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

Relevant post:

Update: This is actually in the official Picard documentation, see Handling of multiple release countries — MusicBrainz Picard v2.10 documentation


Yes, I am aware of this. :grinning: As per @outsidecontext nice fix he did, which I use. I am just using it as an example of use outside of the database. It is also why I made that comment above about how it would be nice to tweak it to swap in the Artist home country (i.e. New Zealand) instead of my territory.

But we are a bit OT now… (and I think I am already talking too much)

@elomatreb - yep. Europe includes Russia. EU is a small club inside Europe. Africa is already split in that PF list in some odd way. So is Asia. It is a mess. One long list is even more of an unreadable mess too. I don’t know an answer.

Yes, it would be nice to have a variable _artist_homecountry for use in tagger scripts, but it is hardly a solution for digital release countries. I would rather take the home country of the release platform. It would be easy to determine and would also reflect where most of the profits go.

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In this digital future I worry that MB will get drown in the noise of where shops sell. In the “old days” we can look at a Release Group and see the markets someone sold in to. Get an idea where they were popular. Did they only release in UK? Europe? Any US release? Japan?

Now all we are going to see is noise. The visual side of data will be lost. Yes, it will be “accurate”. But then that artist was always happy to post their CD to someone in the Falkland Islands if they requested a copy… (okay - I gotta go away now… enough of me in this thread :crazy_face: :rofl: )


As an Austrian, I have to say that I hardly bought any Austrian releases. Most have rights society GEMA (without BIEM) and are correctly entered as German releases. Because it is not so much there to describe the actual marketing territory as to differentiate the releases. I think, for digital it’s the same.

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I think it is very different for us as editors, but I don’t think it is very different to physical in practice.

In reality I think when a label/publisher has rights to 20 countries, for a physical release, then they make sure it gets to all of those for the release day.

The reason I am against adding all the countries for those is because we more often than not simply don’t have good access to this information, and no good way of entering it. Just entering the label country is the most consistent way to do it.

We just kind of assume NZ = Oceania, DE = Europe, etc.

The issue now arises because with digital we have access to complete information and the tools to enter them.

But I absolutely agree with you that the end effect is that the field changes from basically a disambiguation to a complex list. My mock-up kind of tackles that by separating the countries out (distribution areas could be a good name for it?).

Hats off to @elomatreb for a constructive post! If I catch time I’ll do another mockup. We could start drafting some style suggestions?

You had literally quoted the question I re-asked fyi :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: which I still want to know tbh
Your other points were well taken!

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Round two of mockups from this guy.
Please ignore the clunky layout, this is a draft of the functionality.

(click to enlarge images)

Release editor:




It’s a bit ugly atm, sorry!
The country/region list is matched to what’s used when uploading to digital services 1:1, so we can basically understand what a label/artist clicked in their menu which is nice
I am still unsure if [WEB] wouldn’t just replace [worldwide]? Are there any worldwide non-digital releases?
This would require a new ‘distribution’ table/schema change. If we figure out a good UI/display the distribution/rights list could be used for physical too!

Release display:

minimal option:

button option:

own column option:

The ‘minimal’ option shouldn’t really break anything/should fit in everywhere?
But I like the number for disambiguating stuff - maybe we can do minimal + number combo


These mockups look very nice look very nice! I like the grouping by region, that’s a good interface.

That would be good (and still needed even with a nice UI), but maybe in a different thread?


quite possibly physical media sold on Bandcamp? that’s the only case I can think of offhand…

that said, I don’t see any issue just using [worldwide] either, as in my mind, that implies it’s an internet release. (possibly a minority opinion)

might be a bit early to ask, but are you proposing adding a separate field for this? because I could see it working either that way, or as special handling for releases that include [worldwide]/[web] in their release events list.

also, do we know if the continents/regions are consistent worldwide? because that looks reasonable to me here in the United States, but it might be different than someone in Africa. (I’ve also never put music out on a streaming service tho… lol)

Wow, I like this. Really nice mock-up.

I believe I asked this above and the answer is yes!

Yeah, sometimes the artists own website also ships Worldwide.

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I like this idea a lot (especially the map).

I think this solution leaves us with one more problem though: the release date. If I understood this correctly, the huge country lists are based on the countries a digital store sells a release in at the moment the edit is created. That list of countries can change at any moment, which means that a release at 1-1-2022 with Albania as one of the release countries might not have been available in Albania on 1-1-2022.

This is actually my main problem with the huge country lists: it pretends to be extremely precise, but it is really a random snapshot. There is no way to check if the release date has any relation to the release countries, so why put them together? Are release events really the best place for this information? If we want to show where a release is available for download (which is interesting), shouldn’t we give that information it’s own place on the page (with the nice map, preferably)? And either cache the information (monthly or weekly) or query those stores whenever someone opens the page, so the information is always accurate and up to date.


Yes, but is it worldwide then?
Every label will sell their products worldwide, but it’s not a worldwide release, only because of the fact that is shipped worldwide.

Smaller labels have often replaced their own web shops with Bandcamp. I wouldn’t call such releases worldwide though.

It would reduce the number of worldwide releases significantly. But there are still very few cases where “worldwide” probably comes closest to reality.
(I like the mockups! :+1:)

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I still think on digital releases there should only be 1 date (blank country with date), the date first released anywhere. Then just lists all the countries that it is available without dates. This way we don’t have to know when a service was first available, etc. It’s impossible to know when a release was first available in a country without adding the release the day or at least near the day it came out. Especially on releases before a few years ago.


Some excellent feedback! Some updates based on that:

Non-web release:



Web release:



With worldwide distro unchecked:


Link to first drafts


“This is a digital/web release” feels like its duplicating the medium format information.


I imagine you would be greeted by this on the next tab:


(greyed out)
So yes, duplicating information, but no extra clicks. Thoughts?

Edit: now that I think about it, there’s probably no need for the digital/web button, and we could just have a ‘Distribution’ panel at the bottom for all releases… derp. Does that sound better/is that what you’re thinking?


MusicBrainz supports DVD and Blu-ray as media types. Why not match the region lock codes with the release event?

… because… that’s what this market availability licensing stuff is all about.

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Honestly, I don’t feel like I want to do that. I already have dozens of far more reasonable Style tickets open that I’d like to see moved somewhere first before tackling something that will consume more time than all of those tickets combined that people are likely to never agree on anyway.


Yes, this is the real problem that I have with them. It is a point in time, not the actual release date. Sometimes, they wildly conflict with each other.

For ‘new’ streaming releases, this might be fine. But for a given release which popped up on streaming sites in 2014, who knows.