Saturday, December 14, 2019

How to create song metadata - meta tags

Hello everyone and welcome to this week's article!

Today we're going to talk about a topic that is often overlooked, but that especially now, in a time in which 99% of the music is listened via streaming and mobile phones/mp3 players, it has become quite crucial: how to enter the song informations, to make sure the author, album, track name etc are embedded in the audio track, so that once you will play them in the digital player, all the info will be indexed in the right place and the song will be easy to find among the gigabytes of music.

Usually the phase in which we dial in all these information is the mastering phase, because we need to enter them in the project before exporting the final track, and every DAW has a different menu in which to enter these information, but they look more or less the same, and the one in the pic is taken from Presonus Studio One.

Usually this window can be found in the "song information" section of the DAW, and from there you can enter a surprisingly high amount of information, but the main ones are Title, Artist, Album, Year and then you can also add the album cover as image file.
Why just these fields? It's easy: 99% of the players will index the songs only through these data, sometimes they can also index them by Genre, but it's very unlikely that they will filter by composer or arranger (but you can fill all the fields if you want to leave your watermark, of course).

Another good idea is to tag the tracks putting in front of the song name in the meta tags its position in the setlist (e.g. 01, 02, 03...), because the player doesn't know the order, and will list them alphabetically.

Is it essential today to enter the song information? Yes, because in many digital players (for example in my Android phone, which is a very common model) there's not even the option anymore to list the songs by file name, it relies exclusively in the meta tags, and the same happens for a lot of modern dj gear, so unfortunately the file name is not anymore enough to find your song in the ocean of tracks.

Do you usually enter these information in all of your tracks? This could be the right moment to start doing it.

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