Managing Metadata


There are 3 ways to edit metadata on your site.

  1. Editing single items
  2. Running rules
  3. Using CSVs

First, some caveats:

  • Your audio files need to be up on the site before any metadata can be applied.
  • The first step to doing anything in terms of metadata, set up, and configuration is to get your music uploaded. Without your music in the system, there is nothing for your metadata to match up to.
  • The below instructions refer to editing metadata on published tracks. For information on editing tracks before they’re published, refer to Uploading/Deleting Tracks.

If you have any problems or questions, please contact us at

Editing Single Items

Tracks: Navigate to the track’s detailed view by clicking its name if you see it in a list. Then click the button that reads Edit Track Metadata directly below the track’s bold title. Click into any piece of metadata on the track and edit it. As you begin to edit the metadata, a floppy disc icon will appear just to the right of the data. Click the floppy disc icon to save your changes when you’re finished with that field. Moving your mouse away can revert the data, so keep your mouse on the field when typing in new data and then move it straight over to the floppy disc icon when you’re ready to save.

Albums: Navigate to your album list at [your url].com/#!albums and click on the title of the album you want to edit. When you’re on the album page open the “More Options” drop-down in the upper right and click “Edit This Album”. Make any changes in the pop-out that appears and then save your changes at the bottom of the pop-up.

Catalogs, Labels, Artists, or Composers: Navigate to your catalog, label, artist, or composer list at [your url].com/#!catalogs, [your url].com/#!labels, [your url].com/#!artists, or [your url].com/#!composers. Click to edit to the right of the respective listing.

Running Rules

Go to your Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Rules. On the right side of the page you’ll see the tool to create a new rule. With the rules tool, you can identify batches of tracks with a common metadata attribute and apply a sweeping change to all tracks that carry that attribute. For example, say you would like to move all tracks currently in the genre “Rock” to an album called “Rock Collection”. In the rules tool, you would input, “If a tracks’ genre is ‘Rock’, then set its album to ‘Rock Collection’. Enter the specifics of the conditional you’d like to create, and click Create. Click Run Rules to apply the change. Multiple rules may be created and run, and will be executed in ascending order per their listed order. For more information on this, read the grey print above the Run Rules button.

Using CSVs

Importing/exporting metadata spreadsheets: You can export your entire metadata database at any time and edit any piece of data by following the instructions below.

Exporting Metadata: Whether you’d like to export all of your metadata or just some of it, this can be done at any time in the Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Export Data. Here you can use any of the parameters provided to narrow down your export, or simply leave the bubble filled in to export all catalogs and click the “Export Data to CSV” button to export your metadata. A CSV with all your metadata will download to your computer. Edit this CSV to reflect your desired changes and then save your changes to the spreadsheet locally.

Note the very first column in the spreadsheet, SourceAudio ID, is a number created and assigned to each track on your SourceAudio site to uniquely identify it. It’s important that you don’t modify this number if you plan on making changes and importing your spreadsheet to update your metadata on the site. Upon import, the SourceAudio ID is used to match the rows of your spreadsheet up with the tracks on your site.

Importing Metadata: If you’re importing a spreadsheet that was exported using the instructions above, importing your spreadsheet is a quick and easy process. The SourceAudio ID in the first column will match up your rows to your tracks, and all fields on your site will be present in your exported spreadsheet. Just head to Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Import Data, and click General Metadata under Upload New CSV. All the spreadsheet fields should be matched up correctly to your site fields (seen in the drop-downs on the right during the import process directly after uploading). Click at the very bottom of the page to do a test run that will confirm every CSV row found its corresponding track on your site, and then click to run the import.

Note you don’t need to import your entire database to make changes, all the tracks, nor all the fields. If you only want to update 50 tracks on your site, or only want to update 4 of the fields, then only import a spreadsheet with 50 rows or with 4 columns. The rest of the tracks or fields on your site that aren’t present in the import will remain untouched. Just make sure the row or column is completely absent. A blank cell in an imported row/column will delete any info that was previously present in that specific piece of data.

You can also import a spreadsheet created from a third party. Here are a few things to note on importing spreadsheets from outside sources:

  1. Filenames (NOT track titles, those are two different things) are critical. If a SourceAudio ID is not present such as in a spreadsheet from a third party, the system uses filenames to match rows on your spreadsheet to tracks on the site. Filenames typically look like “singing_in_the_rain.mp3”, whereas track titles typically look more like “Singing In the Rain” and are what display as the listing of the track on the site. Each filename needs to be unique so that each row of data can find a singular track to match to.
  2. If you include fields on your spreadsheet that aren’t on your site, it’s easy to create those new custom fields during the import process. Following the upload, just click to expand the unmatched field’s corresponding drop-down on the mapping screen and scroll all the way to the bottom of the drop-down to select the option to create a new custom field.

Editing Genres, Tempos, and Cue Types

You can edit all your genres, tempos, and cue types directly from the Admin Panel.

Just go to your Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Fields, and expand the respective drop-down for genres, tempos, or cue-types. You can also see all your detailed writer and publisher information in the interested party section, explained in the following section.

Interested Parties

The Interested Parties page lists out all your writers and publishers and can be used to edit their listing information across your site.

To adjust this data just head to your Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Interested Parties.

Comma-Separated Values

SourceAudio supports comma-separated metadata values in several fields, but not all of them, so that you can list multiple tags in a metadata field and have each one be uniquely recognized.
The following fields can have multiple comma-separated values associated to individual tracks:

  • Genres
  • Tempos
  • Cue Types
  • Moods
  • Styles
  • Description (keywords)

This means each track can have more than one value associated with it for each of the above fields. This way one track can show up in multiple genres, as an example, and each individual genre is a clickable item.

Custom Fields

SourceAudio comes loaded with “standard” metadata fields that should cover most of your needs but if you need to create your own fields, it’s easy to do.

Go to Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Fields → Custom Fields, and click Create Field on the right-hand side of the screen. Enter the name of your new field and click save. The newly created field will now appear on any metadata spreadsheet export, and on your tracks upon clicking Edit Track Metadata. You can use the icons under “Options” in this Custom Fields section to hide the field so that it is only visible to admins and not regular users, edit any custom field name, change the separation value for listing multiple terms (comma by default), or delete the field (and all the data within it).

Renaming Fields

You can change the name of many of the SourceAudio standard fields to appear differently.
If you head to your Admin Panel → Edit Site Settings → Terminology the following fields can be renamed to appear on your site as whatever you enter as a substitute.

  • Album
  • Artist
  • Catalog
  • Composer
  • Cue Type
  • Genre
  • Label
  • Publishing
  • Publisher
  • Writer
  • Tempo

Character Limits

There is a character count limit in place on all metadata fields on SourceAudio.

In order to keep speed optimized at all times across the network, a character count limit is in place for all metadata fields. Here is a quick overview of character limits by field:

  • Titles of tracks and albums: 256
  • Genre: 64
  • Descriptions for tracks, catalogs, labels, and albums: A very high number.
  • Names of artists, composers, and labels: 256
  • Style Of: 256
  • Moods & Styles: A very high number.
  • Catalog names: 128
  • Album code: 16
  • Tempo: 32

Hidden Fields

Keep a metadata field on file but hidden from normal users by hiding it.

To hide a field head to your Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Fields → Field Visibility. When a field is hidden it will still be factored into search results. For more information on this see Search.

Organizational Hierarchy

Catalogs, labels, and albums make up the organizational hierarchy of your SourceAudio tracks.

A metaphor for this structure would be comparing 1) catalogs, 2) labels, 3) albums, and 4) tracks, to 1) continents, 2) countries, 3) cities, and 4) people, each one containing the latter (often many of the latter). When you first launch your site, start off with just one catalog, containing one label, which can contain as many albums as you’d like. If you want to separate your albums into groups, create a second label within that catalog, and repeat the process for however many groups you need to make. If you need to divide your labels into groups, you can create an additional catalog and move the labels between them.

Please note, a track can only exist in one catalog/label/album at once. If you’re looking to create a set up where a track appears listed in multiple groupings simultaneously, the Playlists page can explain how to create a setup like that.

Creating Catalogs, Labels, and Albums

Catalogs and labels are created on the site, while albums appear as a result of the metadata ingested.

To create a catalog, head to Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Catalogs and click to create a catalog on the right-hand side. Labels are created from that same page in the same manner, just click Show Labels next to the catalog you’d like to create a new label within and create your new label. Once created, tracks can be moved between catalogs and labels using any of the three metadata editing methods described above.

To create a new album on your site, simply edit the album metadata field on the tracks you’d like to appear in that album, and the value listed in the album field will appear as an album listing on your site.

