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Metadata/Tagging sources and licensing requirements?


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So for some time now I have had my hobby station project on the backburner due to life issues getting in the way. Now that things are largely sorted out I am jumping back into the thick of things and first task is tagging which I had started on previously.


Here is my issue which comes to my first conundrum: The large majority of my library consists of "Various Artists"/Compilation albums and about half of that subset is soundtracks. It seems that trying to accurately tag these seems to be an exercise in headache-inducing confusion. Either you get all tracks tagged as "Various Artists", the source show/production/movie/etc for the soundtrack in question, or if you get somewhat lucky the entire list of lead vocals for the album in the artist tag even if they weren't involved in a given song. To make it even more difficult is the primary tagging sources all vary to some degree and are user built. Amazon, being used by SAM of all things, seems to be the worst in the case in that I have seen a couple variations of a given album all with different artist, track, publisher, etc.. listings.


TL;DR: I am curious if there is any recommended source for tag data that happens to be blessed by the licensing co's or at the very least seasoned broadcasters here abide by?


My HOPEFUL intent is to have the artist tag on each individual track referencing the lead vocals for that particular track, not only to help my sanity but to clean and verify things when I get a searchable library up for listeners to peruse. In this case I'd be willing to submit album data back in the reports, understanding technically just artist and title are required.


On a semi-related note: Given StreamLicensing seems to be the only JLA in town at the moment, I have to ask if they have something similar to what LoudCity had in that you could have a scripted reporting method that didn't rely on streaming server metadata. I seem to recall a SAM PAL script was one option to utilize this. I'd like to do some custom metadata formatting that could possibly confuse existing reporting methods.

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1) MediaMonkey might help - worth a shot since it's a free download - but otherwise, it's ptobably going to be a manual process to get the tags right.


2) StreamLicensing does not have an API at this time. They pull data direct from servers. LoudCity actually discontinued their API back in 2011 as well, due to the need in some instances to learn the location of the listener - something the API did not provide. It was still allowed for grandfathered stations, but not offered to new ones.

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I actually use MediaMonkey which I absolutely love for library management like this. But, like SAM, it relies on Amazon for tag lookups from the web which is far from authoritative depending on the time of day, breathe wrong, etc..


I guess my direct concern is what tag sources I could look at that would be authoritative enough for reporting purposes. There's a handful out there I could use. FreeDB could either be done automatically if re-ripping or I could even do a manual lookup for my existing rips. Musicbrainz has a database (with a side benefit that with their own 'Picard' program it can acoustically ID each file and match to tags in their database). And a couple others I don't recall off the top of my head. But obviously there WILL need to be some hand massaging of tags which I will fall back to MM for.


How strict ARE the licensing 'gods' about accurate tag reporting? My personal guess is 'not that much' given they don't mandate the album name and just require the bare bones artist and title entries (on top of the fairly automated listener tracking if you are under JLA). Given the far off mainstream nature of my station and having differing tags depending on which source you look at, I'm simply trying to determine if I need to worry so much about it or not. If being 'close enough' that they can infer what was being played, so be it.


For example I have taken some of my tracks and tried searching in BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC's databases and was appalled by what little data was listed. For all three I essentially just got a list of songwriters and publishers and their PRO affiliations. No sign of album or performing artist.


I do appreciate the help though. This might seem to be over the top worrying but when it comes to legalese BS like this I prefer to be 100% on solid ground. ;)

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