No more confusion around metadata for your music!!!

That’s the promise of this post. Feel free to correct me in the comments section if anything is still unclear after reading this….

Most of the confusion comes from the fact that there are 2 sorts of “metadata”.

Metadata for Audio Files


That’s the information you attach to your audio files. The information then shows up when the audio file is played (in iTunes, on your not-too-old stereo, etc.)

Metadata for Search Results


Those are the keywords you input in music libraries, on your website, SoundCloud and YouTube to ensure that your tracks appear in relevant search results.

Let’s look at how you get both these things right….

#1 – Metadata in Audio Files

Why Is It Important To Get This Right?

When you send music in the form of audio files, it’s important that the person who receives it can easily file it and retrieve it.

If you send an mp3 with no artist name, no information on genre or year of release, it can become real tricky for the person who received it to find it in their library.

Even if they do find it, how are they going to remember it’s yours and know how to get in touch with you?

What Kind Of Information Do You Need To Include?

Make It Easy For Whoever Is Playing The Audio File To Identify You And Get In Touch With You:

  • Artist Name

  • Full name of composer(s), including percentage of ownership and PRO information for each one

  • ISRC Code, this will help track when the recording is used and get paid royalties

  • Contact information, the comments field are a good place for that

This ensures people and PROs can find you, get in touch with you, give you proper credit and pay you.

Make It Easy For Your Potential Customer To Find Your Track When They Need It:

  • Song Name*

  • Year of release, some customers are looking for a sound from a specific time period

  • Genre

  • BPM

  • Moods

  • Instrumentation

*Additional notes on song name…

  • if the song name includes a keyword that may drive searches, even better!
  • if there’s a featured artist performing on the song, include it here (feat. XXX)
  • if the recording is a cover, include it here (cover of XXX)

If you have the patience (and info!), you can add the album name, album artist, disc number, track number, moods, instrumentation. etc.

Make sure, however, that you’re not including any rating information on your songs. The person who is listening to your song may want to use that setting.

How Do You Add This Information To The Actual Audio Files?

Option 1 is doing it when you’re bouncing the track from your DAW.

The actual tagging part starts at around 1’40”

Option 2 is adding metadata to already existing audio files

Step 1, locate the audio file on your computer. It’s tough to help you with that, you should know 😉

Step 2, download a free tag editor like MP3TAG, Audacity or Kid3 (these are just 3 of many…. feel free to browse Google for other choices!)

Step 3, search YouTube for a tutorial on how to edit the metadata with the tag editing software of your choice

Step 4, do it!

Here are a couple of good tutorials that should help:

#2 – Metadata in Music Libraries and Other Online Platforms

Why Is This Important?

Do you want your music to pop up when a potential customer is looking for music on a production library or an online platform like YouTube or SoundCloud?

Yes? Good.

For that to happen, you need to get this particular type of metadata right.

The metadata in your audio files are done (see above). Now you need to make sure that, when you upload that audio file online, you also fill in the metadata fields provided by the platform you’re using.

This is NOT an “either…. or….” situation.

You need to get both types of metadata right.

What Information Do You Need To Include?

This will vary depending on the platform you’re using.

It’s impossible to walk you through each and every one of them because each music library and online platform has different requirements.

To give you an idea of what to expect, I recorded a few walkthroughs showing you the backend of AudioSparx, Songtradr and SoundCloud.

You’ll see what setting up a new track looks like, complete with metadata including song and artist information, moods and instrumentation.

The key here is to remember you’re trying to get your music in front of the right people.

The more relevant information you can provide, the better so….

If the platform gives you a field to fill out, do your best to give them what they need!

Adding Metadata in AudioSparx….

Adding Song Information In Songtradr….

Using Tags And Keywords In SoundCloud….

There you have it, the basics of metadata and metadata…..

Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions.

If you need any help coming up with relevant keywords for your music, I’ve got your back 😉

Next Steps?

Tag Your Songs!!

Pick one track and get started.

First tag the audio file, then come up with a list of relevant keywords, then set up the track on the online platform of your choice.

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