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

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[quote=“mfmeulenbelt, post:4, topic:24549, full:false”]
I think box sets are usually boxes with individual containers for each medium (for example jewel cases).[/quote]

Not always. I have a release in my collection (THE ALFEE 40th Anniversary スペシャル ボックス) that uses three large digibooks for 18 discs.


Plenty of boxed set style releases come in, for instance, cardboard trifolds with slots for discs. I don’t think compressing the packaging for space should disqualify something from being a boxed set.


Exactly. The designation IMO has more to do with the audio contents than the packaging.


This is why I like the useage of a new package-unrelated term, like Anthology or any other proposed appropriate simple term (like Release Compilation, etc.) that makes it distinct from existing simple term (Recording) Compilation.


The term ‘box set’ is confusing me as it is more related to a physical packaging than related to a relationship between different releases/release groups, especially because of the word box.

  1. The physical over-packaging could be mapped as an additional flag/field next to the Packaging attribute. In this context, the term ‘box set’ is appropriate. (By the way, it would make one more reason to get rid of over-packaging: ‘It takes one more field in the mbdb!’)
  2. As for the relationship, I second @bflaminio on the analogy and thus would favor a primary type and a RG-RG relationship. The term ‘anthology’ seems to be a very good fit, since every example given in this topic and related style tickets falls under this type.

However, I don’t think that the release relationship is required or even wished, for two reasons:

  • It is inaccurate to specifically refer to a release (which only features the reissued tracks) rather than to another (which also features other tracks), as in @jesus2099 example, since an anthology is not necessarily complete.
  • It can be programmatically computed from the tracklists and the shared recordings, more accurately and without over-mapping.

@tommycrock: A distinction between compilation and anthology could be that the former may take from various sources/artists whereas the latter only applies to an unique source/artist.

Edit: this post is outdated, I changed my mind on the relationship level and the term ‘anthology’ after clarification, see later posts.


Or one day we can have multiple packaging (MBS-7686). :slight_smile:


Does this fall into the category of “anthology”? It is a self-described box set, and definitely a compilation, but I’m less sure it could be called an anthology.


@psychoadept: Definitely a compilation and not an anthology, but the ‘box set’ you mention is for the physical packaging, which is a separate issue I mentioned beforehand.

Edit: this reply adds to the confusion, see later posts for clarification.


The term ‘box set’ is used by the Amazon US page only, neither the Amazon CA page nor the release itself. Below is the definition of the ‘Box Set’ format used by Amazon US:

Box sets are collections of more than one CD, often packaged in something other than a standard jewel case. The typical box set is an artist or theme anthology. The quality of a box set is usually judged by the inclusion of rare and unreleased material, biographical information, photos, and video footage.

The Box set article from WP also considers this as packaging.


The terminology is definitely a bit vague, and it might be best just to keep everything under “compilation”. There are (at least) three different instances:

  1. A collection of previously released tracks from different artists (for example, the “Now!” series)

  2. A collection of previously released tracks from the same artist (typically a “greatest hits” album)

  3. A collection of previously released albums in a single package (the subject of STYLE-330)

I’m not sure if it possible to have a precise word for each of these instances. It might be necessary to simply define a MB specific term for each (if differentiation is desired).


It was also filed as a box set at the store where I bought it (back when it was a fairly new release). So regardless of the official definition, things like that are likely to introduce confusion into the system as well.


@bflaminio: Nice clarification. I agree that the existing ‘compilation’ type could be used to embrace the three instances (after an update of the guideline). The two first instances can already be distinguished from the release/RG artist (The first is from Various Artists, the second is more specific.) and thus do not require to be distinguished by a MB specific term. I was gradually focused on the ‘anthology’ term and partly neglected the initial subject which is the third instance that overlaps the two others. This last type of instance can be split further as follows:

3.a. A collection of previously released albums, using the same packaging down to the barcode and other details, bundled in an over-packaging (then an entity-release relationship is useful as it adds data which could not be retrieved from the database otherwise)

3.b. A collection of previously released albums in a custom packaging (then an entity-release group relationship is useful, but an entity-release one would not as it does not add data which could not be programmatically retrieved from existing disc ID, tracklist, or shared recordings)

As for the source entity of the above (to-be-invented) relationships, it primarily is a release group, but it can additionally be a release when variations exist (and only then).

