Warning - Audirvana Studio modifies your files

I’m really surprised by this. It must be an oversight or a bug.

I’d seen at the Audirvana community pages people were finding that Audirvana was analysing files and inserting a MusicBrainz metadata tag. There does not seem to be any official comment on this yet.

Potential issues:

Affecting LAN bandwidth by analysing and modifying files on a NAS without requesting permission to do so.

Altering thousands of files which if you have an automatic backup strategy could trigger software to detect modifications and backup the new altered files replacing your originals. Potentially a very time consuming process too.

Crashes - it crashed several times, I’d have to wonder if this happened during a write to add a MusicBrainz metadata tag if the original file could become corrupted.

It will take ages to work out what has been changed where!

I feel sorry for the Audirvana team but this is bad.

That’s bad, I have tagged all my files over the years, and I would not like to see this happen without my permission or a warning.

A turbulent new start for Audirvana unfortunately.

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I don’t know that much about MusicBrainz but do wonder if they have some kind of API to analyse files that has caught the developers on the hop and they’d not realised the API was adding a MusicBrainz tag to analysed files.

Whether this is the case or not it should have been forseeable that analysing potentially terabytes of audio on a NAS (or even directly attached storage) could be a huge hog on your system/network resources.

I’d add that while adding a new metadata tag may seem trivial I just don’t want my files modified unless I explicitly choose to do so as so many things could potentially go wrong with the process.

I fully agree. And for anyone who has painstakingly got the metadata how they want it - e.g assigning meaningful genres, it would be disastrous to have the library software change it all. Unforgiveable without prior consent.

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I’m really stunned by this. Is it hidden somewhere in the Ts & Cs? Even then that wouldn’t be acceptable to me, I’d expect any software that was going to modify my metadata to be very explicit about that, and to have a default of No.

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When you sign up for an account the T&Cs page you have to agree to is blank/unavailable, or at least it was a few days ago, hence my comment in the other thread that there are none!

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Some good tools in dBPoweramp for listing all file tags and also manipulating removing tags…should help speed up the process of identifying changes.

It’s a good idea to make the music user account on your server only have read only access to the music files to prevent this type of thing in the future.

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Unfortunately I don’t think my old WD NAS will allow me to set the music partition/share read only, but that had crossed my mind yesterday - ultimately these extra tags probably make little difference it just shouldn’t have happened by default.

Pretty shocking that something would do this in the background to be honest. I’m appalled.

OTOH, my NAS is read only towards Audirvana.

I’ve started to make other plans. I’ll use 3.5 until something breaks and there are no updates to fix it. Ideally that is a matter of years rather than weeks. When it dies, I’ll test drive Roon unplugged from the WAN and if it works great - get their expensive lifetime license. Otherwise get a Auralic or Lumin transport.


I am not aware of this issue, Audirvana Studio is still scanning my files, but if it’s the case.

If your Nas is recognized as a Hard Drive, you can go to the directory, click right and set the folder access to « reading only ». Be aware that by doing this, you will not be able to add files on this Folder, you will have to change the access to « writing / reading » when you add files and the « reading only » when you finish. I am not sure it’s a very confortable solution

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I think the scanning is the reason it’s become poorly responsive for me, it wouldn’t let me change those settings and then crashed.

They need to release a patched version for this, but it would take me days to figure out which files have been changed and remove the tags inserted - I have many folders where some files have been modified, others haven’t, almsot scatter gun random modifications rather than by folder.

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I understand, I didn’t check my files yet. It’s sluggish and take too much time to scan the files.
I prefer the SQ of Audirvana but they really need to improve their software ergonomic and be more transparent about this issue.

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Someone has just said that they have automatic backups to remote storage and that altering these files will result in charges for backing up modified copies.

I’m pretty astonished that inserting tags was not seen as a possible issues when many people store item on a NAS - it’s fast enough over wi-fi or wired to stream tracks but not to analyse thousands of hires downloads. Heck, it takes long enough to add a few new hires downloads to the NAS, but this software has decided to analyse several years worth of music curation via a slow route. Simply cannot see this wasn’t anticipated during pre-release testing. Nothing should have been added to my files at all, any missing or required info should have been added to Audirvana’s local database with a manual option to update tags if desired.

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I’ve had Audirvana for a few years so I’m not too surprised that the new version is buggy. It exposes other things though. Your NAS should not be allowing any app/device writable access to your files by default. Lessons learned, I would change that (NAS) first thing, it’s one thing you can contol at least. I’m not absolving Audirvana at all for sure.

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It’s an ancient slow WD NAS, I don’t think it has options to make the shares read only, but perhaps something I’ve never considered until now.

Actually I may be wrong.

I have Audirvana 3.5 connect to my NAS samba share as user “guest” (read only). Might be something you can look into if possible on yours.

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I just discovered some R/W, R, No public access settings but boy is the web interface slow - never used to be like that years ago, maybe a bad sign and ime to shift some stuff.

Interesting lesson but I’d never have anticipated Audirvana dicking around with files without permission even if in theory it will have no impact on SQ.

The NAS is one thing and thankfully slow, but I also have files on directly attached drives hooked up to the Mac Mini. May need to later permissions there too.

After playing with this app, I give up : the ergonomic is awful and it lakes the minimal functionality we are intended to except (tags, metadata handling, quick access to predefined rules, remote…etc.)
Guess I am stuck with Roon.

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Perhaps coincidence but since trialling it my Mac is constantly ‘beachballing’ even without Studio running. Going back to 3.5 I’m guessing 2 out of 3 streamed tracks skip/stop for no apparent reason whether played from the LAN or WAN. Made me wonder if I’d said 3.5 to have too high a priority in its settings.

Subscription plus these tag insertions are really putting people off. I was really looking forwards to a small outfit potentially upping their game with the new version.

I also think it may be simpler for me to redownload tracks/albums from Qobuz and replace the altered ones - primarily as I don’t know with many crashes if Studio has corrupted files while analysing them - perhaps not but unless I play all tracks affected to find out I won’t know.

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