We just received the UPC code for Jon’s album Waltz For Talia. Yes the same UPC code that you find on just about everything nowadays and of course CDs that one can buy at one’s favorite CD retailer. Now is this really necessary for an independent music album? It really is. For one, the UPC code is what SoundScan uses to keep track of your album. This apparently includes digital downloads. It turns out that if one hooks up with CDBaby one can make one’s CD available for download for providers such as iTunes and others. CDBaby also comes to the rescue as far as to obtaining the UPC code. UPC codes are very expensive. Prohibitively expensive for the average independent music artist. However, one can operate under a parent code which is what you get from CDBaby for twenty bucks.
Hear are a couple articles of interest regarding UPC codes and the relevance to “indie” music:
- UPC Bar Codes – Everything you wanted to know by CDBaby,
- How UPC Bar Codes Work — by HowStuffWorks.com
One of the reasons why we got the UPC code right away is because I felt it would be a good idea to burn the bar code on the CDs that are sent as “deposit” with the copyright application to Uncle Sam.
Another important code or id to get is the ISRC. Unlike the UPC which is meant to identify a product for sale i.e. the CD in this case, the ISRC uniquely identifies a sound recording. ISRC are used for purposes of identification and aiding with copyright management. Here is blurb from the ISRC site that may help clarify things a bit more:
It is stressed that ISRC identifies sound recordings and music video recordings and not physical products (‘carriers’) and that there is no conflict with existing product catalogue numbering systems with which it co-exists. Neither does ISRC identify a digitally distributed package, although sound and music video recordings included in such a package should be identified with an ISRC.
Adobe Audition 2.0 i.e. the hard disk recording and mastering software I use allows me to tag the CD with the UPC and ISRC for the respective tracks therefore enabling suitably equipped readers to pick this information up.
The next step is to send the CDs and application to the U.S copyright office. I’ll blog about that phase of the adventure soon.