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2 Things You Need to Know About CD Metadata

When recording for the first time there are a few things you may come across that you have never heard of before- But don’t worry, here is a simple explanation of what you need to know in regards to adding metadata to your audio CD.

CD Text:

This is the information including track title, artist and album name that is added during the mastering stage of the CD and stored in the lead- in. Part of the Red Book audio CD specifications, this information is displayed on certain CD players that support CD Text (so the information shows up on the screen). To be honest this is not something that is essential and it won’t make a difference to the sound or quality of your master, however for the people that do have stereos capable of reading the information it’s a nice touch. This is something that needs to be embedded at the mastering stage, so make sure that the album and track names are finalised in advance to avoid any hold ups.

ISRC (or International Standard Recording Code):

These are unique identifier 12 digit codes assigned to recordings and permanently encoded into the master (its ‘fingerprint’ if you will). This is a way to automatically identify songs for royalty payments, and is particularly important if your tracks are going to be played on radio. The codes can be easily obtained through ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) by emailing isrc@aria.com.au, or alternatively if you are distributing your music via a music service like CD Baby you can get them to do it for you. The code is made up of the following segments:

- Country code (where it was registered)
- Registrant code (allocated to each label or independent artist)
- Year reference (when it was registered, not when it was made)
- A 5 digit designation code

Both of these are simple to add, and the person mastering the tracks for you should be able to include them without any drama. While neither is essential, it’s useful to have this information attached to the master to ensure that your music can always be traced back to you.

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