Last June, I wrote about the fact that Windows Home Server 2011 was overwriting the metadata contained in media files. In August, Microsoft finally acknowledged the issue.
Yesterday, Microsoft issued the second Update Rollup for WHS 2011. It contains a fix for the metadata issue (issue 2 in the list of fixes).
Now, WHS 2011 will no longer retrieve metadata from the internet and use it to overwrite your music files by default. With the update, it has become an option that can be turned on or off. The setting is found on the Media Settings page of the WHS 2011 Server Settings (the “Retrieve additional information from the Internet” checkbox).
You’ll see from the screenshot that I have the retrieve function turned off, that’s because the last thing I want is for Microsoft to overwrite all my carefully set up metadata in my Music library.
In fact, installing this update has changed the default behaviour. Whereas before, metadata was always retrieved (it could not be turned off in the Server Settings) and used to overwrite files, the new default is for the retrieve function to be turned off. Microsoft have also implemented a new alert, which appears if the retrieve function is turned off:
I think the change to the default behaviour was the right thing for Microsoft to do. Suppose that they had not changed the default. Then I suspect those people who are blithely unaware of the metadata update task (and the likely damage it’s doing) would continue to be blithely unaware. And new users, having set up their brand new WHS 2011 installations, would also be unaware of the danger.
At least this way, everyone who has, up until now, been unaware of this issue is now going to get this alert, which hopefully will prompt them to think about the metadata issue. They now have the choice to either set the “ignore the alert” switch, or revert to turning the update task back on.
I just wish that Microsoft had bothered to update their WHS 2011 Help pages about this issue. They still say nothing about it (or even about the newly-implemented checkbox). This is not helpful for the “Home user”…
Oh, and I think I should add that none of the many other issues with the Media Library in WHS 2011 listed in this post have been resolved. They are all still there, making the use of the Media Library via the Web totally useless as far as I’m concerned…