Guide to Transcoding / Encoding Audio Files and CDs for High-Resolution Audio Playback on Windows 11

Regular Contributor

1.) Download MP3TAG and Sony Music Center for PC

 

Known Good Defaults:

Sony Music Center -> 3 Horizontal Lines (Menu) -> Tools -> Settings

Show Screen -> Application display color (Black)
Import File -> Auto import folder settings -> Uncheck: [Music] folder
Import File -> Auto import folder settings -> Add folder... -> Select a location where you want to save transcoded music (this folder can be changed without moving files.)
Import File -> File destination -> Browse... -> Select a temporary folder where music is encoded from CDs (before it is moved back to the Auto import folder.)
Import from CD -> Operation when CD is inserted in drive -> Nothing
Import from CD -> Operation when CD import starts and ends -> CD ejects automatically when import ends (make sure to watch for error messages in case it fails.)

Import from CD -> CD import settings -> Format -> MP3
Import from CD -> CD import settings -> Bit rate -> 320 kbps
Import from CD -> CD import settings -> Import mode -> Prioritize sound quality (regardless of what hardware you have, do not select the other option.)

Import from CD -> CD import settings -> Format -> FLAC
Import from CD -> CD import settings -> Bit rate -> Average 950 kbps (Compressed Lossless Audio format with a Variable Bit Rate that works well over Bluetooth)

Acquire Song Information -> When a CD is inserted into the drive, acquire CD information and cover art automatically

Device Transfer -> Conversion bit rate: 320 kbps
Device Transfer -> Normal transfer
Device Transfer -> Post-transfer operations -> After transfer is made, delete file converted during transfer
Update Software -> Automatic software update -> Uncheck / Disable: When starting up Music Center for PC, update information will be checked for automatically.
Other Settings -> Sound effect -> Once the songs have been completely imported from CD and transferred to the device, a notification sound will play.

To refresh music files with missing tags -> Songs -> Select the files you want to modify -> Right Click: Acquire Unknown Properties
NOTE: It is more efficient to use "Search for Albums" with an entire directory selected (you can also manually export / re-import Cover Art in MP3TAG if it's a Single / EP that won't display correctly.)

NOTE: If you have a problem, you're stuck on a hard problem, you can always go back and manually refresh the ID3 tags again with Sony Music Center.
Acquire Song Information -> Clear recognition results data -> Delete (Change the Auto import Folder to a new location, and then restart the application afterwards)
Other Settings -> Delete temporary files
Other Settings -> Clear play history

NOTE: If Sony Music Center for PC is corrupted, you can delete the local settings folder and then reinstall (make sure to select repair from the installer menu.)

RMDIR /S /Q "%AppData%\Sony\Music Center"

MP3TAG -> Clear Unneeded Tag Information / Update the File Names Accordingly:

On the Left Pane -> Select: Directory -> Set it to the folder with the music files you want to edit:

The Default Layout shows these tags: TITLE;ARTIST;ALBUMARTIST;ALBUM;TRACK;DISCNUMBER;YEAR;GENRE;COMMENT;COMPOSER;BPM;COVER;

These are the only tags you actually need to play the music: TITLE;ARTIST;ALBUM;TRACK;COVER;LENGTH;

NOTE: MOST CDDB databases will automatically append " [Disc 1]", " [Disc 2]", " [Disc 3]", etc, to "ALBUM", so discnumber is often useless.
NOTE: If you want to have multiple discs located in the same folder as the album: TITLE;ARTIST;ALBUM;TRACK;DISCNUMBER;COVER;LENGTH;
NOTE: It is counterproductive to utilize discnumber, given you have to manually edit it, but for some music players it might make it easier to select what you want to listen to.

