Protect Profit Propagate Promote

A few suggestions to protect intellectual content, make credits available and help direct profits. Ideally in place before you release your project, no less important after.

Create a text document with ISRC and UPC codes, publishing information, a list of credits for performers, writers, producers, engineers and studios, a web-link to your site and even lyrics if you want. Have jpg/png's of album art and a CD of your master available (even if you're not releasing a physical CD).

Do as much copy/paste as possible to prevent errors. This is largely an exercise in data entry.

Learn about ISRC Codes

Copyright your project (Sound Recording for SR) with the Library of Congress Become a member of Sound Exchange

If you're considering using Youtube to promote your work learn about their Content ID program


There are 3 metadata types of primary concern.

1) CD-text: CD text exists separate from the disc's audio files. It's entered in one of the CD's subchannels during mastering.

2) Audio File metadata: Information embedded in digital audio files. Most common are variations of ID3-type data existing in mp3's although most audio files can potentially contain metadata. More here: and here:

3) Various Web services can recognize a playlist in your media player (like iTunes or Windows Media Player) if data is entered/uploaded by your project's administrator.

There are numerous web services beyond those listed here. Web metadata is a constantly moving target. Standards aren't set in stone. Further, aggregators (Tunecore, CD-baby, etc) are often different in what they do for clients. Ask your aggregator about their services, coordinate with your management and label team, or do it yourself. It's painstaking copy/paste data entry, but a couple gnarly work stints dedicated to having your information out in the world is extremely useful given the multiple environments in which your work may appear.

Common web services:



Lyricfind can make your lyrics easily searchable (paid service)

discogs is a repository for credits

It's important to know ALL this material is in a state of near constant flux due to a lack of standardization. As annoying as it can be, it's really important for indie artists to take control of these subjects to maximize possible profits and distribute proper credits. In addition to protecting your intellectual content, our participation helps push the industry towards standardization.

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