Conclusion of multiple digital media releases for 16 vs. 24-bit?

So, I read through Digital releases and also some older threads and… am unclear what the consensus is, if any. Or at least, what the decision is.

I have a copy of but mine does not have pixie dust in it; it is merely 16bit 44.1KHz FLAC.

Personally, I don’t see the point of adding multiple digital releases, especially multiple lossless ones. OTOH, if I add another release, I could fix the track name typos w/o having to wait for the edit to apply… but that’s not exactly good for the project as that’d leave the audiophile magic pixie dust version with silly typos.

So, it’d be nice to have a style guideline of when there should be separate digital releases entered.


IMHO the one change should be “16bit 44.1khz and 24bit 48khz FLAC Audiophile Downloads available”

That way it notes the slight difference between the two.

And comedy typos in that entry. Never seen someone use both sets of quotes in one go - 'Winter Daydreams"

As a disambiguation comment? Listing the available formats probably makes sense as an annotation (at least until we get a better way to store that info, as discussed in some of the other threads), but it doesn’t strike me as a useful disambiguation comment.

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I meant as an annotation purely because that is where the previous editor had added their note. Makes it clear it isn’t just some low quality MP3.


I’m fine with it as an annotation, sorry about that. I had quickly pulled back up the edit page when writing that — and, well, the two fields are right next to each other. Read it too quickly. Oops! (I’m more careful when actually editing, I hope.)

No consensus as far as I know - add a new one or don’t as you see fit :ok_hand:

As an aside, please still no merging of releases where someone else has gone to the trouble of making separate ones and making the differences clear.


If a website offers the same music in different formats or with different quality settings, that’s almost definitely only one release.

How we want to improve the display of the file differences isn’t clear. Here’s some food for thought about file formats:

When seemingly the same music is released in different stores, it comes down to where we draw the line between different releases and that discussion is not in a guideline ready state yet even though strong preferences exist. At some point, MB may develop something like release variants or other digital release specific stuff. Real guidelines are easier to make when the model is clear(er).

I would nowadays probably create a new release if I wanted to add a relationship to a digital album from one store but the relationship doesn’t apply to the albums from other stores. Such relationships tend to be barcodes and sometimes catalog numbers. I probably wouldn’t separate a release only because it has different copyright holders on one store although in those cases the barcode is often different too.

About this thread’s case: I think only one digital release is appropriate, as has been done here.


OK, here is my take on this. I believe digital music that is in AAC or MP3 is not considered hi-fi. Therefore, I believe we should have two digital albums showing. We do not know if title naming is different plus all the other meta data for a hi-fi version.

Hmmm, I wouldn’t go towards this direction to differentiate releases, simply because some stores provide hi-res FLAC or ALAC albums made from low quality (heavily compressed) MP3s, and some stores provide very high quality MP3s made from hires studio masters. Plus the name of the format alone doesn’t mean much (resolution, number of samples/seconds, compression algorithm, compression level, lossless, are to be taken in account when one wants to compare formats).


Here’s an example where AAC isn’t separated from FLAC the way you think. Nippon Columbia recently did this:

COKM-43664: Release “パスタ” by 伊藤美来 - MusicBrainz

COZC-1852: Release “パスタ” by 伊藤美来 - MusicBrainz

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Do you know what stores are advertising hi-res music taken from mp3’s? This is news to me!! :scream:

A quite useful overview of download stores can be found here: High Resolution Music Downloads and free HiRes Music Downloads

I think that the post you replied to was asking which stores are misleading customers by selling music sourced from MP3s as “hi-res” (presumably so they can be avoided).

Since this thread got bumped: the original question should now be answered by the Style/Release guidelines. Multiple releases should not be created just on the basis of:

  • Different audio formats (e.g. MP3, FLAC, AAC, ALAC) or bitrates or “hi-res” releases.
  • Service-specific mastering, e.g. Apple Digital Masters or Tidal Masters.