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indieHD File Naming Conventions for Full-Album ZIP Uploads/Imports

Overview of indieHD File Naming Conventions

File naming conventions are necessary for us to be able to perform certain operations in a programmatic fashion. We're able to extract most of an album's meta-data from a single ZIP file, which means that artists do not have to enter the album name, release year, and track titles into our website manually.

The momentous time-savings come at a price, albeit a small price. The ZIP file, as well as the files contained therein, must be named carefully and in accordance with a particular set of standards. It is impossible for us to determine an album's title and release year from a file name unless both pieces of information are included in the file name. Likewise, it is impossible for us to determine each track's order and title unless each audio file is named in a very specific way.

These naming standards are not intended for our own benefit, but rather, that of artists and their fans. A consistent naming standard removes the guess-work from processing large batches of audio files automatically. Such a standard also ensures that customers who download music are treated to consistent file names and organized album structures.

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Permitted Characters

The following characters are allowed:

  • English letters A-Z (case-insensitive)
  • Numbers 0-9
  • Minus sign (dash): -
  • Comma: ,
  • Apostrophe (single-quote): '
  • Exclamation point: !
  • Square bracket: [ or ]
  • Period: .
  • Underscore: _

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Naming Audio Files

The FLAC audio file names must adhere to the following pattern:

[Two-Digit Track Number] [Track Title][ (Alternate Track Title)]

The [ (Alternate Track Title)] is optional.

Valid examples include:

  • 01 Stuck in A Crowd.flac
  • 14 Various Artists - The Illest of the Ill (For Me [and for Her]).flac

IMPORTANT: Just because dashes (-) are legal characters doesn't mean that your artist name should be included in the track title. In fact, we strongly advise against including the artist name in each track title unless the album is some sort of compliation and various artists must be given per-track credits.

Invalid examples include:

  • 1 Stuck in A Crowd.flac

The above example is invalid because the track number is not zero-padded (e.g. 01).

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Naming the ZIP File

The ZIP file (into which the above audio files are packed) must be named in accordance with the following pattern:

[Artist Name][ (Alternate Artist Name)] - [Album Name][ (Alternate Album Name)] [(Album Release Year)]

The [(Alternate Artist Name)] and [(Alternate Album Name)] are optional.

Valid examples include:

  • Alpha Rev - Demo (2005).zip
  • 80's Style (Just Joey Now) - A Collection of Sad Songs (It Was All [for Nothing]).zip

Invalid examples include:

  • Alpha Rev Demo

The above example is invalid because there must be a dash (-) between the artist name and the album title, and the album year must be enclosed in perentheses.

If you have any feedback regarding this tutorial, just let us know!

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Why indieHD?

The indieHD project provides an e-commerce framework that enables independent musicians to sell their own music while keeping all profits. Artists may join the indieHD community free of charge, and are free to close their accounts at any time — no long-term contract, no fine-print. Learn More »