Style Guide v.2.2
Last Update: December 20th, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. GENERAL STYLE GUIDE
A) Metadata Requirements
1. General requirements. Genre must always match with the content of the tracks. Current genre list is available on the platform, both at the album level, and at the track level.
2. Restrictions for classical music. The genre “Classical” and the ones derived (e.g. “Classical/Orchestral”, “Classical/Opera” or “Classical/Piano”) can not be sent to the iTunes and Apple Music channels, unless they are original or modern compositions.
3. Use of the genre “Soundtrack”. The genre “Soundtrack” only must be used when the music is related to movies, documentaries, series, musicals, video games or any other audiovisual productions.
If the music is only “inspired” in a video work or is not connected to any media production, the genre tag can not be “Soundtrack” but the one that indicates the style of the song.
4. Use of the genre “Karaoke”. When a an album or a track is a karaoke or a playback, the primary genre must be “Karaoke”. The secondary genre should be the one corresponding to the song’s style.
5. Use of the genre “Fitness & Workout”. This genre can be used as long as it’s in line with the metadata and the release’s concept. Generic names such as “Motivational”, “Workout” or “Cardio” can not be used at the artist’s and title’s level.
Titles of albums and tracks
1. Accuracy. Albums and tracks titles, should always match the cover image titles as accurately as possible without any class of abbreviation.
2. Additional information. All titles of albums and tracks should not include additional information, unless it is really necessary for the identification of the content.
3. Generic titles. Do not use generic titles for the tracks. Titles as “Track 01”, “Track 02”, will not be accepted unless they are really the original track titles. This same rule is applied for the release titles, titles as "Album", "EP" or "Single" won't be accepted.
4. Multiple titles for album and tracks. The albums and tracks containing multiple titles must be separated with a slash (“/”). Please insert a space before and after the slash.
5. Tracks version information. To differentiate between multiple versions of the same track or indicate that a track is different from its original version, use the corresponding description in its version field.
6. Use of "Exclusive" or "Limited Edition". The titles of albums and / or tracks must not contain terms such as "Exclusive" or "Limited Edition", because the titles are a permanent part of the content.
7. References to physical content, digital content, or content which is not included. The album titles should not include terms referring to contents which are not included in the album. Such as, physical formats, digital formats or geographic location. Some examples are: E-Release, Digital Version, Digital Only, Digital Download, with Booklet, European Edition, American Edition, etc.
8. References to video format. The titles must not include references to the video format or specifications like “Video”, “Clip”, “PAL” or “Music Video”.
9. Unnecessary version information. The standard version, i.e., the original version of a track, must not include additional information. For example: Original Version, Album Version, Original Mix, etc.
10. Live content. If a track is recorded live, it must be indicated in the version field as "Live", " Ao Vivo", "En Vivo", and so on, accordingly to the language of the album. If all tracks are recorded live, it must also be indicated in the version field of the album.
11. “Deluxe Edition” / “Extended” and “Bonus Tracks” use. A "Deluxe Edition” or “Extended” release can be published when a previous album version exists, providing additional material to the first one. The incorporation of the old material can't be omitted.
As well, a “Bonus Track” will be accepted if it is included in this type of releases. It must be indicated on the field “Version or remix”. In no case will be accepted a track title as “Bonus Track”.
12. Censoring Words. Artist names, track titles, and album titles must be submitted in the original form that was intended by the artist. Explicit words are automatically censored in some channels, and would appear as for example: “f**k” or “s**t”. So do not insert the asterisks in the titles.
13. Side-by-side translations. Side-by-side translations in Korean are not allowed (this means, translating the title to the English and including it in the own title as a part of it). For example: "이카루스" is correct, but "Rise 이카루스" won't be accepted. The rest of languages cannot include this resource either.
Artist or band names
1. Artist name choice. Before distributing your album, make sure that no other artists are currently using the same artist or band name (similar or identical), since this can cause conflicts in the channels and your albums may be combined under the catalog of the other artist with similar artist or band name, or vice-versa.
2. Roles at album and track level. In the releases with two or more tracks, only the primary artists should be featured at the album level. Except from classical albums, where the composer/s must be introduced at the album level too.
About one-track singles, they must have the same information at the album and track level. Therefore all the roles have to be reflected at the album level.
3. Primary artist assignation. The following must be considered:
- If the release has two or more tracks:
- If there is only 1 primary artist, the main artist must appear as the primary throughout all the tracks and also at the album level.
