digitalmusicnarmEntertainment lawyers may need to park an additional reference work next to those well-thumbed copies of Strunk & White and The Bluebook: There’s a new style guide for the music industry, as reported in deft fashion in the Wall Street Journal.

While the 24-page rulebook tackles concerns about ampersands, capitalization and orders of mention, the work, as its issuers detail, also “outlines a set of metadata guidelines that can be used by musicians, managers, and labels to improve data quality for artist, track, and album information through common naming conventions and data entry standards. This, in turn, will allow digital retailers to create a more efficient ingestion process for songs, albums, music videos, ringtones, and any other product that contains music metadata and make it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for, leading to increased sales.”

Alas, here’s a fond sigh for the days of liner notes and know-it-all slacker clerks at record or CD shops. Want a copy? Go here.