Are You ‘Unknown Artist 01?’
So What Is Metadata?
Metadata is the information embedded in an audio file that is used to describe attributes about the audio content.
In short; it is the information you want people to receive with the audio file. Metadata is used for identification and cataloging and is useful for consumers to manage and organise their libraries. It can be used by a wide range of consumer electronic devices and software programs, the main and obvious example being iTunes.
Is My Metadata Important?
That is big old yes. Your Metadata identifies your music with you. In the past you may have inserted a CD or downloaded an audio file to have it show up in your iTunes as “Track 01 by Unknown Artist,” frustrating right? You don’t want to be that artist, you want to have all your information embedded with that audio file so that the consumer knows who, what, when, why and anything else you think they should.
There are a few methods to avoid this:
Firstly, we’re assuming you are distributing through Ditto Music, which means we will require all your Metadata for any release, and we make it very simple. This means that all the information you include in that release is embedded within the track when it is sent to the stores you choose. So that’s that sorted. You can see our Metadata Requirements below.
Secondly, If you are releasing physical copies, i.e. CDs you need to ensure you register the release with Gracenote or the “Compact Disc Database” (a service we offerto our customers, during the release set up process) by registering with the CDDB your Metadata for that release is held within the database, so that anytime anyone wants to import the CD into their computer the track and artist information is all there, no “Unknown Artist” or “Track 01.”
Complete, Correct and Consistent
Consistency is something only you can manage. Your Metadata needs to be complete, correct and consistent. If you are using multiple distributers or register with different databases you need to ensure your Metadata is consistent across the board.
Small differences may not be picked up by the systems and could mean your files aren’t grouped together, which breaks the link you want to make between your music and you.
For example; If you submit “Chris Columbus – House Of Terror” via Ditto Music, but enter; “Christopher Columbus – House Of Teror” in another, these tracks will be seen as different. You need to ensure all spelling, featured artist names, times, publishers etc. are an exact duplicate on all services. Metadata is searchable, you don’t want those search results to not include you because of a spelling or consistency error.
So there you have it – Information and tips on how to manage your Metadata, just make sure it is correct, consistent and complete.
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About Tom SatchwellCommunity Manager at Fortitude Magazine. Read Tom's Industry blog at: www.BeatsOnToast.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @TomSSatchwell
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