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Displaying M4A/MP4-Tags in Windows Explorer?, Like it does with MP3/WMA-Tags by defaul
tedgo
post Mar 18 2005, 11:27
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I want to know if its possible to display m4a/mp4- or APEv2-tags in windows explorer like it does with the id3v2-tags in mp3/wma by default.
I tried a program called "AudioShell 1.0" that did a good job, but it only adds new column headers to windows explorer and i have to set these column headers in every folder by hand (its not a good idea for more than 500 album folders...)
So is there any shell extension for the windows explorer that uses the default audio column headers and displays file information like for mp3's/wma's?
Or is there any possibility to "persuade" windows explorer to recognise m4a/mp4 (and perhaps some other formats) as audio files and displaying their informations without a program?

EDIT: orthography

This post has been edited by tedgo: Mar 18 2005, 12:57
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Klyith
post Mar 18 2005, 19:58
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If you are comfortable with regedit, you may be able to add the stuff from the AudioShell program to the default. The key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\audio has three entries: details, infotip, and tileinfo. The list of items in details controls what shows up in the detail view of explorer (infotip is what you see when you hover on the file). Probably AudioShell adds some new stuff to the end of the list, so you might identify and remove the default ones. That will then apply across all non-custom audio directories.

If you don't want to do regedit, you could use the function Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> "Apply to all folders" to apply your preferred settings to everything. The problem with that is that it messes up all your non-music folders.

But you can't do this stuff without some sort of add-on program like AudioShell. Explorer needs a dll that can recognize and report the contents of the tags.
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tedgo
post Mar 18 2005, 21:55
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Thanks for your reply.
But audioshell hasn't added some new stuff to the end of the list in any of the three registry entries.
Is there any other program than audioshell 1.0 that will display file information about all audio files in windows explorer?
Or any other idea to make windows explorer recognising APEv2 and M4A/MP4-tags like the ID3v2-tags in MP3/WMA?
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spoon
post Mar 19 2005, 11:59
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>default audio column headers and displays file information like for mp3's/wma's?

No, it is how I had to do it as well (with my own columns) - Microsofts implementation is closed and you cannot access it, it is also woefully bad at reading mp3 files that are vbr with an id3v2 tag.


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tedgo
post Mar 19 2005, 20:27
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It's too bad... sad.gif
But what do you mean with "woefully bad at reading mp3 files that are vbr with an id3v2 tag"?
All my mp3's are vbr and tagged with id3v2. I haven't got any problem until now.
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spoon
post Mar 19 2005, 23:19
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I found it got the bitrates wrong (when XP was released), perhaps MS updated it in a service pack.


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andrewfg
post May 12 2008, 18:45
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QUOTE (tedgo @ Mar 18 2005, 11:27) *
I want to know if its possible to display m4a/mp4- or APEv2-tags in windows explorer like it does with the id3v2-tags in mp3/wma by default.

So is there any shell extension for the windows explorer that uses the default audio column headers and displays file information like for mp3's/wma's?

I have written such a shell extension.

See http://www.whitebear.ch/music for information and download

AndrewFG


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LANjackal
post May 13 2008, 01:32
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QUOTE (spoon @ Mar 19 2005, 17:19) *
I found it got the bitrates wrong (when XP was released), perhaps MS updated it in a service pack.
Nope, it's still bad. But that's where your software, dBPowerAmp, comes in wink.gif. For what it's worth, at least in WMP10+ once a VBR track is played through once completely generally the bitrate displays properly in the library thereafter. Even before that though, WMP will display the proper bitrate in the status bar at the bottom of the window for v10, and with a mousover on the play/spectrum/album art mini-icon in the lower left of the window in v11.


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retro83
post May 13 2008, 07:51
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ May 12 2008, 18:45) *
QUOTE (tedgo @ Mar 18 2005, 11:27) *

I want to know if its possible to display m4a/mp4- or APEv2-tags in windows explorer like it does with the id3v2-tags in mp3/wma by default.

So is there any shell extension for the windows explorer that uses the default audio column headers and displays file information like for mp3's/wma's?

I have written such a shell extension.

See http://www.whitebear.ch/music for information and download

AndrewFG

Looks great, don't suppose there is any chance for a non-Vista build? biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by retro83: May 13 2008, 07:51
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andrewfg
post May 13 2008, 11:46
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QUOTE (retro83 @ May 13 2008, 07:51) *
Looks great, don't suppose there is any chance for a non-Vista build? biggrin.gif
Unfortunately I don't think so. It uses the IPropertyStore and related interfaces that Microsoft first introduced in Windows Vista.

