ISRC Code Format

I Mastered a single, and need to put ISRC code in the metadata of the song, and found the “BWF” tab the only place to do that, however the input template format is not correct for the US and there is no other option for format to input the ISRC data.

  1. Is this an error
  2. Do I have to operate (create) within a Montage to get this done
  3. If I do create a montage to get this done I need to render this finished file without affecting the audio and I don’t remember how (I mastered the song without the ISRC code because of frustration)

You should be able to do it by removing any dashes or spaces in the ISRC, it just needs the ISRC 12 characters after the colon in the BWF, there’s no special US format (except they all start with US), but use no dashes or spaces. But I agree it could be made easier to do this in Wavelab to a single finished file without directly editing the xml, and without having to use the montage. It would also be nice to just see the ISRC in the file metadata, as a check afterwards, without the xml.


That’s the only format to use, 12 characters, no dashes or spaces, for any country.

It’s probably a REALLY good idea to check the file in Sonoris ISRC Editor after doing it though.

Really sorry rockfort, but I think this brings up a basic limitation In Wavelab in entering the BWF ISRC in a WAV file with existing metadata. In order to create the BWF ISRC in a WAV file that doesn’t already have one, you need the entire aXML form that’s in the Wavelab ISRC factory preset. But if you select that preset, it’s not going to include any of your existing metadata.

For the time being I would just use the Sonoris ISRC Editor to enter the ISRC and hope it doesn’t overwrite existing metadata (it used to overwrite existing metadata, but I think they fixed that).

I would hope that Wavelab adds a single field 12 character entry for the BWF ISRC that gets around this sometime in the future.

If you’re going to use the montage to add the metadata (including ISRC), and your file is 16 bit or 24 bit, you could just render directly to the same bit depth (16 bit or 24 bit without dither) without affecting the audio.

Also, btw, you say the BWF tab. The bwf isrc appears in the AXML tab when you select the ISRC factory preset, not the BWF tab.

I am not in the USA, but my understanding was that the ISRC is the same 12 character alpha numeric sequence across all jurisdictions?

I think the confusion is fueled by the UPC/EAN product code, which has the original 12-digit US version (UPC) and a 13-character European version (EAN), in which the US codes are included with a 0 followed by the 12 digits. AFAIK, ISRC has always been 12 digits.

Thank you all for your expedient replies. I will hope that Wave Lab/Steinberg will fix this and allow us to enter this data to a single file/song without having to mess with external tools. I hope that the Sonoris software does not overwrite/delete the existing metadata. I will try that. Thanks again.

PG, I don’t know if I was very clear what I was saying here, but it’s really not easy to add the BWAV ISRC to an existing wav file without stripping existing metadata. It’s the one field that’s not easy to do that with in Wavelab, and it’s the one thing everybody wants. The ability to add, remove, or edit existing or unfilled tags in existing wav files is 99.9% there, but because of the bwf axml ISRC, not all the way there. It seems if maybe a split window was used in the AXML tab with a formatted field specifically for the ISRC code, rather than having to deal with the whole block of xml, it would make it a lot easier. I think the ISRC has been, and will be the most common use for the AXML there Also it would be nice if the ID3 ISRC was a formatted field too requiring caps only or whatever else is needed to be formatted correctly.

I know the metadata in Wavelab is mainly made to be pulled from variables in the montage and the montage album info sections, but editing the metadata in single files is useful too, and is 99.9% there already, so I just wish the ISRC was easier.

Wavelab has an amazing metadata section. I was blown away when I first saw it. None of the other mastering programs even come close to covering as much as it does for wav. Of the 30 or so programs on the WAV & BWF Blog page, only Wavelab and Metadata Touch (Digital Confidence) cover as much for wav. But Metadata Touch is Windows only. Maybe Soundminer is also used, but I don’t really know anything about it.

Whether anybody in the music business is ever going to use the metadata (including ISRC) that’s embedded in wav files from the mastering studio is another question. But I would think archivists already do. And CART would already be used, is it in radio (?)

And I notice Cubase files IXML is also seen in the Wavelab metadata displays.

Thanks for your good message. I will strive to take this into account in next big update.

Thanks PG !

If I can make one other suggestion, the tab where the bwf ISRC block is stored, is just called AXML in the Wavelab metadata control window. In at least some of the other programs, and nearly everywhere on the BWF blog page, the function is just called ISRC because that’s the main thing the AXML chunk is being used for. I would ask if the tab could be renamed AXML/ISRC or something like that, so it’s easier to find for the main thing it’s being used for in Wavelab, the ISRC. I wouldn’t remove the AXML name because Wavelab is one of the only programs that has space for other stuff there, but I think it would be good to add the ISRC name, so it’s easier for people to find it.

I bought 9.5 (not cheap) because I was told it could embed an ISRC in a single .wav file. after many months of trying, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it can’t be done. I will have to revert to SONORIS.

