AcoustIDs, ISRCs, and barcodes for digital releases

That is probably because Picard can create and upload AcoustIDs, meaning anyone can do it. Whereas the ISRC’s rely on a geeky script only understood by a few. And it is likely you need to get your physical CDs back out of storage to do this.

A Question for you Digital Submitters

When adding a Release in the CD world, if two CDs hold identical music, have identical artwork, but have a different barcode on the rear, then these are added as two different releases.

Why is it that this is not happening in the Digital world? Some tracks are released direct from the artist website. Without barcodes.

Then later Bandcamp Deezer starts selling those tracks, and adds a barcode. Why is this not a different copy? Why is it that I see editors changing the band released version and adding a barcode to it that was not there at release?


Ah, so you can get ISRCs from the physical CD? I didn’t know that. How?

Bandcamp doesn’t add barcodes (and they also don’t start selling music on their own, Bandcamp stores are almost always set up by the artists). Artists can enter a UPC for products they sell, but don’t have to.


It is actually happening, here’s an example of “different” digital releases that are effectively identical (except for the barcode/legal stuff) - especially for you :wink:

The problem is that most editors either don’t care about tiny differences in digital releases or they don’t know how to spot them. Most digital release versions look identical the way they are presented to the listeners - and it requires source code look-ups (Bandcamp) or tools like this one to find identifiers like the barcode.
I’ve seen people adding all kind of streaming/download links to the only existing “catch all” digital release that should be split to multiple releases in the strict sense. In many cases I’ll just ignore these, only (re)move them when they are obviously wrong (different tracklist/cover) - but for my own imports I pay attention to the barcodes.


Sorry @elomatreb , I meant Deezer and not Bandcamp. I don’t ever buy “digital releases” as I am a physical media person. I do sometimes download direct from a band website which is why the question arrived.

It was this edit that made me throw the question: on this Release: The annotation especially made me think these should be separated.

I realise I have no idea what I am talking about in this area, hence the question.

( @dosoe slightly OT, but your answer is here: )

Here’s an example edit where I am hesitant to vote No. The release already had an iTunes link, so Barcode [none] is definitely wrong, but now an editor has added a Deezer link and wants to change it to the Deezer barcode which is different than the iTunes barcode :thinking:

Isn’t that three different Releases then?

I can see the logic of sharing a release between Deezer and iTunes when the data is the same. But logically they have to split in to new releases when different barcodes appear. This is then complicated as most people with digital music in their collection may not even know they have barcodes.

Is any of this written up in the guidelines as to what makes one digital release different to another?


If a digital release has different barcodes, it is a different release. Most digital releases have barcodes, even those from artist websites. Unfortunately, a lot of digital releases are added by editors that think because it’s digital it can’t have a barcode and it’s automatically worldwide. Neither are these are correct assumptions. Most Bandcamp releases even have barcodes now, but not all. All iTunes, Deezer & Spotify releases require barcodes. As far as direct releases, I check the “view source” to see if a barcode can be found. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. You are correct. Different barcodes or different artwork should be different releases.


@tigerman325 - Thank you for that confirmation. I was just working on Common Sense, but you summed it all up perfectly for me.

Is that written clearly in the guidelines?


I do often add digital releases separately if there’s a difference (cover art, label, format, barcode et + I have time and want to), but some editors don’t like the idea. I wont go into the two sides of the argument because this isn’t the thread for it (and it always explodes!).

You probably wont find guidelines for it because I haven’t seen the discussion reach a consensus before.

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