If you’re running a netlabel, or simply promoting yourself it’s imperative to tag your files properly for distribution.
You want to tag them for several reasons; And you want to tag them _properly_ for several more; You’re usually too lazy to do it properly in the first place or replace the files when you notice it’s too late. Or maybe you don’t know what naming and tagging properly actually means. This issue is something i always try to do properly in every new Enough Records release that we put out, and it’s something that annoys me deeply when i notice others have casually neglected, so here is why and how it should be done properly.
Why do you want to have them properly names and tagged:
1) People miss-place files on their hard-drive all the time. If you don’t name your file properly nor tag them properly they will end up lost in a misc-junk directory or the trash bin. You want people to listen to your music and not just once, so you need to make sure they can find it and identifiy it properly before you pass the file on to them.
2) Most people listening to new music are on the go, they will want the online preview and have a complete archive easy to download, but they won’t listen to it fully online and once they download they will forget where they put the file, or few weeks past to what artist that specific file in their hard-drive belongs to. They won’t listen again.
3) Some people scrobble tracks, and their social network leads their friends to the tracks they listened, if you didn’t tag your mp3s properly they will either not get scrobbled, get scrobbled under ambiguous titles or annoy the listener for having them edit the tags themselfs or avoid listening to the release. It might sound stupid but it happens and as an artist or netlabel owner you should seek to avoid it.
4) Uploading is made easier. Most online servers nowdays extract the tag info automatically, so if you ensure your tagging was done right and coherently you’ll avoid lots of writting and typo spotting.
5) Proper tagging makes reviewera and promoters jobs easy, they don’t have to hunt down on the internet for the official name of the project or the album, or the edition year, they have the main facts imediatly accessable while they’re listening, means they are more likely to mention it and have the facts straight.
How to do it properly:
1) Name your filenames coherently. If you’re a netlabel owner that means you need to figure out your catalogue scheme and stick to it. If you’re an independent artist that means don’t forget to put your artist name always before the track name. Always name your files in the same manner, even if it’s different from what others use, pick the way that works best for you and stick with it.
2) Make sure your filename wont need to get renamed: avoid caps, avoid spaces, avoid special characters. Best is to only use lowercase, underscore and hifen. Everything else is bound to give some incompatibility in some server somewhere. You might not know this since not everyone is an IT expert but it will, so avoid it preemptively.
3) Always include artist name and track name. Both in the filename itself and on the title track.
4) If your track is part of an album always include the track number.
5) If your release is part of a cataloge always include the catalogue number.
6) Tag as much info as possible: track number, track name, artist name, artist album, album name, year of release, and your contact on the comments
7) Tag coherently. If your artist name is Mohamed, don’t name it mohamed on some tracks and Moh on others. Stick to the same artist name and spelling manner as often as possible. Unless it’s conceptually punk ofcourse.
8) Follow standards if it’s not counter conceptual. Discogs.com has a standard for Caps on track titles based on the popular english title media conventions, so if your track name is not conceptually capitalized: follow the discogs.com standard.
Hope these hints make sense and will help us all better discover and promote new music.