Audio – File Formats & Metadata Explained
Last modified on November 15th, 2022 at 3:45 am
The music industry has a notoriously bad relationship with metadata, with files in circulation that either contain incorrect metadata or simply contain no metadata at all (we are looking at you, WAV files… read more below). Here we will discuss why file formats and metadata are essential when releasing audio files and how Byta addresses common issues.
This article is an adaption of: “WAV Goodbye? Byta’s Solution To Our Metadata Problem”.
Why is correct metadata necessary?
When you add metadata it allows for your audio to be correctly stored, sorted and identified on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. Ensuring you have the correct metadata embedded in your files helps to ensure receive the proper credit for your audio and you collect your royalties.
How does Byta fix the problem?
When a Byta user uploads their audio, all artist, track, album and artwork information is extracted directly from their files. From this point, our users can be confident that the information displayed on the screen is the same as what they have embedded in their files.
Byta supports the reading & writing of metadata for the following file formats:
- FLAC, ALAC, AIFF aka ‘lossless.’
- MP3 & AAC aka ‘lossy.’
We suggest all but our most advanced users will benefit from avoiding WAV uploads for the following reasons:
WAV files can not hold artwork
iTunes doesn’t read or write WAV metadata and saves any local changes, confusing what the files have embedded in them. Byta supports WAV as a download format (with embedded metadata), ensuring compliance with broadcast submission standards, including the BBC’s guidelines.
Are you working with lossless audio?
When you need to work with lossless audio we suggest using FLAC or ALAC (Apple Lossless) formats. Both have easily editable metadata, holding artwork and offering much smaller file sizes without sacrificing audio quality.
Looking to learn more about Metadata? Then read Landr’s article on Metadata for Musicians