How many songs on a single?

I recently finished importing all my CDs into iTunes in order of plopping them onto my iPod. As all good music playing software does, iTunes is happily finding all the song titles & artist/group names – fantastic! The problem I’ve got is what defines a single. Originally vinyl singles were accompanied by second song on … Continue reading “How many songs on a single?”

I recently finished importing all my CDs into iTunes in order of plopping them onto my iPod. As all good music playing software does, iTunes is happily finding all the song titles & artist/group names – fantastic!

The problem I’ve got is what defines a single. Originally vinyl singles were accompanied by second song on the B-side of the record. Then CDs were commonly backed by 2 “B-sides”. Nowadays, singles come with 2, 3 or more B-sides. So how do you know when a single becomes an EP?


I’ve always followed the rule that singles have 2 B-sides only. Therefore, if a CD has 3 or more bonus tracks, then it becomes an EP. But, if a CD consists of 4 or more tracks of which, the B-sides are all remixes, then it reverts to a single.
However, this does become confusing. If track 1 is the single, track 2 is a remix & tracks 3 – 5 are different songs, then again I label this an EP.

I want to know so I can create Smart Playlists of EPs & singles. So what is the real answer? Does anybody know?

3 thoughts on “How many songs on a single?”

  1. Mate – there is a real answer…but I’ll be buggered if I can remember it. I have a sneaking feeling you can have four songs on a CD and it can still be a single – which is why so many artists release 2 versions of the same single these days – ‘cos the sales of both can be combined, but if the tracks were combined on one CD, it’s be too many for inclusion in the chart.

    I’ll do some research and let you know…!!!

  2. Here you go chief:

    A single is defined by the Official UK Charts Company as either:

    a) 2 Track CD – Maximum play time of 10 minutes and no more than two audio tracks. No multimedia content. Minimum cost £1.20.

    b) Maxi CD/DVD – Maximum play time of 20 minutes and no more than three tracks plus remixes of those tracks. Minimum cost £1.79.

    c) Remix single – One title and any number of remixes to a maximum of 40 minutes. Also applies to the Maxi format, above.

    So, it seems that remixes don’t count, unless they tip the total run time over 40 minutes…if they do, then it’s no longer officially a single. If it’s different tracks, it can only run to 20 minutes.

    Problem solved mate. Will e-mail you my source…

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