Can a playlist be considered a release?

I’d worry about that too, but maybe if we implemented guidelines that explicitly state it must be put out by the artist, etc as you’ve pointed out.

because it’s harder to release a deluxe version of an album than it is to make a playlist

not to get too into the specifics of this specific release, because again i’m kind of just using it as a case study, but in this case i know the artist, and those songs were added to streaming specifically to be put on this playlist. the same is true for this release, and this one. i’ve put out albums this way too, especially when many of the songs are covers and it would be too expensive to distribute again


This is turning into an endless discussion. Can’t we just get a new object type for playlists? Or at least some final word from our style boss @reosarevok ?


THIS - loudly. Playlist needs to be added as a type so we can filter these out. Far to many playlists being added all over the place - official and unoffical. We need somewhere to put them.

To me Spotify Playlists are just like a shopping basket with a collection of singles inside. And that basket can change at any time. This is why it needs to be kept separate from normal releases. It is just a shop making an “offer of the day”. Give it its own type - this is not something to appear in an official discography.

as a release type right?

I’m all for it!

if that’s the plan can we just use “other” as an interim type and then switch them over once the playlist type is made?

also, dream scenario, atisket update to support playlists


Logically a “Release Group \ Primary Type” would fit what it is being used for. But this is all just personal opinion. Notice the big lack of interest from any one official. Not even seen mention of a “ticket”. So until then we need to stick to the guidelines and delete playlists when they appear. A playlist can be reproduced as a series connecting the recordings.

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i strongly disagree. there is nothing about the current definition of “release” that would exclude static playlists.

The term release refers to a specific issuing of an album, single, compilation, etc., and includes a specific set of recordings in a particular order.


See guidelines: Style / Miscellaneous - MusicBrainz

## “Top something” Playlists

Bootleg torrents that are compilations based on playlists of charts authorities (like Billboard’s) should not be stored in MusicBrainz as releases. These playlists are often copyrighted by their issuers.

Also been like that as long as I can remember. Common sense says these are not releases. There is something else in there about playlists, I just can’t find it. Or it has been repeated in another comment somewhere else. Better ask someone who knows the guidelines better than me. :slight_smile:

This whole thread would not be here discussing it if playlists were admissible. (I guess you have read the whole thing?) Otherwise we’d already have the Artists filled up with lots of “My favourite 20 tracks” lists from some random influencer.

Anyway - I don’t want to argue. I can see they can have their place, but it needs to be defined to keep them out of proper discographies.

Not sure if you have looked at the release in question, but it is not a ‘playlist’ as you are thinking.

Besides if teethfairy knows the artist and they mean it to be a release, then it’s a release! They’ve subverted the Spotify ‘playlist’ category, but that doesn’t make it a playlist.

There is definitely no guideline that says anything put out on Spotify’s ‘playlist’ category is inadmissible (see my earlier comment).


i agree, these are not releases. this does not mean that if an artist makes a playlist, calls it an album, promotes it as an album, and doesn’t touch it since its release date, that it doesn’t belong here.


That is different. That is a Release on digital media. And should be included. Especially if the artist has created it.

Even if they add an extra track at a later time, then that Release would still count as then they would be doing a reissue with a new track list.

No, I didn’t. Sorry. I saw “Playlist” and that has a different type of meaning.

Sorry for confusion. I picked up this thread’s previous conversation. Partially due to other messy playlists that are getting added elsewhere in the database which are the “these are my favourite things” type lists.


Well, I thought about release group type, but that wouldn’t work. As I stated, this one actually has a traditional release as an album, but the “deluxe” version is a playlist. So, a release type, not release group, type, probably would be a better fit.


Sounds to me like this example is only a playlist due to a limitation of the Spotify platform.


I definitely wouldn’t consider a playlist a release because it’s exactly that, a list of pointers to the actual releases which contain the music. Without those releases, the playlist becomes non-functional and essentially useless. A recording series is more appropriate (and would also need to be supported by Picard).

What limitation? Spotify handles albums just fine. The musician in this case has decided that it’s easier to create a playlist combining the pre-existing album and singles rather than re-releasing the album with the extra tracks added.


more of a limitation with the music distributor (distrokid, soundrop, whatever). when making a deluxe album as an independent musician there’s too much of a risk of one or several of your songs not being “linked” on streaming platforms (the streams won’t transfer, the playlists won’t transfer, and then you have two identical songs your streams are getting split between. a pain). it’s fine for singles or whatever because it’s just one song but when you’re dealing with a dozen songs on an album something’s bound to mess up. safer to just make a playlist and not risk anything.


I’ll just chime in my opinion, FWIW.

“No” for playlists as releases. Use a recording series instead if you want to track this in Musicbrainz.


i just don’t see why. there aren’t any properties of playlists that aren’t also true of, say, bandcamp or soundcloud, and there’s nothing in any style guidelines that disallow them.


Removed a playlist in Edit #85033205 - MusicBrainz
Please vote there.

In my opinion a playlist is a playlist although it is static (who knows this?).

Is there any official guideline for this?

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the only style guideline I found (link to my search) that even mentions playlists is below, it’s been quoted (and perhaps misunderstood) a few times before in this thread:

it seems to specifically exclude bootleg torrents based on lists from charts authorities like Billboard, since those lists may be copyrighted. I don’t even know that “playlist” is the right word here.

I read it as very specific, and it doesn’t exclude nearly any playlists being added, save for the very narrow slice singled out.

I believe playlists should be judged on a case-by-case basis.

for instance, playlists like “Discover Weekly” from Spotify, I’ll probably delete on sight, since those are automatically generated and personalized for each user.

however, in the above case (which I added), it’s from a well-established series that’s been going since 1995 on CD and more recently digital media. they’ve recently stopped doing traditional releases, and seem to be doing their compilations as Spotify playlists, since it’s easier than re-licensing and re-releasing the songs all over again.

as has been said before in this thread, playlists like the one I added and several mentioned above are no different than a Bandcamp or SoundCloud release, except for the fact that it has the word “playlist” attached to it. we allow SoundCloud and Bandcamp, even though the releases can change at any moment. that’s how digital media releases work.

I’ve said more about this particular release on the edit linked above, for those interested.


sorry to beat a dead horse but i just want to illustrate this issue with two very interesting examples i found

the first is this one, a deluxe edition of an album that consists of the original album and a few tracks from some EPs (many of which don’t exist anymore but that’s beside the point haha. you can see the EPs they’re from in parentheses beside the track titles)

and the second is this one, a deluxe edition of an album that consists of the original album and a few tracks from some EPs

the only difference between these is one is made using the playlist function on spotify and the other isn’t. the only difference between WOW hits 2020 and the digital version of WOW hits 2019 is one is(/was, lol) an album on streaming services and the other is a playlist on streaming services.

should your personal workout mix be on musicbrainz? probably not. but not every playlist is that at all.

in my non-professional, non-authority figure opinion, i definitely think playlists belong as releases if all of these apply:

  • completely or mostly static
  • has a cover that’s not just an autogenerated collage of the coverart in the playlist
  • made by a person (i.e., not spotify’s top 50 charts)

& at least one of these applies

  • an official part of a previously established non-playlist series
  • made by a record label that owns the rights to the songs in the playlist
  • made by the artist that released all or most of the songs in the playlist
  • very widely distributed

it’s why i’d enter this as a release (i haven’t, but i probably would)

but not this

& why this is a release

but not this… even though i want to really badly

i hope i’ve done a good job explaining my reasoning. i’ve done a lot of thinking about my personal “guidelines” for when i will or won’t add something to the database. sorry for my novel!