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META DATA – WHAT IT IS, WHY YOU NEED IT

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Written By Dale Allen

TSAI Board Of Directors



Dale Allen TSAI Board of Directors


The term metadata means:“​a set of data that describes and gives information about other data.”That means information about your song such as “title”, “artist”, “album”, “Beats per minute (BPM)”, “contact information” etc. This info may be called “Tags”.

I use iTunes, so I’ll approach metadata from an iTunes standpoint. Metadata is extremely important when pitching to music supervisors, TV shows, movies, etc. At a workshop with several music supervisors, they ALL said they use iTunes.

When you open a song in iTunes, you will see three small dots in the upper right of the title box. When you view the songs as a list, you’ll also see the three dots“… ”When you click on them, you get a list of things you can do–select "Song Info”. Then you get a screen where you can enter metadata for your song. The first one is Song Title. Enter the title here exactly as you want it to appear and be sorted in Finder (Window Explorer on PCs).Then, enter artist–this can be the name of the demo singer (​with their permission​) or your name, depending on how you want the song to appear. Next is album . I use “songs to pitch mp3”or “songs to pitch wav” so they automatically sort into folders with those names. Next is “album artist”. I use “AA Dale Allen Songs ”because the“AA” causes the songs to appear first in the list on the left side of your screen and I don’t have to go looking for my own songs.

Below these main fields are many more including genre,BPM, order in the album, and “Comments”. I use “comments” to put my contact information, including my Name, Phone Number, and Email. When a music supervisor is looking for songs and they choose yours, they want to know how to immediately find the author/ owner. If they have the mp3 on their computer, they might not know who sent it. And they may or may not have a lyric sheet. Speaking of which–there is a tab named “Lyric” and you can copy your lyric and paste it here, so the listener will always have access to your lyric. Click the box in lower right labeled “Custom” to enable pasting your lyric.

If you don’t want to use iTunes and use, say Windows Media Player, select “Help” for instructionsonenteringmetadata.OrfindavideoonYouTube.AsIsaidearlier,all the music supervisors use iTunes, so I do too.

By the way, you might want to periodically clean up your song lists. Go to “Finder” on a Mac or “Windows Explorer” on a PC. Click on“Music”, then iTunes, then iTunes Media, then“Music”again to get a list of all music on your computer assorted by iTunes. If you didn’t enter metadata correctly you might find your songs in the “Unknown Artist” folder.

See you next time, on “Notes About Notes”.

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