KB5003430 update is causing audio problems in Windows 10

Man crying while listening to music

People installing the KB5003430 update for Windows 10 are discovering that music files are becoming corrupted in certain circumstances.

The issue affects Windows 10 versions 2004 and 20H2, and it renders FLAC music files unplayable if metadata is edited. For anyone whose music collection has been borked, there is nothing that can be done to get back corrupted metadata (save restoring them from the backup you obviously have), but there is a workaround to prevent the problem from happening again, and it is possible to get mangled files playing once more.

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Microsoft explains that the problem can arise after editing the title of a FLAC file or other metadata. The company says: "This issue might occur when the FLAC files contain an ID3 frame before the FLAC header. The ID3 frame contains metadata such as title and artist".

Microsoft goes on to say:

The FLAC property handler assumed that all FLAC files started with the 4 byte start code fLaC and did not take into account the ID3 frame at the beginning of the file. Therefore, the ID3 frame would be overwritten without the start code fLaC rendering the file unplayable.

The simple solution to prevent the issues from recurring is to install the KB5003214 update. Microsoft has also provided details of a PowerShell script that can be used to repair affected FLAC files.

The company's full support article, complete with repair instructions, is available here.

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