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Metadata Tags

Last updated: September 30, 2022

Audio file metadata allows you to include text tags along with the audio data. Common types of tag are “title”, “album”, “artist”, “track number”, “year” and “copyright”. These tags are displayed by almost all media player software/apps.

Hopefully most of your listeners are subscribed to your podcast RSS feed through a podcast player app (e.g. Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher) and will display episode info from the feed. However some people download episode MP3s from the website or share files directly with others. For this reason you should always set metadata in your audio file.

We recommend giving each episode at least a title, album name (podcast), artist name and track number (episode/show number).


There are several options when it comes to software for adding metadata to audio files. Here are some that we’ve heard good things about. If you have a preferred solution that isn’t listed here, please let us know.

VLC

Free download (Windows, MacOS, Linux)

VLC is a mature, open source, media player that works on every main platform. It also has a metadata editor built-in.

  • Open your MP3 file in VLC player
  • Tools > Media Information
  • Add your metadata
  • To add a cover image, right click the traffic cone / CD icon and select “Add cover art from file” from the menu
  • Click the “Save Metadata” button

Screenshot of VLC

MusicBrainz Picard

Free download (Windows, MacOS, Linux)

This is an open source tool that lets you set metadata for audio files. It supports more tag types than VLC but this can also be a bit confusing if you’re not sure of which tags you should use. You can also set cover images in this tool.

  • Open your MP3 file in MusicBrainz Picard
  • The lower half of the screen shows metadata, make changes in the “New Value” column
  • Right-click to add more tags
  • To add a cover image, drag-and-drop your JPEG image file from your file manager onto the image of a CD in the bottom-right corner
  • Click the “Save” button in the top menu bar

MusicBrainz Picard

Forecast

Free download (MacOS)

This is a free Mac-only app from the podcast player app Overcast. It handles encoding to MP3 as well so you can give it your WAV file. It can set title, podcast, cover image as well as chapters.

Screenshot of Forecast

Ferrite

Free from App Store, in-app purchases (iOS)

This is a full mobile recording studio app and chapter markers are a feature. Probably a bit clunky unless you are already using this app for recording.

Whilst you’re here…

Audio Audit is an automatic benchmarking and proofing tool which checks the quality of your podcast MP3 files, giving you peace of mind before you publish.

It checks things like loudness, silences, restarted sentences, encoding, swearing and metadata.

Learn more ⇢Screenshot of an Audio Audit report

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Creating an account only takes a couple of minutes. You’ll soon be able to start uploading your own audio files and improving your shows.