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What? Metadata for music?

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

It's just a song, how can a song have metadata? What does that mean?

Metadata. That word literally means "data about data" - yes, confusing.

How about some examples to help understand?

Metadata for movies would be:

1) name of movie

2) name of director

3) name of cast (actors/actresses)

4) genre

5) synopsis

6) and many more...

Metadata for a book would be:

1) title of book

2) author

3) publication date

4) name of publisher

5) genre

6) book description

7) and many more...

With the above examples in mind, then metadata for a song would be:

1) name of song

2) name of artist

3) name(s) of producers, songwriters

4) release date

5) genre

6) duration of song (length)

7) and many more...

So metadata for a song is a set of data much fundamental, giving structure and context to the song. It provides information pertaining to a specific song. So, why is this important?

Because it links the song to its copyright owner, and any crucial bits missing or incorrect can have an adverse effect on the copyrights compensations; personally, I would think of it as banking information, some of the money due to me may not end up in my account or someone else can get that amount. SCARY!

Take the song "Dangerous" for example. Giving just its title is not enough. The question that follows would be "by who? Michael Jackson, David Guetta, Roxette or Big Data?"

Even for "Dangerous" by Michael Jackson. Which version (or released when) would be the next question.

That is why it is important for a song to have the correct and complete set of metadata. If you are an artist or a songwriter, be sure to provide all the metadata you can from the very beginning so that nothing is missed out.

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