Embedding ISRC Codes


If you’re releasing a CD, all of your song titles, your artist and album name, UPC and most importantly, ISRC meta data can be embedded in the master CD. This embedded info will show up on CD players capable of reading track names, but surprisingly, it won’t show up when you put the CD in a computer.

Getting your song titles and other artist info to show up in software like iTunes is a little different than getting song titles to show up on a physical CD player. The easiest way to get your CD info to show up when people put it in their computer is to put your first master CD into your computer, open it iTunes and add the artist name, song names etc by hand. After doing this, you’ll need to register this info with an online database called GraceNote that will recall this info every time one of your fans pops your CD in their computer. To do this, after you’ve entered all the info in iTunes, select the “Advanced” menu, and then “Submit CD Track Names…” You can enter all the data about your CD into GraceNote except for the most important stuff….the ISRC and UPC codes.

ISRC codes are used to identify a song by giving it a digital finger print that is used to track how many times a song is played on TV or radio and what royalties are due to the song’s owner. Labels also often use this info to see how much attention an unsigned artist is getting before signing them. Getting ISRC codes for your music is a little different in each country. Some countries have an online registration system, and others require you to e-mail your nation’s ISRC agency. In the USA, codes can be registered for at: https://usisrc.org and typically only take 24-48 hours to register. You can find your nations agency by going here: http://www.ifpi.org/content/section_resources/isrc_agencies.html .

UPC codes are similar, but are used to track the sales of a product and can be embedded in a CD as well. Like with ISRC codes, labels often track the number of sales an artist has had with this info, so it can be very important. You can typically get a UPC code for free from your CD manufacturer, but they can also be purchased online.

Make sure before sending your mixes in for mastering that you’ve done everything you need to get your mixes ready for mastering.

 

About Chris Graham

Chris Graham is an audio mastering engineer out of Columbus, Ohio, USA.