- If there are 2 or 3 primary artists, each one of them must appear at least one time in one track. And all of them must appear at the album level.
- If there are 4 or more primary artists, each one of them must appear in their corresponding track. At the album level the primary artist must be “Various Artists”, as more than three primary artists can not be included.
- If the release is a one-track single: The primary artists must be the same at the album and the track level.
4. Use of "Various Artists". If there are four or more primary artists on the album, the artist name to be mentioned at album’s level must be "Various Artists". The tag “Various Artists” can not be used at the track level and can not be combined with other primary artists’ names.
At the track level is preferable that do not appear too many primary artists’ names. It is important not to confuse the role with "performer". For example, if it's about a band, the band name must appear as primary artist and the members names as performers.
5. Incorrect display of "Various Artists". Variations or abbreviations of "Various Artists" (e.g. "V/A", "VA", "Various", "Various Artist" or similar) should not be used as an artist name for the content in English. The translation of "Various Artists" is accepted, but only if it’s consistent with the language of the content.
6. Composer. Composers have to be indicated only at the track level, except from one-track singles and in classical music.
In classical releases the composers have to appear at both levels (track and album). If there are more than 4 composers appearing in all tracks the only composer introduced at the album level will be “Various Composers”. Please, do not use the term “Various Composers” in non-classical releases.
7. Format. The spelling of the artists’ names must be correct and consistent across the entire contents of that artist.
The artist’s name should not contain all capital letters except from:
- Cacophonies. That is unpronounceable words usually consisting of various consonants altogether.
- Real acronyms. The dots are compulsory in these cases.
- Special requests. If a profile is already created in the channels with capital letters or there’s a special request to keep the artist’s name in capital letters backed with social networks’ profiles and other official web pages, then the name can be sent in capital letters. This request has to be notified to the Support Team prior to the upload of the album.
8. Other information. The artist's name must not include any additional information, such as the role, dates, instruments, band type, web page, etc.
9. Compound artist. Each artist field must only contain one artist name.
Two or more performers or groups in the same artist field are considered a compound artist. However, artists who are generally listed together as a band (their names make the artist’s name) are not considered compound artists and can be listed together.
If this is not the case, and there is more than one performing artist, each artist must be listed individually and assigned as Primary.
10. Generic artists. Generic artists such as “Chorus”, “Orchestra” and “Singer” are not accepted in any genre. The artist names should be specific to a person, a group or band, a show or a production.
11. Original artist name in the artist field. For karaoke, tribute, orgel, parody, cover albums and ringtones, the name of the original artist must not be displayed in any artist ﬁeld.
1. Editorial or recording label. You must specify the name of the Label of your record or album respectively for each album.
2. Own label. If your album is not linked to any record label, you can specify a custom label name or alias (such as your artist name) of your choice in this field. Make sure that the name provided is not misleading or deceptive, nor violate the laws of intellectual property.
3. Label’s name length. The name of a label should not be too large, otherwise it may cause metadata conflict for some channels.
Using uppercase, lowercase, abbreviations, accents and special characters
To ensure that the accents and capitalization appear correctly on all channels, you must specify an appropriate spelling in the metadata fields. Our Quality Control team reserves the right to correct errors in grammar, in spelling and punctuation.
1. Nonstandard capitalization. Titles have to contain capital letters at the beginning of each sentence and in proper names. For other cases, please check the next points.
The arbitrary use of capital letters can be accepted if the first word’s letter is in capital and is not written entirely in capital letters.
Titles should not contain all capital letters except in the following cases:
- If there is a cacophony. It means, a succession of letters that result an unpronounceable word and that can be associated to some acronyms.
- If they are real acronyms. In that case, it is obligatory to insert the letters with dots (.).
- For the artist’s names. Only when there’s a requested update in the channels from this profile or with a previous notification asking for the preservation of the name enterely written in capital letters. To communicate this kind of questions, please contact our Support Team.
Each language has its own requirements in the use of capital letters. For more information, please check Language requirements.
2. Abbreviation. The words "Part" and "Volume" should be abbreviated as "Pt." and "Vol.".
The titles that require the use of one of those two words, should have the following format: "Title, Vol. X" and "Title, Pt. X" (where "X" is a number).
