Working with Song Tags in Windows Media Player

When deciding how to sort, display, and categorize your music, Windows Media Player reads the songs' tags — not the songs’ filenames. Inside every music file lives a small form called a tag that contains the song’s title, artist, album, and other related information. Nearly every digital music player, including the iPod, also relies on tags.

Tags are so important, in fact, that Windows Media Player visits the Internet, grabs song information, and automatically fills in the tags when it adds files to its library.

Many people don’t bother filling out their songs’ tags; other people update them meticulously.

If your tags are already filled out the way you prefer, stop Windows Media Player from messing with them: Click the Organize button, choose Options, click the Library tab, and deselect the check box next to Retrieve Additional Information From the Internet. If your tags are a mess, leave that check box selected so that the player will clean up the tags for you.

If Windows Media Player makes a mistake, fix the tags yourself: Right-click the song (or, in the case of an album, the selected songs) and choose Find Album Info. When a window appears listing the player’s guess as to the song or album, choose the Edit link.

A new window appears, where you can fill in the album, artist, genre, tracks, title, contributing artist, and composer. Click Done when you’re through tidying up the information.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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