Wondering what the current protocol is for adding metadata to a Sound FX Library? Are people embedding metadata as broadcast wav files (with a .bwf extension instead of .wav) or simply leaving .wav alone and attaching a spreadsheet with metadata. I find this very confusing and can't seem to find an answer on the web. I have basehead and it doesn't seem to be capable of writing to the file or even exporting an XLS. I'm wondering how other SFX library creators handle this. Thanks so much. -Jill

2 Answers 2


I'm not familiar with the applications you mention, but the standard way to add metadata is to add a BWF header and keep the .WAV file extension. Applications that understand BWF will use the header; those that don't will ignore it.

There's no reason you couldn't add a JUNK header or any other defined section or perhaps link it to a separate database by filename, but if your metadata fits well in the BWF regime, it will be accessible to many / most applications.

  • Thank you Jim. Can you tell me what application will allow you to add BWF headers in bulk and still keep .wav extension? Would BWF Metaedit work?
    – Jill
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 3:53
  • @jill Like the other responder, I'd look at BWF MetaEdit as you suggested. I have my own home-grown tools for this sort of thing but I've used MetaEdit in the past,
    – Jim Mack
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 3:41

You hit it on the nose. For bulk writing of BWAV (BWF) headers, few apps are as easy or as slick as BWF Metaedit (especially for the cost -- free!).

Many libraries also add Soundminer metadata. Although Soundminer is NOT cheap, its metadata is far more extensive than BWAV, and Soundminer both reads and writes BWAV.


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