Music Marketing Tips – ID3 Tags


I want to start a whole series of posts on music marketing, and in particular marketing on the internet. I hear all the time, how do I get my music heard, but we really have to back up before that. Now, I’m not a music producer so I won’t be giving much advice on making and recording the music. I will try to solicit advice from the pros to give to you. I’m here to help. So lets just assume you have worked really hard in the studio with a great producer like Mike Ofca or David Smith and you are ready to send out some music samples to start the buzz. The first thing you need to do is fill in the ID3 tags in your MP3 file.

The R2D2 tags? What are you talking about?

The ID3 tags. An MP3 file is much more than the music, but can contain a whole host of information about the music, the album and you. You can store the song lyrics, comments and even the album cover in the MP3 file.

So let’s start with why you should care about mp3 ID3 tags. I get mp3 files all the time in my email, and I welcome that. It saves the artist mailing a CD and saves me the time to rip the CD (we’ll get to making sure you are in the GraceNotes db in the future too). Saving off the mp3 files, I end up with a bunch of files named “TRACK1.MP3” and have to hope I get the right information into the right MP3 file. If I get sidetracked before updating the MP3 file, it may end up in the Recycle Bin on the desktop. Filling out the ID3 tags makes it fool proof for a fool like me to know who’s song this is. MP3 players like iTunes or WinAmp will display the ID3 tag information when playing your songs as well. Would you let your CD go out without your information on the physical CD? I hope not.

Side track – Make sure your CD has your URL or email written on the label of your CD. When all a dj or record company has is the CD in front of them because it’s gotten separated from the jewel case, it should be easy for them to find you.

Okay, I’m back. So it’s pretty easy to understand why you need to fill in the ID3 tag, how do you do it? Many of the ripping programs like iTunes lets you fill in the basic information like artist, album title and song title. Take the extra few minutes and fill in all the fields.

What I like to do is use a tag program called TagScanner which is a free program for Windows that lets you set all the fields in an MP3 file, and keep them consistent.

Side Track #2Podcasters need to do this too. Make sure you have album art in the cover section. iPods and other MP3 players love that.

So fill in those MP3 ID3 tags! Promoters, DJs and your iPod will thank you.

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