Best Practices for Managing Songs


Tip #1: It starts at the top - entering accurate song information into your automation system greatly increases your chances of a successful auto-match within TagStation.

When a music event (a song) airs, TagStation receives data about the event: Artist Name, Song Title, CUT ID, duration and Album Title (if available).

The first time TagStation receives data for a music event, it is used to search the Gracenote music database for matching meta-data and artwork (something we call "enhanced content.")

When Gracenote returns matching enhanced content it "matches" this content with the music event received from automation.  We call this an auto-matched song (pending.png) because TagStation has automatically matched enhanced content to the song.

From this point forward, when the auto-matched song airs, TagStation delivers the matching enhanced content to receiving devices.

Rules for auto-matching are intentionally strict; if a word is misspelled, the song title is truncated, or there are other inconsistencies that make it difficult for TagStation to determine an exact match, the song will be added to the library as an Unmatched song (expired.png).

To ensure a high level of auto-matching within TagStation, make sure the song title and artist name entered into the automation system are consistent with the official song title and artist name. Do a quick search on Wikipedia, Amazon, or the iTunes Music Store if you need an official listing reference.

Tip #2: Get ahead of the game - upload new songs before they are played over the air.

If you know the cut ID, artist name, and song title that will be used in your automation system, you can upload that song, or an entire list of songs.  Doing so enables you to confirm, change or customize the enahnced content associated wit the song, before it airs.  This ensures new songs will display as you would like them to,the first time they air.

Note: The cut ID, artist name and song title you upload to TagStation must match EXACTLY with the information entered into your automation system. Any deviation will cause TagStation to ignore the uploaded meta data, and process the song as a new song, attempting to make a brand new match using the variation from the automation system. 


The following two music events will be interpreted as two different songs by TagStation. The first example is song information uploaded to TagStation. The second example is the song information that actually played through the automation system.

"HM8022  /  Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers  /  American Girl"

"HM8022  /  Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers /  American Girl"


Tip #3: Do not edit song information in your automation system once a music event has been added to your TagStation song library - doing so will create duplicates.

Any changes to the song title, artist name, or cut ID from within your automation system will cause the music event in question to be treated as a new instance of the event (in TagStation) - the next time it plays over the air. TagStation relies on the original combination of song title, artist name, and cut ID as received from the automation system in order to serve the enhanced content associated with it.


A music event with the following song information is played by the automation system for the first time and added to the TagStation song library:

"146598  /  Pink Floyd  /  Wish You Were Here"

The song is then further customized from within TagStation by uploading custom album art and adding the name of a rare live album which the song is pulled from. Someone then edits the song information in the automation system a week later to add "Live" to the song title, and the next time it plays over the air it is sent to TagStation in its new form:

"146598  /  Pink Floyd  /  Wish You Were Here (Live)"

Even though the cut ID and artist name remain the same, the slightest change made to any of the song information in the automation system will force TagStation to reprocess the event and create a new record for the song in the song library. The customizations made to the original version of the song within TagStation will have to be recreated for the new record.


Tip #4: Review your auto-matches to ensure the matched album is correct and features the artwork you'd like to broadcast.

If you are happy with the match automatically made by TagStation, click the "Confirm" button that appears below the Cut ID when an auto-matched song is selected in the song list. Confirming auto-matches is an easy way to keep all of the songs you've reviewed in TagStation organized under the Matched status.


Gracenote may find multiple albums from the same artist that include the song you're matching. In some instances the auto-match may be made to a Greatest Hits album or a Live album even though you'd prefer it match to the original recording. Double-check the matched album and artwork by hovering over the magnifying glass icon in the song list. If it's not what you want, click the "Change Match" button and search for your preferred album.


Tip #5: If you're having trouble finding a match when searching the Gracenote database, try reducing your search down to core keywords that will improve your ability to find a match.

Unmatched songs are often the result of an incomplete title or artist, a misspelling, or a punctuation error. If it's not immediately obvious why a particular song can't be matched, try searching the first few words of the song title without the artist name, or if you know the album you're looking for, try searching for the album name without a song title or artist name. Songs with multiple featured artists can often be found if the search is done using the core artist's name only.


The following song is added to TagStation as an Unmatched song:

"7846  /  Drake, T.I. & Swizz Beatz  /  Fancy"

Searching those exact parameters in the Gracenote search won't return any matches. Reducing the number of artists in the search down to the core artist ("Drake") and the song title ("Fancy") will produce a list of correct matches. Find your match then click the grey "C" icon to Match, then customize.  Doing so will add the available Gracenote data and enable you to customize additional details (e.g. add the other featured artists to the Artist field and save). Your song will now appear under the Customized category in TagStation.


Related Content:  Managing Songs
Related Content: Uploading aSong List or Single Song
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