Podcast Production: Should I Use MP3 Tags for My Business Podcast?

AudioFile Solutions MP3 Tag Cover Art

If you have a business podcast, you should definitely consider using MP3 tags.  Besides the content and production quality, the MP3 metadata information is the next most important element to producing a high quality, professional podcast.

Podcast production requires a lot of time and effort gathering your facts, preparing the script and carefully recording and editing all the elements together.  But it doesn’t end there.  Today, the vast majority of podcasts are being distributed as MP3 audio files.  These files use an ID3 metadata container to store information such as artist, album, title, track number and even an image file (cover art).  All current music distribution services that sell MP3 files use the ID3 tag.  If you’ve ever purchased a song from Amazon.com or other music download site, you’ve most likely noticed the artist, album, and title information scrolling down at the bottom of Windows Media Player on your PC.  But before you see that, you’ll hopefully notice the gorgeous digital artwork that is the modern manifestation of the album cover.  If you’re like me, a visual component in what is supposed to be an audio-only format is exhilarating!  More about that in a minute.  But as a business person, consider the millions of people who have downloaded music and have seen these elements.  What happens when these same people download your business podcast and these things are missing?  Trust me, your brand will suffer.  The perception may be that you are subpar, or worse yet, incompetent in your field.

Let’s quickly breakdown the main tags.  The artist, album and title tags are pretty self explanatory.  The title of your podcast will be obvious, and you most likely will have already chosen one before you even start production.  The artist tag is usually your company name.  But the album name sometimes gives people trouble.  Think of this as a category, or several podcasts grouped together under one name.  Consider what categories best fit your podcasts?   For example, if you are a Public Relations company, a good choice for an album may be the name of your clients.  So you’d have an album named Pepsi, another named Nike and yet another named Walmart.  If you have a sports podcast, maybe you’d categorize them by sport: football, baseball, hockey, etc.

But by far, the image tag is my favorite ID3 tag.  I love seeing a visual component in podcasts, especially when I’m not expecting it.  Not only will this image show up on most media playback software on a PC or MAC, it will also carry over to your Apple i-device, smartphone, you name it.  As long as the playback software supports the ID3 tag, your device should display the image you’ve embedded into the metadata.  Keep in mind that there are always exceptions to this rule and every manufacturer handles the image tag a little differently.

While this is by no means an exhaustive discussion of the topic, it is hopefully enough to convince you to start using MP3 tags for your business podcast.  For our existing clients, if you don’t have anything suitable for your image file, contact us and we will create one for you at no extra charge.  To create one yourself, make your graphic 1400 x 1400 pixels, keep it to only a few hundred KB, and format as a JPEG.  Forward the art to us along with the artist, album and title information and we will take care of the rest.  Happy podcasting!

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  1. How to Start a Podcast February 11, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    […] forget that we can help with the production side including podcast recording, podcast editing and embedding meta tags into the final MP3 file.  Give it a read […]

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