Music Metadata Style Guide


Digital music distribution is a collaborative process that brings together content providers and content retailers before the music goes live in stores. Revelator works with a variety of music platforms, retailers, and services to get your content into the stores of your choosing. Each of our distribution partners has policies regarding content, and we are committed to providing them content that is free of technical issues, formatting errors, and rights problems. We’ve put together this style guide to help you format your releases, so they can go live quickly.

Style & Formatting

Artist and Contributor Names


Revelator lets you provide detailed information about who contributed to each track. You can identify artists and add contributors on a track by track basis by specifying each person’s role as arranger, composer, conductor, performer, etc.

You’ll need to mark at least one contributor as a “Primary Artist”. This means that when you pull up the track on services like iTunes or Spotify, all names marked Primary Artist. will display in the main artist field.

For most releases, you’ll use the common roles for artist like “Primary”, “Featuring” and sometimes “Remixer”. Other contributors can be credited in the “Publishing” section of the submission form.

Be Consistent

How many artist pages should a single band have? The answer is.... One! Submitting releases with slightly different spellings or formatting will result in multiple artist pages. Please stick to what your content is branded under on your social media.

We may ask you for social media links if you are branded with CrEaTiVe CaSiNG. Just provide us with your links, and we’ll advise you from there

Artist Name No-No’s

  • Aliases. For example: The Kim Jong Illness, AKA John “The Illest Brother” Kim.

  • AKA’s are currently not accepted by our digital partners, please choose 1 artist name to submit under.

Translations: We can support translations, but they need to be submitted in 2 separate fields. To do so, just click “Add Artist in Another Language.


  • Main Field: ガールフレソドパーティー

  • English Field: Girlfriend Party

Incorrect: ガールフレソドパーティー(Girlfriend Party)

Dates. For example: Jim Morrison (1943-1971), Nelly (2009)

Instruments. For example: Frank N. Furter [Vuvuzela, Kazoo, Bagpipes]

Generic or descriptive names. For example: Singer, Actor, Christmas Hits, Karaoke or

Various Composers. “Various Artists” albums will automatically be listed as such when there are 4 or primary contributing artists listed on a track.

  • The name of any artist that did not participate in creating YOUR version of the track. Only list artists who are actually performing the music you’re uploading. Don’t enter things like:

    • Names of bands you used to be in. Even if you used to be a member of Nirvana. (If you used to be a member of Nirvana, please email us ASAP so we can get your autograph.)

    • Names of bands you’d like to be in, or artists you’d like to be, but who actually don’t appear in your recordings.

    • Featured Artists

If you are featuring an artist, please add them artist field by hitting the “+Add Another” button under the Artist field and entering in the featured artists’ name. That’s it! Do not enter the featured artist name in the track title or title version section.

Soundtracks and Classical Music

Listing a composer as an artist is suggested if you have them listed on your cover artwork – our digital partners prefer to have content submitted to them this way. This is different than other genres; for example, you would NOT list a Producer of a track as an artist for a Rock album.

Various Artists and Multi-Artist Collaborations

You may not name an artist “Various Artists”. If you are releasing a compilation, please mark it as such on the main info page. List the artist or artists that appear on each track

as you normally would.

If several artists perform together as a group under a name that uses individual artist names, you should list the names as they appear together.

For example, each of these should be listed as a single artist: Peter, Bjorn & John, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Simon & Garfunkel. But if David Bowie and Queen get together and make an album, they should each be listed separately as a Track Artist.

Please avoid listing all of your artists together in one line, a la “Wisin y Yandel featuring Pitbull & The Lumineers”. List each artist name separately, i.e. Wisin y Yandel would be one artist, Pitbull listed as a featured artist, as well as The Lumineers.

Album Titles

What to Include in the Album Title

  • The same album title displayed on your album cover art. The album title needs to match the cover art EXACTLY. No partial phrases, etc.

  • “Live”: If most of the tracks are recorded live in front of an audience. Please do not put “Live” in your album title or on your cover artwork if you are referring to “Live In Studio”; this is not considered a “Live” recording. Live should be entered the Album Title Version Info

    1. What NOT To Include In The Album Title

  • The abbreviation “O.S.T.” for soundtrack albums. See the Soundtracks section below for more information.

  • Deceptive or misleading information, especially for tribute and cover albums. Do not reference genres, popular song lyrics, or the original artist names in album titles.

  • The sole exception to this rule is the Karaoke Exception.

  • Do not add “LP”, “EP” or “Single” to your album title. These tags are added directly on a store-by-store basis.

  • Album titles should not contain artist names unless the title of the album is the exact same as the artist. Album titles must be unique, so this typically limits each artist to one self-titled album (for example, “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath), though you may also include additional volumes if you wish to keep that format (For example: Led Zeppelin II, etc.)


If all the recordings on an album are from the same soundtrack, you should specify that the album is a soundtrack by marking the Primary Genre as “Soundtrack” and by adding a soundtrack specification in parentheses. Be detailed and include explicit source information.

