How to Get Your Audio Files Ready for Distribution

Not too long ago we were on a formatting kick.  We went over how to correctly enter your release information, and then we covered artwork, so now we’re talking audio, arguably your most important distribution asset.

Stay with us as we tackle everything audio.


Required Format

iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other digital stores have certain requirements when it comes to the audio files they accept.  Makes sense, right? They want music with high-quality sound, which makes them, and you, look better.

In order to properly upload your music to TuneCore for distribution to the digital stores, all audio files need to meet certain specs.

Audio Format Checklist:

– 16 bit (sample size)
– 44.1 kHz (sample rate)
– 1411 kbps (bit rate) stereo WAV files

How to Convert

If the words above don’t mean much to you (bit rate? whaaa?), we can help.

You can use your iTunes store application to convert your files into the required format.

Just click here for step-by-step instructions on converting your audio through iTunes.

If you’re using an audio converting website that is not professional software or iTunes, it’s a good idea to convert your audio again in iTunes afterwards, just to make sure the files are in tip top shape for distribution.  Some converting programs can hide coding within your files, which can make them unrecognizable by the digital stores.

Don’t Embed!

Artists often ask us if they can embed metadata (e.g. producer and composer information, band websites, or even artwork) into their audio files.  Unfortunately the answer is no—the digital stores don’t accept these kinds of files.  If you upload embedded files into your TuneCore account, this will likely cause a delivery issue and result in your music not going live in stores.

But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get your important release information to the stores. During the distribution process you’re prompted to enter your album title, artist name, song titles, genre, etc., and we send that information to the digital stores to be displayed with your album.

Press Play

After you upload your tracks in your TuneCore account, you’ll see that a ‘play’ button has appeared next to each song listing. Take a listen and make sure you uploaded the correct file.

Don’t be alarmed if the playback of your song isn’t as high in quality as your original file.  This lower quality is only in the playback feature, and does not affect the file going to stores. We deliver the highest-quality file that each store accepts, usually the exact same file that you uploaded.

As always, if you stumble at any point in the process, please let us know so we can give you a hand!

Ready to upload your songs and get them to the digital stores? Start here.

  • alicia

    what if the song uploaded but the play button didnt show or disappeared? is it still good?

    • tunecore

      Hey Alicia,

      Sorry about the confusion with your playback buttons! This is just a visual glitch that unfortunately affects some releases in our system even when they are uploaded in the correct format: 16 bit (sample size), 44.1 kHz (sample rate), 1411 kbps (bit rate) stereo WAV files. Please just double-checked your audio files and make sure they are in the correct format. As long as they are, and the file names in your account match the file names on your computer, you have nothing to worry about.

      Please note, TuneCore does not manipulate your audio files in any way. Exactly what you upload to your account is what is going to be sent to stores.

  • Sam Witvicky

    I’ve the same issue after Mp3 Songs Online are uploaded there ain’t any play button

    • tunecore

      Hi Sam,

      Sorry about that! It’s a visual glitch that unfortunately affects some uploaded releases, even when the releases are in the correct format. We encourage you to double check your audio files and make sure they’re in the right format: 16 bit (sample size), 44.1 kHz (sample rate), 1411 kbps (bit rate) stereo WAV files. If they’re formatted correctly and the file names in your account match those on your computer, you should be all set!

  • Martin George

    Hmm – okay, well this is just a little too late for my first upload. Do you guys not think it might be a good idea to have a bullet pointed checklist displayed on the file upload page maybe? I’m a little surprised ‘Amazon MP3’ won’t accept .mp3 format – seems somewhat ironic but from a technical perspective that does make sense. The real show stopper for me was embedded info which of course i happily added to my .mp3. I’m guessing i have no option but to part with a further $9.99 and re-upload correct?

    • tunecore

      Hi Martin – sorry to hear that you’re having some upload problems! Please contact our customer support, and they’ll be happy to help you ASAP:

  • Scott James

    Do the digital stores do the conversion to mp3 or does TuneCore?

    • tunecore

      Hey Scott – the stores convert on their end, while TuneCore is required to send the files in WAV format.

      • Scott James

        Word. Thanks for the quick answer!

        • tunecore

          You got it, Scott! Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

  • Huey Tilley

    on upload page upload is not opening, getting revert to old file message but no upload window

    • tunecore

      Hi Huey, please contact our customer support, and they’ll be happy to get back to you ASAP:

  • Julio C. Rodriguez

    Hi, im triying to upload my file but I received this message: “Sorry, we could not process your audio file. Please try uploading again.”

  • peerayce

    I made every information available including he artwork but the upload button does not work at all i cant upload my single

    • tunecore

      Hey Peerayce,

      Have you tried uploading in a different browser? Firefox is the preferred browser for us. Let us know!

  • Andy Peyton

    my files are in wav format, they are 44.1 khz, 16-bit, stero, but i’m
    receiving the message, “sorry, we could not process your audio file. Please try
    uploading again.” Not sure what to do.

    • tunecore

      Hi Andy,

      At the risk of sounding like a tech drone, have you attempted to upload using a different browser yet? Our preferred browser is FireFox if you can swing it.

      If you’re way ahead of us on that one and still experiencing issues, please reach out to Artist Support here:

      • Andy Peyton

        Using a different browser fixed the issue. Thanks for the quick reply! :)

        • tunecore

          You got it, Andy! Gotta love an easy fix 😉

          Happy distributing!

  • Alice Strickland

    I reviewed the PC instructions on how to convert the song for iTunes but when I go into the iTunes library I do not see a screen that offer FILE/PREFERENCE… and I’m in the library and highlighted the song I want to upload.

  • Rant

    I am considering using Tunecore for a single release, but after my first look through inputting information, I see nowhere to list composer credits and copyright ownership info. Will I have a chance to do this before the song is committed to distribution? It’s important to me that the correct info is listed when I select “get info” on iTunes, I want to see the two composers listed (one of which is only one name, so if a first AND last name are required this is a big problem), and that the song is copyright to the owners of the song, i.e. no to the artist, who is NOT the copyright owner.

    • tunecore

      Hey there – there’s no field to cover who wrote the composition behind your single, but if you’re looking to ensure that you (the composer/performer) and an additional perfumer get credited, you can list the other performer as a ‘Featured Artist’.

      As for the copyright info, iTunes will typically credit who you include as a label. You can put copyright owner information in the Label field. Hope that helps!