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

Sounds like something out of Orwell’s 1984. Editing history. We have always been at war with Eurasia EastAsia Belarus\Russia.


How are they retroactively removed? AFAICT, both are still listed in release countries.

Or do you mean from the platforms? The platforms don’t show historical data (as has been mentioned several times in this thread and related discussions), only what the status is right now (since that’s what those services need to operate), which is also what is being reflected in the annotation. When embargoes are lifted, they’ll likely be added back.


before, when spotify announced they weren’t available in russia anymore, it was just the free plan- anyone with a premium subscription can continue to use it until the month they paid for ends. that’s why releases could still be available in russia. now, it’s been a month. it looks like all releases now say russia is excluded, it’s not that tha labels removed it, it’s that spotify is just not there anymore and atisket hasn’t been updated to reflect that.


Hello I am posting a thought here about another reason why it seems better to simply mark DL albums as [worldwide].

Besides being not maintainable, those hundred country releases, make the release statistics odd:

I didn’t read the posts in this topic since May 2021, so, sorry if it has already been said. :bowing_man:


What would be the cut off point? How many countries?

I’ve come across a number of digital albums that have different barcodes and labels for a NZ (and often Oceania andother adjacent areas) release, and then there’s one (or two) other digital releases that cover the rest of the globe.

This still seems like useful information.

My thinking is that the solution is to display anything over [?] amount of countries as worldwide, in stats etc as well, but still have it expandable on the actual release display. Thoughts?


I’ve been setting as [worldwide] if no more than like, 5–10 countries are excluded. I think that’d be about 180 or 190 countries included? I forget how many countries there are according to Spotify and Co.…


im sure someone has said this before but i think it would be really nice to be able to say “[Worldwide] (minus Russia, Curaçao, etc)” instead of long lists. i think it would help with the stats thing. though i’m sure that’s much easier said than done in terms of implementation and i’m aware of problems that it may cause (at what point does it stop being “includes x countries” and start being “excludes y countries”?)


I’ve said we should be able to add countries as exclusions to “[Worldwide]”, rather than manually including 200 countries, but I can’t find the post anymore. Hm.

What I want is MBS-12170 and MBS-12171, because Release Country is frankly meaningless as-is for digital releases. (Thankfully, the physical music I care about has price tags in local currency embedded in the cover art, making it abundantly clear what the release country is - and it’s not “[Worldwide]”.)


To expand (I’ll make a ticket soon if there’s no comments), this is what I’m picturing:

Anything that is digital release and has 3+ release countries is set to worldwide as far as the database is concerned (fingers crossed this isn’t hard/impossible).

Click the + to expand, same behaviour as the current show more button.

You can compare to the current release group here.

(no need for comments about how you hate digital releases please… yes, that page is whack, but I find it interesting and there are vinyl pages just as ridiculous and we both know it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)


I feel the lower limit should be a bit higher, at least 10 (or maybe even higher than that), but otherwise I love this idea~

could maybe take continents into consideration too? for example, if a digital release is released in the US, Canada, and Mexico, or maybe Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. I don’t think many people would consider that worldwide… (granted, then we get into the debate of how many continents there really are, and I don’t think this should be that complicated) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I don’t think this is a good solution. It papers over the visual annoyance but doesn’t actually result in more meaningful data. You would have to get really complicated with how the database counts countries here to avoid things like the DACH situation mentioned by @UltimateRiff. Even a higher limit may break on something like a hypothetical EU-only release.

Personally, I have come around to the perspective that the cleanest solution for almost everyone involved would be a special-purpose [Internet] release country. This would sidestep all the issues of tracking service availability, the North Korea problem, and would require very little special treatment from downstream data consumers like Picard.

Digital releases where there is some reasonable exclusivity (e.g. the common Japan-only special editions) could still use normal release countries, but the bulk of digital releases that are just not available in a few specific countries like Curaçao (probably for some obscure legal reason) or those countries where it’s not even clear that they should count for the purposes of release countries (e.g. the Falkland Islands) would be handled.


The idea of an [internet] country is a nice one. Seen it appear before. Personally I feel that we are showing different data and it should be a different field. This is Distribution Today instead of Release Country.

