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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 without significant audio changes should retain their existing ISRC, but the threshold is left to the discretion of the record company.


An ISRC contains 12 characters that mean:

Length Meaning
2 Country
3 First owner (allocated by ISRC Agency)
2 Recording year (last two digits)
5 Designation code (assigned by first owner)


A number of tools, such as Exact Audio Copy, can extract a disc's ISRCs as part of the audio extraction process and save them to a cue sheet.

However, there are known issues with some audio CD extractors where ISRCs can "bleed" between tracks, causing the same ISRC to be attributed to different tracks.[1][2][3] To avoid this from happening, cdrdao or mediatools can be used to accurately extract the ISRCs.


  1. Why is reading ISRC so difficult? on hydrogenaudio
  2. Remove `--fast-toc` from cdrdao's options on GitHub
  3. Save ISRCs from CD TOC on GitHub

External links[edit]