Album Art Appears on Every Page Except the CD Page

Hello - I’ve recently added my first Release Group (with CD and Digital Media versions), and tried very hard to follow the correct steps while doing so…

This led to a scenario where I created the initial entry for the CD (which also created the Release Group), and then I added a second entry for the Digital Media version.

Once this info. was in place, I uploaded the front cover image via the Digital Media version of the Release Group. I did this after making 2 assumptions:

  1. Since the artwork is a JPG from the graphic designer (I’m also the artist/label behind this release) and isn’t a scan of the CD’s album cover, it’d be most appropriate to do it in the Digital Media version

  2. Any album art uploaded to one version in a Release Group would be applied to all other versions of this release group

Happily, it appears this 2nd assumption is correct as it applies to the Release Group page, since the cover image is also showing there (https://musicbrainz.org/release-group/969a4888-8d6a-4b68-8e94-475ab62a5ed1).

Unfortunately, this cover image isn’t also being applied to the CD Release page (https://musicbrainz.org/release/91273d98-fe29-433b-b9d9-0d89c16ddff9). Which means if I query this CD (using XLD), the track names appear but the artwork does not.

And so I’m wondering now what the correct way is to get this cover art on the CD page consistent with all the other pages associated with this Release Group?

Is there a way to manually apply that image on the CD page without having to go through the process of uploading again (which seems redundant and wasteful)?

Or perhaps if the image was initially applied to a different page of the release group, then it’d automatically be applied to all the other pages as expected?

I assume there must be a way to do this in one step, and am fine with whatever the correct way is (even if I have to delete the current image and start over)…

As a beginner, I’m just not sure how to fix this and am also not seeing an obvious answer anywhere to this question.

Thanks for your help.

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This assumption is incorrect, this is explicitly not the case. Album art very often is different for releases. E.g. the CD version is different from the LP version, a limited edition might have separate artwork again, different country releases might have subtle differences, re-releases also change the cover and so on.

The best would be to have an actual scan of the CD version here.

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It is true that some software (e.g., Picard) will allow you to use the Release Group cover art for releases, but that is a decision that developers using MusicBrainz and Cover Art Archive data need to decide for themselves.

For MusicBrainz.org, we want to be explicit that a given Release does not have its own cover art (yet), so they don’t inherit from the Release Group (only the other way around), as @outsidecontext said.

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The simple way to look at it - you can have multiple Releases as a cassette, LP, CD and Digital. And these all look very different so all need different images. Even more so when Deluxe Editions then appear with extra tracks, or a Japanese release translates the covers.

The Release Group is an overall umbrella for the various versions. The image for this is selected from one of the various different editions. (There is a link on the right hand side of the Release Group page that lets you choose which image to display)

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Thanks very much to everyone for the replies! Taken together, it all makes sense to me now both for how this works and why it should work that way.

The only thing I’m fuzzy about is that it appears XLD takes the CD Version (front) image when it queries MusicBrainz for all the info associated with a CD. So this is the image that’s used when the album’s files are added to iTunes, etc…

If these assumptions are correct, then it would make sense that you’d want to use the most official type of image possible, and not a scan of the paper with the CD image on it…

Actually, it seems like MusicBrainz should have a separate option to upload artwork to be used specifically when CD rippers (like XLD) query MusicBrainz for the release info…

In any case, thanks again for the suggestions and I believe I know how to proceed for the releases I’m working with right now.

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This basically depends on what the user wants and is up to the applications to implement. All of the below is what people use, based on their preference:

  • Always use the image representing exactly the release one has. Software would just query the release images here.
  • Use the image from the release, but fall back to a generic image representing the album. Software might use the release image, but fall back to the release group image.
  • Prefer the most common representation of an album. Software might use only the release group image. Another option is using a service like Fanart.tv or TheAudioDB, which provide idealized, clean versions of the cover art.

I don’t know XLD, but they could provide options for this. When using e.g. Picard it can be configured to handle all of the above.

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They should use the release group cover - you can set which cover appears as the release group cover for this purpose (e.g. the nicest digital cover). Might be worth testing that this isn’t what’s happening? Or giving them some feedback. I don’t know anything about XLD :slight_smile:

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Thanks again to everyone who has given input, and it looks like @aerozol is correct that XLD takes the Release Group cover art.

I tested this with a release where I’ve uploaded both a digital release cover, and front and back images for the CD version. I then went to the Release Group page, and set the cover image from those options. And now when I insert that CD into my computer and open it with XLD, after querying the track names, the cover image is indeed loaded :smiley:

However, this doesn’t seem to work if there is only one (cover) image uploaded. I tested this on another release where I only have a digital cover specified. So when I go to the Release Group page and try to set the cover image, there is only one option and it seems to already be selected. So with that image highlighted, I saved the form. But when I load this CD into XLD and query the track names, the cover image is not loaded.

So it looks like the caveat is that for this to work, there needs to be more than one image available so that setting it on the Release Group page actually does something in the MusicBrainz database. Just wanted to mention it, since it seems to be a quirk (and possibly a bug) that isn’t documented so far as I can tell.

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