How to Apply for an ISRC Code

by Stewart CararasUpdated September 22, 2017

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music-video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provides the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments. Before your CD goes to press it will need this pertinent digital information encoded into it. I'll show you how to obtain the ISRC code for this procedure.

Go to the RIAA website at and click "What We Do." From here you can click on ISRC Codes.

Download the application in the form of a .pdf or Word document.

Fill out all of the necessary information and either mail or fax to the RIAA office. They usually require five business day to respond with your code, but in my experience, if faxed, they will respond within a day or two.

Once you receive the code bring it along with your CD to the mastering session. The mastering engineer will encode this information into your master CD. You can now bring this to the duplication house and have a sense of relief knowing that you can be properly paid whenever this music is played.

About the Author

Music producer/engineer Stewart Cararas, who began his musical journey at the age of 5. Owns Phlorescent Beacon Productions and co-owns 7th Level Productions in Hollywood, Ca. Throughout his professional career, Stewart has worked with Brian Wilson, Karmina, Juvenile, Adam Cohen and Nickel Creek, Enrique Iglesias, among others. Stewart also finds time for composing and recording his projects under the moniker: picksail, as well as, his collaboration with The Majestic Twelve.

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