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Constructing with Code

The ISRC consists of 4 segments:

COUNTRY CODE: The two characters allocated to you by the US ISRC Agency (US, QM or QZ). If you are unsure about which country code you were assigned, please check your account page before issuing ISRCs.

REGISTRANT CODE: Portion allocated to the Registrant by a National Agency (3 alphanumeric characters).

YEAR OF REFERENCE: The 2-digit year in which the ISRC was assigned to the recording.

DESIGNATION CODE: The code assigned to the sound recording by the registrant. This code may not be repeated within the same calendar year (5 digits). Example: ISRC US-_ _ _-17-00001 (QM-_ _ _-17-00001) (QZ-_ _ _-17-00001)

An ISRC is constructed using these four distinct segments:

1: Country
The first two-character segment is determined by the registration authority to which you apply. This will remain constant regardless of the territory in which your recordings are distributed.In the United States until late 2015 this was “US” or "QM" but after this date, it became “QZ” for new registrant code allocations. You will have been informed about the country code you should use when you were allocated a registrant code. If you are unsure about which country code you were assigned, please check your account page or contact the US ISRC Agency (isrc@riaa.com) before issuing ISRCs. You must be careful to use the correct one. The country code does not change when recordings are sold or licensed to other countries.

2: Registrant
US-_ _ _ - These three characters are uniquely allocated to you by the National ISRC Agency.

These first two segments combine to function as a unique prefix: US-_ _ _, which will allow you to assign ISRCs to recordings.

Please note that the sequence of characters allocated is not significant except that it is different from codes allocated to other registrants. The allocated codes will be assigned in sequence and cannot be altered after allocation.

The next two segments are used by you to create ISRCs for each individual recording, e.g. a track on a CD.

3: Year of Reference
US -_ _ _- 17 - These two characters represent the year in which you create the ISRC, regardless of when the recording was made or when the Registrant Code was allocated. For 2017, your ISRCs will use '17' and for 2018, '18' ...and so on.

4: Designation
US-_ _ _ -17-00001 - The final five character part is used to create a unique code for each recording or track. You should take care to ensure that duplicates are not issued and that you do not issue more than one ISRC to the same track. Only numeric digits are acceptable in this segment.

We recommend beginning with 00001 and moving up sequentially from there: US-_ _ _-17-00001, US-_ _ _-17-00002 ....US-_ _ _-17-00139. In 2018 the Year of Reference will change to '18' and you can begin with a new sequence of designation codes.

Example

If you were assigned US as your country code a sample set of ISRCs might look like:

Album 1:
track 1: US -_ _ _ -17-00001
track 2: US -_ _ _ -17-00002
track 3: US -_ _ _ -17-00003
track 4: US -_ _ _ -17-00004
track 5: US -_ _ _ -17-00005

Album 2:
track 1: US -_ _ _ -17-00006
track 2: US -_ _ _ -17-00007
track 3: US -_ _ _ -17-00008
track 4: US -_ _ _ -17-00009
track 5: US -_ _ _ -17-00010

and so on...

If you were assigned QM as your country code a sample set of ISRCs might look like:

Album 1:

track 1: QM-_ _ _-17-00001

track 2: QM-_ _ _-17-00002

track 3: QM-_ _ _-17-00003

track 4: QM-_ _ _-17-00004

track 5: QM-_ _ _-17-00005

and so on...

 

If you were assigned QZ as your country code a sample set of ISRCs might look like:

Album 1:

track 1: QZ-_ _ _-17-00001

track 2: QZ-_ _ _-17-00002

track 3: QZ-_ _ _-17-00003

track 4: QZ-_ _ _-17-00004

track 5: QZ-_ _ _-17-00005

and so on...

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