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Catalogue numbers

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:48 pm
by Charlie
email from P. M. V in Brooklyn Center, MN, USA

I noticed a Cat. Number after each track listed.

Does this mean I can buy them somewhere or listen again to samples?

Please Advise - Thank you.


This is the second time I've been asked about catalogue numbers.

In the age of the download, catalogue numbers may become redundant.

But for as long as CDs exist, each label maintains a sequence of catalogue numbers - usually a few letters followed by some numbers, but occasionally a long string of numbers in which the first four or five are a code for the label. Most EMI Virgin catalogue numbers start with 072435, for instance, whereas Wrasse numbers all start with WRASS.

Record stores usually order from distributors by citing catalogue numbers, rather than name of the artist or album title. Some people who work in record shops begin to think in terms of catalogue numbers - I bet Dominic at Sterns knows hundreds off by heart.

As for downloading the tracks played in a World of Music, it's luck of the draw as to whether the download companies (iTunes, eMusic, Calabash etc) offer any particular record or track. It's a continual disappointment and frustration that world music is in general so badly represented, when this should be the music that would most benefit from what is called 'digital distribution'.

If any labels are reading this, wondering how to get onto iTunes - I recommend the digital distributor IODA, whose website is