@psychoadept: I don’t deny that the term is widespread in catalogues, I don’t take the Amazon US definition or the WP one for official/only valuable definitions, and I agree that it introduces confusion. This is why I don’t think it is a good idea to use this term into the MBz classification system as an RG type (since it is confusing from the context of RG types) but potentially as an (over)packaging type (if it is clear from the list of packaging types).

@tommycrock: The more I dig the database, the more I find contradictory examples, like “Glam Rock Anthology” which is from different artists and “Compilation” which is from a single artist. My distinction between the two terms is clearly not shared by everyone, not to say artificial.


Yep. Also, it’s a term borrowed from collections of poems by different poets.

The thing about it being a packaging type is that ‘album’ was originally a packaging type (like a photo album but of records) but came to mean something else. Similarly single and extended play refer to the physical form. To me it should be a primary RG type because it’s not about the packaging or the content being a compilation of releases but about the overall scale of it being substantially bigger than an album. The term is clearly interpreted differently by others, but would it with the right guidance?


Anthology is not only for poem, it is also for novels and any works like music. It is a word with a meaning that fits more correctly than box set.
I however agree to use compilation, the same term, for everything.
I certainly disagree with using box set, which seems to only have meaning in USA per abuse of language.


I think that’s the important thing. The boxset change, if it was made, can be independent of the other two changes which seem widely supported. So I would make those changes and we can discuss boxset independently.


A bit of confusion that remains for me is why a package with 2 albums can’t be a box set. It would be weird for me to see collections of three albums separated from those because of an arbitrary guideline.

Definitely go ahead with the other two changes though :slight_smile:


Because box set is a type of package, not a type of compilation.
The type of compilation or anthology or album set that we are talking about is not necessarily always presented as a box set.
Sometimes two albums are in a simple regular thickness 2CD jewel case.

We are missing the packaging type box and the ability to list several packaging type, maybe.
But we are not missing a packaging type as album type. :slight_smile:


[quote=“jesus2099, post:37, topic:24549”]
Because box set is a type of package, not a type of compilation.
[/quote]Not in our the definition (the one relevant to this discussion) that’s being proposed, which includes digital releases? It clearly says that the name originates from the packaging type, but the definition has changed into its own useage.

Regardless, if we’re going to make a seperate category that has ‘releases with multiple albums from the same artist’ (essentially what’s been defined, unless I’m mistaken?), I would find it confusing to split a 2 CD release from a 3 CD release when they’re doing pretty much the same thing,

ps oh I think I see, you’re not answering my question, but making a point about that name not being clear? Fair enough, I don’t mind what it’s called, anthology is just as confusing to most people haha so same thing either way…


I don’t understand this sentence.

Anyway it really seems that we should not try to find a term for something that is regarded as a compilation (of albums instead of of tracks) everywhere.
Some think box set is a widespread term while other have never heard of it and the same for other term.
The fact that it is a packaging name, makes it hard to accept to people never heard of it as a release type (maybe because it is English word).

In France we have some releases presented as coffret which means a box. But I would never consider coffret as anything else than the type of packaging, I still call the stuff a compilation.

IMO besides there is no agreement on a term for STYLE-335 (add release group type), I see no benefit from it once STYLE-330 (allow compilation type on all compilations) is allowed.

Maybe it is Compilation, be it live or not, that should become type instead of sub type.
In opposition to album which stands for original album, be it live or not.


That’s probably because you hijacked my original question so that you could go on about what to call the new release type. Which I don’t care about.

If somebody else wants to chip in on the original question (is it useful to separate compilations that collect 3+ mediums from compilations that collect 2 mediums) that would be great. I’m referring to the attempt at a definition in the original post, which would treat these very differently. Or is this a mistake?