Can a playlist be considered a release?

Can a playlist like
be considered a release?

No, they are not releases. Editors constantly play whack-a-mole trying to get rid of them. Doesn’t matter if it is Spotify or Soulseek there are guidelines about removing them.

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Indicating to me that MB is not fulfilling a need, and it may have to adjust.

You can get rid of them but personally I don’t mind them being up. It’s from a soulseek download so the editor could argue bootleg also, but it’s unlikely.

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I can kinda see the point of MB’s guideline. Otherwise you’ll suddenly open up to every playlist created by Spotify et al. They are only ways of repackaging and selling a product. All the tracks are usually just singles or from albums and not sanctioned by the band. A “100 greatest Jazz hits” package on a Torrent can be an even messier collection. And once these are in, how can you say no to “Joe Blogg’s mix tape”. I know I have some tapes I made up as a teenager that would then qualify for inclusion. A line needs to be drawn somewhere. :slight_smile: (You’re starting a discussion for a new thread here)


do recording collections allow for specific manual ordering? if so “awesome mix summer 2007” style playlists would fit best there i’d think

for more “official” playlists like the FIFA soundtracks on Spotify I’ve seen using a recording series suggested iirc

+1 from me.
‘Public’ documentation relevance is very low, while data verification is near-impossible. At the same time these lists leave lots & lots of opportunities for artist mix-ups, unmergeable lists of recordings & general data clutter. If there’s a need for documenting these types of playlists, I vote +1 for public/private recordings collections.

It doesn’t look like it, but that would indeed be a necessary feature if playlists of this type would need to find a spot there.


I’m not saying the data is tidy and convenient… but ask 100 young people if they’ve listened to an album lately or listened to a Spotify playlist. MB will have to adapt eventually.

When a Spotify playlist performs the same function as an Album, album art and all, it just doesn’t say ‘album’ at the top left, and MB blocks it, then people will eventually find another data source that serves their tagging needs. Change is scary and all, sure.

BTW Spotify suuucks so I won’t be adding any playlists, I’m not pushing for anything, just sharing my perspective ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Well, I don’t really see the difference between a Spotify playlist and a bootleg CD with “Top 50 tracks Summer 2021” like those people used to sell like 15 years ago or so

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a release group with a secondary other type of “playlist” might be cool, but the “official” line is blurry

also spotify playlists change over time and are very big, and the style guide makes me think there may be copyright issues

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If a lot of users want to add playlists, then it may be interesting to think about adding a new object type for playlists, or try to accommodate that using series. But I think trying to force it into the release format is asking for problems (like the changing nature of playlists and their contents, the inherent messiness and exactly what recordings are included). Then of course there has to be some kind line drawn about what can be included. If users can add playlists specifically tailored to them by the streaming service, things will become a mess.

I’ve never felt the need to add a playlist myself (I can’t tag things in Spotify anyway), but I wouldn’t immediately shoot down the idea either.


Some notes:
Digital releases (e.g. Bandcamp) are already forcing MB into the world of changing tracklists. Some Spotify playlists are quite static, such as soundtrack releases. I don’t think we should tackle the ever-changing type of playlist either tbh.
Not sure why there is problems re. messiness and what recordings to use? As a playlist links directly to the actual recording it makes it really easy to find the album it’s on etc. Much easier than if it’s on a CD compilation.

On a second note would a Playlist made by Spotify be considered “official”?
Something like this one

No. Spotify & iTunes playlist should not be considered releases, IMO.


i agree releases aren’t the best fit for playlists

i think a streamlined way to make recording series for playlists would be great

also, i think cover art only being a release thing is a big motivator for making releases out of playlists


I also agree release isn’t the best type. It’s not released by the artist, for example.
That’s being done by a streaming platform which is a… licensor?

Anyway I think that if we do allow them in the database, there needs to be a new object type for playlists.
As mentioned earlier, these “official” playlists made by the platforms came into existence to replace the old bootlegs that grabbed a bunch of music and re-released it as “Hot Summer 2009 50 best hits”.

These exist, and for modern users, these playlist are even more useful than an actual digital album release.
If we aim to be the The ultimate source of music information we’d need to adapt to this reality.
I’m not a fan of the idea but I do see that there’s a need and we’re not currently fulfilling it.


But how does this static database deal with an ever change whim of a shop? “Playlist of the Summer” will be changing day by day won’t it? Isn’t just like like a shop window?


Hmm maybe these would change every day, yes. Like this one for example [Just typed whatever 2021 and this was the first one I found]

However, there are some other playlists that are rather static, but then get some additions afterwards like this one. If it is a new object type it could allow for this kind of modification?

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It’s a matter of extra effort to keep these items up to date: with a lot of static information (like standard releases) still missing in the database, are we sure we are able to keep updated these playlists?
Moreover, why would people look for a streaming platform’s playlists in MB instead of in the original source? The risk is to put an extra effort into something that no one will use.

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I certainly wouldn’t maintain them, I was just trying to look at the issue from the perspective of people who would welcome the addition.

I agree it’s a lot of work, and one could simply look at them in the original source.

And I agree the ever-changing playlists work kinda like that so we shouldn’t bother with those.

But I’m not so sure about the more static ones, there might be people who find it useful and take it upon themselves to add them here, I don’t see why should we stop that, if we can find an acceptable object type.

EDIT: A few weeks ago, I would’ve said we shouldn’t bother at all but this change is kinda coming from talking with some young family members and their friends, who don’t know anything about any release, since all their music consumption comes from these playlists. There seems to be an ongoing shift in the way the next generations listen to music and we might need to be open to this change, somehow.

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It may be useful to invite a few of the editors who add these playlists to this thread (or a separate survey thread) so they can answer questions like:

Why do you add playlists?
What do you use the data for?
What kind of information would you like to store about a playlist?

Until now this thread has been mostly people who don’t care much about playlists theorising about them (I’m one of those people), and that might not bring us to a useful conclusion.