The Proper Way to Share MP3s with Podcasters and Media People

I have gone entirely digital with my Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. That means, I no longer accept CDs for the show. That doesn't mean I still don't get 'em and sometimes enjoy them. But in general, I prefer to get MP3s direct from the Celtic artists who submit music to my podcast.

The only trouble is there doesn't seem to be a standard way of sending music to media people. Many bands don't read my rules for submitting music. So every month, Jan and I remove submissions from the queue because they never followed through. And so, I give you

9 Tips for Submitting Music to the Media

1. Rip MP3s, Not M4A

M4A is the file that iTunes uses. It is not a universally accepted audio medium. So don't use it. Make sure you rip your music as MP3s.

2. Rip as 128, 192, and 320 kbps

When I finish an album, I rip the music at each of those bit rates and store them in a folder. The 320 kbps folder is now what I upload to my website to share with the media. That offers the highest quality music for your DJs.

3. Use Proper ID3 Tags

Even though I tell bands this all the time, I still get music submitted without ID3 tags. If you rip a CD in iTunes, all you have to do is make sure the album is named properly and tracks are correctly listed. It'll take 5-10 minutes. Please do that. It saves time and energy.

If you're not using iTunes, you can now change your ID3 tags in Windows Explorer. It's a little more tedious to do than iTunes IMHO, but it works.

4. Don't Send WAV Files

If a DJ asks you for MP3s, send MP3s. I NEVER want WAVs. They're too big AND they don't have proper ID3 tags… ever! That means, your music may not get used.

5. Put all your MP3s into a Folder and ZIP It Up

I honestly don't know if it's just me or not, but I think ZIP is the universal method of compressing and saving files in one folder. I think every computer has that capability. But you might need to download a free ZIP program. I use 7-Zip.

6. Name the File Band Name-Album Name

I can't tell you how many albums I get sent that just list the album name. I'll be honest, it's annoying as hell because most of the time, I download the album, and then it sits in my download folder until I'm ready to do something about it. By the time I come back to it, I have no clue what band is in that folder. So I have to unzip and drag it into iTunes. But if I really want your music quickly, I don't know if it's your band at all.

All my albums are properly named MarcGunn– You can easily store it on your website. Personally, I prefer saving the files on my website over Dropbox or Google Drive. But I guess each person is different.

7. Make a Media Page for Your Albums

Okay, I've been bad about this until recently. I strongly recommend that you make a unique page on your website where Media people can easily download all of your albums, access your bio and promo photos or whatever else. I have all twenty of my albums listed on that one page. I send that to the media people I plan to talk to. OR I just use it to quickly grab the link that I want to send to the media people

8. List Your Top 3 Favorite Songs on Your Album

If you submit music to my podcast, I ask you to send between 1-3 songs. No more. That's because I am OVERWHELMED with music. If I really want more, I will email you and ask for more. As I said, I don't want most albums. All I want is your best songs that will help you sell more CDs.

9. Email MP3s or Links to MP3s to the Media Person

I ask bands to email me 1-3 MP3s. I want those files in my email box so I can access them when I'm ready. I'm sure that's not the case with other media people. But that's my preference and recommendation. You can easily send three 128 kbps MP3s in just about any email, and the email will only be between 10-15MB in size. It's pretty easy. If they want higher quality MP3s, the media person can download the album.

1 comment on “The Proper Way to Share MP3s with Podcasters and Media People

  1. I’ve found that mp3tag is also a great, free tool for quickly and easily adding/fixing mp3 tags on Windows if that’s helpful to anyone. I’ve definitely been frustrated with music that I’ve purchased from some sources, including Bandcamp, having bad ID3 tags. It must be even more frustrating when ingesting lots of music is part of your job’s workflow! Keep up the great work and advice, Marc.

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