ISRC UPC/EAN

Some info on ISRC and UPC/EAN

(© Jeffrey de Gans v1.6, 15 October 2019)

 

In the past ISRC codes where used for CDs, they where embedded on a CD and there was no spotify, iTunes, Deezer etc. All CDs where released through recordlabels and those labels knew about ISRC codes and delivered them to the Mastering-engineer who embedded them into the CD. As an artist you most likely didn’t even know ISRC codes excisted let alone know how to handle them. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

 

This is a fictive ISRC code, but all codes have the same structure.

NL-ABC-19-00101

NL is the countrycode, so for the Netherlands it’s NL, Sweden SE, Belgium BE etc
ABC is the repetoir code, this is what you get assigned and is ‘your own code’
19 is the year of registration, so 19 is 2019
00101 is the recording code.

You are responsible for recording code/number and it’s good practice to have a good administration for this. To make things easy I advise on numbering so that the last 2 digits are the tracknumber (NL-ABC-19-00101) and the first 3 digits are the release number (NL-ABC-19-00101). This way its easier to track, because from the number itself you can see which release it’s coming from. So the codes for 2 releases/albums/EP’s could look like this:

Best practice A  little less practical option
release #1

track 1 NL-ABC-19-00101
track 2 NL-ABC-19-00102
track 3 NL-ABC-19-00103

release #2

track 1 NL-ABC-19-00201
track 2 NL-ABC-19-00202
track 3 NL-ABC-19-00203
track 4 NL-ABC-19-00204

release #1

track 1 NL-ABC-19-00001
track 2 NL-ABC-19-00002
track 3 NL-ABC-19-00003

release #2

track 1 NL-ABC-19-00004
track 2 NL-ABC-19-00005
track 3 NL-ABC-19-00006
track 3 NL-ABC-19-00007

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If you want to download this information as a PDF, please follow this link.

I hope this information helped you to understand how ISRC and UPC/EAN codes work and how to use them and how to get them. If you still have questions, feel free to ask.

With kind regards,

“Mastering is the final step before your music is released to the world. I take that very seriously.”