Broadcasting, Getting Started, Licensing

The Importance of Metadata

In the radio world, metadata is information attached to audio tracks. When it comes to tracks on your Live365 station, the metadata for each track must include the track title, contributing artist(s), and album title, and it can also include other pieces of information like publishing year.

Why is metadata important?

Metadata is important for a couple different reasons. Firstly, accurate metadata is absolutely essential to keeping your radio station legal. While Live365 provides you, our broadcasters, with music licensing for the U.S., Canada, and U.K., we do need our broadcasters to provide us with the most accurate metadata possible so that we can take care of the necessary royalty reporting.

Not only is correct metadata important for being in compliance with our music licensing though, it's also vital to ensuring that the artists get paid for the plays on your station. By providing Live365 with the most accurate metadata possible, you can be sure that the artists that write and perform the songs that you're playing on your station are getting paid for those plays.

On top of all of that, metadata helps you as well! With accurate metadata, you will be able to easily search and find tracks, jingles, and other audio within your Live365 library. Also, metadata is important when it comes to your programming, as your playlists and AutoDJ must pass the DMCA check. So, accurate and complete metadata helps you ensure your playlists easily pass the DMCA check and helps AutoDJ function properly, giving you a wider selection of songs and much better track rotation.

And, when it comes to listeners, that metadata will then appear on your station profile page when the song plays, so it also helps your listeners get an idea about what to expect on your station and identify what they're hearing once they've tuned in!

Long story short, accurate and complete metadata is essential to running your station. We've got you covered on the music licensing end, but we can only guarantee legality and artists receiving their royalties if you have the proper metadata attached to each track. (And yes, only one song per track for accurate reporting!)

What information is required for accurate metadata?

In order to provide us with the most accurate metadata possible, make sure that each track that plays on your station contains the following correct information:

  • Track Title
  • Artist Name
  • Album Name

In addition to having the correct information itself, it's also crucial that each piece of information is entered into the corresponding field (e.g. track title is entered into "Title" field, artist name in "Artist" field, and so forth).

If a specific track does not belong to an album, the album title needs to be composed of the track title and the word "Single." For example, for the song "Whatever" by Oasis, the album title would be "Whatever (Single)." Please note that you should always avoid having tracks with blank metadata or labels like "untitled artist" or "untitled album."

Where's this information located?

Most commercial CDs and downloads will have metadata already, and that information is then included in the track file that you upload to your Live365 library. However, there are tools, such as MusicBrainz Picard, that you can use to check metadata and edit the information prior to uploading your tracks. If you've already uploaded your tracks and metadata is missing, don't worry, you can edit the metadata within the Live365 interface as well. Just note that the metadata edits you make within Live365 will only apply to the cloud copy. Therefore, we generally recommend adding or correcting your metadata before uploading to ensure you never have to re-edit the metadata for any reason.

Note: If you are using LiveDJ mode, there are tools like Station Playlist and Nexgen that have cue sheet features that allow for reporting multiple metadata events for a single audio file.

Another Note: Keep in mind that if you are broadcasting recordings in which you own all copyrights (such as recordings featuring your performance or possibly the performance of a band in which you are a member), you may be eligible for an exemption from these regulations. Similarly, if you would like to play music from independent artists, you may be eligible for exemptions from these regulations if you have received specific permission directly from the actual artist(s) to play their music.

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Article Image: robertescu via Pixabay.

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About Sarah Osborne

  • Pennsylvania
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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania