Digital releases: Merging? / Long country list? / Just [Worldwide]?

But it was released there. With collapsible country release lists, I just don’t see a problem. Maybe ask for redesign on how it’s displayed, but the data is good as far as countries released. Dates can be a problem and I’m not sure why an editor doesn’t understand there was no digital in 1973. Yeah, that’s just lazy editing.


The issue here is not so much the release events for these remote, uninhabited islands, but the mindsets that create them. One is unquestioningly copying data without verification, while another actually believes 219 separate country entries to be more accurate than saying it’s a worldwide release. Both mindsets rely heavily on automated scripts, since no one is going to enter all these countries one by one.


It’s not because it’s a display issue, it’s because it’s a data maintenance issue. Easy to create, not easy to edit.

For example, HM has 2 pages of digital media releases prior to the year 2007. If each release has 200 release events, then we’re talking about 20,000 incorrect release dates that need to be edited. That’s a burden that reasonable editors won’t want to deal with.


I agree the date issue is a problem. I even made a list of every country in the world and was trying to edit based on dates first available, but that too time consuming as well. This is why I had my other suggestion about removing dates from the countries on these long list and just showing the date with no country, then you can follow that with the list of countries its available without a date after that. But apparently no one liked that idea either. I wish we had like maybe region areas, like Europe but for all the continents. I don’t know. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with Worldwide if it was only not available in very low populated countries, but what about releases, like FP and other compilations that are Worldwide, except US. I don’t think we can say that a release is Worldwide if it’s not in the US.

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That’s the problem with US Americans :laughing:


I will say though, that all the releases that have every country but “British Indian Ocean Territory”, I’m marking Worldwide and just putting in the annotation about that 1 “country”. It only has a population of c. 3,000 military personnel and contractors.


What is this release, FP?

I’m referring to the label FP, that put out a bunch of compilations. Most of them are everywhere except US.

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Yet another long discussion that took place on May 29th, 2021 on IRC.


Thank you for posting that @chaban as I’m glad to see there are people who share some common sense on this subject. Very interesting read. What was especially interesting to me in that discussion is how the people who like the data are seeing the date and locations of a “release” as “available here today” Whereas the physical media is “which was the first location and date”. Physical media works on historic events, but the Digital script is working on the “what is today’s availability?” Glad it is not just me who had spotted that oddity.

Thanks for linking the discussion. The arguments from one side pretty much align with what I’ve said in my previous reply in this topic and which addresses the frustration about long release country lists as well as the long annotations that some users share with me. Additionally, it would also address the differing opinions of whether we should update the country list once the release is now available / no longer available in a specific country, let me elaborate on that.

As the country list differs per each store URL linked to the same release (and imo we don’t want to have new separate release for each store), the most sensible thing that comes to mind is to take this data from the release country list and release annotation and move into a “country availability” list and/or an URL annotation for the specific URL (I am aware that this feature doesn’t exist yet). This way we can not only capture an accurate country list for each of the different store URLs without lumping them together (and without the need to make an annotation just to explain the availability of different countries between different stores), the “country availability” list could also be updated any time to reflect the present situation (from which countries is this release available for streaming / download RIGHT NOW) as it would be in a separate place and would not affect the “release country” list anymore.

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Seeing more and more and more duplicate download releases in MB, I think we should have some kind of new rule about them, like:

  • If it’s the same tracklist, don’t create a new release
  • If there are different artworks per shop, add them all in the same release
  • Set [worldwide] for release country, with the earliest date, we don’t care if this or that shop in this or that country, sold it not or later
  • Don’t bloat the annotation with huge country list, because it was correct at some point but then the availability can change, and who reads that?

Because all the shops, countries, etc. who cares? It’s just some download album that was released this or that day, that’s the important point, not the shop where you downloaded it.

For physical it means something but for download, I’m really not sure.

Just my point of view (not a streamer/downloader), so it may be wrong.


I also hate the annotation, but want to keep the individual countries listed. The annotation was just something that marlonob did for himself. It looks cool and all but, most of the time is not accurate. Many editors will add all iTunes, Spotify & Deezer, but not check the box to run all iTunes stores or the list of countries have gotten updated since first added because they have added counties since the list was posted. Or it will have all 3 services linked on a release, but the list will show only Spotify & Deezer counties in the annotation. I’ve been using Jaxsta to verify where the label itself is saying the release is located and many times, especially the releases that don’t have those Pacific Islands included but no other release is on the service to take their place, the release is actually there, just not on the big 3. The dates are also incorrect as it might the date the digital release was first released, but it isn’t the date that it was on every country. Simple Wikipedia checks on some of these will show early rollouts of digital releases over several days, just in Europe & US, but this a single date is picked for all. This is why I had proposed to have one date without a country and then just list all the countries without dates idea. I’ll sometimes use the annotation still, but only to show which country it’s not available in if the list is every country in the world except a few.

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However, I don’t care where the countries are “right now”. I want to know if they were ever available there. I don’t want an issue where countries will be removed if the release is no longer there.


Another thing is that if the annotation is populated by this huge wall of text, it can hide the “real annotation” because the annotation is collapsed now so this information can be easily missed.

As for the country availability list on release / country availability list right now, if people want then information for both of them can still be kept on the per URL basis (maybe even each updated version of this list can be separate, however I personally don’t see any use to know whether this release has been available to be streamed in x store on y date). The most important part is that this “country availability list” should be kept separate from the “release country” list and should be linked to the specific store URL instead of being linked directly to the whole release.


This is what I see the current list as: “These shops will sell to these territories today”. Nothing to do with when the band\label released their music. If “country availability” is added then that means Amazon and EBay can list where they will send CDs to.

Tell me where the digital stores can’t send a copy, and that is interesting. The fact that some release have a European edition and a USA edition - that is interesting. Otherwise I don’t see it relevant that Sony claim they can sell a digital copy in North Korea. And where the current Spotify market is available.

Another example as to how Physical Media and Digital are so different in how they are using the database. May of the physical vinyl listed in the database are rare and often impossible to find. It is not “available” in the release countries any more. The date and location is the day you could initially buy it. We don’t delete that data because they are sold out.

As a physical media collector I am starting to seek ways to hide the junk that Digital Media added. Especially those over fancy annotations. Seriously - get rid of the flags. Isn’t the fact the edit is adding the countries enough to show the country list?


No. Because releases aren’t based on what store they come from. All that matters is all the data is consistent throughout. They are released in those countries, so those countries should stay on the release. The dates might be another issue, but the countries, with the exception of worldwide releases, should stay on the release field of the release.

3 posts were split to a new topic: How to join the MetaBrainz chat on IRC

Don’t really need to go over all the points again, but do want to voice my strong disagreement about most of these bulletpoints, as someone who does care about digital albums.

I thought you had a script now that hides all the hated digital releases :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

edit: the linked discussion hurts my head (@finalsummer carrying the torch for not scrapping masses of data because some people find it unsightly or whatever…), but it does highlight that perhaps there’s more UI work to be done. If there’s appetite for it, or any suggestions, I can make submit some mockups.


I was talking about “country availability” lists that would be tied to the specific store URLs, not the “release country” list which would be tied to the whole release (which would remain exactly the same as it is now).

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