This post was originally going to be a “meditation on metadata” until we remembered users don’t want explanations, they want things to ‘just work’.
When Byta users upload audio, the artist, track, album and artwork information is pulled directly from their files. From then on our users can be certain the information displayed on the screen is the same as embedded in their files.
WAV goodbye? How Byta handles metadata
Byta supports the reading & writing of metadata for the following file formats:
- ALAC, AIFF, FLAC & WAV aka ‘lossless’
- MP3 & AAC aka ‘lossy’
When uploading your audio files, Byta automatically generates an MP3 format file for streaming purposes on our site. Then we offer the senders an option as to what file format they would like their recipients to be able to download their files. So, following the above principle, to ensure your files ‘just work’, we suggest all but our most advanced users will benefit from avoiding WAV uploads for the following reasons:
- WAV files can not hold artwork
- WAV metadata is not readable or writeable in iTunes, instead saving any changes locally. The result is confusion as to what information is actually embedded in a user’s files
If you do wish to continue working with WAVs then Byta does offer WAVs as a download format (with embedded metadata), ensuring compliance with broadcast submission standards including the BBC’s own guidelines.
Working with lossless audio?
So what do we recommend instead? Well, we suggest FLAC or ALAC (Apple Lossless). Both formats’ metadata is easily editable, holds artwork and offers much smaller file sizes, all without sacrificing audio quality.
How do you send & receive audio using multiple file formats? Should we be supporting additional file types? Get in touch and let us know.