What Are ID3 Tags? + When You Should Edit Them As A Music Artist Wednesday February 15 2023, 7:15 AM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
What Are ID3 Tags? + When You Should Edit Them As A Music Artist

What Are ID3 Tags?

ID3 tags are a form of metadata that is usually associated with an MP3 file. MP3 files often get shared between music creators and influencers who are looking to promote songs to a target audience. 

The metadata that is included in an ID3 tag can include a song title, artist, album, track, year, cover picture, and genre of the work. It's a simple and neat way to keep things organized for those who have a library of songs at their disposal, which is mostly all of us. 

Remember the days of illegal music downloads where people would have hundreds of songs in their library that were missing a proper title or artist name? Those times have faded away.

ID3 Tags For Music Marketing 

Song files on the net these days (often mp3s) need to be tagged and identifiable, especially if they're from an undiscovered artist. A lot of indie artists have good songs that are mixed, mastered, and even edited for clean lyrical content but aren't exactly radio ready.

Thankfully, many distributors like Distrokid and Tunecore will help you with your song tags and manually get you to enter all these details for them to display the right way when your songs are sent to Spotify, Apple Music, and similar outlets.

But those aren't the only places where new listeners can hear your music. Music artists that send their work to other promotional outlets without ID3 tags may miss out on many effective promotional outlets.

Outlets that are promoting hundreds or thousands of different songs throughout the months absolutely need a way to make sure their song library is organized.

Getting new songs into a company's playlist or network takes a lot of time. They don't want to also do your tagging work for you! Receiving a song that is not properly tagged is a red flag for music directors and may lead to them passing on promoting your track. 

Metadata, including cover art and lyrical content, is also a must to ensure your music is easily findable and stands out in the music library of your fans.

It's great if you can get a listener to add your song to their library, but you'd be taking away from the moment by sending them a song titled "Track 1" by artist "a30646dg57h545" and no cover art. They might forget they even have your song and never play it again. 


How to Tag Your MP3s Correctly

Editing your ID3 Tags, also known as metadata, can be done on your own for free. There are many apps available for you to download from the net called ID3 Tag Editors, including MP3tag and ID3.

The process is relatively simple: You'll be able to edit your song title, artist name, album name, genre, and the year of the release. This program will even allow you to add cover art and lyrical content to your song file. 

Some DAW (digital audio workstations) have options within their programming that will allow you to edit the MP3 tags before exporting the file. I often use Audacity's MP3 editor function before sending my songs out just because I've been used to doing it for over a decade. 

Who Might Require You To Edit Your Tags?

Some companies and individuals are very strict about receiving ID3 Tagging, or properly formatting the song, artist, genre, and year data on your audio file.

If you don't send them what they ask for, you could miss out on the possibility of promotion. This would not be about your talent, but it will be about your professionalism!


Independent DJs

DJs have tons of different options when it comes to finding new and undiscovered music that has been released to the world. There are thousands of songs being released daily, so the best DJs are constantly scouring some of the best music resources for songs to add to their sets.

I've come across many DJs who have a personal site where they collect unsolicited submissions from artists that are trying to promote their new music.

DJs also use services like DropTrack, which provides a similar type of service where bloggers, A&Rs, and similar individuals can accept submissions from artists, musicians, and labels. 


Popular podcasters who host on platforms like Spotify, Youtube, Podbean, and Anchor.FM can give you an impressive amount of listeners to your music if you are able to get your music placed in the background or in the forefront. 

Similar to DJs and promotional channels, podcasts that accept song submissions will have a need to keep the song submissions that they receive organized, and will therefore have a preference for artists that send songs that have ID3 tags. 


Promotional Channels

Music discovery can come in many different flavors, and millions of music fans like to rely on curated playlists and channels that can put new music right in front of them to judge. If you are able to get in contact with people like these, you will find a marketing goldmine.

Youtube and Spotify are two places where music creators are often scrambling to get a hold of the curators responsible for songs getting thousands of real plays from music fans who are actively on the prowl for new tunes. 

Radio Stations

Community, online, and college radio station music directors are the people you want to make sure you send beautifully mastered, and ID3-tagged songs to.

While labels may be focused more on your potential, radio stations are focused more on your quality. As they have industry standards to uphold, they are no-nonsense when it comes to what they put on the air.

Be sure to send high-quality audio files only! Also, while some shows are uncensored, the majority of radio stations will expect you to have explicit-free radio versions of your song available. 

Related Post: Submit Music To Radio Stations For Free

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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