Good idea to include lyrics and cover art in flac tags?


Is there a good reason not to include lyrics (or cover art) in flac tags? My question is prompted by the advisory below that is at

I'm reluctant to take the advice with respect to lyrics because it seems that many experienced users of MP3Tag do embed this information in their tags, and a slimserver plugin allows me to display lyrics that are embedded in a tag. I did embed lyrics on one album and found that it increased the file sizes by less than 0.01 percent.

With respect to cover art, it seems wasteful to embed the album cover in every song on the album. (I generally rip full albums.) So I don't think I'll do that in any case.

Two specific questions:

  1. Is it possible that writing tags would ever compromise the integrity of the music file itself?
  2. Regarding the assertion from the quote below: "arbitrary metadata belongs in a separate logical bitstream (usually an XML stream type) that provides greater structure and machine parseability," is this a possibility with respect to lyrics, is it advisable, and would other programs be able to access the information?


Advisory at

"The Vorbis text comment header is the second (of three) header packets that begin a Vorbis bitstream. It is meant for short, text comments, not arbitrary metadata; arbitrary metadata belongs in a separate logical bitstream (usually an XML stream type) that provides greater structure and machine parseability.

The comment field is meant to be used much like someone jotting a quick note on the bottom of a CDR. It should be a little information to remember the disc by and explain it to others; a short, to-the-point text note that need not only be a couple words, but isn't going to be more than a short paragraph."

  1. If you have an incomplete or bugged tag writer maybe the audio stream could get altered.
    But so far I have not heard of any problems.

  2. It's not possible in Mp3tag and it's not needed. If there was such an option Mp3tag would be alone in the field ATM.

I think there is no problem with lyrics in the flac tags, some programs even put the pictures base64 encoded in the comment block. That would be a much greater difference from the vorbis guideline but it probably still works flawlessly it most cases.

But flac 1.1.3 has specified a new PICTURE metadata block that is only for the cover art so the vorbis comment doesn't get crowded.


Thanks Dano. And please be aware that I addressed a few quesitons to you in the export forum (your configuration templates).