Some examples of acceptable soundtrack album titles: “The Godfather (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” “The Spirit Engine 2 (Original Game Soundtrack)” “Breaking Bad (Music from the Original TV Series)”

  • Only use “Original” or “Official” Soundtrack information if your soundtrack THE original or official Soundtrack

  • Do not use “OST”, “OSV”, “O.S.T.” or similar abbreviations in your album title.

Track Titles

What To Include In The Track Title

For singles, the album title, track title, and album cover must all match.

Decorators, or title version, such as “Live”, “Radio Edit”, “Extended Version”, “Single Version”, or others are permitted, if you wish to label your tracks with these.

Add any version information to the Title Version field below the Track/Album Titles. These will automatically have parentheticals added to them within our system, as long as you include that information in the Title Version field.

All track titles performed by the same artist on an album must be unique. If multiple versions of the same track exist on the album, please specify each version in the track title.

What NOT To Include In The Track Title

Audio files that don’t match the track titles. Double check before you submit generic track titles, such as Track 1 and Track 2.

Please do not include the phrase (Original Mix) - only include version information for alternate mixes. Original Mix is inherently implied by the title not including any other version information, ergo it is unnecessary to include in the Title Version field.

Words and phrases that apply only for a limited period of time, like “Exclusive” or “Limited Edition”, since titles are a permanent part of the content and there is no exclusivity or limited distribution available via digital distribution within Revelator.

“Cover”; please do not use the word “cover” in your track title of Title Version information.

Reference to digital content, physical content, or content that is not included. Some examples include “E-Release”, “Digital Download”, or “Digital Single” (fans who are buying your music online probably already know that this is a digital release) and “Two CD Set” “With Digital Booklet” or “With Sheet Music” (if fans don’t get the extra CD, booklet or sheet music with purchases across all platforms you’ve selected, leave this part out).

Deceptive or misleading information, especially for tribute and cover albums. Avoid referencing genres, popular song lyrics, or the original artist names in album titles. The sole exception to this rule is for karaoke tracks - please see the Karaoke Exception.

Some examples of track titles that will be flagged and cannot be distributed unless changed:

  • “Made famous by Foo Fighters”

  • “Originally performed by Pearl Jam”

  • “Cover of Call Me Maybe”

If you are uploading an explicit (or a corresponding clean) track, you do not need to add the words “Clean” or “Explicit” to the track title, simply mark them as such in the Explicit checkbox/column during sign up.

Translations. Please use the “Add title in another language” to enter translations.

Do not censor words in your track title. Partners will censor titles for you if necessary. Please note that censored content may vary from platform to platform and territory to territory.


All songs in a medley should be listed in the track title with forward slashes separating each song. For example:

  • “Boom Clap / All of Me / Happy”

  • “Jingle Bells / Frosty The Snowman / The Chipmunks Holiday Song”

  • “The Great Deku Tree / Kokiri Forest / Ocarina of Time”


If “vs.” or “Meets” is used to describe your album that is a collection of different songs remixed by a single DJ, you should list the mixing DJ as a Track Artist and include supplemental information about the DJ’s remixer role. The original artists whose songs are being remixed must also be listed as Track Artists (and you must obtain separate permission from the original artist, as a remix is not covered under standard cover song license).

In order to avoid identical track titles, the track titles should include remix information to differentiate them. If an album is a collection of remixes of the same song, the album subtitle should indicate that they are remixes.


Certain types of albums require a particular primary genre. Typically these albums fall into ”Karaoke”, ”Soundtrack”, or ”Classical”.

Instrumental albums comprised of covers must be marked with the primary genre of ”Karaoke” in order to take advantage of the Karaoke Exception to our artists-in-titles rules.

Soundtracks (whether to video games or films) must be marked as primary genre ”Soundtrack”.

Only Classical albums may be marked as ”Classical” - do not mark non-classical albums (including rock or hip-hop albums that feature classical elements) as classical.

Karaoke / Tribute

The Karaoke Exception: If you are releasing a karaoke track, you can use the original artist's name in the title if it’s accompanied by the phrase “Originally Performed By (original artist name)”.

Searchability: Karaoke and Tribute albums may be hidden from search on some stores unless a customer specifically types ”Karaoke” or ”Tribute” along with their search terms. We recommend that artists avoid the Karaoke genre or including the word ”Tribute” in their album titles if they wish to remain generally searchable across all stores.

The titles of karaoke tracks must indicate that they are an instrumental or karaoke version in the Title Version field.

Karaoke album titles may NOT begin with the name of the original artist. “Metallica: the Polka Tribute” is not allowed, but “The Polka Tribute to Metallica” is acceptable.

Classical Music

Some of our distribution partners have specific guidelines for Classical music.

5.1. Genre

Albums containing primarily classical music must have a primary genre of “Classical.”

  • Please do not mark non-classical Instrumental albums as “Classical.”

5.2. Artist and Contributor Names

All performers must be marked as Track Artists with a role of “Primary”, unless you are using a “Classical Artist Role” in the artist role menu.

