You might have items in your Windows Media Player library that have missing or incorrect media information, such as songs that have missing or incorrect song titles, track numbers, artist names, album titles, genres, and so on. Because the Player relies on media information to organize the items in your library, it is important that all items in your library have accurate and complete media information.

This article explains how you can use the Player to add or edit media information for items in your library. For general information about media information, see What is media information and why is it important?

Adding media information automatically

In many cases, the Player can download media information for you and add it to your files automatically. For example, when you rip a CD, the Player can search an online database and download media information about the tracks on the CD to your computer.

The Player can also periodically scan the contents of your library for items that are missing media information. If it can match the items in your library to entries in the online database, then the Player can automatically download the missing media information and add it to the files in your library.

For information about how to control whether the Player automatically downloads missing information for items that are already in your library, see the question about getting the Player to fix media information automatically in Media information: frequently asked questions. For detailed information about how to add or edit media information when you rip a CD, see Rip music from a CD.

Adding or editing media information manually

If you have items in your library that have missing or incorrect media information—perhaps because you didn't fix the information before you ripped the tracks from the CD or because you used another CD ripping program to rip your CDs—there are several methods that you can use to correct the media information.

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To add media information using the online database

Typically, the easiest way to add media information to a file that is already in your library is by searching for the information in the online database. This method works best when there is information in the database, but the Player was unable to automatically match it to the file in your library.

  1. Click the Library tab, right-click a file, and then click Find Album Info. The Player connects to the Internet and displays the Find Album Information dialog box.

    To select multiple adjacent items, click the first item, hold down the SHIFT key, and then click the last item. To select nonadjacent items, hold down the CTRL key as you click each item.

  2. Follow the instructions in the Find Album Information dialog box to select the correct album from the list or to refine your search.

    The Player closes the dialog box and adds the information to the library. After some time (which varies depending upon how many changes you have made and whether the Player is performing any processor-intensive actions), the information is also added to the file.

    To force the Player to update the file immediately, click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Apply Media Information Changes.

  3. If the database does not contain the album for which you are looking (for example, the songs came from a mix CD that someone burned for you), follow the instructions in the dialog box to enter the media information manually.

To add media information using the Edit command

If you don't mind entering all the information manually, you can bypass the online database and fix the information directly in the library by using the Edit command.

  1. Click the Library tab, right-click the file's title, artist name, or other media information attribute, and then click Edit.

    If the attribute is not visible in the library, you might need to use the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the library (if available) to scroll left or right or you might need to configure your library to display some attribute columns that are hidden by default. For information about how to change the columns that are displayed in the library, see Change how you display items in the library.

    If you want to make the same attribute change for several files, you can save time by selecting the group of files before you right-click the attribute. To select multiple adjacent items, press and hold the SHIFT key while selecting. To select nonadjacent items, press and hold the CTRL key while selecting.

  2. Type the information that you want to add or fix, and then press ENTER.

    The information is added to the library. After some time (which varies depending upon how many changes you have made and whether the Player is performing any processor-intensive actions), the information is also added to the file. To force the Player to update the file immediately, click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click Apply Media Information Changes.

  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as necessary to fix the other attributes.

    Note that some attributes, such as length, size, and bit rate, cannot be edited.

To add media information by dragging items

If there are items in your library that have correct media information and you want to copy those attributes to another item that has incorrect information, you can accomplish this quickly by dragging the incorrect item on top of the correct item.

  1. Click the Library tab.

  2. In the Navigation pane, expand Library, and then click a view, such as Album, Artist, or Genre.

  3. In the Details pane, drag the item that has the incorrect media information on top of the item that has the correct media information.

    For example, drag "Unknown Album" on top of the album "Giant Steps." All of the items in "Unknown Album" become part of "Giant Steps."

  4. If a confirmation dialog box appears, click Yes.

To add media information using the Advanced Tag Editor

The library doesn't show all of the media information attributes that are available, such as Original album or Beats per minute. If you want to change an attribute that does not appear in the library or you want to change several attributes at once, use Advanced Tag Editor. A tag is another name for a media information attribute.

  1. Click the Library tab, right-click a file, and then click Advanced Tag Editor.

  2. In the appropriate boxes on each tab, type the information that you want to add or fix, and then click OK. The information is added to both the library and the file immediately.

To prevent media information from being overwritten

After you have taken the time to add media information to your files, it is a good idea to verify that it will not be overwritten by the Player later.

  1. Click the arrow below the Library tab, and then click More Options.

  2. In the Automatic media information updates for files area, verify that the Only add missing information option is selected. (It is selected by default.)

    This will prevent the Player from inadvertently overwriting the correct media information you have added with the incorrect media information that might be available in the online database.

    Note that selecting the Only add missing information option will not prevent the Player from overwriting your changes if you use the Find Album Info command to manually download media information from the online database.