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

But I’m sorry. If a release isn’t in the United States or China or United Kingdom or any other major country, it’s not a Worldwide release. We’ve discussed this to death over the past several years.


The only reason the country list may change is because they weren’t added with all the countries in the first place. They don’t really change on the labels distribution list. It’s just that we didn’t know all countries in the first place. This is why I’ve been double checking with Jaxsta. Because the list of countries on a release is provided directly by the distributor of the release. Anyways, now that all 3 major services combined serve over 95% of the world they really won’t change much. I really just don’t understand the issues with this anymore. The country list only shows 3 countries than you have to click for more. What’s the issue? Is it doing the editing? I know you have to page scroll down during that. They are accurate. Every country on this list has it officially released in that country. Adding Worldwide to a release that’s not even available in the US or China is not valid information.


So… with a physical release, released in different countries… the releases are physically different.

The Canadian release will have something like “Record Corp Canada, inc.” printed on the back, above the line “Made in Canada”

The UK release will have something like “Record Corp, LLC.” printed on the back, above the line “Made in UK”

The German release will have something like “Record Corp, GmbH.” printed on the back, above the line “Made in Germany”

As per MusicBrainz policy, these are all distinct releases, each potentially with it’s own release date.

With Spotify… it’s the exact same data every time, and you can either listen to it or not depending on who Spotify thinks you are!

And who Spotify thinks you are, right now, today… not at any time in the past.

(ISRC submit)

This is the current Pink Floyd Spotify releases. Each listing is a different release. As you see, they have geo restrictions. I check with this site when adding all releases of a release group, because you can see all the different releases around the world. It has nothing to do with who Spotify thinks you are, but where a distributor has made contracts for the release. Label info on Spotify, Deezer & iTunes are almost always consistent based on geographical location. But many releases in Australia/New Zealand or Europe countries, are different than the US releases. Even Canada has a lot of exclusive releases.

Oddly, on Spotify, in instances where ISRCs are are different in the US than they are say in GB, when I try to listen to GB release, it will forward me to US release. But on iTunes, it just won’t work.


A primary concern is managing accurate data for digital releases into the future. To re-iterate, what if a country splits to become two? You mention “they don’t really change on the labels distribution list” and I agree, but what about when they do? yindesu has a good idea (#195) for schema changes that would result in managing one master ‘worldwide’ list rather than trying to manage it on each release individually.

Do you think digital release events could be improved or are you content with the way they are currently functioning?

There is also a depth of complexity related to these digital releases and it’s clear you (tigerman325) have a good understanding of it. Is there generally a lack of understanding about how digital releases are distributed that is causing a perceived gap? I think you point out that there is clear and specific guidance for every digital release country/territory if you put the work in and untangle it all. Firstly, is that work worth it, and secondly, will we realistically do it for all digital releases? How much work is it?

Another concern is that many editors seem to be staying away from long country lists. I know I do myself. If the community doesn’t agree that this is the best way to do it… that is an issue with many consequences. Am I wrong about editors “staying away?” I have a more narrow sight of MB due to my new-ness and am trying carefully to take that into consideration.

Searching releases for ‘country:XW AND format:CD’ returns 20,937 results. What circumstances allow these physical releases to be XW? This returns to my point about the fundamentals. What does XW mean on a release? Do we need to further distinguish digital and physical releases?


I’m staying away from such releases because:

  1. Editing interface isn’t fit for it. Scrolling kilometers to reach the next section, removing or changing release events en masse is a pain without scripts
  2. Atrocious performance. Noticeable delay on load, mass change with scripts and anytime you switch to the “release information” tab

Now try putting yourself in the position of a novice with no clue of scripts or not using them for whatever reason.


between giant lists of countries and seemingly meaningless barcodes it’s near impossible to discern the differences between digital releases without looking at links/annotation/disambiguation


I love hearing about new improvements when they actually are that. And there have been some. Like, I’d love there to be a excluding country option. So, we could say Worldwide, except the United States, etc. Because that’d be much less likely to change over time. But, I think marking them currently as Worldwide when major countries are excluded is bad data and should be changed. However, because it’s digital, it’s just distribution. Yes, physical releases that are mailed directly by the artist and/or label on official websites most of the time actually are marked as Worldwide, if the site says they will ship to anywhere in the world. It’s really no different here to me than that. Wherever you live, if you can purchase or stream (without a redirect) that release, than it was released in your country. The main difference between many physical releases has more to do with small details today, i.e. manufacturing plants, pressing, etc. Digital just doesn’t have those constraints, therefore they are available in more countries.