AndrewFG


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M
post May 13 2008, 19:58
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ May 12 2008, 12:45) *
I have written such a shell extension.

See http://www.whitebear.ch/music for information and download

AndrewFG

Haven't had a chance to install or test this yet, but I am curious as to whether your shell extension will also display the appropriate properties for *.m4v (movie) and *.m4b (audiobook) files. Is this already included, and if not, would it be fairly simple to add?

- M.
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andrewfg
post May 17 2008, 13:37
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QUOTE (M @ May 13 2008, 19:58) *
Haven't had a chance to install or test this yet, but I am curious as to whether your shell extension will also display the appropriate properties for *.m4v (movie) and *.m4b (audiobook) files. Is this already included, and if not, would it be fairly simple to add?
I does not (yet) support the properties of .m4v / .m4b or .m4r files.

However, insofar as these file types are (I think) also based on (Apple's extensions of) the ISO 14496 (MPEG4) file format, I suppose that it could easily support these file types too. Indeed it would probably just be a question of adding some file association entries in the Windows Registry.

I don't have any such files on my PC, but if you want to make a quick test, you could make a copy of one of your .m4v files (say) and rename it as .m4a and then see if Windows Explorer displays the properties.

AndrewFG


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Thug Esquire
post May 28 2008, 09:04
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ May 17 2008, 07:37) *
I don't have any such files on my PC, but if you want to make a quick test, you could make a copy of one of your .m4v files (say) and rename it as .m4a and then see if Windows Explorer displays the properties.
I installed your extension (thanks for making it!) but it doesn't make the tag information show up in explorer. Here's an example of what I do see:

Running Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1. What might be the problem?
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andrewfg
post May 29 2008, 16:47
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QUOTE (Thug Esquire @ May 28 2008, 09:04) *
I installed your extension (thanks for making it!) but it doesn't make the tag information show up in explorer. Here's an example of what I do see:
Running Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1. What might be the problem?

Very interesting screen shot!!

My shell extension is 32 bit code, and so to be on the safe side my setup program will not install the extension on a 64 bit machine (yet). Indeed when you run the setup, you should have got an error message to this effect. => Can you please confirm?

On the other hand, your screen shot shows a hint box that does display tags from the .m4a file. (In fact it shows more tags than the ones supported by my shell extension). So I am guessing that you have another shell extension installed which is (also) handling .m4a files. => Is this the case? => So far as I know, Windows only allows one shell extension for any particular file type. (Probably the last one installed wins.)

So in short it looks like you already have another extension installed, and because of the 32/64 bit safety my extension is not being installed, so the other shell extension is winning. => Does this hypothesis match your symptoms?

AndrewFG
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~*McoreD*~
post May 29 2008, 16:58
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andrewfg,

What he has installed is dbPowerAMP. I have dbPowerAMP installed too. Using Windows Vista 32-bit, I am getting the tag info from your extension quite fine.
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spoon
post May 29 2008, 17:16
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That popup info box is from dBpoweramp.


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theboyjenkins
post May 29 2008, 17:23
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ May 12 2008, 17:45) *
QUOTE (tedgo @ Mar 18 2005, 11:27) *

I want to know if its possible to display m4a/mp4- or APEv2-tags in windows explorer like it does with the id3v2-tags in mp3/wma by default.

So is there any shell extension for the windows explorer that uses the default audio column headers and displays file information like for mp3's/wma's?

I have written such a shell extension.

See http://www.whitebear.ch/music for information and download

AndrewFG


awesome - i have been looking for this for a long time... p.s it works great on my vista 32 ultimate, loving your work!


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andrewfg
post May 30 2008, 19:27
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QUOTE (~*McoreD*~ @ May 29 2008, 16:58) *
What he has installed is dbPowerAMP. I have dbPowerAMP installed too. Using Windows Vista 32-bit, I am getting the tag info from your extension quite fine.

I notice that the popup hint in his screenshot says "Contains: ID Tag [Apple iTunes]" -- I don't know dbPowerAMP, so I wonder if this "ID" implies that his .m4a file contains an ID3v2 tag? (Rather than, or in addition to, the Apple proprietary tags.)

Presently my shell extension only handles the following two tag encoding types:
1) Apple undocumented extensions of the MPEG4 standard i.e. Apple defined box names within an Apple defined ILST box
2) The 3GPP working group's extensions of the MPEG4 standard i.e. 3GPP defined box names inside an MPEG4 defined UDTA box

I believe that it is also allowed to embed ID3v2 tag data in an MPEG4 file i.e. an ad hoc defined ID32 box containing tags in regular ID3v2 encoding. But I never encountered such files yet, and so I did not bother to write code for it. However if there is a demand, and somebody can post me a sample .m4a file for testing, then I would be willing to add this to the feature list.

