Here’s the scenario: Your fan just bought a CD at a show. They are so excited to listen to it that they immediately take it out of the package and put it into the CD player in their car. After having it in their car for a few weeks, they finally decide to take it inside and add your music to their iTunes library. They put the CD into their computer, and iTunes pops up to import it. But no track or artist information is listed. Unfortunately, they left the CD packaging in the car and don’t remember all the titles to your songs. They still import it, but your music gets moved down to the bottom of the their music library, with no way to distinguish it from all the other annoying untitled tracks.
This is a problem that can be easily solved. Gracenote is a music recognition service that is employed by many major music retailers and other music services to provide metadata about music files.
Metadata is data about other data. It seems complicated, but actually it’s pretty simple. If you have an mp3 file (the original data), the metadata (data about the original data) might include the artist name, track name, album name, genre, or even the album artwork.
It’s important to have this metadata attached to your files so that you music can be recognized easily, and Gracenote is the most widely used way to make this data available.
Getting Your Music To Gracenote
The great thing about Gracenote is that it is really simple. There are two ways to add your music to their database.
If you are distributing your music digitally, Gracenote might be included in your distribution pack. This is the most convenient way to upload your metadata, because your distributor already has all the information.
Major online distributors like TuneCore, and CD Baby (Gracenote is included in their Mega Distribution bundle) will add your metadata information when you upload your files. As long as you entered all the information correctly when you submitted your music, all your metadata information will be correct.
Manually Entering Information
If you are not using an aggregator that automatically uploads metadata to Gracenote, don’t worry. Entering your metadata is an incredibly easy process.
Step One: Simply put your CD into your computer, or upload an mp3 into your iTunes library. However, if you just upload an mp3, make sure it is a finished—hopefully mastered—product, because Gracenote uses the duration of your songs to recognize them in iTunes.
Step Two: Gracenote might show you a fuzzy matches dialog box of albums that could be matches. Close this box if it pops up.
Step Four: Enter all the information for each song exactly as you want the metadata to appear.
A dialog box to choose a genre will pop up if the genre you have currently selected is not supported by Gracenote.
Click the submit button, wait 2-3 days and then insert your CD again. Your metadata will either be automatically entered, or you will choose from a list of albums that exactly match the duration of each of your songs. Mine only had one other exact match, so it was easy for me (and my fans!) to find the correct information.
If you have any more questions, or your metadata hasn’t appeared after a few days, you can visit Gracenote’s official site to get some help.