Communicating focus tracks in MEAD and PIE

A “focus track” is a recording that is receiving significant attention at a specific point in time and is therefore a focal point for an artist. Record companies use this aspect when marketing new releases from an artist.

A sound recording can be designated as a FocusTrack using either PIE and in a similar way, PIE allows to designate an entire album or a musical work as being a FocusRelease or FocusWork.

The following information can be provided (all elements are optional):

  • The identity (ID and/or title) of the album/recording/work is a focus creation;

  • The name and/or identifier of the artist whose album/recording/work is a focus creation;

  • The writer of the work;

  • If there are multiple focal creations for an artist these creations can be sequenced by importance;

  • When and in which territory the album/recording/work is a focus creation; and

  • A comment.


In addition, PIE’s Focus composite allows to signal who it is that claims that the focus information as given is correct using the MetadataSourceReference tag.

The attached example alerts the recipient that Norah Jones “Don't Know Why” be her focus track in December 2022 in the US and Canada.

 PIE 1.0 sample
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<pie:PieMessage xmlns:pie=""
    AvsVersionId="3" LanguageAndScriptCode="en">
                    <Name>Norah Jones</Name>
                            <Title>Don't Know Why</Title>


(The initial version of MEAD also had the ability to communicate focus tracks as MEAD 1.0 was able to provide rich metadata about works, recordings and releases as well as rich metadata about parties. With the introduction of the PIE standard, the ability to provide data about parties has been removed from MEAD.)