17 May 2005

mp3tag: tag your mp3 correctly!

When you roam the net as a music geek you download your music to the hard drive first in order to hear it later. You can get quite frustrated when you realize the netlabel didn't do its job with naming and tagging the sounds. Phlow (& phonq!) recommend you mp3tag for that purpose.

Quality filled out ID tags, be it Ogg Vorbis or MP3 files, should be a virtue of netlabel owners. True, it costs some time and effort but the listener will be thankful afterwards and potential for visits to the website increases. Its no wonder people like mrcs and [in]anace weighted their opinions recently in the Netaudio News Group. Meanwhile, every netlabel owner sits in front of a computer, which can reduce the waste of time to a minimum. Syd Mead told me two years before: "A job a computer does best is: copy." You just have to instruct it, or in our case snatch an ID-tag editor that will as much work as possible by itself. For example...

mp3tag from Florian Heidenreich

The outstanding Freeware MP3 Tag Editor from Florian Heidenreich is a superb tool much more with its batch processing which is a breeze to use. 100 MP3s are quickly linked to one of the Creative Commons licenses in the Comment field. Filenames themselves can be converted to lowercase in a moment. Luckily the program also tags Ogg Vorbis files. When you set aside half an hour to learn its insides you save yourself hours and let the program do the repeated tasks. And that is not an empty promise! You can find out how the program functions in details in the excellent help file. We just want to give you a couple of useful filenaming tips for the road....

naming MP3s correctly

Netlabels should pay attention to the following steps in naming and describing ID tags. The following facts should belong in the filename:
  • label ID
  • catalog number
  • album title plus EP/LP/Single
  • track number
  • artist name
  • track title
The filename should be over 64 characters. Otherwise your CD burning program messes up and crops the filenames. An example for correct file naming is:
tagging MP3s correctly

In any case I'd wish a link to the netlabel or the artist in the ID tag. The promotion effect is often completely missed here. Hey, if I like the MP3 i'll look at the tag info and become frustrated when its empty.

Therefore we wish for the following additional information in the tags:
  • complete description of the release - Artist, Title, Album, Tracknumber
  • a link to a creative commons or another license (so you can know if you're allowed to use it in your netaudio mix)
  • link to the netlabel or artists website
  • genre classification
Note: If I forgot important components, note it in the comments.

written by mo., translated by argus

This article was originally published on Phlow and after getting permission from the writer we translated it in english cause we want to spread the word. This here is an action for better ID tagging in the scene and we hope the intiative will spread. Bad filenames or nonexistant ID tags are the biggest problem with netlabel releases. ID tag is a powerful tool and it is left untouched. What prevents each netlabel owner to correctly fill out the tags and even attach cover art?

This is our little contribution to the ongoing debate and also a recommendation for mp3tag - an excellent program which we've been using for some time now and it helped sort out over 20 Gb of mp3's in mere couple of hours. Imagine how much time it takes for a couple of tracks then!

Here's to a fully tagged and properly named netaudio future!


Anthony said...

Oh wow, I can't agree more. Tagging = GOOD!

In today's metadata age, having just files isn't enough. And considering MP3s have this functionality built in, it should really be carefully used.

Steve Westphal said...

What a good blog. You should check this out. mp3 song