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Published by: Artist Recording on Dec 20, 2012
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ISRC codes and How to Get Them ISRC codes are an important way to help you, the recording

owner, get paid. They are involved in radio play (analog or digital), CD purchases and digital purchases of both albums and individual songs. They are used by Ascap, BMI, Sesac etc. to track your music’s airplay. ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code. It’s twelve digits long, and uniquely identifies each of your sound recordings (not songs – sound recordings) and music video recordings. Meaning, if you have a Main version of a song, a Clean version, an Instrumental version, etc – each version receives a different ISRC code, as they are different sound recordings. If you make a Radio Edit – that gets its own ISRC code as well. ISRCs are about unique recordings – not about individual songs. Every registrant (i.e. you, the owner of the sound recording) within a territory is given a 3digit registrant code, which can be used to construct up to 100,000 unique codes (for individual recordings) per year. To get a registrant code, head over to https://usisrc.org and sign up. For independent musicians looking to register their own music, there is a one-time fee of $75. Pay it once, and you never have to pay it again, no matter how many sound recordings you make. When you sign up and they process your payment, you’ll soon receive an email with a 3-digit registrant code. I know it doesn’t look like much, but this is all you really need from the website. Below is a sample ISRC code broken down into its’ parts: US – 8LM – 07 – 00014 US: This is the country code, for the US. 8LM: This is the 3-digit registrant code assigned to you by the RIAA, which is unique to you and your sound recordings. 07: This denotes the year of registration. So, in this example, “My Awesome Song” was registered in 2007. 00014: These last five digits are how you catalog and identify each song individually. These numbers are created by you not the RIAA. Some things you should take note of: It is up to you to catalog and keep a record of your songs, time lengths, and the ISRC codes that are attached to them. The US ISRC Agency does not do this for you. All they give you is the code. In the FAQ section there is a downloadable Excel template for filling in and submitting your song titles and corresponding ISRC codes. Once attached to a particular recording, ISRC codes NEVER change, even if the recording changes ownership. The year section of the code denotes the year the song was registered – and has no connection to its release date, year or origin, or anything else. ISRCs are encoded when a master is made – regardless of whether it is a PMCD or a DDPi File Set (these are the two different formats for a master disc sent to the plant for duplication). They will be embedded within the TOC (table of contents), which also contains information about the start and end times of each song. When the duplication facility uses this master to duplicate the master, those ISRC codes follow along with every copy made. A last note:

ISRCs encoded into the TOC have NOTHING to do with a) CD Text b) iTunes. CD Text can optionally be included on a master – which means that sometimes, on some car radios, the song titles will show up. Sometimes they won’t. This is pretty much the only use CD Text has. If you would like your song titles, credits, artist name, etc to show up on iTunes, you need to do it yourself. They have their own database (CDDB). It’s easy to do: 1. Put your CD in your computer, and open iTunes. You don’t need to import it. 2. Fill out all the information using the Get Info window. 3. Highlight your whole album, and then choose “Submit CD Track Names” from the Advanced Menu. Hope this helps to clear up some of the confusion of this common subject. ISRCs were developed by the International Organization for Standardizations (ISO), and have been recommended as an international means of identification by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) since 1988. This international group delegates responsibility to different national territories. Different territories have different Country Codes (ours is – you guessed it – US) and the agency in charge of the US is called the US ISRC Agency, which was authorized by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

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