Windows 10 error causes some FLAC encoded music files to become corrupted

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2021-06-07 23:12:18

If you are keeping the FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) music file, make sure you are not editing the metadata using Windows 10’s File Explorer.

In Windows 10 2004 and newer, there is a bug that will corrupt FLAC music files if you modify the metadata by using File Explorer. This bug affects Windows 10 Pro, Home, Enterprise, Workstation and other versions of the operating system.

According to a support document released earlier this month, Windows 10’s File Explorer bug will corrupt certain FLAC files that contain an ID3 frame before the FLAC header. The ID3 frame contains metadata like title and artist…

On Windows 10, the FLAC attribute handler assumes that all FLAC files start with the 4-byte start code fLaC and does not account for the ID3 frame at the beginning of the file. As a result, the ID3 frame will be overwritten without the fLaC starting code rendering the file unplayable.

Music files won’t play or load if the title, artist, or other metadata is changed in File Explorer.

Fortunately, Microsoft has identified the root cause and now has a fix available through Windows Update.

In changelog update KB5003214, Microsoft confirmed that the bug has been fixed and that FLAC music files will not be playable if you change the title, artist, or other metadata.

For corrupted music files, Microsoft has released a new PowerShell script that you can run to make the file playable. However, it cannot recover the lost metadata that was stored in the ID3 frame.

To avoid problems with FLAC music files in the future, Microsoft recommends that you install the KB5003214 update.

However, to be absolutely safe, you should wait to see other users install and respond when installing this update before you decide to update. For example, reports show that KB5003214 causes problems with icons on the taskbar and system tray, especially when the News and Interests feature is enabled.


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