Matt Gemmell

My new book CHANGER is out now!

An action-adventure novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

MP3 naming sins

Music 1 min read

Today I transferred all my iPod's music back onto my PowerBook (if you don't have 
<a href="http://www.scifihifi.com/podworks/">PodWorks</a> already, just get it - 
it'll save you untold amounts of pain), so that I can use iTunes to sync my music 
collection with the iPod in future.



In doing so, I compiled a list of sins commonly committed when naming MP3s and 
filling-in the other ID3 tags. As you do.
In no particular order:
  1. Spelling errors! Unbelievably annoying.
  2. Including the artist in the song's name. That's what the Artist field is for.
  3. Including ".mp3" in the name. We already know it's an MP3 (and don't care much).
  4. Putting the compilation name in the Artist field. Wrong.
  5. Putting quotation marks around the song's title. Why?!
  6. All-lowercase names. Please capitalise properly.
  7. Including a plug for your crappy encoding software in the Comments field.
    • CD'n'Go! Suite is very common
    • as is RealJukebox
  8. Including your name in the Comments field (or, god forbid, your hax0r name - I mean, jesus).
  9. Truncating the song name to some arbitrary and ludicrously short character-limit. This is particularly heinous if the artist's name has also been included at the start.
  10. Including track numbers in names. That's what the Track No. field is for.
  11. Including a patently insane genre; leave it blank if at all unsure.
  12. Inconsistent artist naming (R.E.M. vs REM). This breaks my ability to browse by artist, which is almost always what I do. Just get it right.
And one other related point regarding naming: if you're one of those people who entered 
the wrong name for a song (either completely wrong, or with spelling errors or such), 
and uploaded that information to the Gracenote CD Database, I'd just like to take this 
opportunity to say, great job you did there.



Thankfully, as all my MP3s were ripped from my own legally-purchased CDs in the middle 
of the night by the audio fairy, I constructed the list above using imagination alone, 
and never suffer from the brain-damaged naming cock-ups of others. So that's alright.