Education and Resources

CD Audio Info

The Compact Disc
Despite continually declining sales, the Compact Disc remains a key component in the music industry. It has assumed the role of a "calling card" for upcoming artists and acts as an important promotional tool for artists seeking airplay and positive press.  Even as internet streaming continues to grow, the compact disc format should still remain viable for many years to come.

UPC Barcodes
The UPC (Universal Product Code) Barcode is a unique identifier for the retail sale of your CD. When your CD is scanned by Tower Records or Amazon, it will show up on the register as YOUR Album, YOUR Band, YOUR Record Company. The UPC barcode is practically mandatory these days for any online retail sales.

ISRC Codes
The ISRC Code (International Standard Recording Code) is a unique international identifier for tracks on sound and music-video recordings. The ISRC is 12 character alpha-numeric code, which functions as a digital "fingerprint" for each track, unlike a Universal Product Code which is tied to the entire disc. In addition, the ISRC remains allocated to a track regardless of changes in ownership. It is an extremely powerful tool for royalty collection, administration, and anti-piracy safeguards in the digital arena. The following is an example of a code broken down into individual elements:






label ID


designation code: usually catalogue and track suffix

You can apply for a ISRC code from the RIAA. Once you have created a code for each track, we can then embed the code into the TOC (Table of Contents) of your CD Master at no extra charge.

Track & Artist Identification
There are two distinct methods involved in helping the listener identify the song and artist of a title: CD-TEXT for hardware players, and METADATA for computer players like Windows Media Player or iTunes. Both can be done for your project.

CD-TEXT is an optional extension of the CD standard developed by Philips, which involves encoding data for the Album Title, Artist, and Track Titles on your CD Master. Home audio, Car audio CD Players, and even DVD players, that support the CD-Text standard, will display the titles of any correctly encoded disc.  CD Text is particularly helpful for multi-disc changers in cars.

CD Text data must be encoded during the mastering process and we will be happy to provide this service as part of your CD mastering project.
METADATA is album information that is stored at an online database. When a user inserts a music CD into the computer, the audio software player reads the disc's table of contents, then automatically searches for a match at an online database. If a match is found, the player displays the text information. There are two music online databases that are definitely worth registering your music release with:
The most extensive online database is managed by All Media Guide. It is utilized by Windows Media Player and other PC software players. To ensure that your album is added to this database, you must send a "published" CD, eg replicated disc with complete artwork, to this address:

Product Submissions
TiVo Corporation
100 Phoenix Drive, Suite 201
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2202

Mac & iPod users access a separate database, maintained by Gracenote which works with the iTunes player on desktop computers and portable iPods. Artists can submit Title data directly from the iTunes player. The data should be available to users within a day or so. If you don't have access to iTunes, we will be happy to do this for you as part of your CD mastering.

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Compact Disc Art Specifications
Label Film Specifications   (cdlabel.pdf)
Film positive must be actual size, right reading, emulsion side up.
A separate film must be supplied for each color.

Indicate Pantone PMS color on each film (Standard price includes 2 colors. additional colors are available for an extra charge).

Area available for printing: 46 mm i.d. - 114 mm o.d. (shaded area)

Minimum text six 6 points, Minimum line size: 0.3 boldness
Maximum screen density 85 points.
Include register marks in center and/or outside of art for precise centering.
Label Film should include the following information:

1. The official Compact Disc Logo ("Digital Audio" for music only, or "DATA Storage" for CD-ROM)
2. "Made in Canada" or "Made in USA"
3. The disc title, and artist(s) (if applicable)
4. Your Company name, and Catalog Number, if applicable.
5. Track Titles for Audio only or mixed mode CD-ROM
6. Any copyright information: eg. "�� Banana Software, 1995. All rights reserved".

Insert Booklet Specifications (cdinsert.pdf)
1. Dimensions are 121 mm Horizontal by 119.5 mm vertical. This must be the exact size of finished product.
2. The maximum thickness of the booklet must not exceed 1.8 mm.
3. Booklets must be ready to insert into the jewel box, stapled with non-corrosive staple and folded.
4. The Compact Disc logo should appear on the back cover.
5. Booklet quantity should exceed your disc order quantity by at least 10 % to allow for scrappage and overruns.

Back Tray Card Specifications (cdtray.pdf)
1. Dimensions are 150 mm Horizontal by 117.5 mm vertical, with perforated vertical spines 6mm wide. All finished inserts must conform precisely to these measurements!
2. The maximum thickness of the insert must not exceed 0.14 mm.
3. The dashed lines indicate the center of the perforated lines. Perforations should appear on both sides for cleanest folding and insertion.
4. Company, Catalog Number, Title, and Artist information should appear on the spines. Left spine reads from bottom to top, right spine reads from top to bottom.
5. The Compact Disc logo must appear.
6. Insert quantity should exceed your disc order quantity by at least 10 % to allow for scrappage and overruns.


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