UPC/barcode of an iTunes release?

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How would I retrieve a UPC/barcode from an iTunes release? Is there an “iTunes to barcode”-type tool like the good old lmfao ASIN to barcode page (http://lmfao.org.uk/asin-barcode2) or is it more complicated than that?


There was some discussion about this on edit #35021141. It used to be relatively easy to extract UPCs from iTunes listings, but they’ve changed the interface several times and it now requires some workarounds.


What are the current workarounds? Extracting it from the image somehow as suggested there? I guess it would be useful to have a step-by-step guide if you know how to do it :slight_smile:

Mastered for iTunes UPC

If your only source for a version of the release is iTunes, you’re unlikely to learn what the UPC of the release is.

I import the vast majority of my digital media releases from stores where the record company can choose to be “open” about the UPC (e.g., Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group on mora.jp). Then I could use the iTunes lookup API to see if there’s a match over there.

Note that it is expected that a “Mastered for iTunes” (16-bit AAC) release, a generic 16-bit lossy release, and a 24-bit release will each have a different UPC. (You’ll need to use the iTunes software to see if a release has the “Mastered for iTunes” sticker.) This is the primary reason you’ll often be unable to match a non-iTunes UPC from places like mora.jp and Spotify to an iTunes release. (Other reasons for different UPC between releases would be track counts, attachments like PDFs, or videos as part of the proper tracklist.)

Here’s an example of a release group where I filled out the barcodes of the digital media releases, in case you want to snoop around the edits to see what I did:

tl;dr - the “workaround” is to not use iTunes first.


I have figured out super easy way to find barcodes on iTunes!!

If you use Chrome, while on the iTunes page, i.e. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/[release]/id???

Right click on it and click on page and select “view page source” or just hit ctrl-U. Then search for “jpg” and the barcode is right there on the first result every time!!


This doesn’t work for every release. Many older iTunes releases (from before ~2012 IIRC) have an alphabetical identifier (beginning with “mzi”) where the barcode would be on a newer release.


Oh, ok. Well, most of the older releases have matching barcodes with Spotify. So far all the mastered with iTunes releases I’ve run across have it and those are the main ones I couldn’t find anywhere else.


Beware that this is wrong for a lot of Warner Music (Japan?) releases. The filename of the artwork may appear to be a barcode, but for the not-Mastered-for-iTunes version of the release. If you try a lookup with the iTunes API, it will fail.


Good to know. I always double check against the API just to make sure.