The use of abbreviations will be obligatory when there is an homonymous topics succession in different parts, or when there is a numerical succession with same titles songs. The use of Arabic or Roman numbers can be chosen by the user, but it will have to support the criterion along the album.
Preferably the expression "Pt." has to be used only for tracks and "Vol." just for albums, with the exception of the singles, where is better to obviate the expression "Vol." unless it belongs to the real track title.
3. Accents and required characters. All western languages should include all appropriate accents and characters, as required by the correct spelling of each language respectively.
Spelling mistakes will be allowed only if it is possible to argue any premeditation in certain contexts.
4. Use of special characters. Special characters use (as $, ¢, ∞, ¬, _, +, =, ≠, ´‚ `, *, etc.) won't be accepted, except when:
- Same content or / and artist has been published previously in the same channels and the info can be confirmed by QC Team.
- Special characters belong to a trademark and its confirmation document can be presented.
- Following symbols: <, >, |, /, \, -, , , ., :, ;, !, ¡, ?, ¿, -, (, ), ·, &, ", ‘.
- Following symbols as long as they go with a digit: º, %.
- Following symbols as long as they are not used with promotional proposes or referring to social media: #, @.
1. Assigning languages. The language at the album level must be the same as the titles. If there are various languages in the titles, the main one has to be chosen.
The language at the track level should be the one used in the song.
If the language does not appear in the list, the most similar one must be assigned.
If the track is instrumental or the language is invented, then it must be indicated with the option “no linguistic content”.
2. Considerations on non-Latin metadata. If an album contains one of the following languages in the metadata, it must follow the requirements settled below.
- Hebrew metadata. All the titles and names must be written in Hebrew. Transliterations are not allowed.
- Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Thai metadata. The metadata must be introduced accordingly to the original alphabet. However, the artist’s names in Chinese and Korean must be written in English (or transliterated). For instance, only the second option would be valid in the following example:
- Korean: 박신혜
- English: Park Shin Hye
- Russian, Belarusian, Bulgarian and Ukranian metadata. The releases in these languages must use the Cyrillic alphabet. Transliterations are not allowed, and the titles should follow the sentence format.
- Arabic and farsi metadata. All the metadata in arabic and farsi albums must be written according to their original alphabet. Transliterations and translations are not allowed.
3. Side-by-side translation. Side-by-side translations are not allowed. This means, translating the title to the English and including it in the own title as a part of it.
For example: “이카루스” is correct, but “Rise 이카루스” wouldn’t be accepted.
4. Layout of the titles. Depending on the language, the capitalization of the titles can differ.
- Titles in English. The titles for albums and tracks in English language should have title case format (all words are capitalized except articles and conjunctions). In addition, the first letter of the words before and after a hyphen (“-”), a slash (“/”) or a colon (“:”) and at the beginning and the end of a sentence should be capitalized.
The following words should always be lowercase:
a, an, and, as, but, for, from, nor, of, or, so, the, to, y yet, at, by, for, from, in, into, of, off, on, onto, out, over, to, up, with
For example: “In the Still of the Night”.
As an exception to this rule, these words must be capitalised as long as they are part of a phrasal verbs.
- Titles in Spanish and Portuguese. For albums and tracks’ titles in Spanish and Portuguese, you can decide on either title or sentence casing, as long as the format is consistent throughout the entire album and the first letter of each sentence is uppercase. In addition, the first letter of the words before and after a hyphen (“-”), a slash (“/”) or a colon (“:”) and at the beginning and the end of a sentence should be capitalized.
The following words in Spanish should always be in lower case:
a, al, de, del, e, el, en, la, las, los, o, para, por, un, una, y
The following words in Portuguese should always be in lower case:
a, à, ao, aos, as, às, da, das, de, das, do, dos, e, em, na, nas, no, nas, nos, o, os, ou, para, pela, pelas, pelo, pelos, pra, pro, por, um, uma
- Titles in Swedish, French, Italian and Latin. The titles of albums and tracks in Swedish, French, Italian and Latin should be in sentence format, therefore only the first word of the sentence should have the first letter capitalized, all others must be lowercase, except in cases of names and / or abbreviations.
- Titles in German. German albums and tracks’ titles must use sentence case, following in this case the rules of capitalisation of this language.
5. Accents and required characters. All western languages should include all appropriate accents and characters, as required by the correct spelling of each language respectively.
