Can a playlist be considered a release?

I’m not off track - I’m asking you to qualify why nothing put out on the Spotify ‘Playlist’ function can be a release, no matter the artists or labels intent. Can you give this a criteria or framework that we can apply across the board?

CD-RWs can change. Soundcloud releases can change. Bandcamp releases can change. Spotify albums can change. We store and represent all these as it is.

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I see your point, but disagree. Spotify has releases and playlists. They are not the same. I don’t think we should treat them as the same. I didn’t realize that Bandcamp could just change without changing an URL or some reference point and I just hate Soundcloud, so I try to not pay attention to it. So, maybe many of those would show up as a playlist on Spotify, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. Typically they are listed as a release (album, single, EP, etc.) As far as a CD-RW, how is that possible? I suppose one could change it at home, but that’s not the artist or label doing that. We wouldn’t consider those changes that someone made a home a release.

And I’m not trying to say that they shouldn’t be allowed under any circumstance. I’m trying to figure out how to have them with relationships, etc. This is why I think they should have their own subgroup, like pseudo-releases do.

I’m definitely not saying every playlist is a release! But that artists may use platforms/avenues (and formats etc) not meant to ‘release’ things to release things. And we should store those.

I don’t think you could write a guideline that allows platforms like Bandcamp but disallows anything released using Spotify’s playlist function. Without explicitly mentioning ‘Spotify Playlist’. If you have to explicitly disallow a channel then it’s not good criteria imo.

A broader guideline like “we don’t allow digital releases that regularly change” I think is perfectly reasonable.


I can see that, but if you try to add the playlist URL, it’s not allowed. Upon reflection, it can’t really be a subgroup of the release group either as that wouldn’t work in this case since there is a base release that’s not a playlist and certainly this would be considered in the same release group. So, like pseudo-release, just be a release type of playlist.

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Interestingly I am less for this! Because then I think we’re implying that we would allow playlists that change heaps (e.g. really are just ‘playlists’) :stuck_out_tongue: :innocent:

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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.