You know what is annoying? And you know what probably annoys radio personnel and podcasters more than it annoys me?
Lack of ID3 tags when you submit MP3s.
Even worse than lacking ID3 tags is when a band doesn’t even take time to name their files properly…but that is for another discussion.
If you are sending music to bloggers, press, podcasters, radio, or putting it anywhere on the Internet, make sure your MP3s are labeled properly and you have included ID3 tags.
What happens if you fail to accomplish this task?
Your songs look like this when we load them in our media players:
- Unknown – Track 01
- Unknown – Track 02
- Unknown – Track 03
We (bloggers, etc) have no clue what band or what song we are hearing.
Epic promotion failure.
Sidebar: When I worked for an independent publisher one of my tasks was checking and editing file names and ID3 tags before any song left the office. That’s how important this is.
What are ID3 tags?
The process of including data in an audio file is known as tagging.
ID3 tags are, basically, a data container attached to an audio file. ID3 is specific to MP3 and MP3 Pro formats.
WAV files have no tags. WMA, OGG, and AAC all use different standards for tagging (not ID3).
This standard was developed in 1996 by Eric Kemp. ID3 simply means “IDtentify an MP3”.
ID3 tags allow you to include the Album Title, Track Title, Artist/Band Name, Copyright Info, as well as several other bits of information. You are also able to include a thumbnail image (which is how you make your album cover show up in Windows Media Player, etc).
Instead of boring you with all the technical details, you can read more and learn the history by visiting ID3.org.
How do I edit ID3 tags?
This is not as hard as you might think.
I prefer a program called Mp3tag, but there are plenty of options available.
If you use iTunes, you can edit your tags with that.
Lifehacker published the Six Best MP3 Tagging Tools so I will let them alert you to the other options.
Now take this knowledge and (please) apply it!