6. Use of “no linguistic content”. The tag “No Linguistic Content” must be introduced at the track level if the song does not contain any vocal part or only non-word vocal sounds. At the album level, the language indicated must be the one of the metadata. Even if the songs are instrumental, a particular language must be selected for the album.
7. Explicit lyrics. The box of “Explicit lyrics” must be checked at the track level when the title or the lyrics have explicit content (mostly if they mention topics like sex, drugs or violence). If the explicit tracks are indicated, the album will be automatically flagged as explicit.
- If the cover image contains the logo of “Parental Advisory”, at least on track must be flagged as explicit.
- If the album is flagged as explicit, the tracks with explicit content must be indicated. Unless the cover image is the only explicit content of the album (and the lyrics and the metadata are clean), in this case the tracks have to be kept as clean.
8. Supported Languages. Language support varies from DSP to DSP. We currently support every language that iTunes supports and some more. Most DPSs only use language information for internal search engine settings and do not specify other uses in their specs, so we do our best to manage language use.
We can add more languages, but if they are not supported they will need to be mapped to other that ITM supports.
iTunes supported languages are:
9. Language conversions. For iTunes these conversions are required due to lack of iTunes support for the specific language, as per their latest specifications.
Language sent to iTunes
No linguistic content
For other DSPs:
Language sent to the DSP
Current requirements of iTunes on lyrics
1. Current supported languages. Currently, the languages our QC Team supports are: English, Español, Français, Català, Português, Italiano. Other languages can still be used and included, but if they are not respecting strictly the following requirements, they could not be accepted by iTunes and they will probably be deleted from the platform. Please, remember that instrumental music cannot include lyrics and its language must always be “no linguistic content”.
2. Structure. Lyrics must reflect the structure of the song. Each sentence must be separated by a single space, and each different section (for example: chorus, verse, bridge…) must be separated by a double space. The first letter of every word at the beginning of a sentence or a parenthesis must be written in capital letters, as well as proper nouns. Please, do not include additional information to the lyrics, such as the chords, the title of the track, the composers, etc. Also, do not write the lyrics only in capital letters or lowercase.
3. Punctuation. The punctuation has to follow the grammar rules of each language. However, stops and commas are not allowed at the end of a sentence, neither repeated punctuation (like “??” or “!!”). Ellipses (“...”) are only permitted to indicate a fade out. Expressions like “x2” or “etc.” are forbidden when it comes to a repetition, the lyrics should be written as many times as they are expressed or they should finish with an ellipse if they fade out.
4. Secondary content. All the lyrics that are related to the main content of the song must be transcribed.
- Background vocals must be indicated in parenthesis.
- Live speeches must be written as long as they do not interfere in the flow of the song. This is only applied to live content.
- Non-word vocal sounds must be transcribed unless it is improvisation (like scatting) or sound effects.
- Spoken word content must not be transcribed.
- Explicit content must be written as it is heard in the song. Please, do not censor the words unless they are actually censored in the song itself. If a part or a full word has been censored in the audio, the part that is missing has to be replaced by asterisks (for example, “f***”).
- If there are different languages in the same track, they have to be transcribed following each language rules (not phonetically).
See an example below of a correct way of writing lyrics:
I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause
Live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause
Give me that thing that I love (I'll turn the lights out)
Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (make it real loud)
Give me that thing that I love (I'll turn the lights out)
Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch (make it real loud)
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Make it real loud
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Make it real loud
(A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E) Put your hands up, make 'em touch, touch
Please, keep in mind that, since these are optional and not mandatory aspects of a release, our Support team reserves the right to erase the lyrics of a track or a whole release in case these rules are not strictly followed.
Albums and tracks descriptions and promotion
1. Albums and tracks descriptions and tags. The text of the description of an album or track, as well as their linked tags, must follow the same specifications as the text of the metadata regarding special characters and composition.
2. Links and emails. The description of the album or tracks and the lyrics should not contain any link to web pages, email addresses, social media or similar networks references. The links to promotional pages should be introduced in the profile of the account’s owner.
References to commercial content unrelated to the artist or the release content won’t be accepted in any case.
3. Nazi references. This content will be banned in all circumstances and channels, as it’s recognized as harmful by the BPjM (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende medien), prohibited by German authorities or as otherwise recognized by anti-Nazi laws in any applicable jurisdiction.
1. Singles. A release must be identified as a Single when:
- It contains from 1 to 3 tracks with the same title. It means, variations of the same song.
