I think OP is trying to avoid making separate requests to the Cover Art Archive API for each release in the results. If CAA has the same 1-request-per-second bulk limit as the MB API, it could take almost a minute to query 50 releases.
Yes, that’s my intention. It’s no problem to query the CAA for each of the releases, there is also no rate-limit in place at the moment. I wanted to reduce traffic to the necessary minimum (and prevent 404s) and was just curious if there is a way to omit unnecessary calls to the Cover Art Archive API.
I’ve since checked with the MB server implementation and found the cover_art_presence flag, indicating that this information is available internally. It’s also provided if a request for an actual release is made but not for the querysearch result.
There is also a related ticket:
As background information, I want to display a cover art thumbnail on searches, so that choosing the correct search result becomes a little bit easier:
The MB web service indicates on a release query if there is cover art available or not when requesting individual releases (not on search queries). The response for a single release will contain something like this: