Metadata still remains a concept and practice alien to filmmakers. But once again we are lucky that we have musicians to pave the way for us. Future Of Music was just pointed out to me as an example of the kind of website the film industry needs. I wish one of the indie film advocacy orgs would adopt FutureOfMusic's mission statement (with "film" substituted for their "music"):
a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure a diverse film culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the films they want.
Metadata is information that lives with every file on your computer. Through a magic merger of words and 1’s and 0’s, metadata “describes” files so that they can be managed by both the user and the system. In the case of a music file, like an MP3, metadata refers to the “tags” associated with a particular piece of music — typically information about the artist, album name, year of release, etc. On the surface, it might seem like these tags are mostly useful for the listener, who needs some way to quickly sort through MP3s. But why are they so important to artists?
Well, as more and more of the music market migrates online, sales from services like iTunes or eMusic or Rhapsody or those yet to be created will represent a larger portion of total music revenues. Songs and albums are organized by these services according to their metadata, so it’s important that the cataloging be accurate. Otherwise, your new acoustic country record could get mistakenly filed in the alt-doom-emo-crunk genre and never sell a single copy.