Knowledge Bank

news category created 8 March 2014 written by Mick Glossop

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code)

Every music audio file is (or should be) assigned an ISRC. This is the string of characters which identifies that music recording as unique, and enables tracking for sales data and performance and composer income. It will also, hopefully in the not too distant future, link each music recording to a central, international database which will hold all of the data pertaining to that recording, e.g. songwriters, performers, studio information and personnel data, including producers and engineers.

ISRC’s are provided by the rights holder of the recording, and delivered to the mastering engineer. In the case of mastering for CD production, the mastering engineer embeds the ISRC into the meta-data of the CD file.

Recently, mastering engineers Barry Grint and Ray Staff from the MPG Mastering Group achieved official recognition by the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) of a new technical standard for the BWAV file format, whereby the IRSC would be inserted into the meta-data of music audio files. This step was essential to achieving international recognition of the need to link all music audio files to the central database.