Artist Tip: ID3 Tagging

From Wikipedia:

"ID3 is a metadata container most often used in conjunction with the MP3 audio file format. It allows information such as the title, artist, album, track number, and other information about the file to be stored in the file itself."

In essence, an ID3 tag is a way for you to keep your information stored within an mp3 file! This means that even if the file name is changed, your information would still show up in most mp3 devices, media player software, and DJ equipment (even car stereos!).

Why Should I Care?

Two reasons:

  1. BRANDING: There is no big artist in existence that does not have ID3 tags in their produced music files. Period. When you distribute your music, and people play the songs in their devices, you want them to see your information and know who was responsible for the tunes they hear.
  2. COMPATIBILITY: If you make it a habit of adding ID3 tags to your music files, then non-human handlers of your music (i.e., computers, smartphones, equipment, devices) will know where to place them and how to work with them. Most relevant example: Our site!

How Do My Tags Work On This Site?

To use technical mumbo-jumbo, we primarily use ID3v2 tags, though we also support ID3v1. Here is a breakdown of how we use your tags to manage your music on our site:

Artist Tag

We use the "artist" tag in two ways: To determine the primary artist of a song, and to determine any featured artists. This is where we expect you to place featured artists. Some artists place any featured contributors in the "title" tag instead, and that's fine, but it will show up as part of the title (see "Title Tag" below).

Tag Contains Result
Lecrae ARTIST: Lecrae
Lecrae ft. Flame ARTIST: Lecrae, FEATURED ARTIST: Flame
Lecrae (feat. Dawkins & Dawkins) ARTIST: Lecrae, FEATURED ARTIST: Dawkins & Dawkins

Album Tag

We use the "album" tag to determine what album a song belongs to. Thus, naming your album consistently in all your ID3 tags is important if you want all your albums' songs to show up in the right place.

Title Tag

We use the "title" tag to determine the title of a song. Note that EVERYTHING in your "title" tag will show up as the title on our site (including any featured artists).

Tag Contains Result
The Whole Truth TITLE: The Whole Truth
The Whole Truth (feat. Flame) TITLE: The Whole Truth (feat. Flame)

Genre Tag

You'll notice on our site's download page that songs are basically categorized by genre. We use this tag to figure out where your song will be categorized. At Kingdom Affiliates Record Pool, we currently categorize three genres:

  • Christian Hip Hop
  • Rhythm & Praise
  • Gospel Reggae

When you fill out your song's "genre" tag, it would be best for our site if you chose one of these three genres. However, our software is smart enough to make a best guess, even if you don't spell it exactly the same as above.

Tag Contains Result
Christian Hip Hop GENRE: Christian Hip Hop
CHH GENRE: Christian Hip Hop
Christian Rap GENRE: Christian Hip Hop
R&B GENRE: Rhythm & Praise
Trance GENRE: Misc
"no tag" GENRE: Misc

Don't doom your songs to show up in "Misc". As you can imagine, DJs don't always look there.

What Happens When A Song Is Downloaded?

Good news: Your tags don't go away! Even if you have tags that we didn't mention above, we don't modify the ID3 tags in any way on this site. If you included some super-hidden-secret-tag-nobody-has-ever-heard-of, then rest assured that tag will remain when a user downloads your song.

Final Note

Still not convinced? Here is a YouTube video that perfectly illustrates the important of tagging your music: