Tags & Codes

ISRC Codes, CD Text, and the Gracenote Database

If you would like me to embed ISRC codes on your CD master I can do that for no additional charge. You must generate your own codes. Become an ISRC registrant at: http://www.usisrc.org/

Some people think ISRC's are essential, other think they really don't do much these days. Radio stations, etc. are required to track royalties by artist, title, etc., with or without an ISRC. It certainly can't hurt to have them, but if you don't have them I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's probably more important to register with ASCAP/BMI/SESAC and to copyright your original recordings.

Often when burning master CDs or creating DDPs for duplication I will include CD text. This is read by some home and car CD players so that they can display artist and title information while playing. Most computer players don't read CD text though - instead they look up that information from an online database. Gracenote is the biggest online database, although there are some others. When your CDs come back from duplication it's a good idea to update the Gracenote database, and here's how to do it: with instructions from Gracenote.

If you're going to be creating and distributing MP3 files they should be tagged with Artist, Album and Song Title information. Some digital distributors such as Bandcamp will create and tag MP3s (etc) from CD-quality WAV masters, which is what I provide as a final delivery format. If you're creating MP3s on your own I suggest encoding them with the LAME codec at 320k fixed-rate. These files can be tagged in most media player software such as iTunes or Windows Media Player, or a dedicated tagging program such as Tag & Rename. I can provide fully tagged release-ready MP3s for you, but depending on the project I may charge $30 for that service. I can also provide fully tagged WAV files.