Sunday, June 16, 2013

The New Music Grammar Guide

Puzzle Metadata image
Most industry pros now agree that metadata on digital tracks is way more important than the average artist realizes. After all, it's there to help listeners find your track, and to provide the digital equivalent of liner notes to the song. Now the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) have released a sort of "style guide" to help artists and labels alike avoid problems with all the meta data required on a digital track.

One of the problems is that poor meta data, which includes the title, can be a reason that a song isn't easily discovered, or even worse, rejected by a music distributor like iTunes (always known to be picky about these things).

So what are some of these rules? A big one is proper capitalization of a title, since some artists get a bit too clever for their own good. "In da House" and "It's fo; Realz" get good marks, according to the guide, despite the intentional misspellings. "Intentionally misspelled words must respect the same title casing rules" as those spelled normally, states the guide. Random capitalization (like "a TIMe to love") violates the guideline, however.

Another one is to not use ampersands (the "&" symbol) when two artists collaborate unless they are inseparable as an act (like Hootie & The Blowfish). Yet another is using an excessive description when identifying an artist (like "Jeff Beck (Guitarist)").

Perhaps the most egregious act is to randomly include the name of a superstar in the meta data of a track where he may not belong in order to sell more product. That's not a good idea on many levels, the least is the fact that the people it attracts probably will get angry when they're favorite star isn't actually involved of what they're listening to.

If you're going to be making digital music and you want to give it the best chance of being discovered, it's probably a good idea to take a look at the guide. Rules are made to be broken, but you have to know what they are first.

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1 comment:

Vikas Gupta said...

Hi there! great stuff, Thanks for sharing a very interesting and informative content, it helps me a lot, keep it up

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