- It contains from 1 to 2 tracks with different titles. It means, up to two different songs.
- The release has an approximate duration up to 10 minutes.
For all Single format discs containing a single track, the disc title and track title must be the same. Also, the information about artists roles given at both sides must be the same. Only in these specific cases it is allowed to have more than four primary artists without having to use the Various Artists tags; however, we recommend to try to keep it to the minimum possible.
2. EPs. A release must be identified as an EP when:
- It has 2 tracks and at least one of them lasts longer than 10 minutes.
- It contains from 4 to 6 tracks with the same title. It means, variations of the same song.
- It contains from 3 to 6 tracks with different titles. It means that each song will be different.
- It has a total duration from 10 to 30 minutes - never longer than that.
3. Albums. A release must be identified as an album if it overcomes one of the previous points.
Versions, karaokes, tributes, parodies, orgels and covers
1. Versions. To indicate that a Version track is different from the original, please use the corresponding field for this purpose.
- Version information will not be accepted as a part of a title. Except from “palos” (flamenco) and popular dances of the XXth century (like tango or vals), which must be indicated between parenthesis after the main title.
- The information should follow the standard spelling, without abbreviations, and make a proper use of capitalization.
2. Name of the original artist on parody, version, karaoke, tribute and cover tracks or albums. For parodies, karaokes, tributes and cover albums, the name of the original artist must not be displayed in any artist field.
3. Name of the original artist in the track or album titles. The titles included in a cover or tribute album must not make any reference to the original artist. Do not use phrases such as: “Original Performed by”, “In the Style of”, “Tribute to”, “Cover of” or similar.
4. Deceptive or misleading information. Tribute or cover albums must not be deceptive or misleading. Do not use genres, popular song lyrics or the original artist names as the album title, track title or artist for karaoke.
Content that is considered deceptive or misleading will not be accepted and distributed.
5. Information of karaoke version. The karaoke albums or tracks must be indicated with the expression “Karaoke Version” in the corresponding field.
- The primary genre must also be set as “Karaoke”, while the secondary one must show the main style of the song or the release.
- The original composers or artists can not appear in any part of the metadata.
- If the tracks are instrumental, the language introduce at the track level must be “no linguistic content”, while the one selected for the album must be the one of the metadata.
6. Sound-alikes and unauthorized remixes. Sound-alikes (cover songs that sound like copies of the original) or unauthorized remixes with deceptive or misleading audio will not be distributed.
7. Cover licenses. In some cases, you may need a license to distribute a cover, as the work covered can be protected by Copyright laws.
- If your release is a version of a song registered in a Spanish-speaking or latin country (Southern Europe, South America and Central America, with the exception of Mexico), you only need to indicate the composers of the original track.
- If your release is a cover of a song registered in an Anglo-American country or by a Major (e.g. “Universal Music Latino”, “Sony Music Latino”, etc.), a mechanical license is required to distribute the new song.
This license is can be an authorization signed by the original rights owner or by a management society, who will allow you to use the work for commercial purposes.
You can obtain a license through different online services, as for example Easy Song Licensing.
Finding out who owns the rights has become a lot easier these days. There are organisations in each country to help to find out who the publishers are. In the US there is Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and/or ASCAP to get the publisher’s information.Once you know who the publisher is, you can then apply for a mechanical licence.
- If the version or cover is from a territory that is not included above, please, contact our Support team for more information.
If the version modifies substantially the work, as a radical variation of the lyrics / musical content, you must present a more specific rights owner permission to distribute the content. The documentation reported has to be contrastable and true.
Please, do not mix up the terms “Version” or “Cover” with “Remix”. If you do a remix or you are using any recording samples that belong to another artist, an authorization from the original master’s owner must be requested.
8. Continuous mixes and DJ sets. DJ sets (with own or other artists tracks) and continuous mixes (that is, putting all the tracks of an album together in a single track creating a continuous mix) are not allowed.
Prices, release date and licenses
1. Category prices. You must choose a price category from one of four price categories. This does not ensure an identical price in all channels, since they have the right to determine the final price of an product, depending on the territory and currency of a sale. The categories are indicative of the range of price you desire for each album individually.
The price categories (in the platform) are:
- Budget: equivalent to an economic or the most affordable price.
- Mid: equivalent to a standard or common prince in each channel.
- Full: equivalent to a higher or more expensive than the standard price.
