Windows 10 Corrupts FLAC Files When Editing Metadata: How to Fix It

Although we tend to use streaming platforms more and more to listen to music without having to download anything, the quality of these platforms often leaves much to be desired. Spotify, for example, applies compression to all data to reduce the bandwidth used when listening to your music, which, if we are audiophiles, will annoy us a lot. Therefore, users who care about music quality often save our own music library in a high-efficiency and lossless format, such as FLAC . However, if we’re not careful, Windows 10 could wipe out all of our music in one fell swoop.

A few hours ago, a new and worrying bug in Windows 10 began to circulate on the network. This failure in question can be found if we try to modify the metadata of the files from Windows Explorer itself. If we change the artist or song information from the file’s properties menu, and save the changes, Windows 10 does not respect the 4-byte code of the ID3 frame before the FLAC header, so the file will be unplayable.

This flaw affects all versions of Windows 10 equally, both Home, Pro and Enterprise. And it exists from the 2004 version of the operating system to the last 21H1. Luckily, there is a solution.

Update Windows and repair corrupt files

The latest Windows 10 cumulative update, KB5003214 , fixes, among others, the problem with Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) files. Once the update is installed, we will no longer make these files stop sounding when changing the title, artist or any other data of their metadata from the file explorer.

However, what if we have made these changes and our music files have stopped working? Microsoft has posted at this link a specially designed PowerShell script to repair all these FLAC files that have become corrupted. All you have to do is copy the script, paste it into a notepad, save it with a .ps1 extension and run it. The script will ask us for the names of the files that have stopped working and will repair them. Of course, we will lose the lost metadata that was saved in that ID3 frame.

Once the files are repaired, we must install the new Windows 10 update (if we have not already done so) to prevent this problem from happening again. Once the PC is updated, we can re-enter the metadata by hand without risk.

How to edit FLAC file metadata without corrupting it

Windows’ own file explorer allows us to edit the metadata of music files. However, this is not the best ID3 editor nor the most comfortable or complete.

If we want to edit the metadata of our songs, it is better to choose to use specialized programs for this task. MP3Tag, for example, is one of the best. This program allows us to edit all the metadata of the songs, both individually and in batches, and even download this data, or the album covers, from the Internet.

And if we are looking for something simpler and more intuitive, then we can give TagComplete a try. This program is similar to the previous one, but it has an assistant that guides us step by step through the process. Of course, it is a program much slower than its rival.

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