Introduction to generating DDEX file using Python

What is a DDEX file?

DDEX, which stands for Digital Data Exchange, is a set of international standards for the exchange of various digital media-related information, primarily in the music industry. These standards are designed to facilitate the accurate and efficient exchange of data between various stakeholders in the digital supply chain, such as music creators, distributors, and retailers.

There are several DDEX standards, each serving a specific purpose. Some of the key DDEX standards include:

  1. DDEX ERN (Electronic Release Notification): This standard is used to communicate information about releases of musical works, such as albums or singles. It includes details about the tracklist, contributors, and other relevant information.
  2. DDEX MLC (Musical Works Licensing Creator): This standard is designed to support the exchange of information related to the licensing of musical works. It facilitates communication between music publishers and licensing agencies.
  3. DDEX RIN (Recording Information Notification): This standard focuses on the exchange of information about the creation and identification of sound recordings. It includes details about the recording process, contributors, and technical specifications.
  4. DDEX DSR (Digital Sales Reporting): This standard is used for reporting sales and usage information of digital music releases. It helps in tracking the performance of digital music content across different platforms.

DDEX standards are typically XML-based and follow a structured format, ensuring that data can be exchanged seamlessly between different systems and stakeholders. The adoption of DDEX standards helps in reducing errors, improving efficiency, and streamlining the processes involved in the digital music supply chain. File contains all information for given art used in company-to-company usage. May contains almost all possible data scene-by-scene for a given work of art. Currently, the most common usage seems to be to prove that you have the right to use a given music or video. Other DDEX usage may be to send a takedown message in case your music is used illegally. It is very specific xml or flat file for a particular use. The process we can use it is called clearance, during that process DDEX for specific published link of the art for specific registered in DDEX company should be created and send to give content provider i.e. Youtube.

How to generate DDEX file using Python

The best option for simple usage is to take the existing DDEX file and create a template from it. is the only generator of DDEXs we’ve found.

The template is relatively easy to update, but you’ll need:

  1. Link to already published music or video you want to generate that file for
  2. Your that’s free to obtain. there is no need for a DDEX membership
  3. DDEX ID of recipient company
  4. A track data like name, duration, artists, compositor, etc. possibly per scene if its a musical video

Update the template with that data. Once you ensure that fields with multiple contents (like artists, that sometimes there are two artists in a song) are handled correctly, you will have a proper DDEX file.

To generate DDEX files using Python, you'll typically need to follow these general steps:

  1. Understand the DDEX Standard: Familiarize yourself with the specific DDEX standard you want to use (e.g., DDEX ERN for release information, DDEX MLC for licensing information). Each standard has its own schema and requirements.
  2. Prepare Data: Gather the necessary data that you want to include in the DDEX file. This could include information about releases, contributors, licensing details, etc.
  3. Create XML Document: Use a Python XML library (such as xml.etree.ElementTree in the Python standard library) to create an XML document following the DDEX standard schema. You'll need to structure the XML document according to the DDEX specifications.
  4. Validate the XML: Validate the generated XML against the DDEX XML schema to ensure it conforms to the standard. DDEX provides XSD (XML Schema Definition) files that describe the structure and constraints of the XML documents for each standard.
  5. Save the XML File: Save the generated and validated XML document to a file. This file can then be shared with others or used for integration with systems that support DDEX.

Here's a simple example using the xml.etree.ElementTree module in Python to create a basic DDEX ERN XML file:

This is a very basic example, and the actual structure and content of your XML document will depend on the specific DDEX standard and use case.

Code below shows more complex scenario:

What to pay attention to

DDEX for takedowns is different in data but has great consequences. Let’s not think about this use case for this document. There are multiple versions of the standard, and different content providers are up to date with some of them. i.e. YouTube supports versions 3.4 to 3.8, Facebook version 3.8.3, while the newest version is 4.2, which may be soon supported. This document is related to DDEX for a single music file only. Videos and other art types may require different approaches and more detailed data in DDEX content.

Why to use DDEX

Using DDEX standards, such as DDEX ERN, DDEX MLC, DDEX RIN, and DDEX DSR, offers several benefits in the context of the digital music industry:


DDEX standards provide a common framework for exchanging data between different stakeholders in the music industry. This interoperability ensures that systems from different vendors can communicate effectively, reducing the risk of errors and streamlining workflows.


By standardizing data exchange, DDEX helps automate many processes in the digital music supply chain. This includes the exchange of information about releases, licensing, recording details, and sales reporting. Automation reduces manual effort, minimizes the potential for mistakes, and accelerates the overall workflow.


DDEX standards promote accurate and consistent representation of data. This is crucial in the music industry, where precise information about releases, contributors, and licensing terms is essential. Standardized data formats reduce the likelihood of discrepancies and ensure that all parties involved have access to the same accurate information.

Reduced Costs

Automation and improved accuracy resulting from DDEX implementation contribute to cost savings. Manual data entry and error correction can be time-consuming and costly, and DDEX helps mitigate these challenges.


The streamlined exchange of information through DDEX standards facilitates faster processing of digital music content. This is particularly important in a fast-paced industry where timely releases, licensing, and reporting are critical.

Global Standardization

DDEX is an international standard adopted by various organizations and companies in the music industry. This global adoption ensures consistency in data exchange practices, regardless of the geographic location or specific stakeholders involved.


Many digital music platforms, streaming services, and other industry players require adherence to DDEX standards. Compliance with these standards ensures that content is compatible with a wide range of distribution channels and platforms.


DDEX continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the digital music industry. By adopting DDEX standards, organizations position themselves to easily incorporate new features and functionalities as they are introduced, staying current with industry best practices.

In summary, the use of DDEX standards in the digital music industry enhances interoperability, efficiency, accuracy, and overall collaboration among stakeholders. It addresses common challenges associated with data exchange in the supply chain, contributing to a more streamlined and effective digital music ecosystem.

Additional links

backward compatibility and the list of breaking updates

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