Using WaveLab, on daily basis I embed ISRC codes in WAV files. When the ISRC code is entered in the CD-Text area of the montage, you can use a metadata preset to embed the iSRC code in rendered WAV (and mp3) files.

You can probably also add it directly to a single WAV file in the audio editor but I have never tried it this way since all my master files come from a montage anyway. It saves a step.

I can tell you more if you want to know.

Countryjack, Justin is right. The most efficient way to add ISRC to WAV files is with the Montage. Maybe even for one file, because that way you can easily get other metadata in there you might want, and you can have a recallable montage if you need to make another file copy or change something in the metadata. Just add your file to a montage, go to the CD Tab, and run the CD Wizard on it (including your ISRC in the CD Wizard) and then render “all regions/cd tracks”. Choose “wav default”, be sure to set bit depth to 16 or 24 depending on what your finished source file is (otherwise the render will be 32 bit float, which you don’t want), and use the metadata factory preset “isrc” in the render dialog (you’ll probably want to create a new preset that starts from isrc and adds other metadata). If you use the isrc preset, it will give you the bonus of adding the ID3 ISRC to the file, which the Sonoris doesn’t do (or any other program besides Wavelab afaik).

But if you really just want to add ISRC to your finished file only, and not deal with the montage you can do that too. I’ve asked PG to make it easier, but following is the way to do it as it is now. (this also adds the bonus ID3 ISRC to wav, which the other programs don’t do ).

  1. Open your WAV file. (you might want to make a copy of your WAV file to try this on first).

  2. Select the metadata tab from the Tool Windows menu. Click the Edit button that’s in the metadata tab. The metadata editing window will open. At the bottom of the metadata window is the presets selector. Select the factory preset “ISRC (AXML + ID3)”. Go to the AXML tab at the top of the metadata editing window. There will be a paragraph of xml code in there now. In the middle of that is the variable @ISRC@. Replace that variable with your real ISRC, all caps, no spaces no dashes. (i.e. If your ISRC is US-AAA-18-00001, replace @ISRC@ with USAAA1800001).

Now go to the ID3/iTunes tab. Same thing. Replace the @ISRC@ variable that’s there with your real ISRC USAAA1800001.

Save the wav file.

You can then check the isrc that’s in the AXML chunk to make sure it’s formatted correctly by opening the WAV file in Sonoris. and check the ISRC that’s in both places (AXML and ID3) by opening the WAV file in Wavelab. It’s a good idea to check with both programs.

You can also add other metadata like artist and song title etc. while you’re in the metadata edit window. You can’t do that with the Sonoris, and the Sonoris still overwrites all existing metadata. Wavelab doesn’t have to. Although it will if you just select the bare ISRC factory preset, which is one of the reasons I’ve asked that it be made easier.

Which leads me to another request. Can the bwf ISRC be added to one of the more complete metadata factory presets? The “CD Track from CD Text” preset includes the ID3 ISRC, but not the bwf ISRC. As it is, the only preset that includes the lengthy needed AXML information is the “ISRC” preset, but it doesn’t include anything else, so the user has to piece together presets to get even basic common metadata like artist and title along with the bwf ISRC. The bwf ISRC added to one of the more complete presets would be helpful.

+1 Good idea.

Anyone adding extra information to the axml chunk? I’ve been reading about adding title and album name… It gets pretty complex… I’m not sure the “proper” way to do it. I found some tags that I believe could be used, but I have no idea if they’re done correctly (I seriously doubt it)… here’s something I’ve added stuff to for title and album name:

<ebucore:ebuCoreMain xmlns:dc="" 
			<role typeLabel="Composer" typeLink=""/>
		<ebucore:identifier typeLabel="GUID" typeDefinition="Globally Unique Identifier" 
			formatLabel="ISRC" formatDefinition="International Standard Recording Code" 

Yes, a couple years ago now I made a metadata preset and it’s part of my default montage template for new montages, so I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s just automatic.

Anytime an ISRC code is inserted in the CD-Text Tab, it’s always pushed to both the ID3v2 field as well as the AXML chunk of the WAV file, so all current available bases are covered.

If you are unsure if you got the AXML part right, you can test for ISRC in WAV files using the free Sonoris app:

WaveLab can also show you if you open the WAV back up but sometimes it’s nice to get a 2nd opinion :slight_smile:

Hi Toader. I just wondered if anyone is suggesting that Artist and Title should be put in the aXML or iXML, and if so for what purpose? Also, I don’t really know anything about xml, and I’ve been interested in just looking at the “output” or “result” of the aXML without the code (like Sonoris ISRC just displays the ISRC alone, from the aXML in the WAV file), and the only thing I’ve found to work is Google Chrome. I put your code in Chrome and the output looks fine ("@CdTextTrackTitle@ @CdTextPerformer@ @CdTextTitle@ @ISRC@"), which would be the real values once associated. I just wondered if any other programs display just that, because it doesn’t seem a common thing to do, although it’s all I’d want to see, really.