APE files problem

I get this strange behavior from APE files: if I play an APE file in Winamp, I have to first close it before I can move it to other folder. Also, if the APE file has been played in Winamp, I have to close it before I can save changes done to it in Mp3tag. Somehow the files gets blocked by Winamp- and the same hing happens with Media Player Classic. And with BS.Player Pro, if I have an APE loaded to it, I can change tags in it via Mp3tag with no problem; but if I move it to some other folder then a "copy" is created in that new folder, while at the same time the original file is still in the source folder [disappearing from it the moment I close the BS.Player]

So this is not a fault of Mp3tag, but of my Windows 7 x64 or the APEs themselves; but it also manifests itself in Mp3tag, making it pretty useless for me to use it for APEs in my workflow

Does anyone have some solutions or info about this issue; had the same or similar problems?

At least for WMP I can confirm that files that are currently being played are blocked by WMP. THis also applies to the previously played file.
I do not think that this has anything to do with APE tags but is a general behaviour of WMP.

I am not sure what you expect: a player is currently playing a file and is in the middle of playing and you move it away from its original location? What is the player supposed to do? Stop playing? Keep playing?

I would seriously revise the workflow that requires open files to be manipulated by another program than the one that has opened the files.

Yes, that is how WMP works

The thing is, those players are not playing. They just have a file loaded into then- and that blocks that file, both in my file manager and Mp3ag. But only if it is an APE

And at the same time I can load MP3 or FLAC into Mp3tag, play them from there and edit the tags when there are being played; even if there are maked as "read only"

The locking mechanisms of the file system have nothing to do with "read only".
If you only open WMP and have not played a file, then no file is locked (unless it is an updated file and WMP scans it to update the library).

Anyway: this is the MP3tag forum. You are not obliged to use WMP, perhaps other players are better suited for your purposes.

I've opened the Winamp. I've loaded an APE file via "Open Files"- unfortunatelly it was not only loaded but also played altogether. So I closed Winamp and opened it- so that I would have an APE file loaded to it, but not playing; or even once played in that instance of Winamp. Guess what: the file was unmovable in file handler an uneditable in Mp3tag

The box in the Mp3tag says

"c:\xxx.ape" cannot be opened for writing

But the minute I close the Winamp with that [stopped] file, the editing of tags in APE is possible. [And with FLACs and MP3s I can edit tags even if they are being played in Winamp]

But now I can see, in addition to my previous remarks, that if the APE file is in Winamp then is is only "half" loaded to Mp3tag when loaded to it: it is listed in Mp3tag, but with empty tag fields. And if I close Winamp and simply choose that APE from the list, then the values from tag fields magically do appear

As I explained: three different players block file handling and editing in Mp3tag of only one type of audio. I cannot recall experiencing something like this in the past

Once again: my APE files get locked [unaccessible] in Mp3tag; as are they get in file explorer. And that is a manifestation of a larger problem, that affects the usability of Mp3tag

The problem is not with WMP. WMP Claasic and BS.Player Pro were used by me to rule out the possibility of the fault lying only somewhere within Winamp. [I don't handle my music with those. I use Winamp and Mp3tag]

That behavior is just illogical and as such this problem will likely not be resolved. So maybe someone will propose me a workaround. All I need is a second lossless audio file system. All of this breaks down to these:

1] I have MP3 and FLACs
2] Sometimes I edit my audio
3] Editing FLACs is not a problem- the quality is maintained, because they are saved as FLACs after the edition in WAV fomat
4] Editing MP3 is a problem- the quality gets degraded [every time], because they are saved as MP3s after the edition in WAV fomat
5] I do not want to save MP3 as FLACs, because I do not want to mix them up: the clear lossy / lossless [MP3 / FLAC] division must be maintained
6] I came u with idea: use some other losslees format to eliminate transcodes such as MP3 > WAV > MP3 > MP3 > WAV > MP3 but at the same time retaining the clear division
7] Aside from FLAC format, I listed three others lossless: Monkey's Audio [APE], WavPack [WV], True Audio Lossless [TTA]
8] My free converter Switch handles only FLAC and APE
9] My previous converting system via Winamp does not work properly on my new OS system; I've spent a ton of time on that issue [finally giving up and using Switch]
10] Somehow I cannot, as I have explained this, use APE format in a convenient way
11] TTA was not upgraded since its release

So unless the APE problem somehow gets fixed, this will leave me with the need of search for another converter that handles WavPack [and FLAC, MP3, WAV]. And I'm just so very happy for all that fun of trying out new pieces of software, as I was when I had to look for a choice that came to be Switch, because my good old Winamp conversion stopped working proper

Some editing possiblities of mp3s are lossless using MP3DirectCut,

See perhaps this description of APE tags:

It describes that APE tags are at the end of a file - so the whole file may have to be read to get to the metadata.

