Music Language Digital, Terms and Explanations

Have you ever wondered what UGC actually means?

Many terms in the music scene are casual abbreviations, originate from the days of vinyl or a specific to the music industry. This does not always make them easy to understand, especially if you are just starting out.

However, we have summarized the most important and most common terms for you here:

What Is the Difference Between a Track and a Release?

  • Track = refers to a single track of a production (e.g. only the vocal recording, the bass, etc.) at least if you speak in terms of music production. In most cases however, it refers to an entire song. In digital distribution, the track consists of the audio file of the song and the associated metadata.
  • Release = it contains one or more tracks. The terms publication, album or bundle are used synonymously.

 

Is My Planned Release an EP?

Basically, the first time a piece of music is releases, one distinguishes between three formats, these are based on the number and length of your tracks:

  • LP = Long Play or also Album. There are over 7 tracks with a total length of over 30 minutes.
  • EP = Abbreviation for Extended Play. Includes 1-3 tracks, 1-2 of which are over 10 minutes, with a total play time under 30 minutes. Or 4-6 tracks all under 10 minutes, total play time under 30 minutes.
  • Single = also called Maxi Single. With 1-3 tracks, all under 10 minutes, total playing time under 30 minutes. 1-Track Bundle is used colloquially when there is only one track on the release.

 

What is a Compilation?

A compilation is a collection of previously released tracks that come from different releases or even artists. However, a playlist is not a compilation, and a distinction must be made here:

  • UGC- Compilation = User Generated Content stands for collected user-generated content. With UGC- or 3rd party compilations, tracks of other artists, bands or labels are licensed and used in addition to own tracks. This is published completely with a new EAN.
  • Playlist = the playlist is very similar to the compilation, but anyone can create it on the platforms. Mostly the tracks in it have a certain genre or theme.

 

Are There Item Numbers for My Track and Release?

There are various numbering systems for tracks and releases which, among other things, regulate digital billing and allocation.

  • ISRC = International Standard Recording Code is more or less the chassis number of a track. The twelve-digit code, which is valid worldwide, can be used to determine who the rights holder is.
  • EAN = Euopean Article Number, is the European article number of a release. Alternatively, the UPC, i.e. Universal Product Code, is also used for releases. The complete processing of billing, delivery and listing in the stores runs exclusively with it.

 

What Contributor Roles Can and Must I Assign?

There are several contributor roles for tracks. A role is chosen based on the type of participation.

  • Performer = also Artist, is the performing musician or band on the track. The name is the artist name under which the artist performs.
  • Featuring = also “with”, is a contributor on a release. The role is abbreviated as feat. and is used for the artist who makes a guest appearance or assists on a song.
  • Remixer = the role of the artist who reinterprets an already existing track. So a different background, melody and / or arrangement, but you hear similarities.

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