Cover art type "Liner"

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f756f5c4e78>

@reosarevok, I think something should be said in the documentation for this case, because we should not use Front / Back either as those are invisible from the outside…
But what to do… :thinking: ?

Allow Front and Back on things that are not visible?
The problem for me is that the real and visible Front and real Back are not found easily, or at all.

We are dealing with the art work of a package that is in a package, which I call a “sub-package”. It appears the art “label type” was designed for a singular package and not to describe or label a sub-package. Since front/back/spine describe the outer package they probably should not be used to describe the sub-packages, also the use of front is very special and positional since the first front is is used for display.

I think “other” is the correct choice (for now) with the comment field being used to accurately describe the sub-package, in a way it could be parsed. With so many different variations of box contents that could get tricky. Something like medium position, package type, art type, sort of like the following but with many more permutations.


1 Like

I agree. Currently Cover Art / Types Guidelines say:
“The album cover, this is the front of the packaging of an audio recording (…).”
This is true for “inner covers” too, especially if it’s only some covers of previous releases packed together in a box. Most users struggle with this definition.

I have added only one box set so far. In this case 4 of 5 inner CD covers would meet the definition of “liner” then. (1-piece cardboard cover)

Would be good solution, but there should be a comprehensive explanation for this rule and I wonder, if many users will follow.

I have to disagree, why should there only be a single front image if there are e.g. multiple jewel cases (with front covers for each) inside a cardboard box? For me it’s absolutely fine to label all their covers as front, because that’s what they are.
I always choose the best matching type and do not obey to some rather strict definitions that are not even stated in the guidelines. And AIUI the definition of other gives me right:

Anything which doesn’t fit in the types defined above.

These “inner front images” definitely fit the type front best and therefore should not be labeled as other. Else almost every image of a huge box set would have just the type other - and this would not help anyone.

But I agree that the current flat system of artwork types is not suitable for non-trivial packages, same as the packaging types themselves. As long as we have no hierarchical grouping for these, it’s best to order the images of type front by packaging hierarchy. This makes sure, the first front image that is displayed will always be the front cover of the outermost packaging. Hence there is no harm to have multiple images labeled front.


Thank you for your reply; it is comforting to see that at least one other editor has a strong opinion on this subject. I hope others will also respond, maybe the boxset issue of this topic should get moved to a new form topic with a title which will bring in responses from more editors. I believe the sub-packages deserve a status that is equal to the main package, how to do that before changes to DB can be made (or ever made) needs to be discussed.


There already was a forum topic that slightly evolved into a discussion whether we should have a new cover art type for boxsets/overview/promotional:

Maybe @Freso can split the last posts into a new topic to draw more attention to this discussion? I really hope we can finally get one (or more) new cover art type(s) to mark the outer packaging of those big box sets :smirk:

1 Like

Not really:

Because front is front of the package and back is back of the package.
And package is, as stated in the release package field, the box, not its content.

1 Like

(I will delete this post here if you actually split.)

@Freso, the first post of this new topic could be this #23.
But there are a few later posts to exclude from the split, sorry: #24, #26, #28.

I agree, my argumentation for the boxed set of jewel cases would be the following: The audio recording is one of multiple CDs, hence the jewel case is its (direct) packaging - although not the only one, there is still a cardboard box around all the cases.

If we had the possibilty to select something like a primary and a secondary packaging type, I would select Jewel case + Box, where jewel case is the primary/inner packaging and box the secondary/outer packaging.
It would be good to have such a secondary type or a simple boxset attribute, because selecting only the type Box (as it is defined now) is not unambiguous. The description covers everything from a cheap cardboard slipcase containing paper sleeves (like the Original Album Series) to the heavy and really expensive super deluxe collector edition boxes :wink:

From Release / Packaging / Box:

A box with a lid or an opening that contains the medium and other packaging, like posters and booklet containing lyrics.


For me primary package is the one you carry around, the outer package, the box.
Not the various content (art book, sleeve, jewel case, etc.).

