Album vs Broadcast

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If a play is on the radio, then the Release Group type would be BROADCAST and secondary is AUDIO DRAMA.

If I make a copy to cassette tape or MP3 at the time, and upload these to MB, then they are BROADCAST and AUDIO DRAMAs but also BOOTLEG

If that play is then officially sold as a Digital Download and\or CD is it still BROADCAST and AUDIO DRAMA or does it now change to ALBUM and AUDIO DRAMA?

Dictionary says:
Album - A collection of recordings issued as a single item on CD, record, or another medium.

So that tells me that these radio plays become “ALBUM and AUDIO DRAMA” the moment they are officially sold.

Can someone confirm this to me? (I think I previously have mislabelled some albums I uploaded and need to check before making the corrections)

Why is Broadcast not available as a secondary type? Otherwise only the recording I bootleg from the radio and podcasts apply. Isn’t that play still a “broadcast” once it has been sold as an “album”?

Edit: trying to read back a few old threads, etc. can’t remember where the lost edit note discussions are.

Generally the pattern seems to be “other” for audiobooks and “broadcast” for radio plays. I have had someone say to me before that “album” is for music and the spoken word is separated into other and broadcast. That is the logic I’ve followed the past few years.

This is not clear in the guidelines which is why I would like to check with those who know the hidden guidelines. :slight_smile: I have a noob adding “albums” to an artist who is currently lots of “other” and “broadcast” Release Groups. Before I wade in and correct them, I need to make sure I really am correct here due to the vague guidelines.

Album = Music
Other = Spoken Word, Audiobooks, Comedians, Lectures, Podcasts
Audio Drama = Plays, Shakespear, Comedy Sketch Shows, Dramas


I have also made some stylistic changes for inconstent artist pages in this area and have asked myself similar questions. Therefore I would like to hear some other opinions too.

As I understand it - and this is also what most editors seem to do - audiobooks, audio dramas and other non-music RGs should have the primary type Other (and not Album).
AFAIK there should be only one exception: I use Broadcast for “spoken content” (mostly audio dramas in my case), if I know that they had been produced for/by a radio station originally (e.g. BBC audio dramas). IMO it does not matter whether this is my own bootleg recording of the broadcast (very unlikely to be on MB) or an official release on CD. The primary type should not be changed in such a scenario if I understand the docs correctly:

An episodic release that was originally broadcast via radio, television, or the Internet, including podcasts.

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Thanks for confirming @kellnerd. It would be good to see that “Broadcast” definition expanded to include the words “and later releases on vinyl, cassette or CD”.

I read parts of a few old threads I had talked about this stuff in before. And “Album” clearly seems to be kept away from these non-musical products. Which makes a lot of sense as it keeps a theatre group’s Musical numbers away from their main performances.

The trouble is I am about to wade in and fix a number of entries a Noob has done. Changing “album” to “broadcast” really needs some backup guideline to point at. Instead of me just shouting “do it cos it is a hidden rule”.

I’ll wait until the weekend to see if any more replies appear, then wade in with the Cricket Bat of Complience™ and make the corrections.

Was there any definitive answer to this: I’ve been wanting to add/tidy things like Dead Ringers and Hancock’s Half Hour; these are shows which were originally broadcast on the radio (IMO one release group) then subsequently some/all episodes have been release on various cassette/CD/digital download.

I’m wondering if, when release on CD, etc. is the release type still broadcast or does it change to other?

In some cases (e.g. Lord of the Rings Radio Play) it makes sense to keep it all the same release group; in others its much clearer in the Overview page (e.g. - not a brilliant example as needs tidying) to separate the broadcasts from the “other” releases.

Second question: when adding a series of broadcasts, is it better to do one release for the whole series? Or to split the release into year/“seasons”?

e.g. I recently added the list of broadcasts for Hancock’s Half Hour (planning to do similar for other classic comedy shows); should this be split as then “The First Series” can have the release date 1954, etc.

I’ve now just reread and wonder if I’ve misunderstood - should there be a Release Group “Hancock’s Half Hour” and within that multiple releases named

  • 1954-11-02: Hancock’s Half Hour #1, “The First Night Party”
  • 1954-11-09: Hancock’s Half Hour #2, “The Diamond Ring”
  • etc.

This would answer the question (in a way) because a ‘other’ release would then be completely separate format, etc.

I am also a bit of a radio nut. And I was part of the drive to get “Audio Drama” type separate to “Audiobook”. (There are a number of discussions similar to this one)

The main artists I then tidied up off the back of this are The Goons and Douglas Adams.

The Goons have plenty of vinyl, cassette and CD releases of their original shows. Very much the same as Hancock’s Half Hour. And yes, I kept that Broadcast type in all of the latter reissues of the shows. Have a look if it is a useful pattern to follow.

Douglas Adams really benefits from this. He has Audiobooks that are readings of the books, and then there are the Audio Plays that were Broadcast on the radio before being transferred to CDs. In this situation there is a HUGE benefit to being able to being able to keep the wide separation between Broadcast and Not Broadcast.

If the “Broadcast” type was removed in that Artist it would cause chaos and loose an important difference.

At somewhere along those discussions it was clearly argued that these are not “albums”. Can’t remember why that was, but it made sense at the time.

Like your collection of Hancock’s Half Hour recordings, I also have a complete set of The Goon Show I want to put into place in a nice clear way. As well as getting those original HHGTTG shows better listed. Both of these artists have been a bit of a long term mission for me as they were in a huge chaotic mess when I first looked at them.

I think your reading of the “broadcast” guidelines makes sense. It would be very sensible to have an “other+Broadcast” single RG to then list ALL the shows in a series. That should let them link their Recordings in cleanly to the later vinyl\cassette\CD re-issues.

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The Goons was on my list of show to look at: I tend to access episodes as they are rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

were you saying there is a complete list of The Goon Show episodes (similar to on MusicBrainz already? if not, is one a good idea for these classic comedy shows? I know technicallynits not a single release: but its easy to take a list from somewhere like: and produce the complete list. that gives a recording for each episode which can then be related to episodes on discs.