Metadata is basically information- meaningful information that is attributed to an object. Think of metadata as descriptors. In the recording and production industry, this would be information associated with a recording, technical information, creative information and the personnel involved.
Metadata can be assigned to your assets, in this case, being music that you created or helped create.
Metadata and your Digital Assets
Now that we understand what metadata is, there is a basic metadata set that we recommend you assign to your music:
- Date of creation
- Song title
- Album title
- ISNI, ISRC
- Record label information (if applicable)
- Sample rate, Bit depth and Data Carrier (hard drive)
If something is lost or forgotten, a rich set of metadata assigned to your assets will help ensure that you can retrieve it quickly. A wide set of tags will assist in that search. Think of "googling" your music for certain words.
The goal is to make your assets discoverable- discoverable by you, collaborators, people you share rights with, the people that manage your rights, the people that want to pay you, the fans that want to hear you.
Remember: If it is not discoverable, it may as well not exist.
Use a Digital Asset Management System, or create one! Every time you create a new song or begin an album project, use the basic set listed above in a Excel spreadsheet. Use the list as columns. Simple. Save on your Google Drive. It only takes a few minutes.
Go retroactive. While time consuming, it can serve you well in the future. At least assign the date, tempo, key and creative contributors and some basic information about those people to unenriched assets.
Metadata can be embedded in the audio file, or a reference number can be embedded in the file to refer to a database containing your metadata. It's not as daunting or as complex as it sounds.
- If rightful ownership of your music is archived (song writer(s), publisher, PRO, etc.) Knowing exactly who created the song and rightful ownership allows managers of these rights the ability to release payments faster.
- Sync and Licensing opportunities - if a music supervisor contacts you and asks you for a song in 4/4. - 120 BPM in e minor, with harp, violin, and sampled 808 drum sounds, will you be able to recall, within minutes, which black Avastor hard drive contains this content? Doing a search against these tags (4/4, e minor, harp, violin, samples) and a list populating your screen with a reference to the data carrier (hard drive) will provide a much faster answer than mounting dozens of drives, opening untold numbers of Pro Tools sessions or a loosely named collection of "master mix" files.
You can get the mix back to the music supervisor faster thereby increasing your odds of landing the opportunity.
The use of ISRC and ISNI can all connect the above mentioned organizations and people with you as an artist or creator.
Check out the VEVA Sound Studio Collect Suite. You can download it for free here and see just how easy it is to collect and track and ultimately profit from deliberate metadata enrichment of your creative content.