LEARNING CENTER CD Authoring What is the difference between ID3 tag, ISRC code and CD Text?
What is the difference between ID3 tag, ISRC code and CD Text?

For an audio CD there are quite a few ways how music tracks can show up on different players. They all have slightly different purposes and are set up differently:

iTunes track names (ID3 tags)
This is the one that most people are familiar with, when you insert a CD, the track names that show up in iTunes or Window Media Player or other computer-based music player are called ID3 tags, they are pulled from database such as Gracenote. The track names are not physically stored on the CDs, they are retrieved from the song database via internet. Therefore, the tracks could be submitted to the database BEFORE or even AFTER the CDs have been replicated, using the track name submission method via iTunes.
iTunes track names

ISRC codes
In a nutshell, an ISRC code is required to sell music online. The code is encoded at the mastering stage of the recording. Because of this, the codes must be present on the audio CD master for CD replication. They CANNOT be added to the copies afterwards.

CD-Text
CD-Text is a technology that allows for the writing of song information such as artist name and song name to be written into the physical CD. Certain car stereos, home stereos and DVD players are capable of reading and displaying CD-Text. Some burning software such as Toast and computer CD burners support the writing of CD-Text info, so it is best to check investigate whether the option is available on your setup. CD-Text cannot be added to the disc after it has been replicated. Along the same lines, most but not all replication and duplication equipment support this technology. If CD-Text is important to you, ask your CD replication or duplication vendor ahead of time.

Disc info and track names on Mac and PC
Even if you have done everything right, when you insert a CD into a PC, it will only show 'Audio CD' on 'My Computer', and when you click on the disc, it will say 'Track 1', 'Track 2'... However on a Mac, it does show the disc name and the track names, but it is pulling CD-Text or ISRC codes: the first time a disc is inserted it checks the cd info database file on the Mac for a match, no mach is found, it checks the CDDB database online for a match, then writes the info on the file.
Track names on mac

 

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