This is not directly related to my above comments. Do we have consensus regarding whether or not we should update release event lists on existing digital releases? I am double checking some digital releases with atisket and finding discrepancies. Some have United States as the sole release event, but atisket shows it’s available in 47 countries (links below). Do I update the releases or leave them as is? I’m kind of stuck deciding, but if we lean either way I’m pleased with doing that.

You update them. That’s why you may see a lot of merges between a list with 200 countries and just the one that had US for example. That’s people updating and then merging so that they don’t sit there and add 200 countries for example. But make sure that the phonographic/copyright labels match and barcodes, if they don’t I’d double check barcodes against ISRC search or other sources to make sure that the new release isn’t just backdating the date to original release (very common on digital releases), but if they still have the same iTunes, Spotify, Deezer links, etc. by all means you can update it.


It used to be very difficult to find out where a release was actually released without checking every geo in the iTunes stores and making sure they were valid. That’s part of the reason you see so many releases with just 1 country release. Now we have the ability between a-tisket & jaxsta to double check countries.



Want to update release events of a release to reflect the amazing a-tisket. Don’t feel like checking 197 countries to find out which 2 countries are missing? Don’t want to copy paste the correct release date 150 times?

Well, that makes at least 2 of us!
That’s why instead of copy pasting whole nights I made a little userscript which can be used with the a-tisket site & MusicBrainz.
It will put a “Copy Release Events” button under the “Release Events” header which will copy all the “Countries where available” and the selected date.
On MB it adds a “Bulk paste Release Events” button under the “Add Release Event” button which will first clear the list & add all the countries listed on a-tisket (can take a few seconds in case of a long list).

Sounds like music to your ears? Then get it now from !
Disclaimer: very bèta :slight_smile: .

My apologies if this is the wrong topic for this, but when I was looking for reasoning to wether add 207 countries or Worldwide & searching for a userscript to bulk change release dates, the most “recent” posts from agatzk & tigerman325 (who made me aware of this in Edit #84514941 - MusicBrainz) were the ideal context for this.


Holy Bleep!!! I’ve been wanting this for years!!! And you did it for both the original & the mirror!!! This rocks.


I can’t get it to install via Tampermonkey :sob:
Whenever I click the link, it just displays the raw code. There’s no install button or anything.

The problem is the file extension, it needs to be .user.js for the userscript managers to be able to detect the script, not only .js.
You can still installl it by copying the code and creating an empty new userscript with Tampermonkey to paste the code into. Admittedly that’s not as comfortable, but it works until @texke has fixed the GitHub repository (and the direct link in this forum topic).


Thanks. I managed to get it to install that way :sweat_smile:

This needs to be placed somewhere prominent so other userscript programmers don’t make the same mistake.

Good to know, changed the filename & link above to .user.js.
Users with the .js file should get the updated version automatically.


I just noticed a problem with the script: if I set a release’s release date as empty (value 0), the script will parse that as a “0-0-0” value for each country, which the release editor warns is invalid.

A bit late but here is a hypothesis:
What if a conflict leads to the exclusion of a country by (major) labels (and other foreign companies)?
Lots of new releases won’t be available after that date.

Speculation: Some time later old releases are retroactively made unavailable en masse.

spoiler alert

Isn’t an easier solution to have a Shops section of the database that can better keep track of the areas that these stores supply to? Maybe a wiki page of some form that can keep track of these changes? When territories are added, when they are suspended, and so on?

Curious - does this mean if someone adds a 2005 Digital Release from Spotify today, will that still include Russia in the list as it was released in Russia in 2005? Or do we only get “today” data when adding a digital release?

I assume that releases made today will just not include Russia. Then in three years time when there is a leadership change and everyone runs back to selling stuff to Russia again there will need to be a bulk edit of all release to add a Russia 2025 date?