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What are ISRC codes and how do I apply for them?


Written by David Mackie Scouller at Dynamic Mastering Services

What are ISRC codes?

ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code. This code provides the means to automatically identify recordings
to track royalties from radio airplay and online distribution channels.

How do they work?

The ISRC is made up of 4 parts as follows:


Part 1 is the "Country Code" which is made up of two letters which represent the country where the registrant lives. In this
case "UK" represents the United Kingdom. This code would be issued by the PPL who are the UK's ISRC agency.

Part 2 is the unique "Registrant Code" made up of 3 alpha numeric digits. This code would be assigned to you as an artist,
band or record label. In this case "LMD" is Lost My Dog Records unique code.

Part 3 is the "Year Of Reference". This code is made up of the last two digits of the year and is assigned by yourself. In this
case "16" represents 2016.

Part 4 is the "Designation Code". This code is made up of 5 digits and represents a single recording. This number is
assigned by yourself. In this case "00001" would be the first track released by Lost My Dog Records in 2016. 00002 would
be the second track released 00003 the third release and so on. This number must not be repeated in the same year to
avoid duplicates.
I have some old unreleased tracks that are coded. Do I need a new ISRC?

ISRC codes are only assigned once and last the lifetime of the recording. For example if your tracks were coded in 2014
but did not get released until 2016 then they would not need to have a new ISRC.

These are some of the modifications that would require new ISRC codes:

Restoration of historical recordings

Changes in playing time

I remastered a lot of the Lost My Dog Records back catalogue for reissue on compilations. These remasters were given
new ISRC codes.

How do I apply for my ISRC codes?

As an artist, band or record label you can apply for an ISRC registrant code. To obtain your ISRC registrant code you
must apply to your National ISRC Agency.

How are my ISRC codes used in mastering?


ISRC codes are encoded into the CD as part of the disc mastering process which your mastering engineer will do for you.

Digital Distribution

Most forms of digital distribution allow the inclusion of ISRC. When uploading your masters to your digital distributor you will
be given the option to supply your ISRC codes.


Your ISRC codes can be embedded into the ID3 tag of your MP3s along with artwork. Your mastering engineer will be able
to do this for you.

What are ISRC codes and how do I apply for them?