XO Wave is now discontinued
as we prepare to bring you the next generation
Digital Audio Workstation called
This site remains available for anyone who
purchased XO Wave in the past.
However, please keep in mind that as discontinued software:
- This site may not contain up-to-date information.
- Technical support is discontinued, though we will do our best to continue to provide
email support, especially to anyone who purchased recently.
XO Wave: Metadata
(ISRC, UPC, ID3, and CD Text)
XO Wave uses non-audio information in various ways. It can gather
this data automatically from imported files, iTunes, and other
sources, or you can enter it into XO Wave directly. This document explains
how this information is collected, edited and used. Note that
this metadata is most useful with XO Wave Pro, which
allows exporting it to QuickTime formats
and CDs in the form of ISRC (International Standard Recording
Code), UPC (Universal Product Code, also called UCC-12),
and CD Text data. If you want to use CD Text, you should
be sure to use XO Wave 0.19.2b or later, since CD Text support
improved in that release.
The links in the sidebar give an excellent introduction to various kinds of
metadata, and why they are increasing important for artists.
Importing and Editing ID3 and Other Tags
When you import files that have ID3 tags or other metadata,
XO Wave automatically imports whatever metadata it can read. This
data may represent the song's title, author and arranger credits,
or other information. If you import from iTunes,
information from your iTunes library can be imported as well. Note
that due to limitations in QuickTime, some data
that uses non-ASCII characters may not be correctly imported from
MP3 files; however, data stored in your iTunes Library is usually read
correctly, so if your MP3 files are imported from iTunes, this
should not be a problem.
Once a file has been imported, the data is associated with the file
and can be edited by selecting View/Edit File Metadata from the
Edit window's Region
|The Session Metadata Editor has three separate
tabs which allow editing
the session's properties, used when exporting the session
and burning CDs. All three tabs are shown side by side.
UPCs and ISRCs
UPCs (or Universal Product Codes) are numbers which can be used to
uniquely identify each product sold or transferred in the global
marketplace. If you plan on selling a CD, most stores and distributors
require a barcode, which is generated from your CD's UPC.
Many commercial releases also embed this information
in the CDs themselves (as part of the Q subcode),
which can be done in XO Wave Pro simply by
setting the appropriate value in the Session Metadata
window, as described below, before creating your CD Master.
ISRC data is used to uniquely identify each recording. CDs allow a unique
ISRC to be assigned to each track, which allows the usage of
recordings to be monitored and tracked. For example, a radio station
might use ISRCs for tracking royalty payments on all the music
it plays. Because all major online music retailers, including
the iTunes music store, require ISRCs for each track they sell
electronically, there is no reason not to also include the
ISRCs on your CD.
An ISRC is a 12-digit code divided into four parts:
the first two digits identify
the country of origin of the ISRC. The next three identify the
registrant of the ISRC. A registrant may be an entity such as a
record label or distributer. The next two
identify the year in which the ISRC was assigned. For example,
if an ISRC is assigned in 2007, these digits will be "07". The
last five digits are a designation code, chosen by the registrant,
which uniquely identifies the recording.
In XO Wave, you can assign an ISRC to each track of a CD by editing
the ISRC codes in the Memory
Locations Manager. If each track will have similar ISRC codes,
you may want to edit the Default ISRC field
in the Session Metadata
Editor. Additionally, if your ISRCs will be sequential,
you may want to set the Auto Increments ISRCs
checkbox, so that ISRCs will be assigned automatically, in sequential
order starting with the Default ISRC, to each track on your CD.
The default ISRC is created each time you create a new session in the
following way: the registrant is determined based on
your default registrant preferences settings. (If you frequently
assign the same registrant codes, you may change this
setting in the Preferences
window.) The year code is derived from the current date and the
designation code is initially set to all zeros. The country is
currently determined by the country your operating system reports,
typically determined from the time zone setting; however, this
may produce an incorrect country code (in particular, it may
produce one that does not correspond to your registrant),
so take care that your country code is the one corresponding to the
authority who issued your registrant code. In a future release,
we plan to make the default country a preference, just like
registrant codes, which should reduce the risk of such errors.
ISRC and UPC data is stored in the CD's Q subcode, along with timing
information, and thus will not interfere with the audio playback of
your CD. If you include CD Text (described below), the ISRC and
UPC data will be stored there as well.
The Session Metadata Window allows you to export your
UPC codes as PNG and EPS barcode graphics for use on your CD packaging.
Note that at this time, this is still an experimental feature,
so you should verify that the barcodes are correct before using them.
The session as a whole stores some additional metadata, such as
artist and song title information. This information is
used when exporting to QuickTime and
to create CD Text when creating a CD Master. Because almost all
file formats are exported using QuickTime, most formats
will carry at least some of this information. Note that, at this time,
session metadata is not exported to MP3 files.
CD Text data may be embedded on the CD's R and W subcodes, so,
like UPC and ISRC data, CD Text does not affect the audio
playback of your CD. Some CD players
can read CD Text data and use it to display song information such
as songwriter and track name. Information is stored in up to 8 blocks,
each of which may be associated with a wide range of languages,
including "None", which indicates that the given block is not
associated with any particular Language.
Unfortunately, the CD Text standard supports only two-character
encodings (ASCII and ISO Latin Modified 1), which in practice
means that it cannot be used for non-Latin languages, such as
Each block of CD Text is created by taking the session and CD track
metadata, converting it to the appropriate encoding (which may
mean removing unsupported characters, such as Chinese characters), and
tagging it with a language. Creating more blocks with different
languages and (especially) encodings may improve the number of
players which can read and display the
CD Text information. By default, new sessions are created with support
for an unassigned language, and English, in both ASCII and ISO Latin
Modified 1 character encodings, but this can be changed in the
To help you figure out just what will be shown on players which support CD Text in either ASCII or ISO Latin Modified 1, many metadata
text fields show their values in Unicode (the universal encoding
native to XO Wave), and both the standard CD Text encodings.
When you use the Auto Create... feature of the Memory Locations Manger to create
CD Tracks, the CD Tracks will automatically be created with metadata
which you can edit or use as-is. If you selected Automatically create
Sequential ISRCs in the Session Metadata
window, the ISRCs will be sequential and not
editable. If you wish to edit individual ISRCs, be sure to uncheck
Burning CDs with ISRC, UPC, and CD Text Data
When you burn CDs, the data from your session and CD Tracks will
automatically be made available for burning if you are running
XO Wave Pro, and will be burned to the disc unless you deselect the appropriate
the options in the Burn CD From
Note that you must setup your metadata before creating your master,
or it will not be stored in your master and, therefore, not be
burned to your disc.
There are several limitations associated with burning metadata with
- For CD Text, not all accented characters are supported. This is due
to a limitation in Mac OS X.
- For greatest compatibility, CD Text should be written to both
the lead-in area and the program area. Currently, Mac OS X
only supports writing CD Text in the lead-in area, so
some CD Text players might not be able to read
the CD Text on the disc. At one point there were reports of
some disks having this problem, however the issue turned out to
be caused by a different bug which Apple has since addressed. In practice,
we believe that all CD Text players should be able to read
CD Text from discs burned with
XO Wave and a reasonably current version of Mac OS X.