Internal Musical Work ID

What is Internal Musical Work ID?

Internal Musical Work ID is any ID assigned to a musical work by any interested party

All interested parties that process music metadata assign IDs to all objects in their databases, including musical works. In computer science, this is called primary key. In the music industry, there are many different names: Work ID, Song Code, Tunecode, Proprietary ID, etc. I find that musical work ID works best, understandable both to techies and non-techies from the industry.

They must be locally (for your company) unique and unambiguous.

Collecting societies, DSPs and many other parties also save work IDs from their affiliates. In that way, they can refer to a musical work using both their and affiliate’s ID. e.g. “your ID 123445, our ID XCY123134”. This is important when metadata is being updated.

Musical Work ID format

Internal musical work ID can be a number or a set of alphanumerical characters. There are two important limitations, imposed by CISAC (society of collecting societies). It can be up to 14 alphanumerical characters long, and it can only contain digits and uppercase characters.

Technical note: This corresponds to 72-bit numbers. While this gives great freedom, they can not be randomly generated, as that would result in duplicates. UUIDs, that are treated as globally unique, use 122 random bits.

Do you need and/or use them?

If you have your metadata in any kind of database, every work in it already has an ID assigned. Also, if you are delivering your metadata through CWR (or EBR in the US or Canada), you have them. On the other hand, if you only were registering manually, through web portals, then you probably do not.

This is an important question if you plan to start using some kind of database software for music metadata management. If you never used one before and did not assign work IDs to your works, everything will be fine. But if you did, they should not be changed, but instead transferred to the new software. Not all software supports this, e.g. our free open-source solution Django Music Publisher (DMP) does not. (Such a migration requires an expert, and a very important feature of DMP is that it can be deployed with no technical skills.)

If you are asked to deliver your data to, for example, a sub-publisher, with your work IDs, you can assign them manually. But you should be careful. It will make any migration to any software more complicated. Also, you can not just start over. If you lose your file with IDs, you will be in a lot of trouble.

It it is CWR you need, please have a look at our tools below.