CC-XXX-YY-NNNNN: What’s an ISRC?

We assign ISRCs to each song that Bad Timing releases, but we didn’t know that we had to do that when we set up shop. What is an ISRC?

From Wikipedia:

The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is an international standard code for uniquely identifying sound recordings and music video recordings.

ISRCs look like this: CC-XXX-YY-NNNNN

  • CC: Country code
  • XXX: Registrant code for the individual record label/entity
  • YY: Last two digits of the year code it is assigned in
  • NNNNN: The first three N’s represent the last three digits of the catalog number and the final two N’s represent the specific track number

For example, “Humbug” from Future Crooks’ Future Crooks in Paradise has the ISRC: QM-87M-14–01001. The album was released in 2014, represented Bad Timing’s 10th release, and the song “Humbug” was the opening track. Alphanumerics, baby.

If you have a small record label and have not yet registered for an ISRC prefix, you can do so for around $100.

A much more in-depth guide to ISRCs can be downloaded here.