Music Publishing and Licensing Blog

Type and Source metadata for catalog organization

This article provides a list with descriptions about the new Type and Source metadata used for the publisher’s own stores and the LicenseQuote and some new (upcoming) global search filters to be used on the Find Music page.

Use of these filters in your own licensing store is optional (go to Tracks/Songs > Configure > Filters to apply setting) and is recommended for use if opting to list you tracks in LQ Global Search which can be checked on the Advanced Settings page.

On the Edit Track admin page, below the Tags field, you’ll find the Type and Source metadata selection fields. There are eight options in the combo box menu (see details below) which you’ll also see in the info (icon) bubble at right side of this metadata row.


Unspecified – A Type has not been selected yet.

Song/Vocal – complete song with vocals and lyrics.

Instrumental Melody – song with a discernible melody played by an instrument, but no vocals.

Instrumental Bed – arrangement without vocals or melody used for special kinds of mixes and productions.

Sound Design – Simple or complex recording which could include any combination of melody, bed or other special effects.

Bumper/stinger – Similar to sound design but much shorter, usually only a few seconds.

Loops – Similar to instrumental beds, but usually shorter and designed to be “looped” for various productions.

Beats – similar to instrumental bed, but specialized with different instrumental mixes.

Ringtone – usually a song or melody geared for mobile or cell phone usage.

Sound Effects – any kind of ambient or studio designed sound recordings normally without any musical elements.


For Source, there are only three options besides Unspecified:

Unspecified – The Source has not been selected yet.

Original Composition
– this includes any song or track which is 100% original and the publisher or sub-publisher has copyright ownership rights to. Such rights normally includes the composition and masters files unless stated otherwise.

Cover – A song for which mechanical rights have been properly licensed for use in a new recording. This typically includes most kinds of popular music, standards and famous songs.

Public Domain – Includes any song which is now in public domain either according to U.S. or other international copyright laws.

In some cases a public domain song, or portion of it, may be used to create a unique new arrangement which may be copyrighted, and could then be listed as a new original composition, though it may still be referenced (by description) as a song stemming from a work in public domain.


Applying the right Type and Source is up to each copyright owner because only they will know the creative and legal background of their songs, arrangements and recordings in terms new or existing material and it’s related publishing and licensing rights.

Sub-publishers who are representing the primary publishers or copyright owners, are encouraged to ask them if there are any questions regarding the true Source of their catalog content.

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