Embedded Metadata in WAVE Files: A look inside issues and tools


  • What is Embedded Metadata
  • Why Embed
  • Is “Why” Even the Right Question
  • Tool Development
  • Putting Embedded Metadata to the Test
  • Next Steps

This article focuses primarily on the specific uses of embedded metadata in WAVE audio files. It begins by describing what it is, where it comes from, and why it is considered an essential element in collection management and preservation workflows. The article then sums up a variety of initiatives and studies undertaken primarily by the author’s company on embedded metadata, on extraction tool development and on what happens to metadata across different applications and workflows. It concludes with what the author sees as the next steps in increasing awareness and use of embedded metadata for preservation.

This article ties together and summarizes a variety of longer papers, studies and tool development already published by the author’s company on embedded audio metadata in WAVE files. The company has been working with FADGI (Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative) on the subject since 2009 and has helped the initiative develop guidelines and tools relevant to the subject. For archivists looking for reason to dive into the studies, guidelines and tools available on embedded metadata in WAVE files, this article provides a clear and concise overview of what exists to date on the subject and how all the resources relate to one another.