Podcasts are now all the rave as information consumers have become busier. This is one of the new methods of communicating to an audience. A merge of the popular iPod and broadcast, podcasting is an audio broadcast over the internet.
Before you hit publish on your podcasts episodes, it is essential to have your bases covered. One of the things that you should remember is adding ID3 tags on your MP3 files.
What are ID3 tags?
Since podcast episodes are in MP3 format, these have tons of information buried within the files. The ID3 tags are bits of information that displays on the track or the MP3 no matter what the file name is. You can see these on your player’s screen. These tags can be the cover art, the artist, album name, and genre among others.
The ID3 tag is a way of embedding these descriptive information on the MP3 track. This descriptive data or information is also called metadata, a data describing other data.
These come in a variety of 80 tags. This means you can store as much information as you want in a single MP3 file. But, you need to be smart on which ones to use and add.
Why are these important?
A plain MP3 file only consists of the audio data without any additional information about the artist or the audio. The title and the description will not even show. Publishing a plain MP3 file can make you look unprofessional and potential audience might find it difficult to listen or want to listen to your content.
Tagging your MP3 files ensures that your podcast will be displayed properly on all the media players. Tagged data is added either in the beginning or the end of a track.
Tags provide a general information about your podcast and help the audience search through all the podcasts and find yours through certain keywords.
For example, if you add an image to the ID3 tag, this will display the cover art on the media players. On the other hand, if this is left out, the player will just show a generic image.
But above all else, iTunes favors mp3 tags and wants your episodes to be properly tagged in order for it to display the data properly.
ID3 Tag Categories
These ID3 tags can be categorized into four types: ID3 v1, ID3 v2Basic, extended, and podcast.
ID3 v1 was the original type used for adding information in the MP3 file. However, this had limitations and was replaced by v2. Most of the applications today are already using the newest version. If you want your podcast to be compatible with the older software, you can still add the original version. However, this is unnecessary.
The extended and the podcast categories are just additional ways to store information that cannot be stored using the ID3 v2Basic tags.
Which ID3 tags should you use?
Since there are different ID3 tags that you can add on your MP3, it might be confusing to figure out which ones to use. It may also be tempting to stuff your MP3 file with tons of information. However, the key is to be brief and only use necessary tags.
The common ID3 v2basic tags are: cover art, title, artist, album, year, genre, URL, comments/ description, and copyright among many others. Usual podcast tags are: identifier, feed, and description. These are the tags used by top podcasts and you should consider these without overloading information in your MP3.
Extended tags are not commonly added by most podcasts. However, some who do add the subtitle, released, and recorded information. You may not reap many benefits in adding these, though.
Adding ID3 tags
There are different software that you can use to add or edit ID3 tags. You can either use iTunes, ID3 Editor, VideoLan Client, Windows Media Player, EasyTAG, and MP3tag. Each has its own advantage and disadvantage. So, choose one you’re comfortable with and you find easy to maneuver.
It is good to note though that iTunes and ID3 Editor are the most popular ones used in adding and editing ID3 tags.
Adding tags using iTunes
If you are using an Apple computer, the easiest software to use is iTunes. Start the software first. Then, follow these steps:
1. Choose Add to Library from the File menu.
2. Look for the file that you want to add to your iTunes Library and click open.
3. Right click on the file and choose Get Info from the File menu.
4. Click the Options tab and change the media kind to podcast.
5. Next, click the Details tab and add the title, author, podcast name, release date, and genre of your podcast.
6. Click the Artwork tab and upload the cover art of your episode.
7. Then, click the Description tab and enter the complete description of your episode. You can be specific here and add as much details as possible.
8. Click on the Sorting tab and add the title of the file, podcast name, and author. (not really needed but it won’t hurt if you add it)
9. Click OK.
And, you’re done! Your MP3 file is now ready to be uploaded to your media host.
Adding tags through ID3 Editor
This inexpensive software can be used on both Mac and Windows. To use this, open your ID3 Editor software.
1. Click on the File menu and choose Open.
2. Select your MP3 file and a dialog box will pop up where you will put the tagging information.
3. Click the ID3 v2 Standard tab and type the show title, artist, album, year, genre, and description.
4. You can leave the Extended tab and the ID3 v1 blank if you don’t want to add any tags.
5. On the Podcast tab, key in the feed location and episode description.
6. Click on the Picture button and upload the cover art for your podcast.
7. Click Update.
You can now upload your MP3 file to your media host.
Always remember to be smart and strategic in adding ID3 tags to your MP3 files. It’s all about being brief and not overloading the files with too many information. Just key in the necessary details and you’re good. If you need any help, feel free to connect with a podcast engineer.
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