• Tay NoeL

ISRC Codes and What They Mean

According to to, this is their

definition: The International Standard Recording

Code (or ISRC code) is a unique identification

system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC code identifies a specific unique recording and can be permanently encoded into a product as a kind of digital fingerprint.

This is the standard format separated by “-“ in between each value:

Why Do You Need One?

Simply put, no digital store (Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music) will release your song(s) without one. This code is used to track sales data from music downloads and streams. Whether someone is listening to your music in the United States or in Japan the system will automatically recognize your song based on this code.

ISRC codes differ from UPC or bar codes in that bar codes are for full albums or projects. ISRC codes are for individual songs only. For example, if you have an 11 track album, you will have 11 ISRC codes and one UPC/bar code for that album.

Where Do I Get One

There are plenty of companies who offer these with their services and they are not expensive. The company that inspired this post offers them (, if you’re savvy enough you can purchase them for $2 a piece at and embed them yourself. I personally use Distrokid where I distribute my music, simply because once you upload a song it automatically assigns a UPC code and ISRC codes to your individual tracks.


This subject can go more in depth, but for the most part this is essentially what an ISRC code is used for. Most distribution services will take care of this step for you so you don't have to worry about this step. If you are a "do it all" person and want to know the necessary steps to embed them on your own this option is available as well. Hope this post helped you understand a little more about ISRC codes so you're not left out of the loop when this conversion comes up. Have you ever had to embed these codes yourself? Let me know below. Until next time.

Recent Posts

See All