Music Publishing and Licensing Blog

Tags and metadata management

This article gives music publishers and library owners an orientation for setting up and managing either standard or custom tags, and related metadata, for each of their tracks.

At top of the Tracks/Songs admin page (in your LicenseQuote publisher account), click Configure (text link) to open the Catalog Configuration console. You’ll also find the Edit Track link next to “Custom Fields” on any track’s Edit Track page.

Filters and custom fields

In the console, you’ll see several options under Filters And Custom Fields. On the second line, you have an option to check “Show Tags”. The default is On for this standard Tags filter, and if you uncheck it, it won’t appear in your licensing store. This comes handy in case you want to build a set of custom named metadata (or Tags) filters.

Please note that in general, and for the purpose of this article, “tags” and “metadata” are used synomonously, because in both cases, whether you use the standard Tags filter or use Tags which are set up with custom labels and metadata, you can still mix & match as needed to suit your tag filtering needs.

Standard (default) tags filter

The standard (default) Tags filter is ideal for small catalogs which don’t need extensive search filters or a specific or custom tags/metadata format.  The generic filter label is simply “Tags” and when used, are recommended to have about 4 tags (unique descriptive keywords), but not more than 10, for optimial search results. Typically keywords or short phrases are used, for example: acoustic, guitar, mid-tempo,  male vocals, strings,

When entering in the default Tags field, the words or short phrases must be separated by commas. You can see some examples in our Live Demo store.

When you click the “All Tags” search (combo box) filter, you’ll see a list of all available Tags for the whole store, unless you first select a unique Catalog, in which case the available Tags will be narrowed to only match the tracks of the selected Catalog.

Live demo example

In this Live Demo example, I’ve also added 3 custom Tag filters which are: Tempos, Eras/Styles and Arrangements. This setup shows how the standard Tags can co-exist (in parallel) with any given number of up to 15 custom-defined Tag filters, all which would have their own unique name and metadata.

Using the default and custom tag filters

If using both the default and Custom defined Tags filters, you can choose to use the same (or similar) keywords. For example, “Mid tempo” could be used in both the default Tags field, and again in a Custom Tag field such as Tempo. But you also have the flexibility to use (for example) “Mid tempo” in the default Tags filter, and something more specific in the Custom “Tempos” field, such as “Mid Tempo: 100 bpm”. This way you can offer more spcific details about the exact definition or range of your Mid tempo tracks.

In any case, if you choose to not use or remove the default Tags filter, you can still setup and define up to 15 unique custom Tag fields. Below we’ll discuss some options and provide an example, but first a note about the Types and Sources filters.

Again, these are optional, but highly recommended because it helps your clients filter by type of song (Song with vocal, instrumental, bed, etc.) and it’s source (Original composition, cover or public domain).  And these filters also appear on the global search page for all licensing buyers to use.

Tag Team Analysis usage and examples

One Tags format I’ve been very impressed with is recommended by the Tag Team Analysis service. On this page, how-we-do-it, they show some examples of their format. The first 5 tags are already included with our standard (default) format which includes:
Title – which we call Track name
Composer – we use same title
Publisher – we offer a Copyright field to enter the Publisher name.
Genre – we use same title
Sub Genre – similar title (Subgenre), and can be used optionally.

The next 10 Tags (from Meter to Sonority) would all be Custom named fields which can be setup and selected to appear in your licensing store. In the 2nd example on the “How We Do It” page, they are as follows:

Title: Symphony No. 7 Mvt. 2 Allegretto
Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven
Publisher: Baerenreiter
Genre: Classical Period
Sub Genre: Orchestral
Meter: 2/4
Tempo: bpm=76
Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Horn in E, Trumpet in D, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Timpani
Vocal Elements: Instrumental
Rhythmic Elements: Simple
Moods: Calm, Dramatic, Solemn, Somber, Peaceful, Longing, Introspective, Reflective, Suspense, Weary
Music For/Usage: Underscore, Cinematic, Drama, Fear, Espionage, Resolution, Storytelling, Scenic
Descriptors: Bold, Building, Dark, Delicate, Driving, Pulsing, Eerie, Ethereal, Haunting, Mystic, Ominous, Noble, Sinister, Struggle
Sonority: Acoustic

The order of these appear on a first entry, first show basis, so it’s best to plan ahead which order you want to place your custom Tag fields, but then it’s easy to rename any of them, for example Moods to Flavors, etc.


Proper Tag fields (meta data) setup and usage will benefit your store visitors and buyers with enhanced searching for the tracks in your catalogs.

Please feel free to contact the Tag Team Analysis to learn more about their project and consulting service to help you with all your tags and metadata creation, organization and management. Please be sure to mention that you were referred by LicenseQuote and/or this blog articles, thanks!

Add a Comment

Comments are closed.