Below is a list of frequently asked questions on the Recording Information Notification (RIN). If your question is not answered, please get in touch with DDEX.

 1. What is RIN (summarised)?

Recording Information Notification (RIN) is a standard for the structured collection and exchange of metadata during, and following, the creation of a sound recording (ie. within the studio). RIN includes technical information about the recordings (what, when, where, and how) and crediting information (contributors and their roles). RIN is a component of the DDEX suite of XML-based message standards which integrate into the music industry’s infrastructure.

 2. What is DDEX?

DDEX (Digital Data Exchange, typically pronounced “Dee-Dex”) is a consortium of leading media companies, music licensing organisations, digital music service providers and technical intermediaries focused on creating standards for use by businesses in the digital media supply chain. Voluntary adoption of these standards improves efficiency, reduces cost and generates higher revenues for all businesses operating in this market.

For more information on DDEX, go to http://ddex.net

 3. Why RIN?

Many of the established processes that were commonplace in the analogue world - from the proper labelling and archiving of music files to documenting the necessary information regarding how, and by whom, those files were made - have been lost during the transition to digital music, which often makes crucial information about recordings inaccessible.

RIN was created to address this problem. It allows content creators to collect notes and data related to an individual recording, at the earliest instance (ie. within the Studio), while also addressing contributor and role information and providing essential information for the archiving of the recorded material.

Those overseeing recording projects are able to review the RIN data at intermediate stages and validate progress. Those seeking to repurpose recordings after they have been released will have a wealth of both technical and contextual metadata to work with as they create, for example, re-mixes and derivative recordings.

 4. What sort of information and metadata does RIN encompass?
  • Contributing Parties (artist, composers/writers, performers, producers, engineers, arrangers, conductors, etc).

  • Contributing Party information (including names, identifiers such as ISNI, associations, roles, other details).

  • Work(s)/ Composition(s) information (including copyright information and identifiers such as ISWC).

  • Samples used (including identifiers such as ISRC).

  • Session information (including dates, venues, locations, times).

  • Equipment and methods used in creation.

  • File and Resource logs.

  • Recording and Mix specific metadata (such as sample rates and file formats).

  • RIN file history (for tracking provenance and change/ version logs).

 5. What are the benefits of RIN?

RIN facilitates a more accurate crediting process, ensuring that the proper parties are recognised and paid for their contributions, while also providing important technical and creative information that can both enrich the consumer experience and preserve the creative and technical details of the asset (i.e., a recording) itself.

The core benefit of RIN is that it provides an interoperable way of sharing recording information across the creative process and into the commercial supply chain. RIN brings structure to these parts of the music supply chain by creating standardisation so that systems only need to deal with a single message format (and definitions) and people only have a single system to learn.

 6. Who is RIN for?

Whilst studio software manufacturers (such as those that develop Digital Audio Workstations), supply chain specialists (such as distributors, labels and publishers) and consumer facing service providers and retailers (such as music streaming services) are responsible for implementing RIN at a technical level, many parties across the industry will encounter and use RIN at a practical level through the use of software implementing RIN.

  • For Songwriters, Performers, Engineers and other creative talents, RIN facilitates the process of being recognised and correctly credited for their contributions to the musical work and/or recording, which can then facilitate accurate and prompt payments for their efforts.

  • Consumers will be able to use these credits to enhance their listening experience as well as aiding their discovery of new music through the ability to better link to additional recordings that feature shared credited writers, performers or other contributors, resulting in greater exposure and monetisation for these individuals.

  • For Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) manufacturers, RIN provides a standardised method of importing and exporting recording metadata within the DAW application itself, or with the deployment of plug-in software. Rather than building their own metadata set, trapping the information in proprietary systems with no or limited interoperability, DAW manufacturers can now adopt RIN as the standard for their software application’s collection of metadata, thus greatly enhancing their users’ ability to share not only the recordings but also the associated recording information.

  • For Record Companies & Distributors, RIN simplifies the process of receiving accurate information from “the studio” and crediting the proper contributors to a recording. RIN can eliminate the need for redundant data entry as the data can be easily mapped and ingested into existing label and distributor systems. Data collected from RIN can also be readily used to support the creation of label copy for releases.

  • For Music Publishers, RIN makes a major contribution to ensuring that copyright owners are properly identified and can be paid appropriately by providing a basis for the availability of better information, thus facilitating the accurate distribution of payments, along with proper crediting for future releases.

