There’s a collection of digital releases that I’ve wanted to sort out for a long time, but have always put off, because I anticipated a lot of issues.
I (nervously) bit the bullet and quietly starting adding Humble Bundle releases here:
After quite a few additions I’ve met with resistance, which is fair enough, so I would like to open up the discussion here.
I don’t have high hopes because I know I’m going counter to current MB practice, but I would like to take the opportunity to try and see the ‘merge (pretty much) all digital releases’ practice reduced, or exercised with leniency.
The issue here is that a lot of these digital ‘bundle’ releases are probably identical reissues of previous/other digital reissues.
However I would like to add new releases for these bundles because:
They are not always identical, I have found surprisingly many instances where there are differences in: completely different tracks, track order, bitrate, cover art, tags (eg track titles)
I don’t always have the ability to compare the two, so I don’t know if they’re exactly the same
MB’s digital media release info usually sucks (sorry) so looking at the release never helps (let’s change this!)
If some of these releases are reissues, and some are slightly different, I don’t think it’s consistent or user-friendly to have a mish-mash of new releases and old releases representing basically the same thing
If I have checked and the releases are the same, MB doesn’t have good ways of me putting all the information from various ‘releases’ into the release. eg I can’t set multiple [worldwide] release dates, series dates are wrong, users can’t see what ‘releases’ are amalgamated without a too-long disambig or digging into a multi-tiered annotation, etc
There are specific dates, annotations/information and art that I want to store with these releases, that are not at all related to the other digital releases
I find this information useful and interesting, if clearly disambiguated. Other people will too
Merging later is always easier
This isn’t just about this particular case - I love MB, and I think to be on top in the future it needs to deliver good data about digital releases, as granular as possible (and I think the existing infrastructure is well equipped to make that possible without confusion).
In the past the attitude has often been “just merge them” with digital releases, I would like to see some steps taken to preserve things like slightly different album art, just like we would with a misprinted run of CD covers where the data is exactly the same otherwise, or different bitrate, or different ‘special’ release date (eg in the case of these limited bundles)
I don’t really expect a ‘decision’, but I would like to slowly start putting forward the idea that digital releases, including information about what storefront sold them where and when and for how much, is not throw away information! At least not for everyone. Let’s future proof MB.