Not including the full metadata in your free mp3 downloads can be devastating to your marketing efforts.
Take this screenshot from my iTunes as an example…
Take a look at the ratings column. You’ll notice there are several songs here that I’ve rated as three and four star. In my world that means I would like to hear more from that artist. But I can’t…
I have no idea who they are because they didn’t take the time to include the metadata as part of the file!
Maybe at one point I did know who they were. Somewhere someone gave me their song. More than likely, I received them as a free download from their website. I don’t remember, but somehow I ended up with their music on my computer.
I don’t always have time at the moment the file hits my iTunes to go in and add all the relevant data so I can find them later. But I shouldn’t need to.
It’s not my job!!
As a fan I shouldn’t have to fix your mp3 file so I can find you later. It’s basic marketing 101. Put your name on stuff.
Have you ever gotten a free pen from the bank and they DIDN’T put their name on it? If the bank is going to give out free pens they want you to remember where you got it and think about them. Maybe you’ll come back and open an account.
Same for your music. Don’t give it away without a way for people to find you in the future.
The basics of mp3 metadata
Metadata is hidden information within your mp3 file that identifies some standards about the song. Including
- Track Title
- Album Name
- Album Art
- Almost infinite possibilities
This information is used by programs such as iTunes, Windows Media Player and others to display your song information in their directories.
How to get your metadata in an mp3 file
If you’re a PC user then download this FREE mp3 tag editor. It’s the most powerful one I know of and it’s the one I use on a daily basis to edit client files.
If you’re an Apple user, sorry. I don’t speak Mac.
You can use iTunes to edit your tags. However, a word of caution. Not all devices can read Apple’s data. Better to find a universal editor for your Mac.
I found a great tutorial video for using MP3 TAG. Watch this short video to get the basics of how to edit your file.
What fields to use
At an absolute minimum you should fill in the following fields:
- Album Art
If you are editing files to be given away as free downloads add your website URL to one of the fields. Make it easy for prospective fans to find you.
Follow these tips and you won’t get lost in the iTunes shuffle.