- Premium: equivalent to the more expensive price.
2. Release dates. Depending on the date indicated in this section, the album will be published in the channels sooner or later. If the album is distributed previously to the release date, it will not be made public until the date indicated before the distribution. If the album is distributed after the release date, it will be directly published within the 2 to 10 work days, from its distribution.
3. License. You can choose between two main types of license, these are: Copyright or Creative Commons. Copyright ensure a full protection of all intellectual rights for each rights’ owner or holder, while Creative Commons has several types of licenses for different types of interests. For more information, go to: http://creativecommons.org/. For publication of an album, it’s required to indicate:
- (C) or © The Copyright owner or holder, who is generally the author of the work.
- (P) or ℗The sound recording owner or Publishing right’s holder, who is generally the producer or record label.
In the case of groups or bands where rights are shared, the group or band name can be indicated in both cases mentioned above.
Please, keep in mind the License holder must be coincident between the “Licenses” tab and the license holder of each track of the release.
4. Territories. If you do not have publishing rights for all territories, or it is not of your interest the publication in all territories, you may indicate the desired territories in the “License” section in the platform.
B) Cover Art Requirements
Quality and format
1. Quality of images. The cover art must no be any of the following: blurry, pixelated, mismatched, misaligned, rotated, incorrect, stretched, or have other quality issues.
The information shown in the cover image should always match the information of the metadata as accurately as possible and without any class of abbreviation.
2. Dimensions of the cover art. The cover art of all releases must accomplish with all following requirements:
- Proportion: Exactly squared
- Minimum size: 3000 x 3000 px.
- Maximum size: 5000 x 5000 px.
- Accepted formats: JPG, TIFF or PNG
- Mode: RGB (CMYK is not available)
- Maximum size of file: 36 MB
The images which do not accomplish with all the requirements above will not be supported and may not be shown in the channels.
Must not contain
1. Links and web pages. The cover art can not contain website addresses, websites that sell music, mentions to social media, logos of any stores or services related to entertainment, mentions to physical formats, video formats or any external reference of the digital release.
2. Telephone or email addresses. The cover art can not contain neither telephone numbers nor email addresses.
3. Credits and collaborations. The cover art can include credits or other artists’ names, who are not the primary artists of the release as long as they are justified in the metadata.
The information in the cover will have to reproduce with extreme precision and without abbreviations the information of the metadata.
4. Tracklisting and illegible texts. The cover art can not contain the track listing.
It is also recommended to use legible fonts in the cover, as the image will be visualized in small formats and it won't be able to appreciate small texts. Texts that are not legible will not be accepted.
5. Descriptions and biographies. The cover art must not include albums descriptions or artists biographies.
6. Digital, physical and video format. The cover art can not include references to it being a digital or physical product (such as “Online”, “CD”, “Compact Disc”, etc.). Mentions to the video format are neither allowed.
Also the cover art must not contain references to contents that are missing in the album, such as “Includes DVD” or “Includes Lyrics”.
Similar expressions like “All Rights Reserved”, “Registered Product”, “Under Copyright”, etc., can not be used. Not even other redundant or unnecessary information.
The release reference number can appear in the cover, but not the UPC or any of the track’s ISRC codes.
7. Pricing. The cover art can not include references to the pricing, or any information with promotional purposes.
8. Pornography and violent contents. The cover art can not include contents that may be racist, pornographic, or glorify or trivialize violence.
9. Offensive symbolism. The cover art must not contain any kind of symbolism that offends a specific group of people or ethnicities, such as Nazi symbolism, restricted by the Strafgesetzbuch section 86a.
10. Misleading information. The cover art must not be misleading. For example, prominently depicting or referencing an artist even though the artist does not perform on the album.
11. Translations and use of special characters. The use of non-occidental or special characters (like Arabic characters, Chinese characters or Greek letters) must be avoided unless they guard an explicit relation with the content.
Side-by-side translations or transliterations of the content are not allowed. The information must be written following the same structure and alphabet as in the metadata.
12. Logos, images and registered brands. All the logos (including the involved texts) must be justified in the metadata. The logos can be related to the artists, producers, labels or other information involved with the musical product.
- Designers, photographers and other mentions to the cover artists are not allowed.
- Registered brands and private or personal images (from people or companies) can not be included in the cover art. The only exceptions are when they are visually irrelevant (being part of the background), they accomplish a relevant role (e.g., in a musical) or are justified in the metadata (for example, as the producer or the publisher).