Id3V2 tags can be found at the beginning of a file, so they are accessible fairly easily and they stay there.
This may be the reason why WinAmp blocks the whole file.

I would get rid of the APE tags altogether and replace them by ID3V2 tags - this would then avoid the trouble.

I haven't heard of lossless editing of MP3 file other than adding a reversible gain value to it. Thank you for that valuable info

I've checked out that piece of software. Unfortunately it is below my needs. Most of all it does not produce a wave form and the editing is done on frames, as I understood it

I have no APE tags. In that they do now show up in Winamp and do not show up after clicking "Extended Tags..." icon in Mp3tag. Which is consistent with the methodology of my test: I take MP3, convert it to WAV and then to APE. And so the tags get wipe out

[Although a wipe out like that does not happen if I take FLAC > WAV > FLAC route: most of the tags are retained with the addition of a bunch new fields like "POSTTIMER1VALUE" or "OUTCUE"; at least if I use my old Sony Sound Forge 7.0. If want to loose them on that "route", I would have to copy audio data from a WAV made out of FLAC to another WAV. Then in the FLAC created from that second WAV I would get only three tag fields, one with date, second with the name of encoder and third empty called "NULL". But of course that is not a problem, because I always copy all tags from original FLAC to the new one]

There is clearly some partial strange blocking done by players to the APE files, but it is most likely no tags issue

Right now I'm thinking of a workaround, that I already use: a long time ago I have added to my operating system MP333 file extension. In short, this was done for the purpose of creating a kind of benchmark- and I have only one file of that kind on my drive. It is still an ordinary MP3 file but it is distinguishable from all the others MP3s by the usage of different icon. It's pinned to my Winamp icon on a taskbar etc., making it easily accessible and thus very useful

So I could start creating something like FLACCCs and give them their own icon. I would only have to remember to always change "fake" FLACs [made out of MP3 an other lossy formats source material] to that FLACCC "format". But I'm absolutely sure, I will sometimes forget to do that. I can even create in my file handler an action for this, but even then it will have to be manually executed, leaving enough room for [sometimes] erroneous / forgetful human

[And of course the issue of hard disk space wasted on such fake be it FLACs or APEs, is not really an issue. By the time I get thousands of such artificially puffed files, my newest 8TB archive drive will be my smaller backup of backup drive]

So you don't have any tags at all?

No, I do not

Not in APEs

What about other lossless formats?

I went to the WavPack webpage and found an info that says:

So does this mean I will have problems when using ID3v2.3 UTF-16?; which I use know for my MP3's and FLACs?

Can someone say from his / hers experience that I can use some other losless format like M4A? In that sense that my ID3v2 tags won't [or at least shouldn't] be messed up [at least when using Mp3tag to change them]?

Adding another [or replacing] piece of software, just to be able to convert to for example M4A format, would be a less of a drag than having to change always those fake FLACs into distinguishable FLACCCs

Well Mr. zerow, I've tried out this M4A format and it seems to behave in Mp3tag similar as APE- you have to stop the file before changing a tag value in it. Which of course will make you loose a ton of time and completely disrupt my workflow; I mean your workflow

But I've also tried out the WMA format in 9.2 lossless version. And it seems to works exatly [in terms of playing and metadata retaining] the same way as MP3 and FLAC. And also making an "encoding test loop" FLAC > WAV > WMA > WAV resulted in showing two same audio waveforms in those two WAV files after loading them into a sound editor

So all you need now is some hardcore Mp3tag users to confirm that usability of WMA's; the no tag-issues statement of some sort from them would probably put your mind at ease

Unfortunately Mr. zerow, this won't work for FLACs

You can completely remove extension from MP3 file- and it will still be playable in [probably] any player [that plays MP3's]. But if you change extension of a FLAC, that file after loading up to a player simply cannot be played

Mr. zerow, this guy just proved you wrong: Can't copy some unusual TRACK tags from MP3 / FLAC to WMA

WMA is no good for you; choose WV instead. It doesn't seem to have issues like APE and WMA do

As it turns out, it is possible to "multiply" FLAC format and use it under for example a FLACCC extension

In case of Winamp you have to go to the
Winamp Preferences > Plug-ins > Input > Nullsoft FLAC Decoder > Configure > Extensions
and just add that "FLACCC" there

Ans as for BS.Player Pro and Media Player Classic, they both seem to handle a FLAC file renamed to FLACCC without a sweat

I have reported this behavior as a bug on the Winamp forum


It seems that TTA behaves in Mp3tag exactly as MP3 / FLAC / WV

It does not have issues like APE / M4A / WMA