Reading it, a release seems to be defined by its properties. Cover art isn’t mentioned (and details such as manufacturer).
Release Group style says re-issues should grouped together. How does MusicBrainz define re-issues?
The editing FAQ didn’t help much either:
There are releases with no cover art or even wrong covers! Can I change them?
Please make sure that you have selected the correct release, of course. Check the barcode and catalog number; if they don’t match your release, you probably are looking in the wrong place.
There are two or more releases with the same titles, should I merge them?
Releases should only be merged when the following requirements are met:
- The number of tracks are the same
- The track titles are the same
- The track lengths are the same (or extremely close if the release has no discID).
- The country, label, barcode, format, and packaging, are the same
- The cover art is the same.
The release dates, publishers, and distributors should probably also be the same to warrant a merge.
I found the same release twice. Which one should I remove?
Probably neither. If they are really identical (exactly the same tracks in the same order, same label, catalog number, and release country), you should merge the albums. This helps other users > update their tags, and also allows voters to check that it really is a duplicate.
An interesting bit in “How to add cover art”:
There is also a field for adding a short comment if you want to specify something about the image (like “misprinted first pressing”).
Cover Art doc says:
Cover art, also known as “album art” or “album artwork”, is artwork that provides a visual representation of a release. Normally it refers to the front of the release packaging, but the Cover Art Archive can store images of the back of the release packing, of the media itself, and of many other pieces — right down to the sticker on the shrinkwrap.
So, a release merge requires among others same cover art, publisher and distributor but not manufacturer.
But what exactly is part of a release?
I couldn’t find a distinct definition on MusicBrainz.
Has MusicBrainz adopted certain guidelines from Discogs?
I’ve canceled the controversial open edits.