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WMA "unknown" artist problem SOLVED!

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by RazzMaTazz, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. RazzMaTazz

    RazzMaTazz Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Background on the problem:
    Unfortunately (due to Google’s corporate strategy, not technological reasons), Android does not officially support Windows Media Audio (WMA) format and Android doesn’t properly read WMA tags (which contain metadata like ID3 tags). Most Android music-player apps rely on the database created by the media scanner which is built into the Android OS, but Android’s media scanner doesn’t read some WMA tag information—especially the “Artist” data-- so most Android player apps display “Unknown” Artist for WMA files. This makes it very difficult to browse your WMA music collection. It is possible to transcode from WMA to an Android-supported format (like MP3) but transcoding from one lossy compression format (like WMA) to another lossy format (like MP3 or AAC) degrades the audio quality, so I refuse to do that.

    Following are 3 solutions for properly displaying WMA tag information, but the 3rd one (MediaMonkey) is, by far, my favorite IF you have a Windows PC and want to be able to sync your media & playlists with your Android or iOS devices.

    1) ID3Fixer + Media Library Repair Scanner: You can use the free app, ID3Fixer to scan your music collection and “repair” the Android database on your phone for all “Unknown” Artists so that most (if not all) music player apps can access the WMA tag information (including Artist). If you have a large WMA music collection, it can take a long time to run ID3Fixer-- and you may have to run it several times because it tends to crash while processing large music collections. (Note that you should turn off your screen timeout before running ID3Fixer because when the screen times-out, ID3Fixer crashes.) One big problem with this workaround solution is that Android’s OS periodically re-scans your music collection (especially on power-up) and destroys all of that “repaired” data. However, you can run the free app, “Media Library Repair Scanner” which (1) can stop Android’s scanner from running and (2) can backup & restore your “repaired” database if anything happens to it. One problem with this dual-app workaround solution is that if you add or delete music, then your database gets out of sync and you need to rescan it to update it.

    2) PowerAmp: The premium player app, PowerAmp (~$3.95) has its own media scanner which can properly read WMA tags.PowerAmp creates its own database (separate from Android’s database and readable only by PowerAmp) which it stores onto your SD-card (or internal flash memory). I don’t know if there are other player apps that can do this, but every other player app that I’ve tried (like Android’s built-in player app, WinAmp, MixZing, MortPlayer, DoubleTwist, MX Player, Boomboxoid, et al) don’t.

    3) MediaMonkey: The free app, MediaMonkey for Android (MMA) when used with the excellent, free media player/manager/tagger/importer/exporter/converter, MediaMonkey for Windows (MMW) provides a total (iTunes-desktop-to-iTunes-iOS-like) synchronization and database solution for your media and playlists, and (like PowerAmp) puts its own database on your Android device, which includes the WMA tag information. MMW is better and more powerful than Windows Media Player, and there are many plug-ins (mostly free) for MMW which enable you to do many things, including UPnP/DLNA streaming from your PC to Android, or intelligently importing M3U playlists from other desktop media players, like Windows Media Player. There are also a few remote-control apps for MMA (like the excellent, free Media Monkey Remote) which let you control MMW from your Android Device. (That’s nice if you use a PC as a music server connected to your home stereo because you can control the selection and volume remotely). There are MANY sync options when using MMW & MMA together. For example, you can selectively sync some or all of your media folders/albums & playlists from your PC via USB or SD-card-slot (free version) or WiFi (Pro version). You can optionally sync from the phone to your PC. Or you can sync bi-directionally. By default, sync is additive only but you can choose to fully sync, including deleting files (optionally with or without deletion warnings). I posted more details about this total solution separately.
     



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  2. ellisroy

    ellisroy Lurker

    I also use power amp (paid). When I convert you tube files using tube mate the file shows up under unknown artist. I change the ID tags and it will be under the proper artist listing. Problem is all music is for this particular download is lost. Will go from say 45 min to only a few secs. Any way to fix this?
     
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