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Topic: Which tag would you use to store barcodes in flac/mp3 files? (Read 2829 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • lorcan
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Which tag would you use to store barcodes in flac/mp3 files?

Since I have few different versions of CD that have the same album titles and track titles (eg: the sames songs are sung in different languages), I would like to store the barcode number (EAN/UPC) in a specific tag when ripping CD's to flac and/or mp3 files (eg: instead of or in addition to specifying " [Irish Edition]" in the album title).

Some of you put the barcode in the comment tag. I also noticed that EAC add a CATALOG tag to store EAN/UPC in cue sheets but I don't use cue files. I noticed that the MusicBrainz component adds a <BARCODE> tag (I don't use this component). And dBpoweramp creates a <UPC> tag which is not really accurate since most of my CDs have EAN numbers (13 digits instead of 12)

I've been using a custom tag <EAN> until now... 

Any suggestions or advice? Thanks

  • Fandango
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Which tag would you use to store barcodes in flac/mp3 files?
Reply #1
I, too, use BARCODE, because some releases may have UPCs while some have EANs. Barcode is the superordinate term. I also leave out the whitespace between the numbers, mostly because I use a handheld barcode scanner and the actual bars or the barcode itself does not contain any information about where the whitespace is. And if I added the spaces myself it would defeat the purpose of using a scanner, also I think it looks nicer without the spaces when there are no bars.

Sometimes parts of the barcode number is also the catalog number and it's indicated in bold on the package, I only use those numbers in bold for the catalog tag field.

There's an official term for the EAN-13 barcode actually which is used by the record industry: MCN (Media Catalog Number). It's always a 13-digit EAN code or a UPC code padded with a 0 on the left-most (i.e. first) position. I may switch to this tag field name in the future. I'm not sure but I think my barcode scanner even adds the zero by itself when it scans a UPC...
  • Last Edit: 17 February, 2013, 03:42:03 PM by Fandango

  • lorcan
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Which tag would you use to store barcodes in flac/mp3 files?
Reply #2
Thank you for your information.

I read several times that the MCN may be different from the bar code printed on the CD packaging or directly on the CD  :-/  The MCN is often embedded into CD-Text in the Q subcode channel (with positioning information + the ISRC). Apparetently, the MCN is encoded according to UPC/EAN rules but this doesn't mean that the MCN is the UPC/EAN number... 

Here are some disconcerting details I found:
The Media Catalog Number was formerly know as the UPC code.  It is not a bar code and generally is not used as a UPC code by retailers.

Concerning the EAN: the EAN was originally European Article Number, but is now renamed International Article Number even though the abbreviation EAN has been retained. The UPC code was the precursor/predecssor of the EAN and is included in the EAN simply by prefixing the number 0.