Metadata

Capitalization Examples

This is a common issue that many of my clients don't think about until they're in the mastering studio getting asked about it. Did you mean to not capitalize this word? Well, here are some guidelines.

No Artwork

Recently, I had a client that ran into some problems with the cover art for their project. It seems iTunes has some rather stringent (in my opinion) requirements for the cover art. Part of me understands that there needs to be some requirements or checks in place and I agree with Apple that people should not be 'misleading' in the representation of their music. But, I felt this particular case may have been a bit ridiculous. For those of you that want to know, here are the specs that I've found.

These things are required and will prevent you from releasing your music on iTunes:

ID3 tags are where metadata with most MP3 files is stored.  It isn't really a standard because different people/companies made contributions, but because of its wide use almost every program that plays or creates MP3 files can read this metadata.  There is so much information you can put in these files but almost noone uses most of the fields.  You can embedd album covers, booklet pages, titles, artists, genre, ISRC, UPC, website links, and the list goes on.  Oh...  the list...

 

Here is the list:

There are several music databases on the web that you can go browse and look and information related to music.  Some include the Gracenote CDDB, The All Music Guide, FreeDB and MusicBrainz.  What are the differences between them?  I've posted about the CDDB and All Music Guide before.  Both of these databases are used frequently by the musicians I work with and around every day.  You can read more about them by clicking these links.

The Recording Academy has started a new campaign to enhance fans' discovery of new music by ensuring all music creators are credited for their work on digitally released recordings.  This means you can look at who the producer or mix engineer on a particular recording on your iPod (or other player) right from its screen.  You could discover other albums by a particular producer you like or discover several of your favorite albums are by the same producer and find other recording by him.

A question that is asked to me routinely several times a week.  Why do my track titles show up as 'Audio Track 1' etc. . . when I put my CD in the computer?  There are several explanations of this occurrence.

Where does the album artwork on my player come from?  It is a common question in this digital age.  Various players, like iTunes and Window Media Player, download the album artwork (along with the track names) from an online database like the Gracenote CDDB or the All Music Guide.  This information is not actually on a CD itself, but found by a unique 'thumbprint' of the disc on the database.  If your artwork is not showing up, don't worry.  Nothing is w

Run by Nielsen, Soundscan is the official method of tracking sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada.  They have been tracking sales since March of 1991. It is a common misconception that RIAA uses the Soundscan information to track sales and certify Gold and Platinum sales etc.  They do not.  On the other hand, Billboard uses the Soundscan information to create their music charts.

Often confused with CD-Text, the online Compact Disc Database stores metadata on audio CD's.  The online database was created by Gracenote and is accessed by client applications, such as iTunes.  The client application sends a 'disc thumbprint' then the information in the database is downloaded and displayed in the program.  Sometimes, especially with burned discs, there are multiple entries in the database for that thumb print due to several users adding their personal 'mix cds' to the database.

CD-Text extends the Red Book specification and allows metadata to be embedded into the physical disc.  The information about album artist, album title, track title, track artist, ISRC, arranger, composer, performer, songwriter, and a message can all be are stored either in the disc's table of contents (TOC) or in the subchannels R through W.  Only disc players with the special compact disc digital audio cd-text logo will read and output this data.  Most computers use another method of getting cd metadata called the CD Database (CDDB).

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