If you don’t already add audio tags to all of your tracks then you’re missing out on a free, quick and easy way to market yourself to anyone who listens to your work. In this article we explain what audio tags are, why they’re important and how to add them to your tracks.
What are audio tags?
Audio tags are simply the information about a track stored within an audio file, also known as metadata. Some tags are ’embedded’ and so are added automatically, like the date a file’s but it’s also possible to add your own custom tags, such as the title of the song, the year it was created, genre, track number, artist name, album title, composer and label or publisher. You can also add comments where you can provide information about you, your contact information and anyone else who worked on the track.
The most popular audio tagging system is ID3, which was built specifically for MP3 files, so this is the most important one to know about. Others include popular open source file types Ogg Vorbis and FLAC use a system called Xiph Comments and Windows Media Audio files use a system called Advanced Systems Format (ASF). You don’t need to know this information if you’re using the tagging software we suggest below, but there aren’t many systems to learn so it’s probably a good idea to get familiar with all of them just in case you need to use them in the future.
Why is important to add audio tags?
Whenever your track is played on someone’s device, the audio tags within the file will be displayed so they will see who you are and where to find you, so the more the track spreads, the more people will find out about you and your work. So if your friends send your song to their mates on Facebook or WhatsApp, and then they send it on to their friends, then your name could spread like wildfire.
Just think about the power of this a year down the road, if your song continues to be spread by your fans. You might even start getting messages saying, “Hey, a friend sent me your song and I found your info in the track description so just wanted to say it’s awesome!”
All of this free marketing happened because you simply left them the info on who you are and where to find you! If you make it easy for your listeners and customers to follow you, the ones who love what you do most likely will!
If you don’t add audio tags, then all that potential viral buildup goes to waste because someone might love your song but have no idea who wrote it or where to find your website or social media accounts.
How do I add audio tags to my tracks?
There are lots of great apps out there to add audio tags and edit the metadata on your tracks. One of the most popular is the Windows only program MP3 Tag. It couldn’t be easier to use because you simply click and drag the track into the software, add the info to the file and click save.
For Mac users, Squeed is a great alternative because it is just as easy to use and enables you to edit the metadata for FLAC, AIFF and M4A as well as MP3 and just like MP3 tag you can just drag and drop the files, add whatever info you like and click save great huh?
Tagging might seem like an annoying additional task, particularly if you’ve just finished it and can’t wait to send your track out for everyone to hear, but it’s really important because it can be a really powerful way to build your fan base and promote your work.
Keep your eyes peeled for tomorrow’s article on why you should be using ISRC codes. “You what?!” I hear you cry. Don’t worry, all will be revealed tomorrow.