MP3 Tags

I’m going to be selling MP3’s from my own website (not using itunes or any other services).

I’m in the process of filling out the MP3 tags right now.

So for every song I’ve filled in the ;
- Title (name of song)
- Album artist (my band’s name)
- Year (Year of release)
- # (song number)
- Genre - (Hard rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, etc)
- Publisher… (I assume I should put my own name?)
- Composers …(My first and last name)

There’s many more fields to fill out but I don’t think it’s important to fill out
- Mood
- Conductors
- Initial Key
- BPM, … etc.

One of the more important fields that I see is “copyright” BUT this is one of the few fields that I’m unable to fill-in. Does anyone know how to type your copyright in that field? I’m using Windows 10, …if that makes any difference.

Also, what am I supposed to put in the “Author URL” field ??

I’m not sure what data you would enter into a ‘copyright’ field. Which copyright does it refer to? Mechanical? Master recording? ? There are about six separate types.

If you have your own website as an author you would enter its address in the “Author URL” field, I guess.

But tags are customizable anyway - I’m guessing the reason you’re seeing these tags is because they are a default in your software, you can add/delete any tag you want.

It doesn’t say exactly which specific copyright it covers but I assume it’s the copyright for the ownership and creation of the song on the MP3 that is tagged.

I can see and edit the tags when I right click on an MP3 file and select properties. I’m using Windows 10.

According to what I’ve read, it’s a really good idea to have those fields filled out so that your fans/ audience/ buyers will have that info, just as they would if they bought a CD, cassette or record. Also, it’s good to have your copyrights on every piece of work that you release, for legal purposes. But like you said, those fields are customizable and copyrights can be altered any way the user chooses, so maybe showing the copyright is pointless in this case.

OK, that’s mechanical copyright, and is normally shown by naming the author/composer, which you have already done. I guess if you also own the recording - which I assume you do - you could enter that fact in the copyright field (normally done through use of the ℗ symbol).

1 Like

In, Tag Scanner, a variety of fields are automatically up for option to complete.
I am in the understanding that for tracking and payment when selling one’s recordings, the field requesting your ISRC number in your tag should be filled out. I am not certain how one does that without being registered with the PRO in one’s area. In Canada, SOCAN.
For all other fields, bpm and key for instance, might be good for a Music Supervisor to know if they are considering your work for licensing opportunities. I think most other fields are for other contributors on the recording, if they are all you, so be it.
As for Copywrite information, there are a ton of areas to cover. As soon as your creation is created, it is yours. But, and there’s always a butt, cover it and learn about Copywrites before trying to sell it.

1 Like

I’m registered with SOCAN in Canada. I haven’t purchased ISRC codes yet. I’m going to wait until I’m confident that listeners/ fans are interested enough in buying my music before I lay down the cash for those codes.

Ah, that’s a very good possibility. I never thought of that.

For sure!

I want to display the ownership of the individual songs and the sound recording (copyrights), just as is done with any other audio format (ie, Vinyl, CD, Cassette, Music Video).

I am facing that same conundrum, noticing that these tags don’t really update too well…

This player lets you edit your mp3 tags, it might open some of the ones that are inaccessible. I think there is also ID3v1 and ID3V2 so you might just need 3rd party editor to handle that.

BTW - tagging wav files has been a pure nightmare.

This might be of some help:

1 Like

Thanks for that link Descent.

As someone mentioned previously, the MP3 tags in Windows can be changed by anyone who has a copy of the file. I was hoping that these tags would be permanent because it would serve as a copyright or at least it would contain the music creators details without allowing others to change the tags.

Stripping the tags doesn’t mean you’ve lost copyright, it is a totally different thing. You own copyright on the underlying composition and production, tags are just tags…but tag them you should…

I know what you’re trying to do as I am in the process of doing the same. In our case Distrokid worked in a way that once we did the release, the same files went to all the platforms, tagged the same way. Most users actually are on streaming platforms so I don’t really think it matters as much.

Yes, true, but I like the idea of having my digital signature and info permanently fixed on all the products I that I release to the public, just for clarification to the end user. It’s too easy for people to forget who wrote and recorded the music. If someone really enjoys your songs they would always have your name, the copyright date, and any useful info so that they could find your other music online. When people share an artist’s MP3s with friends or the world, it would be beneficial to the artist if their info appeared on every copy.

I’m of the opinion that it’s best to stream 1 or 2 songs from your album to garner interest in your other music. Then sell your music on itunes, or much better yet, sell them from your own website. That way you don’t have itunes taking a cut of your money. But you’re right about streaming services. Lots of people using them in recent years and they appear to be growing. The problem with streaming is that it’s really difficult to earn any reasonable amount of compensation for your hard work. It might be good to think of streaming the same way we thought of radio 20 or 30 years ago. The artist gives the radio stations 1, 2 or 3 songs that they think would be a hit and if the listeners like the music they seek out the artists CD’s, tapes, or vinyl in the record stores. Spotify can be used like a radio station and your website can be used as your record store, where you’ll sell your music and other merchandise.

Yeah, we spent about $3k on our EP (4 songs) so we’d be lucky if we recoup the cost of the recording.

1 Like

In that case I would just post your most commercially appealing song on streaming sites and try to drive traffic to your own site where you sell your music. You can still sell it on itunes but like I said, itunes will be cutting you short a little bit.

Also, I would suggest making a video for the song that you choose as your single and post that on youtube, vimeo and any other video site. Have links to your band’s website on all your youtube videos, on your band’s Facebook page and everywhere you hang out online…and in the real world too.

1 Like