Music Biz and DDEX release free metadata guide

Music Biz and DDEX Offer Metadata Guide

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) and its Metadata & Digital Operations Workgroup, in association with DDEX (Digital Data Exchange, LLC), are offering labels and label aggregators a step-by-step metadata guide on how to use the DDEX standard to upload and manage their catalogs on digital retailers. All global music services—including Amazon, Apple, Pandora, Spotify and more—use a version of the DDEX Release Notification Standard for the receipt of data, making it critically important that label teams understand the key input fields so that songs can be properly offered via online services and reporting comes back for proper accounting. Titled “DDEX Release Notification Standard Starter Guide for Implementation,” the document explains what must be done before, during and after the digital ingestion process to ensure that every music file conforms to the standard.

The metadata guide begins by walking readers through best practices for the preparation of digital assets, from proper coding of audio and video files to the best format for digital booklets and other supplementary files. The document then delves deeply into metadata preparation, detailing the DDEX standard and providing in-depth guidance on how to apply it across the board. It wraps with sections on catalog delivery and management.

“Most of the problems that have come with the rise of digital music distribution, from difficulty finding tracks to discrepancies on songwriter royalty statements, can be traced back to poor-quality metadata,” said Bill Wilson, VP of Digital Strategy & Business Development at Music Biz. “Music Biz has been beating the drum to improve and standardize metadata for many years now, and we’re happy to issue this guide, which can save companies hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.”

“Music Biz understands how important a common metadata standard is to the overall health of the music industry, and this guide will go a long way toward making sure that everyone is on the same page,” said Mark Isherwood, DDEX Secretariat. “We hope every artist, label, or other rightsholder will keep this guide with them at all times and refer to it when uploading their music.”

The “DDEX Release Notification Standard Starter Guide for Implementation” can be downloaded for free at or from DDEX’s domain.