Audiobooks: Album or Other?

other
primarytype
type
audiobook
album
releasegroup
Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f2a02977808> #<Tag:0x00007f2a029776c8> #<Tag:0x00007f2a02977560> #<Tag:0x00007f2a02977420> #<Tag:0x00007f2a029772b8> #<Tag:0x00007f2a02977178>

#1

The type of the release group of audiobooks (album, single, EP, broadcast, other) is not clear. A lot of release groups are entered as “other”, slightly few as “album”.

https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Release_Group/Type says this about the primary types:

Album: An album, perhaps better defined as a “Long Play” (LP) release, generally consists of previously unreleased material (unless this type is combined with secondary types which change that, such as “Compilation”).
Other: Any release that does not fit or can’t decisively be placed in any of the categories above.

http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Release_Group and http://musicbrainz.org/doc/Style/Specific_types_of_releases/Audiobook don’t mention the primary type.

IMHO audiobooks match the description of “album”, but I have no problems with the “other” type.
So what primary type should audiobooks have?


#2

I just use the secondary type of ‘audiobook’.
I don’t think it’s necessary to shoehorn an ambiguous primary type in there as well, although I guess if we had to (and I know some people can’t handle leaving that field blank) I would use ‘other’. That’s because although I agree with them fitting our description for ‘album’, I’ve never heard of an audiobook being referred to as an ‘album’ and I think it could lead to confusion later.


#3

https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Release_Group/Type does not say that a release group must have a primary type:

[…] a release group can have a “main” type […]

So you are right, there are now three possible alternatives for the primary type of the release group: (empty), album, and other.


#4

“Other” is basically equivalent to empty - there’s a style ticket to get rid of “Other” in many places where it means nothing that I should look into at some point. So in reality, it’s kinda just two alternatives :slight_smile:

I’d go with empty/other.


#5

My voice is for album, because of the usual length, and because it is a „complete work“.

Come to think of it, some audiobooks are offered as a stack (less often as a literal album) of CDs … akin to the stack or book of shellacs that is the origin of the name „Album“.


#6

@docdem Sorry, I don’t understand. Could you rephrase that?


#7

You probably know this, but the term „album“ stems from the time when 72 rpm singles were the norm, and only contained about 3 minutes of music. To get longer works (e.g. an entire opera) to the consumer, publishers put tens of singles into a container, often an something like a book where each „page“ was a record sleeve. These looked like the already popular photo albums.

Soooo… my idea is to carry the album metaphor further by calling a box containing tens of CDs making up an audiobook an „album“ as well.


#8

That’s great for a MB expert/music history and definition buff, but[quote=“aerozol, post:2, topic:73714”]
I’ve never heard of an audiobook being referred to as an ‘album’ and I think it could lead to confusion later.[/quote]
Not to mention that most modern Audiobook additions will be digital downloads.


#9

Surely a box with tens of CDs in would be better called a box set than an album


#10

I also think that audiobooks should be listed under ‘Other’. That seemed to be the norm and was what I had in mind when I was writing the audiobook guideline, but for some reason it didn’t get included.

To be honest I think the bigger issue here is with the whole primary/secondary type system not being all that appropriate for specific types of releases - it seems to be applied differently in certain circumstances.


#11

In the case of an audiobook, I disagree. It may be in a box, but it’s a single unit. There’s no way you could subdivide it and still have a coherent whole.


#12

The comment was meant to be tongue in cheek so I probably shouldn’t have made it, but for me a box set is not necessarily divisible, that’s just a special case (no pun intended :slight_smile:)


#13

Hmm, I don’t see the potential for confusion … but the general consensus seems to be against Album.

I must say that I hate „Other“, though. Can’t we just leave it blank? Does that look stupid anywhere?


#14

I prefer it blank, then it displays in the UI as just… Audiobook

Which seems like a pretty good description :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

As @reosarevok said earlier:


#16

If the consensus is that audiobooks are not albums or any of the other primary types, maybe audiobook should itself be a primary type?


#17

Maybe if you could link this ticket.
I find Other useful for Package, at least.


#18

http://tickets.musicbrainz.org/browse/STYLE-504 would be that :slight_smile:


#19

Yes, well it’s certainly not a single or EP, and album is at least redundant. I guess it could be a broadcast?
Looks like it https://player.fm/featured/audiobooks


#20

Broadcast seems wrong, unless they were, well, “broadcast”. Not sure if streaming counts – I could read a book on a youtube video; that wouldn’t turn the book into a video.