|BMG Direct number D160616 on back of "Love, Elvis"|
In some cases it was not possible to
produce enough CDs (or the title wasn't available) so that the barcode of standard discs got pasted over with a
In this way the club members could purchase these reduced discs but couldn't get replacements in a normal store because of the sticker.
|Sticker above the barcode||Standard back cover|
Unfortunately these discs don't have the collector's value of a normal club CD. This lies in the fact that everyone can create his own "Club CD" by attaching a sticker above the barcode
|Elvis Presley Legacy CD with punched code|
In individual cases it may be that not the barcode but the spines had been punched.
Partly the barcode or the cover also got pasted over with a sticker marked with "NFS" (Not For Sale).
Are these punched CDs more valuable?
Basically not. But it may be that a disc doesn't exist in another form (e.g. "Elvis Jukebox"). Then we have a high value for collectors.
And what about "NFS" sticker CDs?
Partly the barcode or the cover also got pasted over with a sticker marked with
"NFS" (Not For Sale).
|Back of "Love Songs" with NFS sticker over barcode|
Since these discs are marked individually you can assume a higher value. But since they are no "real" promo discs their value for collectors isn't as high as for the extra pressings.
At some track listings you can see codes like this
This is the ISRC code.
The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is a unique identifier for music recordings where one identifying code is allocated to each version of the recording.
Using the example of "Stuck On You" we try to explain the ISRC format:
"Stuck On You" was edited in the year 2002 and used first on the CD "ELV1S - 30 #1 Hits". The song got the code US-RC1-02-00338
Two characters issued by the ISRC Agency
A three character alphanumeric code issued by the ISRC Agency
Year of Reference
The last two digits of the year in which the ISRC is assigned to the track.
With some exceptions BMG and Sony used the registrant code RC1, Sony-BMG the registrant code A82.
The year of refrrerence can be the year of the recording or the year of the editing.
Where is the code stored?
The codes are encoded in the disc subcode in the disc mastering process. You need special computer software to display the codes.
Why is the code important?
You can identify whether your new CD includes new remastered songs or not. You can also find out which take of the song or which live recording is used on the sampler CD.... and much, much more.
Once an ISRC code has been assigned to a track the code should remain the same for the lifespan of the track.
Any new or materially changed recording must be provided with a new ISRC
Is this a reliable method to identify the songs?
Generally speaking it is a reliable method, but as always it is not flawless either.
In some cases wrong codes were used in the mastering process. For example all codes are wrong on the 1999 issue of Elvis Presley (enhanced).
On Elvis CDs we have the IRSC code since 1994.
Unfortunately not on all releases. For example all "Follow That Dream" CDs don't have any code.
When there are reissues of older CDs, the songs get no IRSC if the same pre-master was used.
Okay... and how can I use these information now?
Take the code US-A82-08-00584. This is the code from the
"Sweet Caroline" (February 16 - 1970, DS), edited in the year 2008
and first used for "On Stage - Legacy" in the year 2010
Copy and paste the code US-A82-08-00584 in our own search machine. You find out that this song is also on various other CDs, e.g.
Elvis Uncovered (2012)
Elvis Sings... (2014)
Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! - CD Sings Singer-Songwriters (2015)
Seine 100 besten Hits (2015)
The Album Collection - CD On Stage (2016)
Or pick the low-cost CD "The 70s". There we have the song "The Next Step Is Love" with the code US-RC1-00-00234. There is no further information about the version on the CD.
If you paste the code in our search engine, you find the CD "That's The Way It Is - Special Edition" where is the same song described as live version from August 10, 1970.
For more information visit isrc.ifpi.org
The matrix consists of numbers or letters and is pressed in the inner circle
of a CD - typically on the playing side.
The matrix is allocated freely by the manufacturing company or the pressing plant.
Just in few cases it is possible to find out the date of production or
the country of production.
A typical Sony matrix number looks like this nowadays:
|A typical Sony DADC matrix from the EU or Australia|
There are illegal CDs where the matrix has been counterfeit to make it look
For this reason an IFPI number which not counts to the matrix had been introduced (see extra faq record).
The IFPI number doesn't belong to the matrix. We list it there for a
And what is the IFPI?
This is not easy to explain...
The SID ("Source Identification Code", today also named IFPI code - from International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) was developed 1994 jointly by rights owners and the optical disc industry, primarily as an anti-piracy tool.
There exists two IFPI codes. The mastering code and the mould code.
|Both IFPI codes on disc, seen from the palying site.|
In 1994 the mould code was introduced, in late 1994 or early 1995 also the mastering code.
The mastering code was given by the IFPI organsisation to the rights owner and identifies the plant that manufactured the master. The mould code identifies the plant where the disc was replicated. With both codes you can identify the country of production and the manufactur.
A typical mastering code has the format IFPI + L + 3 numbers, e.g. IFPI L024
A typical mould code has the format IFPI + 4 chars (only the first two numbers are important), e.g. IFPI 0743 or IFPI 50E4
If you take both codes (IFPI L024 + IFPI 07**), you know that the CD was made in Germany by Sonopress.
If you only have the mastering code (L024), the CD could also have been manufactured in South-Africa.
If you only have the mould code, the CD could also have been manufactured by Sonopress GmbH, Arvato Digial Services or Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
And where can I find the codes?
The mastering code can be found near the matrix, usually seen from the playing site of the CD.