  • For Authors’ Societies, Music Licensing Companies, as well as other collective management organisations, RIN supports the collection and dissemination of a more comprehensive metadata set earlier in the production process, rendering the identification of contributors to a musical work and/or sound recording available earlier. This will support the efficient distribution of remunerations to the correct recipients. 

  • For Digital Service Providers (DSPs) (e.g. music streaming services) standardisation of metadata received is paramount and RIN provides a structure for the initial capture of the data at the start of the data supply chain, ultimately resulting in the availability of more information to DSPs. The wide availability of this information in a structured form will allow for the enhancement of discovery tools employed by music services, and third parties, and provide the opportunity to display more relevant information to the consumer, that will in turn drive engagement and retention. Furthermore, broader data will assist with the development of music services and their interfaces (such as aiding search and discovery and powering the capabilities of voice activated systems). Accurate information about musical works and sound recordings will also aid DSPs in reporting music usages to rights holders, making appropriate royalty payments and obtaining licences to monetise musical creations. 

  • For Memory Institutions (libraries, archives etc.) RIN provides a documented format that will allow participation and location information to be preserved for future study by historians and musicologists. The RIN information may be sealed for a period of time for later public release but this will provide a goldmine of information not currently available at all.

 7. Who can implement RIN?

Anyone can implement the RIN specification into their systems or platforms, without cost, by obtaining a free implementation licence from DDEX. They can then be sure that any changes to the specification are made in accordance with the DDEX regulations, which protect implementers and ensure that specifications represent best practices without convolution of the RIN specification.

There is no licensing cost for implementing or using RIN. A free implementation license must be obtained from DDEX by the software creator. Users creating or reading RIN files do not need to obtain any licence to use software that implements RIN.

See https://ddex.net/implementation/ for further information or to obtain an implementation licence.

NB. Users of software or tools utilising RIN do not need an implementation licence – this is only applicable to the technical implementers (such as Digital Audio Workstation and software manufacturers).

 8. What is RIN not?

RIN is not a program, piece of software or hardware.

RIN is not a company nor a proprietary system.

RIN is not a substitute for any currently existing process or party, but rather offers an opportunity for automation and increased efficiency.

RIN is not an audio file format.

RIN is not a language, rather it is a schema which systems can use to define the format in which they transmit and receive information.

RIN is not a static schema, it will be continually developed as implementers offer their feedback and the demands of the music industry evolve.

 9. Who is behind RIN and when was it established?

RIN was officially released as a “candidate standard,” in 2016. It was developed by DDEX members, under the DDEX remit, specifically by members of its ‘Studio Working Group’. The DDEX Studio WG includes representatives from the three major labels, independent labels, media companies, music licensing organisations, leading digital music service providers, software developers, trade organisations and independent professionals.

 10. How did RIN come to be?

The genesis of RIN was in a project developed in 2007, under the auspices of the U.S. Library of Congress, through the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). At that time, NDIIPP embarked on a three-year project with VeVaSound (formerly BMS/Chace) and its industry partners (the three major record labels and The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing) to create a structure for collecting and deploying metadata related to commercial multi-track recordings. NDIIPP recognised that many U.S. recordings would ultimately reside with the Library of Congress, and that born-digital material would be difficult for any entity to manage due to the proliferation of differing recording formats and delivery methodologies. 
The NDIIPP project deliverables included a metadata specification and a proof of concept data collection tool. As DDEX was the only international standards setting organisation working on creating standards for the business side of the music industry, it was selected as the obvious choice to further develop and manage the NDIIPP deliverables. 

With the metadata specification under the DDEX umbrella, the Studio Working Group was created to work on developing a standardised message in the DDEX format, using terminology developed by DDEX and which is common to all DDEX messages. When no existing DDEX field was available for a specific metadata parameter, one was created in line with DDEX specifications. Additional fields and flexibility have been added to the original NDIPP metadata specification in order to provide an even more comprehensive metadata set.

 11. Where can I find RIN?/ Who is implementing RIN?

Please see here for information on software implementing RIN or if you or your company is implementing RIN in its software and would like to be listed please contact us.

 12. Who monitors the implementers of RIN?

The DDEX community is expected to provide DDEX “endorsed” ‘validator’ tools to help companies ensure that their implementation of RIN is valid against the schema. Beyond this, members of the community are expected to alert the other party to any non-valid messages received from other parties, at time of receipt, so that implementations can be corrected. When there is a dispute around ‘accurate’ implementation, please get in touch with DDEX.

 13. Further Questions?

If your answer was not found, please refer to the article on the background to RIN (here) or to some technical information (here). Or you can get in touch with DDEX.