Have you ever wondered how your car and your MP3 player know the song titles, artists, and length of the song? How do you get your music recognized by these players?
This tech is dominated by one company: Gracenote, which is owned by Sony. Currently Gracenote has over 130 million tracks in their database.
The two most popular systems they have right now are MusicID and Gracenote Playlist.
MusicID is a digital recognition system: it’s the system that gives information about a song to your car, phone, MP3 player etc.
Gracenote Playlist generates playlists and recommends more music based on the music that is already in a user’s database.
Who uses Gracenote?
Almost every company that needs to play and identify music is licensed by Gracenote. Some examples are: Winmap, Media Go, Sonic Stage, Spotify, iTunes, Yahoo Music Jukebox, Amazon MP3, Metro Lyrics, Google Music, Alpine, Boise, Panasonic, Sony, Phillips. These companies pay for their licensing, which is how Gracenote makes money.
Most often, if you are signed to a label, your label will submit your music to Gracenote. But Indies can submit their music also.
Yes, you can get your music listed on Gracenote! Even better – it’s FREE to do so!
Companies pay to use Gracenote, but artists and labels do not pay to have their music included in the database.
Click Here for the How-To page. They have step by step instructions that are very easy to understand.
Click Here for Gracenote’s FAQ’s.
Still want to know more about Gracenote?
Click Here to watch an interview with Gracenote’s co-founder and current CTO, Ty Roberts.
Some people have a problem with Gracenote charging fees for licensing companies to use their product. The main issues seem to be that the service used to be free and artists do not receive payment of any kind from Gracenote.
Of course, there is a free alternative: Freedb.
Freedb is owned by Magix and is intended to remain free. FREE means that it is free for companies that want to use the product as well as free for the artists and labels to submit the music. Freedb does not have the larger commercial accounts of Gracenote. It is most often used by CD ripper software, media players, cataloguers, and audio taggers.
For all you techies: Wikipedia has a good general overview of Freedb. Click Here
Click Here for Freedb’s FAQ’s.
Again, if your band is on a label, the label has probably submitted your misc to Freedb. If you are an Indie, you may want to submit your music yourself. The FAQ’s tell you how to submit your music and the rules for doing so.
Should your band submit your music to Gracenote and Freedb?
It depends… if you are selling a few downloads and CD’s to your family and friends, it’s probably not worth the effort. Submitting does take a little time.
But, if you are a serious indie music ministry AND you are selling music to fans on a somewhat regular basis, you will probably want to invest the time to submit to both companies.
If you are signed to even a minor label, check first – before going through the submission process, to see if your music has been submitted already. The easiest way to check? Put a CD in your car. If no information comes up, your music has most likely not been submitted.
Your information popping up when someone plays your music does not make you a better band. It does not validate your ministry. It does, however, make your band appear more professional. It also helps your fans associate your band name with a particular song – providing a little more relationship with your fans. Relationship is the foundation of ministry, so I think submitting your music is just one more tool you can use to help your band change the world!
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