What are ID3 Tags and why do I need them for my podcast?

ID3 tags are used to help listeners get more context around your specific podcast and episode by including data into the .mp3 file of your podcast episode.

What ID3 tags are:  

ID3 is essentially a metadata container that allows you to insert data into a file itself.  Let’s take the example of a .mp3 file.  When you export a final version of your podcast file in a .mp3 format, you have the ability to add details into the file itself such as:

    • Podcast Title
    • Episode Name
    • Author
    • Date of release
    • Show Cover Art
    • Description and more

If you have ever downloaded images onto your computer from your camera, you will notice there is usually a ‘Date Taken’ (i.e. when the photo was taken on a specific date).  This date ‘info’ is stored in the file that has been taken off the camera and was added to the file by the camera itself.

Should I add ID3 tags into my podcast episode files?

The short answer is yes you should because it adds another layer of data that can be presented to your listener.

Here is an example that illustrates why it can be important for a listener:

Let’s assume a potentially new listener happens to stumble across your website via a google search and they land on a blog post that has your podcast episode on it.  They may decide to download the .mp3 file and listen to it later directly from his computer.  If you have added ID3 tags to the file then the user will be able to identify the file with your branding (cover art) and when he opens it in a media player, the description, title and all other details could show up, giving them great to context to what they are listening too.

How does my podcast feed data work with the actual .mp3 metadata:

Your iTunes / Podcast feed (xml) is responsible for all of the main data of your podcast show and episode details.  Your ID3 tags will for the most part not override the data in your feed but supplement it in certain cases as illustrated in the above example.

Learn more about the ListenDeck audio production system.