Please do your best to submit lossless music files, that is, WAV, AIFF or FLAC format.
If you are not 100% positive that your tracks are 100% FCC-clean, please contact me at email@example.com BEFORE submittal. Let’s not risk removal of me as a host because of carelessness or cluelessness, okay? Please review this reference.
Here’s another excellent reference for good practice: PRX Guidelines
These are the only filetypes that are CD quality. MP3 and M4a are lossy, and even the highest bit rate conversion doesn’t overcome this. Please don’t convert a lossy file to a lossless format. An inferior file can’t be made better after the fact, the same way an enlarged cellphone photo can’t be made less grainy by taking a photo of the cellphone photo with an expensive DSLR.
When I’m developing a show playlist, I limit lossy files to 5 of the 35 tracks. By sending MP3s and similar, you limit your chance to be heard. There are more of us in the broadcast industry than you may realize. My longest-tenure station, for example, asked hosts to avoid lossy files, and was very reluctant to load these files onto the server for widespread use across shows.
Sometimes artists only have MP3s on hand, maybe because the recording engineer only provided them, and maybe because the artist didn’t ask for the lossless files. Just go back and ask the engineer.
Because WAVs, AIFFs and FLACs can be large, emailing is often not feasible. Many artists and labels use Dropbox, Google Drive or equivalent to deliver files. In either case, please direct files to firstname.lastname@example.org. If needed, I can provide you an upload folder. Thanks.
If you have a full album or EP, please send everything instead of one or two tracks. Your favorite may not be mine, and the mood one day can be different the next. (1/16/24 addition) Perhaps most importantly, a full release in hand is required for the annual TSS Top Ten Albums review process. From experience, I know that publicists prefer singles releases, but then neglect to send the full album at the end of the process.
If you’re interested in sending a radio drop, here’s some sample text:
“This is <artist> of <act>, and you’re listening to The Soul Show!”
Please treat this as seriously as you would a music submittal: free of background noise, don’t peg the meter, echo-free. If you’re not in the studio, the trick I use is stuffing a down coat or pillows in a big box (or laundry basket), then pushing the cellphone deep into the cavity, then bringing my face right to the box, then speaking. This is what I had to do for voicing the opening narration of the Betty Davis biopic.
Please don’t add material that can make it outdated later. The Soul Show’s episodes are evergreen. Thanks!