ISRC And You - What It Means To Register

If you're planning on selling your music through digital retailers (i.e. iTunes, Napster, Sony Connect), then having the ability to assign ISRC codes is absolutely necessary. The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a unique international identifier for tracks on sound and music-video recordings. Comprised of a 12 character alpha-numeric code, the ISRC functions as a digital "fingerprint" for each track. Unlike a UPC code (a.k.a. bar code) the ISRC is assigned to individual tracks and not the carrier of the tracks (CD, cassette). In addition, the ISRC remains allocated to a track regardless of changes in ownership. It is an extremely powerful tool for royalty collection, administration, and anti-piracy safeguards in the digital arena.

The ISRC is made up of four parts:
ISRC Code Diagram


(1) Country Code: The registrant's (sound recording copyright owner) country (2 characters).

(2) Registrant Code: The code of the registrant that allocated the ISRC (3 characters).

(3) Year Of Reference Code: The year in which the ISRC is allocated to the recording (2 characters).

(4) The code assigned to the track by the registrant. This code may not be repeated within the same calendar year (5 characters).

The RIAA assigns registrant codes and answers questions regarding implementation of the ISRC program for free. There is no charge for these services regardless of whether or not you are a member of RIAA. Your implementation of the ISRC is cost effective. It can be done without special investment in equipment or technological measures. It only requires you to develop an internal system for administering ISRCs.

Applying for a registrant (company) code is easy, and best-of-all FREE! This code can be obtained from the RIAA, the national ISRC administration agency for the United States. Membership in the RIAA is not required to obtain a registrant code. The RIAA strongly encourages all U.S. sound recording copyright owners to apply for an ISRC Registrant Code, and assign ISRCs to all tracks.

Simply visit and download the application form in PDF format.

Unless you're having your pressing plant upload the ISRC codes, we'll input them during the final stage of mastering. Our system will allow an ISRC to be associated with each track.

If this still confounds and confuses you to no end, no worries! Nova Sound Laboratories will be happy to assist you with obtaining your ISRC codes at no extra charge.



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