Amarra and Audirvana — all suck for their UI and/or library management.
The guys in Roon were clever. They understood that they are not good for the sound, so they integrated HQPlayer.
Other players may have better upsampling routines than Roon, however, I use Roon only for bit-perfect output. This works for me. YMMV.
Maybe the sound of Roon was improved with v1.8. When I tried Roon, it was v1.7, or maybe 1.6.
But I read posts on various threads of the forum, and also posts on Roon’s forum, of users who say that Audirvana’s sound is better than Roon’s.
As I could not compare between them, I don’t know for sure.
And I want to make a correction regarding iTunes on Mac. Even the covers that it can automatically gather are not written to the tracks. They are written in iTunes’ database.
Do they still have iTunes for the Mac? – I thought it was discontinued for “Apple Music”. Regarding iTunes for Windows, iTunes did indeed put metadata into each music file (according to the standard ID3 metatag specification). However, ITunes for Windows never handled FLAC files or DSD files. I don’t think that iTunes for Windows could even handle WAV files. IIRC, if you were not careful to adjust the settings in iTunes, it may overwrite your embedded cover art as well as the folder.jpg file.
On the Mac, the name of iTunes changed, two years ago, and now it is called Music, indeed. But it’s the same application from which Apple removed some features, and transferred them to other apps, such as podcasts, and the management of the iPhone…
On Mac also, iTunes/Music does not support Flac and DSD tracks.
It supports only AIFF, WAV, ALAC, AAC and MP3.
The Mac version of iTunes never wrote automatically anything to the files. It writes to the tags only the changes that are made by the user himelf.
The only reason I keep iTunes on my PC is to back up my iPad.
And this feature was removed from the Mac version. It’s done now by the Finder.
I used iTunes in its beginning. I ripped then hundreds of my CDs to ALAC. But I stopped using it for many years now.
Every player today should be made to support FLAC files and vorbis comments (FLAC file tags). Vorbis is superior to (and much simpler than) ID3 tags in many ways. Even today, there’s differences between ID3 v2.3 and 2.4 that affect the mapping of tags – With vorbis comments, there is no mapping unlike ID3, since the field name, e.g. Artist, is the same as the tag name in Vorbis. (The Artist tag name in ID3 is TPE1 – every tag name is in code and must be translated and this changes with different versions. Very messy – especially when it comes to any year/date/time tags.)
iTunes does not support Flac, because Apple was interested in selling music with the iTunes Store in its own format, AAC. Now, it streams in ALAC. I don’t think that they are interested in the tiny market of music players in which the players that we use compete.
I’m really not educated regarding the ID3 versions. If you have a link to a good read about this subject, it will be welcomed.
I don’t know about good read but this is the official page for ID3:
Here are tables showing some mapping of field names:
The latter one is very good.
Thank you. I will read it.
Support for FLAC is growing:
For completeness, here is the official vorbis page:
And the official FLAC page:
Sure, Flac is the most important format, but Apple doesn’t care about it, so iTunes does not support it. They have no ambition to compete with Roon or JRiver.
In the beginning, they were offering iTunes for free in order to sale music and to support the iPod, and later to support the iPhone and to sale subscriptions for their streaming service.