Europe releases why ''XE'' and not ''EU''?

Why are releases from Europe in short ‘‘XE’’ and not ‘‘EU’’ it’s really weird can someone explain this. i much rather have ‘‘EU’’ in my meta tags then ‘‘XE’’ what does it even mean… and if this is not right can we change it.
docs says; XE Europe for European releases where specific country unknown

So where specific country is unknown but the release is still from Europe so why ‘‘XE’’ and not ‘‘EU’’…

Might be a dumb question, i just don’t know what ‘‘XE’’ means.

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Most of MB’s country codes seem to come from ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. The EU code in that standard is reserved for European Union. We need a code for the continent, not the union, but that doesn’t seem to exist in the standard. That’s why MB needed to use one of the user-assignable codes.

I’m no expert but I think I got this right.

Edit: Other similar cases on that doc page: XC for Czechoslovakia, XG for East Germany, XU for [Unknown Country] and XW for [Worldwide].

Edit2: Some corrections in the 9th comment.


Europe is not a country. User-assigned “country” codes start with X. Hence, “XE”.

Thanks for the explanation.

BTW, we also need the union for all releases manufactured in the E.U., don’t we?


Good point. I can only imagine this becoming another drums vs. drumset case though :^)

Or probably less so if we write the name open.

Late edit: I stumbled upon AREQ-940 and think it should be linked to this discussion.

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There is an almighty set of confusions in the term “Europe” - and pray we stay away from the Politics! :rofl:

The Netherlands are in the EU and XE.

Norway and Switzerland are only in the XE.

The UK is about to get nicely confusing as it is about to stop being in the EU and only be in XE.

That UK case has already caused enough argument as UK releases are usually XE releases too. Except when they aren’t. (Mad little island that we are - Lolz)

When/if UK eventually drags itself through leaving the EU the MB database needs to watch out in case some political loon starts trying to “correct” the EU\UK entries. :smiley:

A 1990s disc stamped “made in the EU” could be in Swindon, UK or Uden, Netherlands… or sometimes both.

Parts of Russia are in XE and other parts in Asia but never EU.

Turkey is in EU, XE and Asia.

See - clear as mud.

Now back to the OP. I would have thought it should be possible to teach Picard with a magic script to change your tags to how you want them. Should be a simple swap to change XE to EU on your files. I just don’t yet fully understand the magic tagging pixies and their rules. Hopefully someone will see this thread who is a Picard tagging expert and write a little substitution script.


It’s not in the European Union. The EU actually has some standards :wink:


This does the trick. It needs to be put to the scripting tab for it to have effect on tags, as opposed to the file naming tab.


I think I made some poor word choices in my original reply.

Actually all of MB’s country codes follow that standard. MB’s decision to do a “perfect implementation” of the standard is the big reason why we have XE instead of “Europe”. That decision has at least one positive I can think of: it makes translations more elegant. One negative thing is that XE = Europe only for MB and if the data is used somewhere else they need to know what MB means by XE.

Also since EU countries are a subset of European countries (at least currently), it’s not wrong to list an “EU release” as a European release, just less accurate. Omitting EU could even have been an intentional choice on MB’s part.


HAha - whoops. Confused that one with NATO.

Good to see XE used here at MB as I can imagine the fun some sites will have when UK isn’t in the EU anymore. That will confuse their databases.

Though why is the XE “country” using the EU flag?

I’ve always assumed a “Manufactured in EU” is a cop-out from the CD publishers. They can do one set of artwork and then manufacture the disks in multiple countries.

And I should correct my other error above. It is not “UK” it is “GB” according to the ISO chart.

The traditional “Consistent Confusion” is in play I see…


I remember it was not the case long time ago there was no flags for Europe XE.
Then it was asked for and discussed somewhere before being eventually added.
But I cannot find the discussion back in Jira nor in the old mailing list so it must have been in either the old forum but it is not fully indexed and no longer searchable in Google… :thinking:
There was also Trac but it is no longer accessible either.
Oh maybe it was in #musicbrainz-automods IRC or something like that…

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The Council of Europe (not an EU institution, it has 47 member states including Russia and Turkey) also uses the “European” flag. In fact they used it first, before the EU started doing it. So it’s all a bit confusing, but using the blue flag with 12 yellow stars for the continent instead of the EU isn’t wrong.

The Europe release country is also confusing because there is no EU release country.


@mfmeulenbelt Threads like this always dig out odd history. So it turns out that isn’t the “EU” flag. It predates them by some way. The Council of Europe chose it in the 1950s, but it looks like meanings have been nicely confused.

I like the “12” bit and how it refers to everything the number of disciples, to the number in a coven, and they always have to drag the Masons in somewhere. And yes, I have intentionally chosen a link to a flaky description. It adds to the fun.

Before reading some of that post I had always assumed there was as many stars in the flag as EU members. Shows how close I have ever looked at the thing. :smile:

Hang on. So this means the EU are using someone else’s flag. Have they ever asked for permission?