One down side of the [Internet] idea is band like Pink Floyd. Their digital distribution is even more bizarre as different labels handle Americas and Europe with odd overlaps in other continents. This leads to each release getting their own separate long lists. (Simple example: )

What is most confusing is those lists don’t seem to follow continental boundaries, but are very hard to read.

But to any outside person who looks at that Release Group they will recognise this single was available Worldwide. When we read the history books and biographies in years to come, it will say “Worldwide Release”.


[Worldwide] is lazy and misleading if a release isn’t actually available worldwide. It’s not a worldwide release if you need to use a VPN in certain countries to listen to it.

[Internet] is just [Worldwide] with a different name.

MB already has Europe as a release country, so my idea would be to add other common regions like Asia, Africa, North/South/Central America, Oceania, etc. That way the countries list could be condensed into a much shorter list of regions if a release isn’t available in the US/Canada or Australia/New Zealand (which is quite common), instead of a long list of ~190 countries. A-tisket already does this, in a way, by grouping countries by region.

I’d argue there’s only actually 2 releases there and that a bunch of them need merging. It’s straying dangerously into the territory of Discogs’ awful “The shop lets you download it in a dozen different formats, so that’s a dozen different releases” mentality.


Then no release not approved by Kim Jong-un is worldwide, which is definitely not a useful situation for either contributors or data consumers.

“Worldwide except for the British Indian Ocean Territory” isn’t any less misleading, seeing as it doesn’t have permanent non-military population (after the original inhabitants were forcibly deported).


I believe the combinations of different labels, catalogue numbers and barcodes are causing those separated Releases. Not the different audio encoding. I understand A-tisket is feeding much of that data. It is not an area I ever work in so cannot tell you the guidelines in use. I am a Physical Media man and look at all this with confusion. :slight_smile:

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(edited now I’m back on the compy and can write better)

This seems to more or less duplicate what MB uses [worldwide] for? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s another way of saying ‘just set it to worldwide’, which is the problem at the heart of it, some of us don’t want to lose the country data.

But in principle, WEB instead of XW, sure, who cares. But it’s the drop down of countries that is trying to solve the problem (some people don’t want to see the countries, some want to store the data).

How would you see your suggestion working with the Lorde example?

Ah yes, DACH and Oceania, etc. The reason I don’t think that’s a big problem is that there doesn’t seem to be much grey area here - either people want the detailed digital info, or they couldn’t care less. This way the second party can click the drop-down and see it’s DACH or whatever. Or are there a lot of people in between, who need to see this at a glance but don’t want the list?

An even fancier thing would be if the system automatically detects if the countries in the drop down are DACH or Oceania or something, and displays:

Yes, we could add these regions as areas in MB, but it wouldn’t solve the problems I experience. If a release is available digitally in MENA, then the accompanying [worldwide] release will probably exclude those countries. How do we display that? What if the selection of available countries doesn’t fit into a region? We’re back to really long lists again…

FYI I am going to ‘solve’ this problem, it’s been too long :stuck_out_tongue:
What are the practical, implementable solutions!!


D = Germany, A = Austria, CH = Switzerland

Some releases are exclusively released in German speaking countries, DACH is a common abbreviation for these (which neglects Liechtenstein, by the way).


Thank you Kellnerd, I already edited my topic once I was no longer on my phono, sorry and thanks again :heart:

True, but it avoids the concern some people have that it’s not actually world-wide in the literal sense of the word.

IMO disambiguations are enough/appropriate.

It is a problem for data consumers other than the Musicbrainz web interface, IMO. Either each user would need their own heuristic for deciding how many and which countries count as worldwide, or the one from the MB implementation becomes authoritative.

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But changing everything to [worldwide] (or [internet]) with a disambig has this problem even more? Not only is someone setting it based on their own heuristic, but everyone else is then tied to that decision.

This other method we could have a Picard setting that draws the full list if people want, but stats show [worldwide].

It’s not just a matter of semantics tbh. Changing the terminology doesn’t change the loss of data for me.

edit: I don’t really understand the problem - if you are keen to set all the Lorde releases to [worldwide] with a disambiguation, then what do you care if it’s done automatically?