Bar Codes, ISRC Codes, and CD Text

Bar Code

Do I need a bar code?

Bar codes incorporate SoundScan technology, which monitors and tracks albums that are sold in a store. It’s used to create placement and ranking charts, etc. It is universally scanable anywhere. At the very least, it’s useful for tracking sales and allowing the stores to identify your product. If you only use digital distribution, a bar code is virtually useless. It is necessary if you wish to sell your product in a store, however.


What is an ISRC code?

An ISRC code, or International Sound Recording Code, is a unique, 12 character long code that identifies a particular recording of a song or music video by the country of recording, the company or organization that registered it, the year of registration and the recording number itself. This information can be encoded into a CD for easy retrieval.

These codes identify unique recordings of particular works. They are increasingly being used by major download sites, digital distribution companies and collecting societies to help determine which recordings are subject to distribution royalties and royalties from digital performances. Every version of a song gets its own ISRC code. If you’ve made several versions of a song, each code will be unique and will help you identify which is which, but you can’t reverse lookup the data on a song to get information about you using an ISRC code.

For more information see:

CD Text

What is CD Text?

CD text is a format extension of the CD encoding process that stores additional information such as artist name, song name, or album name on a physical audio disc. Many CD players can read and display this information natively, so you can see right away who made the song, what its name is, etc.

Do I need CD Text?

The short answer is no, but many CD players support this handy feature and it’s a convenience more than anything. The downside is that older CD players usually will not play these CDs because they aren’t formatted the way these CD players need them to be formatted.