I burned a CD in Windows Media Player. The tracks have artist and song title on them on my computer, but once they’re on the CD, that metadata shows up when the CD is viewed with Windows Media Player (but not with iTunes).

Similarly, when I burn an audio CD with iTunes, the metadata shows up when the CD is viewed with iTunes, but not with Windows Media Player.

When I burn an mp3 CD with iTunes, the metadata shows up in both programs, but the tracks show up in the wrong order in iTunes!

This is really weird. How do I make a CD that will show up the same in both programs and everywhere else?

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  • If you actually duplicate the original CD, it would work. Each app, iTunes WMP etc would check the CDs fingerprint against the online CDDB & map it to that disk... but not if you in effect re-encode it - it's then a 'new product'. – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 15:45
  • Even if the songs are not in the database? These are originals. – DJG Jul 20 '19 at 16:01
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    No - if they're brand new & ready for release, then you submit them to Gracenote... but don't do it early or on a non-release-ready copy, or you will mess up their fingerprinting. Basically, leave all that stuff to the record company, don't play with it yourself, whether you're about to put out a $10m budget Sony/BMG release, or one you only just managed to squeeze onto iTunes Music Store by yourself. – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 16:07

You can't. There is no mechanism for storing metadata on a bog standard audio CD. The metadata you are seeing is actually stored within iTunes and WMP respectively. Each media player recognises the CD you have burned and invokes the entries within it's own respective database. There are ways of retrieving metadata from online databases such as musicbrainz and gracenote, but this is not foolproof unfortunately. MP3 on the other hand has a metadata mechanism built in, so it is fairly easy to store and retrieve track data directly from the file. CD is very basic in this regard - only really stores PCM 44.1kHz/16 bit. There are some 'extensions' known as 'CD-Text' which allow additional information to be stored, but this is of a particular format and its not that easy to burn a CD-Text disc unless you have the right software.

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  • So my best bet for compatibility is burning mp3 CDs, at the cost (some would argue) of audio quality? – DJG Jul 20 '19 at 14:49
  • MP3 & AAC can hold metadata, WAV, AIFF & especially Red Book can't. [audio CDs are a kind of AIF, but specifically for audio CD. It's known as Red Book... they used to call data specs by the colour of the actual physical book, way back when.] WMP itself maps the 'apparent' data to the disk which it fingerprints & stores internally. That data is not portable [in any meaningful way] – Tetsujin Jul 20 '19 at 15:42
  • These days the better way of ensuring quality is a lossless format or high-bitrate lossy format. Note that WAV can store certain types of metadata. As WAV is a RIFF format, there are many data 'chunks' that RIFF files contain that support metadata. iXML, BWAV extensions to name but two. – Mark Jul 21 '19 at 0:28

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