It may be necessary to report the corresponding documentation to maintain registered brands, private images or references to companies or institutions in order to demonstrate the user is allowed to use them.
C) Audio Requirements
Audio files requirements
1. Mastering. In order to ensure a good audio quality and meet the standards of today’s music industry, all audio files must have undergone a professional mastering before their distribution.
2. Audio quality. The audio files should not have any sound imperfection. Audio files containing any background noise and other sound imperfections will not be accepted for distribution.
- Format: flac or wav
- Requirements: Minimum of 16 bit, 44.1 Khz, stereo / Recommended 24 bits, 48Khz or 24 bits 96Khz.
3. Audios and titles. Audio files and track titles must always match. Audios uploaded to non-corresponding tracks are not accepted.
4. Silences, pauses and cuts. Silence, cuts, pauses or extended silences are not allowed. If a song ends with a final silence it should last no longer than ten seconds.
Other kinds of silences, such as cuts or sudden endings, must also be avoided, as they can be misunderstood as audio errors.
5. Silent and hidden tracks. The silent tracks, hidden tracks and ghost tracks should be indicated in the “Version” field. If there is a division between tracks it must follow the silence requirements mentioned above.
A justification may be needed to know the reason why they are included and the duration in relation to the whole content.
Policy of use of Samples
1. If the Sample was obtained directly from the original owner. The original owner must provide a valid document that expresses his agreement with the obtainment, use and commercialization of his Sample, by the artist who intends to distribute it through the platform.
2. If the Sample was obtained from an instrument, either physical or virtual instrument. The license or any other evidence that can demonstrate that the Sample has been obtained from an instrument must be presented. Similarly, if applicable, you must present the license that is usually available with the instrument.
3. If the Sample was obtained through a payment service (per unit or per subscription). A proof of payment must be presented for the unit, or the registration of the subscription to said service, as well as an evidence that the Sample has been obtained through this specific payment service.
4. If the Sample was obtained through a free legal service. Any valid evidence that could demonstrates that the Sample has been obtained through the free service, must be presented, and also a valid evidence that that could prove that the commercialization of the obtained Sample, is authorized.
5. If the Sample has not been obtained by any of the aforementioned means. It must be justified and in the same way, present a document or any evidence that could prove that:
- The use of the Sample is allowed
- It has been provided by a legal means
- It has been obtained in a legal manner
- It grants permission to the commercialization of the Sample or derivative works
If the provisions of this policy are not met, then the content involved will not be approved, nor will its distribution be accepted.
Finally, we state that it is the duty and responsibility of the administrator of the service provided through the platform, the management of the issues raised, directly with the user who provides the content that contains any Sample.
II. STYLE GUIDE FOR RINGTONES
All information must be indicated following firstly the parameters of the General Style Guide, plus the followings:
1. Ringtones on music albums. Ringtones must be submitted as ringtones, not songs. Music albums must not include ringtone tracks.
2. Ringtone information. Albums, artists or track titles must not include any generic descriptive language such as “Tone", “Alert Tone", "Text Tone", “Ringtone", “Ringtone Version", "Video Game", "Game Music", and so on.
3. Karaoke ringtones. Karaoke ringtones aren’t accepted.
4. Classical music ringtones. Ringtones of classical music must include the composer in the title. Standard nicknames for classical pieces are accepted.
- Example: Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
- Example: Beethoven: Moonlight
III. STYLE GUIDE FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC
General notes for classical music
General rules of style are still applied in Classical music releases. Nevertheless, there are some extra considerations that must be noted for this kind of releases:
1. Distribution for iTunes is not allowed generally. However, we allow to distribute contents for this channel for users and artists whose compositions are of their own. Contact our Support Team for further information regarding this question. The rest of the channels are available for a regular distribution.
2. Accuracy in the metadata. Metadata must be expressed with extreme precision, accuracy and consistency all along the release, especially regarding standard repertoires of Classical music. The use of formulas, abbreviations, numbers and specific expressions must be expressed strictly and consistently following the official titles of the pieces. We recommend to use IMSLP fo this purpose.
3. IMSLP. As a general rule, we use IMSLP as a source for metadata of Classical Music. The information provided here about the name of the composers and the titles of the compositions is the one that will be used as a standard.
- If the content is not featured in this catalogue, please, check previous versions of this work in the channels and try to adapt the titles following our rules.