If you add matching album data to tracks listed in different labels or catalogs, multiple album listings will appear on your site (as if there was a city of the same name in two different continents, per the metaphor explained in the Organizational Hierarchy section.)


Alternate version nesting can be done either manually or automatically.

  1. The most practical method, especially for large numbers of tracks, is to use a CSV export/import. Export a CSV per the instructions above, and copy/paste the SourceAudio ID of your master track into the Master ID column of every track you want to nest under it. For example, if you had a master track “Happy Birthday” you would copy and paste Happy Birthday’s Sourceaudio ID into the Master ID field for “Happy Birthday (Drums)”, “Happy Birthday (Guitars)”, “Happy Birthday (Version 2)”, etc. To expedite the process, you can cut the Master ID column from its pre-existing column and insert it right next to the SourceAudio ID column. Once you’ve pasted the SourceAudio ID’s, save your CSV and upload the edited CSV per the instructions above.
  2. The second method is to use the auto nester found in Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Nesting. This option is powerful and convenient, however, being an automated feature it is not a perfect system so you will want to check over anything it does. ALSO, the auto nester will overwrite any previously existing nesting data, so if you use the auto nester it would be wise to save any nesting data beforehand, per the recommendation you see when using the tool.
  3. The third and final method available is to nest your tracks one at a time. Start off by viewing the track you want as the master in its detailed view by clicking the track’s title from any track list. Click the button directly underneath the large bold track title that reads Edit Track Metadata, and scroll down to find a button on the right side of the screen that reads Manage Alternates. Click that button and under similar tracks you should see an icon that looks like a little green plus appear on every track. Click that green plus and it will turn into a red minus- meaning that the track has been nested under your master track. You can click it again to unnest the track and turn it back into a green plus. You can also navigate to anywhere else on the site in this nesting mode and click the green plus on any track to nest it under the track you’re currently nesting. When you’re done just click the bar at the top of the screen that you’re done nesting and you’re all set.

You can adjust the order of your nested tracks with the “Nesting Sort Position” metadata field. Enter a numeric value for each nested track, and the tracks will be sorted according to these numbers– the track with the lowest number will appear as the first nested track and the track with the highest number will appear as the last. You can also adjust your tracks’ nesting sort position by heading to your track’s detailed page, clicking Edit Track Metadata at the top of the page, clicking Manage Alternates, and then dragging the track up or down in the order by clicking and dragging the icon of six dots next to the track’s title.

Change Takes Time

Since this is a cloud-based application, metadata changes will not always be instantly viewable.

Metadata updates can take a few minutes to appear on your site depending on how many tracks are being updated. Updating single fields on one or two tracks should show up almost instantly, although there can still be a slight delay in making even the smallest metadata change- as is the nature of a cloud-based application vs. a local app running on your hard-drive. When importing large spreadsheets that affect hundreds or thousands of tracks, you can expect metadata visibility delays of up about a day at times. While this long of a delay isn’t typical, it can happen from time to time.

Embedding Metadata Into Files

Embedding metadata into my files is easier than ever with SourceAudio.

To enable the embedding of your SourceAudio metadata into files downloaded from your track listings go to your Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Downloading → Metadata Injection, and make sure that the boxes are checked off for every catalog you’d like to embed SourceAudio data. If a box is left unchecked, the file will be downloaded exactly as it was originally uploaded.

For any catalog that has Metadata Injection enabled, you can further customize how metadata is embedded on a per users basis in your Admin Panel → Manage Metadata → Downloading → Metadata Embedding Profiles. Using this tool, you can customize exactly which site fields embed into the ID3 standard metadata fields files are downloaded with.

In the Metadata Embedding Profiles section, click the Create button on the right to create a new embedding profile, or click the double paper icon to make a copy of any currently existing one. Click the pen/paper icon to edit any new metadata embedding profile and select exactly which site fields embed into the ID3 fields, from the corresponding drop-downs. When you’re done, save your changes in the bottom right. Finally, you’ll need to assign these metadata embedding profiles to your users using the Music Access Profiles tool (see instructions on the Managing Users and Site Accessibility page) for these settings to take effect for those users it’s assigned to.

Note that with Metadata Injection turned on, admin accounts will always download with the SourceAudio Default embedding. Only non-admin accounts may be assigned a custom Metadata Embedding Profile.