How Items Work

Items are the lowest-level catalog building block IC uses to organize your transactions. They're a set of metadata used to tie transactions to contracts in your catalog. Every transaction belongs to an item, which in turn can be assigned to a track and/or release as demonstrated by the diagram below. In conjunction with our contract tree, this is how we determine which splits to apply to a given transaction.

Transactional data normally comes with various identifying pieces, usually full of source-specific quirks and idiosyncrasies. Maintaining a master metadata list or fixing those discrepancies in all your 3rd party systems is often impossible. Here's how IC helps you avoid all of that:

Items + Data Imports = No More Metadata Mess

  • When a new data import is created, IC looks up or creates items for each unique set of metadata it finds in the import's transactional data. This includes artist name, release name, track name, catalog number, ISRC, and UPC.
  • Using Import Cleanup or the Catalog Manager, you assign the new items to relevant tracks and/or releases
  • Future imports with matching sets of metadata will assign transactions to pre-existing items. Any metadata with no matches creates new items and triggers a new round of cleanup

When creating one-off manual transactions, you can create a new item or assign it to a pre-existing one. Bulk creating transactions will create items using the same process as data imports.

Item-Level Contracts

Items are guaranteed to be unique per importer, meaning identical metadata from your digital distribution and your webstore will create separate items. This guarantee enables you to use item-level contracts to apply different splits to transactions depending on their data source and metadata. We recommend you start with release and track contracts, and use item contracts only when necessary in order to reduce the overall complexity of your contract tree.

Editing or Deleting Items

In general, we discourage editing or deleting your items, especially items created by data imports. It may be tempting to manually clean up your metadata at the item level, but it's likely only a temporary solution; any new imports may contain the same errors and inaccuracies, and will subsequently create new items from that metadata. Keep your catalog organized by using artist aliases and assigning items to the appropriate track and/or release.

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