NOTE: The following also clears a lot of metadata related to ratings from within the tags (useless to most people.)
NOTE: This guide is not written for iTunes or any other platform, which if you have issues then just look at creating your own tag list: https://docs.mp3tag.de/mapping/

NOTE: If you want the most clean SPAM-Free layout with ID3v2.3 / ID3v2.4 (smaller file size overall, this is the best choice)

Menu -> Edit -> Select all files (CTRL + A)

Actions -> Actions (Quick) -> Select action type -> Remove fields -> 

ACOUSTID_ID;ACOUSTID_FINGERPRINT;ALBUMSORT;ALBUMARTIST;ALBUMARTISTSORT;ARTISTSORT;BARCODE;BPM;CATALOGNUMBER;COMMENT;COMPILATION;COMPOSER;COMPOSERSORT;CONDUCTOR;CONTENTGROUP;COPYRIGHT;DATE;DESCRIPTION;DISCNUMBER;ENCODEDBY;ENCODERSETTINGS;ENCODINGTIME;FILEOWNER;FILETYPE;GENRE;GROUPING;INITIALKEY;INVOLVEDPEOPLE;ISRC;LANGUAGE;LYRICIST;MEDIATYPE;MIXARTIST;MOOD;MOVEMENTNAME;MOVEMENT;MOVEMENTTOTAL;MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMARTISTID;MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMID;MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMRELEASECOUNTRY;MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMSTATUS;MUSICBRAINZ_ALBUMTYPE;MUSICBRAINZ_ARTISTID;MUSICBRAINZ_DISCID;MUSICBRAINZ_ORIGINALALBUMID;MUSICBRAINZ_ORIGINALARTISTID;MUSICBRAINZ_RELEASEGROUPID;MUSICBRAINZ_RELEASETRACKID;MUSICBRAINZ_TRACKID;MUSICBRAINZ_TRMID;MUSICBRAINZ_WORKID;MUSICIANCREDITS;NARRATOR;NETRADIOOWNER;NETRADIOSTATION;ORIGALBUM;ORIGARTIST;ORIGFILENAME;ORIGLYRICIST;ORIGYEAR;PODCAST;PODCASTCATEGORY;PODCASTDESC;PODCASTID;PODCASTKEYWORDS;PODCASTURL;POPULARIMETER;PUBLISHER;RATING MM;RATING WMP;RELEASETIME;SETSUBTITLE;SUBTITLE;TAGGINGTIME;TITLESORT;UNIQUEFILEID;UNSYNCEDLYRICS;WWW;WWWARTIST;WWWAUDIOFILE;WWWAUDIOSOURCE;WWWCOMMERCIALINFO;WWWCOPYRIGHT;WWWPAYMENT;WWWPUBLISHER;WWWRADIOPAGE;YEAR;Other fields;

If you are happy with the results: Menu -> File -> Save tag

Change the filenames to match the tags (beware of duplicate files in the same folder / directory, you may have to manually edit / fix some entries)
Menu -> Edit -> Select all files (CTRL + A)
Convert -> Tag - Filename -> $num(%track%,2) - %title%
Menu -> File -> Save tag

Follow These Steps if Your Sound Card is Not Functioning on Windows 11:

 

1.) Settings -> System -> Troubleshoot -> Other troubleshooters -> Playing Audio / Recording Audio / Video Playback

 

2.) Modify the bootloader with this Batch File (.bat) to support legacy peripherals (also try disabling "ABOVE 4G MIMO" in UEFI/BIOS.)

@ECHO OFF
SETLOCAL
REM Start Menu -> Run -> taskmgr -> File -> Run new task -> %SystemRoot%\System32\cmd.exe -> Check: Create this task with administrative privileges -> OK
REM NOTE: If you cannot find the correct entry, first run this: BCDEDIT /ENUM and replace {current} with {default} or whatever is listed below
REM Windows Boot Loader
REM -------------------
REM identifier              {current}
REM device                  partition=C:
BCDEDIT /SET {current} FORCELEGACYPLATFORM TRUE
MOVE NUL 2>&0

3.) Consider Installing a 3rd-Party Codec Pack (K-Lite)

 

4.) If you have a headset with an older control panel like LGS (Logitech Gaming Software,) and a newer driver from LGHUB, make sure the microphone is never disabled.

 

5.) For Hybrid Sound Cards based on a Realtek Audio / Creative Labs SoundBlaster chipset, install a newer generic driver over top of the old ones, to retain legacy control panel functionality:

 

5A.) PC Audio Codecs > High Definition Audio Codecs Software - REALTEK

5B.) Realtek Audio Control (UWP App)

 

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