International Standard Recording Code

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The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is an international standard code for uniquely identifying sound recordings and music video recordings. The code was developed by the recording industry in conjunction with the ISO technical committee 46, subcommittee 9 (TC 46/SC 9), which codified the standard as ISO 3901 in 1986, and updated it in 2001.

An ISRC identifies a particular recording, not the work (composition and lyrical content) itself. Therefore, different recordings, edits, and remixes of the same work should each have their own ISRC. Works are identified by ISWC. Recordings remastered or revised in other ways are usually assigned a new ISRC.


ISO 3901 was completed in 1986. In 1988, the IFPI recommended that its member companies adopt ISRCs for music videos. In 1989, the ISO designated the IFPI as the registration authority for ISRCs. The IFPI, in turn, delegated part of the administration of ISRCs to several dozen national agencies, which allocate ISRCs to both record companies and individuals. The national agencies began assigning ISRCs for music videos in August 1989.

The Japanese recording industry began encoding ISRCs on audio CDs in November 1989. The IFPI and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) then developed detailed recommendations for this practice, and for ISRC assignment in general. The IFPI adopted the recommendations in March 1991 and they went into effect for IFPI members on 1 January 1992.


ISRC Code Example

ISRC codes are always 12 characters long, in the form "CC-XXX-YY-NNNNN". The hyphens are not part of the ISRC code itself, but codes are often presented that way in print to make them easier to read. The four parts are as follows:


A recording of the song "Crazy Eyes" by American duo Daryl Hall & John Oates has been allocated the ISRC code USRC17607839:

Embedding ISRC in files

ISRC may be embedded in most file formats as metadata. Example formats include MP3, M4A, AAC, FLAC, OGG, and WAV for audio and MP4, M4V, or MKV for video.

Metadata formats are not generally interchangeable as format converters may fail to translate the data. As a result, it is recommended to perform the embedding separately for each format.

Obtaining ISRCs

The provision of ISRCs is overseen by appointed national ISRC agencies. These national ISRC agencies issue codes directly to the public and may also utilize authorized ISRC Managers to issue ISRCs. In the United States, the appointed agency is RIAA. ISRC codes can be obtained in large blocks directly from RIAA for an administrative fee ($95 at time of this publication), in quantities as little as 1 from ($2-$5), or in conjunction with other music-related services from other authorized ISRC managers. In territories where there is no national ISRC agency, users can obtain ISRC codes directly from IFPI or from, Quansic and Sound Credit.

See also


  1. ^ "International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) Handbook – 4th Edition, 2021, International ISRC Registration Authority A.10.1 A re-mastered version of a recording is created". Retrieved 2022-10-01.
  2. ^ "Resources – ISRC – Handbook (incorporating the ISRC Practical Guide) s321" (PDF).
  3. ^ ISRC Bulletin 2015/01 – Validating an ISRC
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2012-07-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-11-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archive — International Standard Recording Code". Archived from the original on 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  7. ^ "ISRC Embedding Guide —".
  8. ^ "List of Approved ISRC Managers". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  9. ^ "Sound Credit Releases Version 6 – A 'New Standard for Transferring Music' Aims to Resolve the Metadata Crisis, 2023". 14 April 2023. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
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