The mould code is always in the plastic ring near the hole. Sometimes hard to see.
|Both IFPI codes on disc, seen from the palying site.|
Can I be sure that I have a genuine CD if I have both codes on my CD?
Unfortunately not! We found illegal CDs with both codes, often made in Asian countries. But also often we see, that the producer of these illegal CD has no knowledge about the codes. They used commonly codes which springs from their fantasy.
Pity, that we also find genuine CDs, where at times only one of the codes was used or even none of the two. Because of this it is important that you buy your CDs from a reliable source.
If you need more information, visit www.ifpi.org
Legal CD shops are very rare in China. Only a few were located in
the big cities.
Most of the CDs were made illegally and sold on the street. This applies particularly to the period before 2010.
Many professional pressing plants produced legally during the day and illegally at night.
We have also listed Chinese CDs on our website. Most of the CDs were bought in legal shops. But we cannot guarantee its authenticity.
Here you can see an (easily) identified CD fake.
Because of the language barrier and other adversities, it is very difficult to determine a legal production.
How can you spot a fake?
That is hardly possible. Most CDs are professionally made.
It is likely a fake if the title has not been published in any other country. But even here there are exceptions (e.g. Platinum Collection of the Superstars in Europe and America)
The matrix of a legal Chinese (mainland) CD should be structured as follows.
Love, Elvis - Sony/BMG China, 2007
CN-A26-07-339-00/A.J6 ifpi XXXX
|ISRC||International Standard Recording Code (CN-A26-07-339-00)|
|CN||Country code for China|
|A26||A unique publisher code (*)|
|07||Recording year code (two digits, here the year 2007)|
|339||Record code three or four digits|
|00||Record item number (mostly 0)|
|ifpi||Code from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry|
* BMG, Sony-BMG, and Sony seems to use publisher codes A26 and
The code E04 also seems to be an official one. This code is or was used by "Shanghai Audio-Visual Press" (上海声像 ), which was the official licensed distributor of Sony releases in China. The same counts for E07, wich was used by the TLC / Meika group from 2002 - 2006 (美卡音像 ) and F08, used by the Dalian Hualu Ltd. for the Goldbee label (湖南金蜂音像出版社 )
All officially used codes are so far unknown.
Please note that all CDs should have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) code. This is not typical for Audio-Cds in all other countries, but regulations in China.
Even if a CD from China has the ISRC and ISBN code ... it is still not safe to have a legal CD.
Unfortunately, we also have no way of providing
Perhaps at some point the mystery will be resolved... and then we talk about Russian CDs! ☺
If you're just a music lover, you probably don't care. But if you are a CD collector this is unacceptable to you.
Since Sony Music has been the rights holder, CD-Rs have also been
It started with the "Promo CD-R", which we can still accept because these were only distributed to radio stations for advertising purposes.
But of course we think that the pressed "Promo CDs" are more beautiful and valuable. This is also because anyone can make these CD-Rs.
Personally, we cannot accept that standard CDs are also released on
These CD-Rs are offered in the so-called "Sony Legacy Music On Demand" program. Some big distributors do the manufacturing for Sony, e.g. Amazon.
We asked Sony Germany about the program.
But they knew nothing about it and referred us to Sony USA.
Unfortunately, we never got an answer from there, so we had to look
for an explanation ourselves.
This is what Amazon says:
"CD-Rs and DVD-Rs (the "R" stands for "recordable") look like the discs you're used to and offer the same audio and image quality. This recordable media is used to manufacture titles on demand, as fully authorized by the content provider.
Through manufacturing on demand, CreateSpace, part of the Amazon
group, enables Amazon to offer music and video content that might
not otherwise be available. Each disc comes fully packaged, with
artwork, in a standard jewel case for audio, although for reissued
products the artwork may differ from the original. All products are
manufactured from original source materials (e.g., for audio
products, uncompressed CD-quality audio). By eliminating inventory,
waste, and inefficiencies in the distribution system, on-demand
manufacturing provides the added benefit of helping preserve the
Fortunately, Amazon is ending its MOD program on August 18, 2021
Statement from Amazon "We made the decision to close MOD based on customer and content owner feedback, specifically their preference for digital streaming services vs. physical discs ...."
Even if a "big seller" is no longer there, please note that there are other providers of the MOD program e.g. Acutrack, Alliance Entertainment, Allied Vaughn, CCNow, Kunaki, TrepStar. We don't know if Sony is working with these manufactures too.
At now we know these Elvis CD-R made in the Music-On-Demand program:
Elvis Now (Sony Music A761549)
New UPC: 0190759409824
From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee ( Sony Music A76154)
You'll Never Walk Alone (Sony/BMG A689960)
Elvis R&B (Sony Music 82876 87255 2)
The 70's (Sony 88843014272)
New UPC: 0190759410622
Separate Ways (Sony/BMG A709674)
An Evening Prayer (Sony Music A761423)
G.I. Blues (Sony Music A761558)
Fun In Acapulco (Sony Music A762716)
Girl Happy (Sony Music A761588)
We apologize, but we are not going to purchase these CD-R to provide
But we will show one example here for the SONY MOD CD-R Elvis Now.
Alternate Master is also a variation.
Here the master can also consist of either one take or several takes and sounds
very similar to the master - intended as an alternative to the actual master.
"I Beg Of You" (to be heard on the CD "Loving You" - DSD Release of 2005)
"Party" (to be heard on the CD "Loving You" re-release from 2005 with improved DSD Sound Transfer
Copy editing by Joachim Bernecker (aka "Ciscoking")