First: get rid of the term “Liner” which obviously even native speakers do not really understand (or at least not in the definition MusicBrainz is quite alone to give). Wherever that comes from it’s far from being common use. A google search for “liner” gives all kind of results – but none that approaches the one discussed here; Wikipedia uses "(inner) sleeve” for the additional protective cover (in both the german and english version, while french and spanish don’t even mention it at all “Inner sleeve” – which is self-explaining and translatable – is the term I have been using and will continue to use when uploading such an item to CAA.

Second: we need to re-discuss the exclusivity of “front“ and “back“. Not being allowed to use these terms (maybe with some additional qualifier) in case of a exact replica of the original vinyl cover is absurd. Adding the (replica) covers of the individual CDs here e.g. ( or here ( ) as front and back of CD 1, CD2 … DVD20 is counterintuitive and IMO wrong.


I do a lot of scanning and have some very different types of packages. I agree that we certainly need some more flexible types.

  • MATRIX or HUB for the inner ring of the CD or Vinyl.
  • Better name for the inside of a gatefold (inner?)
  • A BOX and SLEEVE type. (Makes me laugh we have OBI in there for one market, but miss a wider option)

A lot of boxsets are thrown together really cheaply. So they are just five releases with a wrapper. And this does give five Fronts. (Six when you include the wrapper itself) When you pull each item out of the box you want to know which side is the front of each item. Same with wanting to know you have five mediums.

If everything became “other” we loose the advantage of a database and allowing other projects to read this data. (I’m thinking KODI and other media centres). When there are multiple fronts, then that first front is reliably the Package front that @jesus2099 wants. Same with Back - the editors are very good at putting the front\back\spines of the BOX first in the list of artwork. And then listing each separate sub-item in order after that.

Those separate items in the box should still have their front\back\spine as they have their own front\back\spines and often are listed.

When reading some of the comments above I realise that @kellnerd is very similar in his ideas to my thoughts. That is likely due to dealing with those larger Pink Floyd boxsets where our requirements are being formed.

And no - please do not remove “liner” as a type. That is perfect for current use of a thin paper or card sleeve around the medium. As is clear from its original roots with Vinyl releases.


This is a point I wanted to pull out. Inside a box are usually some very different and separate objects. There may be an “original album”, “live extras”, “Concert DVD”. Or multiple album releases across a number of years in a 25th anniversary box. These all have very separately defined sub-packages. And that clarity is need.


I don’t ask to remove the type: just replace the term by something more suitable ;). And could someone please show me where outside of MusicBrainz this “inner sleeve around the medium” is called “Liner”?

I just want to know what is the front and back of the release.
If I wanted all 5 fronts and backs, I would have bought individual releases. :mask:

I prefer we stick to smaller amount of types, medium is already a type, I prefer not splitting our types in subdivisions.

But you can tell this now as the FIRST front is the product front.

Meanwhile when I pull the second disk out of the box, which is a DVD of a concert, then that should have its own sub-art.

This is why are at this issue today. MB is now trying to hold data for many different external uses. Most people don’t care about the HUB info and would probably de-select it in products like Picard.

1 Like

I don’t understand what’s the damage if multiple different Fronts are available as long as the first one is the outer package. And no, I don’t buy a box set because I don’t like to have separate releases, but as it’s probably a cheap offer and I like to have all the music.

It will be acceptable to have only one Front and commented “Others” instead (if it’s decided), but I agree on the opinion of @IvanDobsky, @kellnerd, @chabreyflint and others to give box sets some structure.

By the way: Many thanks for the recommended microscope


Maybe it is a British thing then. I’ve always known this as a word when dealing with my vinyl. Even as a kid in the 70s. I’ll go digging some research later on the word and its use.


Maybe this is too simplistic of a solution. What about a new “Art Type” of “Package” or any name that conveys this is within the boxset. Select art type “Package” and whatever other art types you normally select (package/front/spine/back). Use the comment to describe the art. I saw someones edit use something like following in the comment:

CD 1/5: AlbumName1, cardboard sleeve, front
CD 1/5: AlbumName1, cardboard sleeve, back

CD 5/5: AlbumName4, cardboard sleeve, front
CD 5/5: AlbumName5, cardboard sleeve, back

Other suggestions, thoughts?