Blank pages/tray

I came across this edit today: Edit #45396051 - MusicBrainz

It seems to me that there’s no reason to add “artwork” when it’s a blank page, or, as in this case, the blank “tray” side of a back cover.

I was going to remove the item, but since it’s the first time I’ve come across it (and it got a “yes” vote), I thought I’d better ask first. So is there a reason to include blank artwork?

The same editor uploaded artwork files of over 100 MB. Yeesh!


Well, now we know that there is a blank page and that there is no artwork missing. I the image were removed, we wouldn’t know that.


If it was just useful to show that there is no artwork, 250px would have been more than enough.

This blank image is 3500px! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
I would not upload that, this is just adding to the global warming.

All the classic grey jewel case back covers are printed only on one side, it is not logic to scan that, IMO.
This blank side is not only blank, it is also hidden behind the opaque grey plastic tray.

There are exceptions of artwork hidden behind opaque trays, scanning those is enough.


I would leave it, storage size like this has a negligible effect on the environment compared to, for instance, ordering a CD via post.

Personally I wouldn’t scan it if it was hidden behind the plastic jewel case tray, but no harm done as far as I can see. As always, smaller sizes are made available automatically to whoever wants them. I would vote no on an edit to remove it, as I don’t see how that helps anyone.


Awesome! If or when the internet archive has a problem with large images they will let us know. They can always be made smaller later - never bigger.


It’s something that might be difficult but interesting to compare objectively but order CD via post happens once for each interested people, while storage is always running and growing, it’s piling up, even if no one cares of big (especially blank) images.

And the image storing footprint is added to the already existing physical release.
If you are interested in the CD, an online blank tray image will not replace it. ;-p

I have only been able to find data that shows that the energy useage to store these amounts of data (not stream television, which is orders of magnitude larger) has negligible energy useage.

It’s a bit annoying that this has come up again since you had no reply for me previously @jesus2099: Cover Art: How to reduce PNG file size in GIMP? - #38 by aerozol

Please provide the data, otherwise let people upload what they want, within the rules of MB and the CAA, without harassing them.

It does for me. I have scanned my old CD’s and brought them to charity shops. I’m interested in the historical value of their data (including art and graphic design detail), not the physical object.


What about if you pay for a CD with bitcoin?
I heard that could result in the temporary shut down of the power for a small village?

If you want to go down the Global Warming conversation - why does this forum have to load 4.8MB of data on every page refresh? What on earth needs that much data for a single page? Badly inefficient for a few lines of text chat.

(Vivaldi Browser is interesting in that it shows the data for each page as it loads in the Address Bar)

If you want to drive at the ecology of the data we need to get rid of some of the bloated junk of javascript that is running on some of these forum and database pages!

Storage of an image will use less power than the running of this website. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I agree @hiccup, bitcoin seems horrific when you read its design.
@IvanDobsky Vivaldi does not load those 4.8MB each time.
Most of it is cached already and loaded only once (see Network tab Size column in F12).

This topic is still about big empty image of something not printed and hidden.

I cannot even say my opinion when a topic emerges about it? :slight_smile:
I think it’s positive that @Beckfield wondered about this too.


I think it’s not right to talk to contributors about causing pollution when it takes the equivalent of four cyclists* to power a modern server (based on the brief research I did in the linked thread). Without other data (which I am definitely open to!) I have to maintain my position that the environmental impact of these images is negligible.

*in hindsight, not a great metric, but that’s what the report said I guess. Olympic cyclists or 5 year old tricyclists must have a pretty big power differential? :thinking:


True, five year olds have way more power. I’d say we use that power to solve the climate crisis.


In daily use the image will sit silently on a server. The hard disks are likely spun down much of the time, or even better it may now be on SSD storage. When in active use the thumbnail image will be retrieved more often than the full image.

Yeah, I agree it is a little comical keeping an all white image - but this is a full archived representation of the product as it is. Personally I am a believer in some levels of compression, but you only have to look a the unreadable mess the 600x600 Discogs images now are in the current day to see why higher data quality is an investment in the future.

