What is an ISRC?
An ISRC is a unique identifier for sound recordings. One code is allocated to each version of a sound recording, and only this code is used for that recording. The ISRC is specific to the recording, and does not apply to the underlying composition.
How long is an ISRC good for?
Once assigned, the ISRC identifies the track throughout its life. No other sound recording should have the same ISRC and only one ISRC should be used to identify a sound recording. The ISRC functions like a vehicle identification number on a car or a serial number on a piece of equipment.
Does the change in ownership affect ISRC?
Changes in ownership do not affect the ISRC. Any time an unchanged sound recording is reused on a new album or single release, a new ISRC is not needed even if there is a new owner of the sound recording.
What kinds of changes to recordings require new ISRCs?
- A sound recording is re-mixed or edited.
- Any edit that changes the length of a track by more than 10 seconds.
- A previously released sound recording is partially used in a compilation.
- A “full restoration” of a historical recording is performed by re-mastering, re-pitching, re-equalizing, de-noising or de-clicking a sound recording to meet contemporary quality standards.
- Rebranding- ISRC codes are tied to metadata, and should be changed if rebranding. (Rebranding is not recommended.)
Other situations may also require new ISRCs to be assigned. For a complete description of these situations, you may reference the ISRC handbook.
To get ISRCs:
ISRCs are assigned to your project at the inspection stage. If you need your ISRCs sooner, you can submit a request and we'll assign them to you sooner. In order to assign these codes, you must complete the submission process at least past the point where you submit the track list and pay for your submission.
To find your assigned ISRCs:
To locate your ISRC from inside your account follow the below steps:
- Log in to your account
- Click on the tab “Album & Singles” at the top of the page or “View All Releases” toward the middle of the page.
- Click "view/edit" for the album or single you'd like to view
- On the Title Overview page click on TRACKS
- From here you will see a summary of your track information with the ISRCs listed in the second column
- To get a summary of all the codes, click on the ISRC next to the first track and that will take you to the ISRC page.
ISWC stands for International Standard Music Work Code. Each composition is assigned 1 ISWC by the home performance rights organization upon registration (like BMI or ASCAP in the US). CD Baby does not obtain or assign the ISWC. If you are looking for ISWCs for a specific title, they are typically displayed in the performance rights organizations' public repertoires.
ISRCs for Brazilian Artists
As of July 2022, a new implementation was established in the national phonogram register with ISRCs generated by aggregators.
We repeat! ISRCs generated by CD Baby are valid, and legal and can and should be registered later without any problems.
For more information, check out our DIY blog Somos Musica.