All audio CDs contain metadata. Metadata is information about what is on the CD (artist names, song and album titles, and most importantly, a unique code identifying each song – the ISRC code). This information is applied by the mastering studio and can be read by radio stations, royalty collection agencies and some CD players.
The mastering studio, be it Free House or anyone else, will request this information from you. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information you provide is complete and accurate. Bear in mind the studio will input the information exactly as you provide it, spelling mistakes and all.
NB: Not all metadata is relevant to every release.
- International Standard Recording Code.A� This is a unique code allocated to every single commercially-released song. The code enables royalty collection agencies (PRS in the UK, BMI and ASCAP in the USA) to pay recording artists for public performances such as radio play, streaming and live performance.A� If you intend to make your recordings available for sale to the public, it is essential that you obtain an ISRC for every song. In the UK, ISRCs can be obtained from the PPL here.
- This is simply the correct term for the barcode (more specifically, the 12-digit number underneath the barcode) that is printed on almost every product you see in shops every day.A� If you intend to make a CD or record available for sale to the public, it is essential that you obtain a barcode for it.A� EAN/UPC barcodes are available from GS1 here.
- Track Title
- The title of your song spelled exactly as it is to appear on any artwork (try to be consistent with capital letters and abbreviations).A�For information on featured artists click here.
- Album Title
- The title of your album. Again, watch your spelling.
- Album Artist
- Fairly self explanatory…the name of your band. If your album is a compilation use ‘Various Artists’.
- Track Artist
- Only use this if it differs from the Album Artist.For information on featured artists click here.
- Track Songwriter
- Name(s) of songwriter(s). Different ways of crediting yourself include: Lennon/McCartney OR Prince OR E. Presley. This information does not affect your royalty payments. Royalty payments are solely governed by the information you supply to the Performing Rights Society (PRS).
- Album Songwriter
- Only use this if the same songwriter(s) wroteA�every track on the album.
- Track Composer
- Generally used for classical music. If you have completed Track Songwriter information, ignore this field. However, if you prefer to be credited as Track Composer, ignore the Track Songwriter field.
- Album Composer
- As above.
- Track Message
- Ultimately unnecessary, this may show up in iTunes, Windows Media Player etc. and some CD players. It is a small space to leave a message to your fans, please bear in mind it will be thereA�forever.
- Album Genre
- Again, self-explanatory. Nobody wants to read ‘Gangsta Country/Death Metal/Skiffle Jazz/Rock/Punk/Hip Hop/Acoustic’.A�Just Pick One.
If you have featured artistsA�on your track it is up to you whether you include them withA�Track Title or Track Artist. If you include them with Track Artist, your album will appear in iTunes underA�multiple ArtistsA�(eg. ‘Mark Ronson’ and ‘Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse’); whereas if you include them withA�Track Title the song name effectively changes (‘Valerie’ becomes ‘Valerie ft. Amy Winehouse’).
Lastly, be consistent with abbreviations. If, for example, you are abbreviatingA�’featuring’ (to ‘ft.’ or ‘feat’)A�make sure all instances of it appear the same way, both on the information you supply the mastering studio andA�anyA�on artwork.