I’ve long whinged about the lack of metadata with digital files. There’s one major label that long insisted on distributing digital files to radio stations with only the artist and title included, meaning that when I download them into iTunes, they all get filed into “Unknown Album.”
Byta, a site that looks under the hood of the recorded music industry, has this list of metadata sins. I quote:
- It’s maddening to think about artists missing opportunities because of something as mundane as a filename (or lack thereof), but it happens all the time.
- Inside your Downloads folder, you come across a folder labelled “WAV.” Inside are eight tracks. Maybe they have track titles, or maybe each one is simply named “TRACK 01,” “TRACK 02,” etc. You decide to listen anyways, and after a quick preview with the spacebar, you drop the files into iTunes, at which point… no additional information comes up. If you work in the music industry, some version of this scenario has almost certainly happened to you.
- WAV files are arguably the most egregious offenders when it comes to missing information… It doesn’t help that there are no universal standards for metadata. Even in the hands of professionals, WAV files can be problematic.
There’s a lot more that needs to be absorbed here.