International Standard Recording Code
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 code 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 code. Works are identified by ISWC codes. Recordings remastered without significant audio-quality changes should not have unique ISRC codes, but the threshold is left to the discretion of the record company.
|This section requires expansion. (March 2013)|
ISO 3901 was finished 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 ISRC codes 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, as well as 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 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:
- "CC" is the appropriate for the registrant two-character ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code
- "XXX" is a three character alphanumeric registrant code, uniquely identifying the organization which registered the code. Typically, the appropriate regulating body in each country will issue a three letter code to each record label. For example, the regulating body for ISRCs in the UK is Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). High demand for ISRCs within the United States has caused the supply of available registrant codes to become exhausted; after December 6, 2010, new registrants in the U.S. use country code "QM" (a private-use code under ISO 3166).
- "YY" is the last two digits of the year of registration (NB not necessarily the date the recording was made)
- "NNNNN" is a unique 5-digit number identifying the particular sound recording.
- US for United States
- PR3 for the organization
- 73 for 1973
- 00012 is the unique id identifying this particular recording
The Red Book standard recommends the encoding of ISRCs onto CDs.
See also 
- Global Release Identifier (GRid), a unique identifier for musical releases
- International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC), a unique identifier for musical works such as songs
- International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a similar unique identifier for books
- Resources – ISRC – Handbook (incorporating the ISRC Practical Guide) s321
- ISO 3901:2001
- The International Standard Recording Code at Recording Industry Association of America's Website.
- ISRC registration authority