MUSIC101: How To Properly Label & Tag An MP3 & Why It Is Important


Labeling

Format: Artist – Title (Featured Artist) (Version)

When presenting a single song, your name and title must be on it and not just in the tags or vice versa… Professional Deejay’s, Promoters, Radio Personnel, etc., demand industry standards when excepting mp3 submissions.

e.g: Larry – My Song (Feat. Moe & Curly) (Clean)

The Producer may be included also at your discretion but if not in the title then it should be included within the tagging…

Tagging

I want to start by saying that a big mistake artist make is relying on software to automatically do the labeling and tagging for them. Please remember that all software will only edit your mp3’s the way the software itself wants it to and not necessarily the proper way e.g. iTunes….

With that being said, I will show you how to properly tag your mp3’s with a simple Right Click…

Right Click on your mp3…

If using Windows XP-7 look under the “summary” or “details” tab after clicking properties, If using Mac OSX click on “Get Info”.

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Now fill out the individual templates with the proper information as follows…

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A good thing to do is also add the artwork to your mp3.

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Within Windows I use a free program called Mp3tag to add artwork and tags a little easier if you do not prefer iTunes. I would suggest learning to use that if you are a windows user. Here is an example of how that program works..

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Ok, so now that you have filled everything out the way is should be, save it and go over everything one more time to make sure it is right. You also want to make sure that is is in mp3 format and not mp4, if it is coming from i tunes there is a good possibility that it could have been converted unintentionally. Look in the properties of the track and see if it says these things..

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The final product should be 320 kbps , in mp3 format, at 44.100 kHz, anything less will diminish the quality of the song and if the sample rate is off it may not play in some players. If you are not receiving the track in this format from the recording studio, then you must request it and never try to up-convert you music. Also, If you have it in .wav form it will be fine to convert it to what was stated, .wav (and Flac) formats are lossless formats, they are the highest quality versions of the sounds originally recorded. Converting from those formats to an mp3 at 320 is just fine, it has minimal quality loss that the average ear cannot hear and it also is the majority standard of all formats within the DJ community.

Please remember not to include too much info in your tagging. I showed you how to make a basic structure of the information that is needed, but you may add producers and album titles, etc., just dont get too crazy and add websites and all kinds of other stuff that is not needed and will potentially corrupt the mp3 and render it useless. Also, These examples were done within Windows XP/7 and iTunes, and may be slightly different on your operating system, but regardless of what OS you are working with, It will be similar and the outcome will be the same. This is why I would recommend using Mp3tag for both Windows and Max OSX.

Why Is Labeling and Tagging Important?

We as Deejays have thousands of mp3 files and get tons of submissions every day, and we as professionals do not have time to sit and re-label your music how it’s suppose to be. We use software based systems that automatically read labels and tags so we can search and find it within them and if it’s not properly labeled or tagged then we will never find it.

Here’s an example… Lets say you send your song but of course it’s not labeled or tagged properly, say your song is called “Title” by “Artist” (You) and you clearly state that in the email but your song itself is not labeled that way, it’s labeled “Track 01” with no tags or the tags are still left in it from the engineer and/or the recording process. So now you just sent us a song titled “Track 01” and we download it and put it into our software, and what happens then? It either shows up as Track 01 which we as the DJ have no idea who the hell that is, or it shows up with whatever tags were in there from the recording, could say Yogi Bear for all we know…

Bottom line is, if you don’t tag your music properly then we will never know who it’s from, and in return, we will never play it cause it just gets lost in our library. Also understand that it’s not just about tagging, the song itself needs to be right because not all of us use just tagging in our libraries, so when you send a song and it’s just labeled with the title and not the artist then we don’t pay attention to it cause who knows if its tagged properly until we download it because if it isnt then it will be lost in our library as “Title” and that’s how it will show and we would never know who the artist is or will never be able to give them credit if we do play it.