What are ID3 Tags?
An ID3 tag is a container attached to a media file (for our purposes, traditionally an MP3 audio file) that includes metadata about that file. This could include a title, an album title, the year recorded, genre, artwork, and other details that can give a listener more information about that media file.
Often times, music programs use ID3 tags on a media file in order to show you that information in a music library. If you have ever imported a CD into your Apple Podcasts music library, for example, you might notice Apple Podcasts then goes out to the internet to grab information about that album, about that song, such as the title, the band or singer name, the album art. That is all information contained in the ID3 tag.
Why do ID3 Tags Matter?
You are not required to tag your content. However, media files downloaded outside of an RSS feed (for example, using a download link on a player or from your blog page), or any other time the media file is being handled offline, the ID3 tag information is what will show to the listener.
Also, some mobile apps will pull the ID3 tag instead of pulling the details from the RSS feed (particularly the artwork) as well.
We recommend always generating an ID3 tag for your MP3 file. Therefore, we have made it easy for you to do right from our publishing system.
Creating an ID3 tag Using Libsyn
Adding information to your media file ID3 tag using Libsyn is easy. Start by publishing as you always would, uploading your media file (sans ID3 tag), adding a title to your episode, putting your show notes in your description box, adding an episode thumbnail, even scheduling your post.
Details on publishing are outlined step by step here.
Before you hit Publish, check the checkbox to Update ID3 Tags.
Then hit Publish. This will add the details you've added to your episode to the ID3 tag for the media file.
Pulling Episode Details from an ID3 Tag
As a producer, you may add ID3 tags to your media file prior to uploading the file to our system. If that is the case, it would save you time in your publishing workflow for Libsyn to simply pull the information from your ID3 tag in as your episode details.
Starting the publishing process is the same as always, log into your Libsyn account and go under Content -- Create New Episode, then hit Add Media File. This is where the publishing process diverges.
Check the box for Populate Form with ID3 Data.
With that checkbox checked, proceed with your media file upload as you typically would. Once the file uploads, you will see your title, description, artwork, all pre-populated with data from your ID3 tag. Edit the fields as you see fit, and hit Publish to save your changes.
Pro Tip: If you are creating your own ID3 tags, make sure to use ID3v2 in your tag editor. Also, make sure to keep your tag size under 300kb in size. Most of the space taken up by a tag comes from the artwork, so using a smaller and optimized artwork (such as 300x300px instead of your normal Apple Podcasts image sizes) will help keep tag size small.
Getting Additional Help
Have questions? Contact our support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.