The International Standard Recording Code or short ISRC is an identification system for audio and music video recordings. It is standarized by the IFPI in ISO 3901:2001 and used by IFPI members to assign unique identifiers to every distinct recording they release.
Note that an ISRC number now is used instead of an ISAN (International Standard AudioVisual Number) for music and audio recordings, as well as for music videos, as the ISRC is more specific, and can have IPIs attached to it, whereas the ISAN was not designed for use in combination with IPIs.
The ISRC is a 12-byte alpha-numeric string (only upper-case latin letters and arabic numerals,
[A-Z0-9]) of the form
- C a 2-character country code (containing letters and/or digits)
- O a 3-character owner code (containing letters and/or digits)
- Y a 2-character year code (containing only digits)
- S a 5-character serial number (containing only digits).
The country code defines the country of residence of the owner. The owner code is assigned by the IFPI to its members. The year defines the year in which the ISRC was allocated to the recording. The serial number or designation code is assigned by the owner and allows the distinction of recordings with the same country, year and owner codes.
How does it work?
General information on the allocation of ISRC for recordings
ISRC for Tracks on Audio CDs
ISRC and MusicBrainz
- Documentation and further information about ISRC by the IFPI
- Wikipedia page about ISRC
- GRid, another IFPI standard for identifying releases of music in electronic networks
- ISWC, an ISO standard for identifying musical works
- ISMN, an ISO standard for identifying printed music publications
- Search engine for French recordings provided by SCPP (Société civile des producteurs phonographiques)