I was trying to make a genuine point though. Even if this 4.8MB Discurse page is cached - why is my PC having to churn through so much data just to put some dumb text on this page? The main MB pages are some of the slowest and most complex pages I load when using my web browser. I’d love to know the power usage of pulling in a single page. Now that would be an interesting project to refine and save power costs on.

I’m not bashing MB as there are way worse sites. But then I don’t visit many News sites with big advert servers due to a Pi-Hole adblocker killing that pointless load from my machine. I know that Pi-Hole saves a noticeable amount of power that would have otherwise been wasted looking at a web page. By using a Pi-Hole I can afford to have better quality artwork where is matters. :slight_smile:

Edit: And just to add, I like the idea of @mfmeulenbelt to return to child labour. Keep em quite with something useful. Stick a bike in every house attached to the National Power Grid. :rofl:

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This is not really visible if it’s behind an opaque tray, is it?
Would we upload scans of the classic grey plastic tray for all such jewel case releases, or of the blank verso of all keep-case DVD jackets because it’s part of the product?
There are limits to what’s relevant to keep.

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This is a point I was wondering about. The tray is rarely being shown, but it is often important. Especially when it is a clear tray. Currently nothing in MB allows us to denote the tray colour.

We should have a single linkable image to represent the grey and black trays. That one image can then be a stand-in for each CD release.

Deleting this blank image now it is here would not save anything as I believe all deleted items stay on the server. Maybe the docs should be updated to suggest avoiding uploading blank pages?

And it is better than yet another YouTube cat video. :smiley:


I usually put that in the (untranslatable) disambiguation comment / annotation.
Trays are either classic grey with grooves, same but white, flat clear (the new standard) or… custom. :slight_smile:

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throwing a couple of pennies into this conversation, Jason Scott of the Internet Archive (where Cover Archive is stored) has many times said that he doesn’t mind if people up load large images, he’ll find the space. Now how he feels about blank pages I’m unsure, but I do have to agree it does mean completeness (although im not sure I’d go to the trouble myself).


Sometimes “Printed in Canada” is printed on the tray side of the back cover… but really… if you look closely, the image is not a completely, uniformly colored, white sheet of paper. It has yellowed, and there are shadows along the crease of the spines… This discoloration is an exact, but mirrored, copy of the discoloration in the scanned image of the back cover. So, if someone (possibly me someday) subtracts the “tray” side image from the “back” side image, it will produce a color corrected “flat” image of the back cover, without the yellowed tint of the paper, and shadows on the spine.

Yeah, color correction.

Also, my philosophy on archiving these CDs is to capture enough detail so that in three hundred years, a Star Trek style replicator could recreate the physical object for study by future historians.

Many times, I’ve needed to examine some tiny detail on a release (or to compare two variants), and squinting at the small blurry, incomplete scans on Discogs or MusicBrainz, or wherever, there just wasn’t enough detail, and I had to get the physical object to examine directly.

This particular example, the “blank” tray image, is less than 1MB… and it’s a lossless PNG no less.

Anyway, the CAA was rejecting any files larger than a few MB the last time I tried to upload some more scans (several months ago).

Anyway… also… my workflow is to scan the CD artwork in batches of fifty or so. I take the jewel cases apart, put all the tray backs on a flat surface, and put a small wight on top, and leave it for a while, so that the paper uncurls along the spine. Then, I wipe any dust off each sheet with a lint-free microfiber cloth, and load the entire stack into my ADF (duplex) photo scanner. Scan everything at 1200DPI, four times, flipping and rotating the stack around so that various streaks and shadows from the scanner itself can be automatically removed by combining the variously scanned orientations… A process which I haven’t fully automated yet, so I have gigabytes of scans waiting on my file server for me to upload.

This tray image is from an early batch, and is still “raw” and uncorrected.


There are just too many incredible things in this post :bowing_man:


I’ve considered just TAR’ing it all up, and uploading it to the Internet Archive for someone else to sort through… in case I’m hit by a bus or something before I get around to sorting everything out and processing it, and attaching everything to the right releases in MB.