How to submit your CD track/song information to Gracenote using iTunes

I’ve got a quick tip for independent musicians who are marketing/promoting their commercially produced CDs.

On Wednesday, May 26th, I was at an Austin Music Foundation event called “Tips for Success from Inside the Music Biz” at the legendary Stubb’s Bar-B-Que. The discussion was moderated by Paige Maguire, music editor of She rocks.

The panelists were:

  • Mike Locke – Director, Independent Label Liaison, Rhino Independent, Warner Music Group
  • Maggie Martin – EMI Music Publishing
  • John Nicholson – Regional Director of Promotions and Marketing for Hollywood Records

The panelists were very interesting and the group held a wide-ranging discussion. One tip I picked from the panel relates to the Gracenote Media Recognition Service, which according to Gracenote’s website, is:

“…an Internet-based service that we license to software and hardware developers for use in their CD players, CD burners, MP3 players and encoders, catalogers, jukeboxes, cell phones, car audio systems, and home media center applications (among others). The service allows these developers to display artist, title, tracklists, and other music-related information automatically and instantly in their applications.

For example, when you insert a music CD into your CD ROM on your computer, the software player application on your computer uses our service to first identify the CD, and then display the artist, title, tracklist, and other information. Most commercial music CDs do not contain any of this information on the CD itself.”

The sense among the panel was that if you send off your CD to a music reviewer, radio station, publishing company, etc., without entering the information into Gracenote, your CD is less likely to receive any attention. It might even get tossed in the trash. I’m pretty sure that industry folks receive tons of CDs and this is one easy fix that might help you get noticed.

I went home after the panel and entered my band’s CD “The Sunday Best” in Gracenote. Here’s how I did it.

NOTE: The following steps assume that your computer is connected to the Internet.

NOTE2: The following steps (which I have abbreviated) are taken directly from this InformIT posting. To see the original post, click here.

1. Insert your CD into your computer and fire up iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, you can get it here.

On the left side, click on your CD under Devices. In the list view, you should see Track 01, Track 02, etc.

2. Edit your track information

Select all the songs on the disc, then either choose File, Get Info or right-click and choose Get Info from the context menu. Make as many changes as possible for all of the songs (Artist, Album, Composer, Genre, Year as applicable to your situation).  Next, follow the same process for each individual track so that you can enter the Name of each song. Make sure everything is spelled correctly. Click OK when you’re done. Confirm that the fields are all updated to reflect your changes.

3. Submit CD track names/songs to Gracenote via iTunes

Choose Advanced, Submit CD Track Names. iTunes will connect to Gracenote, check the available categories, and submit your information. A few days later (typically) your information will be available to everyone in the world that is using Gracenote (including that important music industry contact that you just sent your CD).

Till next time.