2-in-1 release groups and other boxsets (STYLE-330, STYLE-331, STYLE-335)

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f2a004fbb78> #<Tag:0x00007f2a004fb7b8>


Looking at our most voted style tickets, there’s a group of three that seem both actionable and closely related:


The combination of these would get us the following changes:

  • A new “Box Set” primary type (along Album, EP and Single). There’s an attempt at a definition but I’m not very happy with it and I’d expect to get some attempts at a better one as part of the discussion.
  • A change to our definition of compilations so that “A release containing two albums and/or EPs” is no longer excluded from being a compilation for unclear reasons.
  • A relationship between release groups, that indicates that release group X is included as part of (the concept of) release group Y. The current suggested phrases for that are “includes/included in”; they seem pretty decent to me, but I’d be happy to hear other suggestions as well.

If anyone has any problems with all of this, or any ideas on how to do it better, don’t hesitate to speak up :slight_smile: Otherwise, small improvements to the wording also more than welcome.

Notes from #MetaBrainz Meeting on 2016-04-18
Notes from #MetaBrainz Meeting on 2016-05-16
Packaging, is it Release or medium
CD box: one or many releases?
pinned #2


In the various previous discussion on this topic, calling that stuff Anthology seemed like a good idea.
Anthologies agglomerate releases while compilations agglomerate recordings. (kind of)

But I’m also in for calling everything a compilation, if we don’t need distinctions.


Are there any examples of digital-only box sets? I think that the concept is quite clear for physical releases, though if you look at the description in the proposal “at least three mediums” I have at least one release consisting of three CDs that I wouldn’t call a box set. I think box sets are usually boxes with individual containers for each medium (for example jewel cases).

Would the proposed relationship between release groups be used for box sets as well?

@jesus2099: I think you’re technically correct about the distinction between compilations and anthologies, but they are so often used interchangeably that the distinction would probably cause more confusion than it solves.


I’d expect it to, yes (that’s why I posted all three tickets together).


I understand the point behind this idea but our definition of release group is quite wide. This is a little bit problematic when information which version of the release isn’t included. Release groups are having multiple medium types, versions differing with content (UK version and JP version could have different bonus tracks), versions having bonus mediums (bonus DVD), versions having alternate names and also different masters. I’m mostly editing classical & soundtrack and at least with these styles this relationship would be quite useless.


Hmm. I mean, the recordings would be shared anyway, so in theory no more info should be needed. But some people seem to want a specific relationship. I’m not sure whether RG-Release or Release-Release would be a better fit (and/or useful).


I’m not having a strong opinion about this. I still would like to see some comments from people who see some benefits for adding this relationship. If it’s really going to be used and majority sees it useful I have nothing against adding it.

Box set as a primary type makes sense to me and also changing definition of compilations.


As far as I know the reason was that 2-in-1 albums often supplanted the original separate albums and were thus the only way to get those albums after the separate releases had gone out of print. For that reason it was felt that they deserved more prominence than they would receive lumped in with a bunch of “best of” compilations.


After reading ListMyCDs’ comment, I feel too that this relationship should be set as RG-Release. Unless someone can give an example where Release Groups would be better… At least IMO we must have a RG-Release variant.


My memory is that 2in1s as compilations was uncontroversial, as long as the relationships between releases / release groups were added to make them findable. The relationships were only blocked because of dispute over which entity types should be linked.

As for box sets as a primary type, that was controversial - both whether we should add it and what it should contain. My suggested definition was only meant to get the ball rolling on a discussion. Lixobix also contributed:

I don’t think this distinction is either technically correct or correct in usage. OED: compilation / [OED: anthology] (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/anthology). [WP: Compilation album] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compilation_album).

P.S. Thanks @reosarevok for getting the ball rolling on this one (or three) again.


IMO the relationship should be allowed RG-RG because, I don’t want to have point to a specific edition of the original albums (so I would link to their RG). And the anthology can have several editions too, I don’t want to link each time (so I would link their RG).
Bonus tracks and other variations is not a big deal, it’s just to say this anthology (RG) is compiling their 5 first albums (RG), for instance. Just like singles and albums are linked at RG level as well.


Good analogy. The “anthology” or “box set” is the next level up from “album”, just as “album” is the next level up from “single”.

I think the relationship should be RG-RG as well.


It seems to me that linking specific releases would raise issues of “what if there is bonus material only on the box set”, etc.


Is it making things bad that we allow several kinds?
Besides allowing RG-RGs, we would allow RG-releases, release-releases and release-RGs…

I also link compilation release (below) to several RG or releases.

I have several of this kind, Taiwanese editions where the bonus tracks are complete appended other release. But it’s an edition, so I could not link the whole RG.

I am not sure about X-releases but maybe all cases can exist.


I think that’s fine. The relationship is meant to signify that the concept of the Album release group is included in the concept of the Box Set release group. Two Box Set Releases may be slightly different, two Album Releases may be slightly different. Remember also that Releases should be in the RG when they’re similar enough that if you have one of the Foo albums, you would say “I have the Foo album”, without specifying further. If there’s a copy of the Foo album included in the Bar box set, then would be able to say both that you have the Bar box set (1 RG) and that you have the Foo album (another RG).

I do think the wording should maybe be different, but I don’t have a good suggestion.


OK, I guess I (maybe I’m not the only one) miss an important piece of information here. Let’s say I have this “Outside” box set which is made of Releases “Inside” and “Inside (the Sequel)”. I intentionally used the word “Release” because there are other Releases of “Inside”. I know which Release of Inside is included, because of it’s bar code. How am I supposed to enter this box set? I guess I’ll create a new Release & RG for the box set. But will I have to enter the track lists of the included albums? Or will I only use the new relationship and the UI will automatically copy the isolated Releases inside my new box set?

If I must enter the track list, then maybe the RG-Release is unnecessary. Anyone can guess the Release from the track list. There would still be ambiguities, for example Releases with “explicit” versions, but these maybe don’t matter. But if a user wants to indicate a specific Release, I think we should allow him to.

But if the box set track list is automatically copied from existing Releases, I don’t see how we can avoid going to the Release level.

So how is this going to work?


At least at first, definitely enter the tracklist. There have been requests for boxsets that do not store the actual tracklists again, but that sounds very far in the future (it needs fairly large code changes).


Then I believe RG-RG could be enough. But if it doesn’t add too much work, allowing RG-Release and Release-Release also could sometimes prove useful too.


“Box set Release Groups are a compilation of releases, usually sold together within the same physical package, or as a single digital ‘package’. Sometimes compilations of recordings, as opposed to releases, still identify as a ‘box set’. If something self-identifies as a box set, but clearly belongs within an existing Release Group of another type (eg Album), use that Release Group.”

That’s not necessarily better than Tommycrock’s version, but sometimes it can help to have a slightly different version to look at for ideas. I don’t really understand the part about a minimum length or amount of albums in a box set… only two albums in a box = ?
But anyway liking that we’re finally going to have these separated out, even if I can already see the endless ‘compilation or box set’ edit discussions > <