AndrewFG


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grommet
post May 30 2008, 20:51
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ May 30 2008, 11:27) *
I notice that the popup hint in his screenshot says "Contains: ID Tag [Apple iTunes]" -- I don't know dbPowerAMP, so I wonder if this "ID" implies that his .m4a file contains an ID3v2 tag? (Rather than, or in addition to, the Apple proprietary tags.)
That just means there is a metadata tag. The type used is listed in the brackets. So no, there is no ID3v2.3 tag there... just the Apple/iTunes tags.

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spoon
post May 30 2008, 21:37
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>I believe that it is also allowed to embed ID3v2 tag data in an MPEG4 file

Never heard of that, but I had heard that Nokia players and certain Sony ones look for an id3v1 tag on the end of the .m4a file (very nasty...)


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andrewfg
post May 30 2008, 22:31
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QUOTE (spoon @ May 30 2008, 21:37) *
QUOTE
I believe that it is also allowed to embed ID3v2 tag data in an MPEG4 file

Never heard of that...

See http://www.mp4ra.org/specs.html

AndrewFG


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Thug Esquire
post May 31 2008, 23:04
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ May 29 2008, 10:47) *
Very interesting screen shot!!

My shell extension is 32 bit code, and so to be on the safe side my setup program will not install the extension on a 64 bit machine (yet). Indeed when you run the setup, you should have got an error message to this effect. => Can you please confirm?

On the other hand, your screen shot shows a hint box that does display tags from the .m4a file. (In fact it shows more tags than the ones supported by my shell extension). So I am guessing that you have another shell extension installed which is (also) handling .m4a files. => Is this the case? => So far as I know, Windows only allows one shell extension for any particular file type. (Probably the last one installed wins.)

So in short it looks like you already have another extension installed, and because of the 32/64 bit safety my extension is not being installed, so the other shell extension is winning. => Does this hypothesis match your symptoms?


Yes, I have dBpoweramp installed, and it would make sense if that's what's allowing the tooltip to show the tag information. However, I do not receive any error during installation on my 64-bit Vista box. In fact, installation and uninstallation complete successfully. I've tested several times. Would it be difficult to create a 64-bit version of this extension?
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andrewfg
post Jun 1 2008, 15:19
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QUOTE (Thug Esquire @ May 31 2008, 23:04) *
However, I do not receive any error during installation on my 64-bit Vista box. In fact, installation and uninstallation complete successfully. I've tested several times.

You are correct about the installation working Ok on both 32 bit and 64 bit systems.

Most likely your problem is the one described in this link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895561 => Could you please try the solution proposed by Microsoft (scroll down to "WORKAROUND | Windows Explorer") -- since this would at least confirm that we are indeed dealing with the correct problem...

QUOTE
Would it be difficult to create a 64-bit version of this extension?

Unfortunately this is true !! (my development platform is CodeGear RAD Studio -- which so far is only able to generate 32 bit code...)

AndrewFG


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Thug Esquire
post Jun 1 2008, 19:58
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QUOTE (andrewfg @ Jun 1 2008, 09:19) *
Most likely your problem is the one described in this link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895561 => Could you please try the solution proposed by Microsoft (scroll down to "WORKAROUND | Windows Explorer") -- since this would at least confirm that we are indeed dealing with the correct problem...
I gave it a shot and it works--thanks for the suggestion!

QUOTE
Unfortunately this is true !! (my development platform is CodeGear RAD Studio -- which so far is only able to generate 32 bit code...)
You're not the only one; other volunteer developers are also stuck with 32-bit only compilers, like the person who codes Taskbar Shuffle. Is there another IDE that would allow it to be recompiled for 64-bit? According to CodeGear, native 64-bit support is expected in mid-2009, and I wouldn't hold my breath. Is there another platform entirely that might allow an expeditious coder to write from scratch a 64-bit edition that accomplishes the same?

And thanks, Andrew--you're the man!
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andrewfg
post Jun 3 2008, 21:25
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QUOTE (Thug Esquire @ Jun 1 2008, 19:58) *
QUOTE (andrewfg @ Jun 1 2008, 09:19) *
Most likely your problem is the one described in this link http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895561 ...

I gave it a shot and it works -- thanks for the suggestion!

I built a new version in which, on 64 bit systems, the installer should create a link on the Start Menu that allows you to run Windows Explorer in 32 bit mode as suggested in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Can you please download and try this latest version from http://www.whitebear.ch/music and let me know if it works?

AndrewFG


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