Polaris Studios | Audio Formats
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AIFF

(.aiff or .aif, Audio Interchange File Format)

Is similar to WAV as it’s also capable of storing uncompressed Linear PCM audio and allows “bit perfect” storage, but it has the capability of storing all kinds of metadata (song/album/artist names, song timing, ISRC/UPC codes and other information). Backups of AIFF music files will also retain all of the metadata, making this format the best choice for performance and convenience.

WAV

(.wav, Waveform Audio File Format)

Is a music file format capable of storing Linear PCM audio (the digital encoding format used on compact discs) in a completely uncompressed form.  “Ripping” a CD and storing it as an uncompressed WAV results in “bit perfect” storage; the ripped music file is identical to the original CD data package.  WAV files can also store high-resolution music files at greater bit depths and sampling rates than CD’s 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution.  Uncompressed WAV files can be ripped and played back in iTunes and are very high quality.  However, they need more hard drive storage space then AAC, MP3, or Apple Lossless.  A limitation of the WAV format is its lack of capability for storing universal metadata (information about song/album/artist names, ISRC/UPC codes, etc.).  So, it is a good option for simple digital distribution or computer playback.

Apple Lossless

(ALAC-encoded .m4a)

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As other lossless audio formats, Apple’s ALAC codec (short for Apple Lossless Audio Codec) stores audio data which is identical to the original. The file extension used for this format is .m4a, which is the same as for the AAC format that Apple commonly uses for its iTunes Store.  Just like other produced lossless files, more storage space is required compared to lossy formats.

FTP Transmission

Nowadays, almost all replicators will prefer to receive the artist’s master via FTP (File Transmission Protocol), which consists in sending the DDP file to the desired destination through a secure verified online service provided by a FTP server.  All replicating facilities and DDP-archiving systems (record labels or independent archiving centers) count on a secure section on their websites dedicated to receive FTP transfers.  You just need to sign up at your selected replicator’s website and then enter with your ID and password.  Of course, we can also transfer your DDP directly from our secure FTP server.

ISRC CODES

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc.) or the rights holders involved. Only one ISRC should be issued to a track, and an ISRC can never represent more than one unique recording.

ISRCs are widely used in digital commerce by download sites and collecting societies. An ISRC can also be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.

An ISRC consists of 12 characters, and looks like this:

GB-ABC-14-00001

Where GB denotes the country of origin, ABC denotes the owner of the recorded work – 14 would be the initial year or release, and 00001 would be a number that you as the owner allocates to a given song, in this case probably the first song on the first album or single that you release that year.

To find out more, visit the IFPI website, where you can find out contact details for your local agency wherever you are in the world.

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