Barcode number

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A barcode number identifies many commercial products including music albums.

It appears on the product packaging both encoded as a barcode and below it as text e.g. at . 

When transcribing the barcode number text, omit any spaces and dashes, e.g. write 987654321098 not 9 87654 32109 8.

Barcode numbers consist of 12, 13 or 14 digits. All can be represented as a 14-digit GTIN/TINP by adding sufficient zeros to the left.

on music albums

On a music album, the barcode can be found

  • on the back cover, else/and
  • on one of the CDs itself, often printed quite small, else
  • not at all, in the case of an album for which a barcode number was not assigned e.g. the album was self-published by the artist. Sometimes a numberless album is given a number upon reprinting.

Barcodes for many albums can also be obtained from and other sources as described in GTIN (see finding EAN).

on music files

When a CD is copied to music files on computer hard disc, the barcode number is often included in the metadata (tags) of each track file, to indicate the source. One place to put it is the Album Title field e.g.

Instrumentales de colección [724347388620]

Square brackets show that the contents are an annotation, rather than part of the album title itself.

If the album cover is unavailable, the barcode number may often be found from - but take care to identify the correct album e.g. by checking not just the album title and artist (which may not be unique) but also the track names.

If the album cover has no barcode number, one may use instead the ID number that has itself assigned to many barcode-less albums for this purpose, called a TINO.