Database Guidelines 5. Barcodes & Identifiers

5.1. This section allows you to enter any identifying numbers and codes such as barcodes, matrix numbers, and other such information. These fields are optional information for a submission, but please bear in mind that the more information that is included, the easier it is to keep the database correct, and it increases the usability of the data for everyone.

First, click the "Add barcode or identifier" button.

Barcode and Other Identifier field

Select the type of identifier you want to enter from the drop down menu.

You can then enter the identifier in the second field. Click the "Add description" button to open the 'Description' field, if needed.

Description field

Use the "Add barcode or identifier" button to add another row. You can add as many rows as you need.

5.2 Barcodes can be sourced from both the barcode text (the numbers printed below the barcode) or by reading the barcode itself with a barcode scanner. If there is a discrepancy between these two sources, both barcode variations can be entered into separate barcode fields.

Usually, the human readable code will include spaces, dashes, or other characters. These characters only serve to make the barcode easier to read, they are not necessary for computers to parse. It is recommended to enter them without the spaces and dashes (for usability and searching), but the choice is exclusively up to the submitter. Ultimately, the barcode can be entered both ways on the same release, please do not delete one version in favor of the other.

The 'Description' field can be used to indicate the source of the barcode, for example "Scanned" and "Text". In the case of multiple barcodes on a release, they can all be entered in separate barcode fields - please use the 'Description' field to provide any further information, if possible.

5.3. SID codes (Source Identification Codes) were introduced in 1994 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in order to help combat piracy. The mastering SID code is usually found in the matrix area/mirror band of a CD. The mould SID code is usually found in the mould/hub of a CD molded into the plastic of the disc.

The mastering SID code identifies the machinery used to make the glass master. The mould SID code identifies the plant where the CD was pressed. SID codes should not be used to identify manufacturing plants or glass mastering facilities however as the codes may transfer from owner to owner of the equipment and/or pressplant.

A SID Code consists of the letters IFPI, followed by either four or five additional characters, which may be alphabetical or numerical. A mastering SID code must always start with the letter 'L'. A mould SID code can start with any letter apart from "I", "O", "S" and "Q".

Though untypical, some releases may have the SID codes repeated in the matrix string itself. Rarer still, a release may sometimes have more than one mould SID code. Further details about SID codes and their implementation can be found here:

A release with SID codes cannot have been made before 1994. If the date cannot be established with a citation or an adequate explanation, the date should be left blank.

5.4. Matrix / Run-Out information is often stamped in the run out grooves of records, or in the inner ring of CDs. Vinyl run out etchings can also contain mastering engineer / mastering studio / pressing plant information (often as initials), and extra text. This information can all be added to one 'Matrix number' field.

Matrix Numbers and other run out information can also be extracted from the whole run out inscription, and added as further 'Matrix Number' fields with descriptions and / or expanded upon in the release notes as the submitter sees fit.

Matrix numbers can also be found printed on the label, often without the stamper version etc, this can be added in a separate field if desired.

There can be large gaps between different sections of a releases run out inscriptions. Please only use a space to denote such gaps, as using other separators may cause problems for people searching for a specific data string.

One edition of a release may have many different matrix numbers on individual copies - especially for major label releases. These are considered manufacturing variations for the purposes of cataloguing on Discogs, and not unique releases, so one Discogs 'release' may contain multiple variations in matrix numbers etc. For smaller releases, or in special cases, the matrix variation may indicate a unique release / edition, so please ask in the Database Forum Topic if in doubt.

5.5. ASIN is the Amazon Standard Identification Number. This is a unique identification number assigned by and its partners for product identification within the organization. Please provide submission notes that point to the relevant release on Amazon. This number should only be applied to releases manufactured by Amazon (CD-Rs), physical releases exclusive to Amazon, and digital files sold by Amazon.

5.6. Rights Society is an association that administers the rights to the artists recorded work, such as collecting royalties for radio and TV usage etc. A list of them are on our country guideline page. An example is "ASCAP"

5.7. Label Code is a four or five digit code prefixed with LC. GVL started on 1st May 1976 to allocate Labelcodes to record companies in order to uniquely identify them. Codes are currently assigned by GVL to companies engaged in music recording that are located in the countries of the EU. Please enter the whole code including the 'LC' prefix. An example is "LC 0125".

5.8. The 'Other' field can be used for any other identifying number or code on the release.

5.9. The description field to add any further information regarding the identifier, such as the identifier type, any descriptive text associated with it, its location on the release, or anything else that seems significant. If an identifier is associated with only a subset of the total labels on the release, you can include the exact label name/s it is associated with.

5.10. 'none' can be entered into any field to indicate the absence of an identifier, but only when this is needed for differentiation of the release from other versions.

5.11. If information is taken from stickers that have been applied after manufacture (for example by the distributor), please declare it is a sticker in the description, and add any further information available (for example, the company name).


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