- If the content cannot be found anywhere and you have doubts about the expression of the titles, please, contact our Support Team.
4. Language. The use of the language at the album level must be the one of the titles. Although there can be variations of the language depending on each case, English is normally used as the standard language for the official titles of the Classical compositions. We recommend as long as it is possible to prioritize the use of this language among the others. Language at the track level must be the one of the audio. We remind you that instrumental tracks must be marked as “no linguistic content” at each track level.
- Capitalization of titles which include many languages. The capitalization of each part of the title must respect the capitalization rules included in this Style Guide regarding languages. If - for example - a title includes a part of it in English and another part in Italian - such as tempi, dynamics etc. -, each part must be written with its corresponding language rules. For further information, please, check “Language requirements”.
Album level considerations
1. Primary artists. Ensembles, choirs, soloists and orchestras can be primary artists. A conductor can be a primary artist too as long as he is also the composer of the pieces. Please, do not include composers as primary artists unless the specified genre is “Classical/Modern Compositions”. Unless composers have a participant role in a release they cannot be mentioned as primary artists, neither the rest of the given roles but composer.
2. Composers. It is mandatory to indicate at least one composer at the album level. If there are four or more composers at the album level, it is mandatory to use the expression “Various Composers”. Please, do not use this tag at the track level neither in non-Classical releases.
3. Titles. Titles of the albums must follow the following formula:
Surname(s) of the composer(s): Name(s) of the piece(s) [or] Name of the release
Casals: Easy ClassicaSee some examples below:
- Rossini: Ouvertures
- Mozart: The Complete Piano Concertos
If there are four or more composers, composers must not be indicated in the title of the release, neither the titles of the pieces included. In those cases, it is highly recommendable to use an original title.
Track level considerations
1. Composers. It is mandatory to indicate a composer for each piece. If the release features an only composer, the name of this composer must not be indicated in the title of the track. If there are two or more, the surname(s) of the composer(s) must be introduced at the beginning of the title. If the composer of the piece is unknown, please, indicate as a composer “Anonymous” - this name can be adapted depending on the language of the metadata. It is also mandatory to indicate the expression “Anonymous” at the start of the title if there are two or more composers in the release.
2. Titles. Titles should follow the following formula; please, notice this formula is a standard and its application will depend on each specific case. If the official title does not include some of these tags do not include them. Try to adapt this formula as much as it is possible respecting the essence of the original piece:
Surname(s) of the composer(s): Official name of the piece, Genre of the piece [and/or] Key of the piece, Catalogue number [or] Opus: Number of the movement. Name of the movement [and/or] Dynamics of the movement
Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 562See some examples below:
- Schoenberg: Ode to Napoleon Bounaparte
- Albéniz: España, Op. 165: III. Malagueña
Please, keep in mind the following considerations:
- The use of this formula is meant to be used for standard Classical repertoires. The application of this is more flexible in Modern and Contemporary compositions.
- It is important that the use of the numbers, abbreviations and slang - such as “Arr.”, “Op.”, “BWV” etc. - remains consistent all along the release. Please, keep in mind it is the same for European - Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si - and American - C, D, E, F, G, A, B - notation systems.
- Please, in case the use of “flat” and “sharp” is mandatory in the use of the piece, write down the word instead of their symbols - “♭” and “#”.
- Even if the tonality of a piece is minor, please, write down the word with the first letter in capital letters - “Minor” instead of “minor”. Language rules are applied the same way in all the releases.
- Instrumental pieces still have to include the tag “no linguistic content” at the language field of each track - if it is required.
About arrangements, variations and hommages
1. Arrangements. If an arrangement of a preexisting piece is done, it must be indicated as an arrangement at the track version level and define which instrument(s) execute it.
2. Arrangers. Besides the fact they are performers or not, arrangers must be mentioned as composers. That means that, in case it is required, they must have that role at both album and track level keeping in mind all the previous mentioned rules about composers.
3. Variations. Unless the original piece is by itself a variation, variations done by the own artist must be named at the track version level.
4. Tributes. Hommages are allowed only for Classical music and its subgenres.
Cover art considerations
Requirements about cover images is the same as for current releases. Check “Cover Art Requirements” for further information.
As an exception for Classical music, we accept the name of the instrument of the performer or the name of the role in the cover; this is also valid for conductors, arrangers and other related roles.