5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

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greenleroy
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5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

Post by greenleroy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:20 am

I am not sure what version this started happening. I noticed this beginning with version 8.2.1, and it continues with the latest 8.2.3. When I set ratings for m4a files between zero and four stars and save the file, those ratings show properly both in EZ and also in windows 7 file explorer. However, if I set any song to a 5-Star rating, the song shows 5-stars in EZ but in windows file explorer it shows ZERO stars. This happens anytime you set a rating to 5-stars but ONLY with M4A files, MP3 files all show ratings properly.

An unrelated issue perhaps, but any rating that you set in Windows 7 file explorer on an M4A file, does not appear in EZ at all. EZ shows any rating that has been recorded in file explorer as a ZERO star song. What this essentially means, is that for a 5-Star song to appear as 5-stars in both EZ and in file explorer, you have to set it to five stars once in EZ, and then again in file explorer.

Why can EZ record ratings from Zero to Four that appear in file explorer, but not a 5-star rating? Is this a bug? THanks

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Re: 5-Star ratings not setting on M4A files

Post by greenleroy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:28 pm

Ok, I just started using 8.2.3, and with this version, NO ratings are visible in windows file explorer for ANY ratings set on M4A files using EZCD! I went ahead and tested using version 7.1.5, and 7.2.1, and 8.0.1 and 8.0.6, and 8.2.1. Ratings set on M4A files in those versions DO show correctly in file explorer EXCLUDING the aforementioned 5 star rating, which only shows in EZCD, and not in file explorer on ANY version that I have tested.

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Re: 5-Star ratings not setting on M4A files

Post by poiko » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:04 am

M4A file format does not seem to have a standard tag for the RATING metadata.

Windows File Explorer and Windows Media Player write the RATING metadata to Xtra tag under "WM/SharedUserRating" tag.

EZ CD Audio Converter writes the rating to freeform M4A metadata ---- / com.apple.iTunes / RATING.

Detailed tag mapping:

https://www.poikosoft.com/music-convert ... ta-support

I will investigate this issue and see if there is a better way to handle the issue.

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Re: 5-Star ratings not setting on M4A files

Post by greenleroy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:40 pm

Thank you!

Just to be clear, in version prior to 8.2.3, when writing rating tags with EZCD, they do appear in file explorer, but only ratings from 0-4 stars... the 5 star rating does not appear in file explorer. So window must be able to read whatever tag is written by EZCD... but 8.2.3 does not work at all.

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Re: 5-Star ratings not setting on M4A files

Post by poiko » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:22 am

There is an issue because there are 3 different rating "standards" in m4a files. Different apps use different fields because there is no true standard field for the rating metadata.

There are three different "standards" now:

Freeform atom RATING
'rate' atom
'Xtra' atom WM/SharedUserRating (Windows File Explorer / WMP writes WMA format style metadata to m4a)

I will solve this issue in the next update with full backward compatibility.

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Re: 5-Star ratings not setting on M4A files

Post by poiko » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:54 am

Basically, there is no issue in EZ CD Audio Converter itself.

It writes freeform 'RATING' metadata which is inline with other text-based metadata formats such as FLAC, OPUS, VORBIS, APE, WAVPACK.

Some other app defines a non-standard 'rate' atom.

Should it write an extra tag with WMA-style metadata just to satisfy Windows File Explorer / Media Player ?

I will try to figure this out.

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Re: 5-Star ratings not setting on M4A files

Post by poiko » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:24 pm

I tested it.

RATING metadata as EZ CD Audio Converter uses it, is compatible with popular media players such as Foobar2000 and VLC media player.

Should EZ CD Audio Converter write multiple tags for RATING ? The standard RATING and Xtra-atom WM/SharedUserRating for Windows File Explorer compatibility ? There will be an issue if there are multiple, i.e. which one to read and show ? I.e. if you change the rating in Windows File Explorer no other apps see the updated rating.

In my opinion, it is up to Microsoft to update their system to use the more standard RATING field instead of their implementation.

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Re: 5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

Post by greenleroy » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:22 am

First, thanks for looking into this. I think it is amazing how dedicated you are to this software and the work you do. I have enjoyed using EZ CD and Easy CD-DA prior to that since 2006.

To be clear. I am not asking for you to add a feature to EZ CD, I am asking for a bug to be fixed in the software. Versions prior to 8.2.3 wrote m4a tags that could be read by file explorer. The bug was with the 5 star rating, which was read by FE as a zero star rating for some odd reason and that is what I am bringing to your attention and asking to be resolved. I am not sure many people use file explorer to edit meta-data, but when I use FE to set ratings on m4a files, those ratings are read by EZ CD perfectly, from 0 through 5. So there is already compatibility between the two software interfaces. It would seem reasonable that EZCD would be able to write what it can read.

If for some reason, 8.2.3 saw the removal of the backwards compatibility, then I would certainly ask for it to be returned. I use EZ CD on Windows, and once I process all of my music through EZ CD, I use file explorer to organize, sort and search those files on a daily basis, and ratings are critical to that process, especially for generating playlists. I cannot imagine this software being useful without the ability to write metadata that is readable by the Operating System itself... and I would be extremely confused if that ability was removed intentionally.

I think one solution is to have EZ CD write each relevant version of the meta-data (especially those for operating systems) each time there is a save, but only read the one that is the most up-to-date acceptable version. I don't think you even need to show or display those alternate ratings fields in any part of EZ CD. EZ CD already doesn't show several types of meta-data that are written by other programs. If people open a file in EZ CD and see a rating that is different than that which is visible from some other software interface, then they can edit the rating in EZ CD, and save it, and EZ CD will update all of the meta fields with that ratings data. The next level would be to give the users a bang, in the event that EZ CD sees conflicting meta-data, but as a programmer myself, that might end up being a rabbit hole.

Thanks for your consideration.

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Re: 5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

Post by poiko » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:11 am

I will do / restore the Windows File Explorer compatibility with 5 star rating fixed.

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Re: 5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

Post by poiko » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:42 am

It works now :D

Need to do an update because of a mistake in the previous update :oops:

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Re: 5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

Post by poiko » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:36 pm

It's released in EZ CD Audio Converter v8.3. Included in the free version too and EZ Meta Tag Editor as well. :mrgreen:

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Re: 5-Star rating on M4A files not showing in Windows File Explorer

Post by greenleroy » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:22 pm

AWESOME! Thanks!

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