Guide to registering audio files online

Tips and advice regarding the online copyright registration of audio files.

Files to use

It is possible to upload audio files of any type but we recommend that, wherever possible, MP3 files are used as the MP3 format typically gives the best trade off between space an quality.

Warnings about specific file types:

  1. CDA files (on CDs)

    When you look at the contents of a CD via your computer, you will see files such as ‘Track01.cda’ etc. These files do not contain the audio tracks. If you attempt to copy a .cda file from the CD to your hard disk the file will contain no audio data. Similarly, if you attempted to upload a .cda file, the file you sent will contain no audio data.

    It is quite common for people to try to upload directly from a CD, but, because these files contain no audio data, our online registration systems will warn you if you try to upload these types of files. In order to upload your audio files you will need some software that converts the data on the CD to audio files on your hard drive, and use these files when you register on-line.

  2. Playlist files

    Many software applications create play list files that act as pointers to audio files on your computer (and typically specify a playing order). Playlist file types will vary between applications, but the most common file extensions used are .wpl (used by Windows Media Player) and .m3u (used by a lot of open source applications and WinAmp).

    Playlist files do not contain audio data. It is the actual audio files that the playlist ‘points to’ that should be uploaded.

If in doubt, always check the size of the files you are uploading: CDA files, playlist files and other file pointers will be very small, perhaps a few kilobytes, while files containing audio will tend to be several megabytes in size.

Converting CDs and audio files to MP3s

If you use the online registration facility to upload your songs, we strongly recommend that you to convert the tracks to MP3 files, as this will greatly reduce the time you spend uploading and reduce costs. For this you should use an audio conversion ‘ripping’ program.

  • iTunes includes a CD ripping facility, and is available for both the Apple Mac and Windows.
  • For Windows, a program such as CDex, which is available free of charge via cdexos.sourceforge.net can also be used to convert any CD or audio .wav files to MP3 files on your PC, which can then be uploaded.
  • For Linux users various CD ripping applications (such as Sound Juicer) are available depending on the distribution and desktop. Normally OGG is the default output format for Linux (and this format is fine for registration), though MP3 can be enabled by installing the lame MP3 codex.

Upload times for MP3 files

On most broadband connections you should expect an upload speed of between 1 and 2MB/min, so each MP3 file should take a few minutes to upload.