Did you produce a song? Would you like to forward it to a radio or blog now? This checklist for mp3 should help you to prepare your song correctly. Incorrect bitrates or “compressed to death” songs will be rejected by any radio station that focuses on quality. And just between us: Nobody wants to hear songs in lousy quality anyway. Do you?

Many professional radio stations and promoters require uncompressed WAV files in format 48kHz/24bit. You should check that before shipping. (WAV files are many times larger when shipped!!!). However, this article is about mp3 files.

Inform yourself beforehand!

In any case, you should find out from the radio station in question how you can send them files (email / upload form / shared folder). The target format (mp3 / aiff / wav) is usually also specified there. This takes time, but is more likely to lead to success than wrong shipping, which is then never played anyway!

Which station?

You usually get to radio stations that are in reality only small, private web radio stations with a manageable number of listeners. In my experience, these stations only reach 5 to a maximum of 100 people and are of course happy to receive any submission from small artists. These stations are since 2020 shot out of the ground like mushrooms and can fill up your program and your rotation with your song without paying a cent for copyrights or official permits. You should not expect any feedback from the listeners of small web radio stations. The bigger the radio station, the better your song will be transported. Reach out to one big radio station rather than many small stations with no value.

□ Rock Songs / Band Songs

This article is about rock music that was recorded and mixed in a classical line-up such as drums - bass guitar - keyboards - vocals. Different rules apply to electronic POP music. For these genres, you're on the wrong site here and better look elsewhere.

□ Correct genre

The first thing you should check is whether the station/radio show is playing music of your genre at all. Blindly submitting to a list of stations (of which half are wrong or non-existent, according to experience) hardly leads to success. A reggae or pop station probably won't play your rock song.

□ File name

Take your time and give your song one correct filename in the format “Artist – Song Title.mp3”. Please note this carefully. Your song may end up in an order together with other songs. Two days later nobody knows who owns the song “MyHit2022Master3.mp3”!

□ MP3 tags

Have all your songs correct mp3 Embedded meta tags? MetaTag software is also available free of charge on the Internet as freeware. Metatags are information such as song name, artist, copyright, cover art, ISRC etc. which are inaudible embedded in the song file. If you are new to the topic click here.

Mp3 tag software as part of your mp3 checklist

Link to a freeware mp3 tagger

□ Bit rate

Is your bitrate set correctly? Your song should have a bitrate of 256kbps -320kbps exhibit. In the past, music was often encoded at 64kbps and mono to save space. Not anymore these days.

□ sample rate and bit rate

These two parameters also belong on this checklist for mp3. Although they have been expanded in recent years, I strongly recommend that you work with the worldwide standard to ensure playability on any player. This Standard for mp3 is 44,1kHz / 16 bit. You are welcome to use other values, but then Profi Radio will not play them.

□ Dynamic Range / Loudness

Has your dynamic range been mixed correctly? You can find a description of the delivery in the terms and conditions of each music streaming service. The dynamic range (DR) describes the relationship between volume and compression, i.e. loudness.

Since Spotify is now the market leader, I like to stick to their recommendation. With the “Spotify Loud” setting, we aim for one Loudness by -11LUFS (=(Loudness Units relative to Full Scale) at a maximum TruePeak by -2db away. Incidentally, these settings are also great for pressing CDs!

As an auxiliary tool I can offer you the tool "YouLean Loudness Meter” highly recommend that there is a free and a paid (stand-alone) version. The plug-in runs with me in the studio at every mastering session, I check transmitted files in the office with the "Youlean Loudness Meter Pro". This is what it looks like:

Clicking on the picture opens the homepage. A free online tool is also available!

Frequency Distribution – Frequency Balance

This point is not part of the technical checklist for mp3, but you should definitely include it with your sound engineer discuss. The distribution of frequencies in a rock song is a subject that many self-proclaimed (or even studied) studio engineers can't cope with. In the graphical view, in your song no way narrow Frequency bands standing out. Otherwise it could glare, hum, roar or sneeze. Neither you nor your listeners want that, and certainly not a radio station.

Part of the checklist for mp3: frequency distribution in the graphic analyzer

You can easily find out for yourself; open your favorite mp3 player on a monitor you know well (car? computer? hi-fi system?). Now load two well-known songs from the same genre, place your song between them and listen carefully. At this point at the latest, you will hear exactly whether your song is good or whether you need to have a serious conversation with your sound engineer.


If you find that your song doesn't meet the requirements - especially the frequency distribution - you can save yourself the trouble of submitting your song. Daily will be approx. 100.000 tracks published in questionable quality on the streaming services. These end up as "corpses" on the streaming services or are deleted from radio stations without comment.

When it comes to budget, release a really good acoustic song rather than a bad band production. You are doing yourself and your bandmates a disservice if your song is rejected. Rarely do you get a second chance from a station that has already rejected you.

You are free to mp3 checking service from my studio / label (or check with the Youlean tool, see above). The service is here in my shop to find.

Only now comes the question of whether the station / radio show likes your song, loves it and plays it. Without correct mp3's this question will probably never arise. Good luck!