Why is metadata on CD often incorrect?

I’ve noticed playing music CDs on an Oppo 203 that the metadata showing is often wrong. I’m talking about artist or group, album title, song or composition, cover art, etc. Why is that? I see it on recent ones to those from the 1980s.

CD Text was always optional on Redbook and only provides track names and album name anyway. There isn’t any other meta data on Redbook CD so anything more than track and disc titles is a guess by what ever you’re using to play the CD, almost always requiring a network connection to try to lookup some hash of the CD, for example, a hash of the Table Of Contents. Many of the sources use different indexing methods and perhaps the most different is Musicbrains which requires a “hash” of the content of each track so you’d never get that data in real time. It’s impossible to not make mistakes in guessing since the typical sources of metadata aren’t consistent and none is a superset of any other.

I decided long ago I’d never work on a project that sets high expectations in the customers mind that can never (even in principle) be delivered well. So getting covers, and metadata for CDs is definitely in this category for me. I’ve probably had 5 or 6 separate entities trying to get me to do it in the last 5 years, but you couldn’t pay me enough.

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