Happy first day of 2016! Metadata. What is it? The question makes me think of the Edwin Starr track "War! What's it good for?" Not that metadata and War have anything to do with each other, just… oh, never mind. I am rambling. Metadata is data that describes other data. Yeah. Right? Circular description at best. Metadata is a critical component to digital audio. Without it a music library would be next to useless; a random group of file names with little meaning. Metadata describes all that's in a track or an album: the song title, its running time, cover art, artist, band, format. In short, without metadata, digital audio as we think of it today–servers, streaming, even CDs–would not exist in a practical form that's interesting to us. Metadata is the underlying wealth of information attached to digital audio. Think of your favorite music management program, or even the television you watch. Metadata powers the cable guide, the display on your car radio, iTunes, and in ways too many to mention. So, it stands to reason that metadata, the data that describes other data, is a critical component in our musical lives. And getting the metadata right is as important as the job of any librarian sorting books into groups you can find within the many shelves. Imagine walking into a library with thousands of books neatly collected on shelves but without any reference–alphabetical, numerical, genre, or otherwise–to help you find what you want. It'd be a disaster. Tomorrow I'll tell you a bit more and turn you on to some tips on getting the metadata right in your library.
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Opens in a new window.