Artists or contributors having a “featured or with” contributor role is not permitted for Classical Music in any case.

The standard artist name and spelling must be used for composers. Composers must be supplied for all classical music. You can find common composer names here: Common Classical Composers

5.3. Album Titles

Use the work titles in their original languages. Do not include extraneous translations.

Casing: Album titles in English must be in title case. For example: “Glass: Glassworks” Album titles in French, Italian, or Swedish must be in sentence case. For example: “Debussy: Préludes deuxième livre & Six épigraphes antiques”

5.4. Track Titles

Song titles must be formatted as [Name of Work] in [Key], [Catalog Number]: [Movement Number]. [Movement Title] For example:

  • Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio

  • Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F Minor, BWV 1056: III. Presto

  • Three Lyric Pieces, Op. 47: No. 1, Summer Song

  • Die Winterreise, D. 911: No. 24, Der Leiermann

  • Partita for Solo Flute in A Minor, BWV 1013: I. Allemande

  • Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 311: II. Minuet - Trio

  • Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 1: III. Adagio con espressione

  • For movements or sections, roman numerals or standard notation (“No. 1,” “No. 2,” etc.) may be used.

The Publishing Tab

How To Fill Out The Publishing Tab

If your song is original:

  • List the real name of the composer, as well as the names of other composers, songwriters, or lyricists who contributed to the composition. Select the publishing role, and enter a split percentage.

If your song is a cover:

  • List the original song title as the title, even if it differs from your track title.

  • List the artist you’re covering as the original artist.

  • If the song you’re covering is from a soundtrack, list the composer of the soundtrack as the original artist.

  • List the name of the original game/movie/television series/etc. In the Composition Title field. For example: “Main Theme (The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past)”

Karaoke tracks are a type of cover song. Please do not list yourself as the original artist, even if you’ve created your own karaoke version of a popular song.

If you are submitted a medley, please fill out a licensing request for each and every cover in your medley.

Where To List The Original Artist's Name Or The Songwriter's Name

Please note that our cover song licenses don’t give you the right to use the original performing artist’s name in your track or album titles. If you’ve covered a song and are having Revelator license it for you, you should list the name of the original artist or songwriters in the compositions section of your track, and not within the track title or album title fields. For example, if the a cappella group On The Rocks were to record a heart-wrenching version of Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable”, they would release it like this:

  • Artist name: “On The Rocks”, not “On The Rocks in the style of Beyoncé”, “On The Rocks with Beyoncé”, or “Beyoncé vs. On The Rocks”

  • Track title: “Irreplaceable”, not “Irreplaceable, feat. Beyoncé”, “Irreplaceable in the style of Beyoncé”, or “Beyoncé’s Irreplaceable”.

Covers Of Public Domain Songs

A cover of a public domain song is a special type of cover song. We do not obtain licenses or pay royalties on public domain works, so it is very important that you only flag a work as public domain when you’re absolutely sure the work is no longer under copyright in the United States.

In the compositions section of the track, list the original artist in the original artist field and the composer in the composer field, if known. Otherwise, name the original artist as “Traditional”.

If you’re not sure whether or not your song is in the public domain, please contact our customer service team and we can investigate further before submitting as either public domain or a cover song.


Many of the rules for album artwork mirror the rules in the Album Title and Track Title sections above. When in doubt, create something original from scratch, rather than altering someone else’s image.

Your album art should include the album title and your artist name. Compilation albums (albums with more than 4 artists) do not need to display the artist's name on the art. Please do not use other text on your artwork that will be more prominent than the album title and artist name, as that can create confusion and is prohibited by our digital partners. That information should be clearly identifiable on your cover art.

  • Album art should not include extra or incorrect text.

  • Album art should not be pixelated or blown up to bad quality.

  • Artwork must be centered and must fill the entire canvas from corner-to-corner. Album art should be a full 3000px by 3000px square image. We can accept art as small as 1400px1400px. Do not fill blank space to make the album art the correct size. Art must be a JPG file type and in RGB.

  • Album art should not be stretched.

  • Album art may NOT use third party trademarks without permission - (including digital partners’ or social media logos).

  • Album art may NOT use celebrity or character likenesses or images without permission.

  • Album art may NOT include social media icons. Including social media links is acceptable provided that the sites you link to do not also sell your music in a way that would compete with any of our stores.

  • If there is nothing between your line-of-sight and the subject’s nethers or nipples, it is considered sexually explicit imagery and we cannot approve your artwork.

Audio File Formats

We currently accept audio in WAV only. All files must have 2 channels with a sampling rate of 44.1Khz and 16-bit resolution. Audio length must be longer than 2 seconds, and shorter than 60 minutes.

Miscellaneous Tips

Do not use ALL-CAPS, all lower case, or rAndOm casing. We will correct this if you choose to do so anyway, as our partners all prefer title casing when it comes to English or specialized casing for certain languages.

“The” should be capitalized when it is the start of an Artist’s name or Track / Album Title.

Instrumental tracks cannot be marked explicit unless the track title contains explicit language.

Always use the correct language in the language of lyrics section.

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