Have a weblink open a new tab instead of leaving musicbrainz

If possible, make clicking external links like these open a new tab, and not have the browser moving away from the musicbrainz website.

(using Firefox)

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Do you know mouse shortcuts?
CTRL + Click = New background tab
CTRL+Shift + Click = New foreground tab
Shift + Click = New window


This is really best to be raised via JIRA; which is where any requests for site improvements are to be made.


You’ll need to likely sign-up, then Create > choose the project > issue type improvement, complete the summary and description fields.

There are also some mouse only shortcuts:

  • Middle button click: New background tab

And if your browser supports mouse gestures (Vivaldi, Opera 12):

  • Down: New foreground tab
  • Down, Up: New background tab
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Recently there was the exact opposite request for ListenBrainz, which for now opens some links in new tabs.

If this would be changed in MB it would probably not take long until someone requests the behavior to open in same tab. And I think rightfully, so. In general it seems to be preferred that by default links open in the same tab unless otherwise requested by the user. I’d definitely dislike links opening in new tabs forcefully.


Ugh, yes. This trend of “I’ll have this link open in another window/tab. You don’t really want to leave my wonderful website” is infantilizing. Every (modern) web browser has a “open this link in a new window/tab” feature. Let’s treat our users as intelligent and assume they know about this feature.


Open in new tab is useful in edit pages, to avoid losing your stuff.

But there is now a JavaScript safeguard, if you changed something in the release edit page and are about to leave, it gives you a chance to cancel leaving.

Should be same in all edit pages, if possible.

It is more difficult to force a link to open in current tab than to force a link to open in other tab, there are universal shortcuts for the latter, not for the former.


In general I agree, but sometimes it is likely that a user will not want to leave the webpage he is currently at.
This is a good example of that.

I am guessing most users will click that link just to see what Discogs has to say about a release, so you can compare it with what’s on MusicBrain’z page, and then possibly do some edits.
I find it annoying that you have to click [Back] to return to the MusicBrainz release page (and thus leaving the Discogs page), or remember to use some trick to open in a new tab.

Of course sometimes users want to keep the current site open. I also do this all the time and open links in new tabs to easily return to the previous one or have them open side by side.

But that’s kind of the point, right. Just because in some cases I want pages to open in a new tab is IMHO not a good reason to default to opening all links in new tabs. Browsers support easy ways to open links in new tabs. The opposite is not true. If pages open in new tabs you need to do the extra work of going back to the first one and close it.


I did not say this should work on ‘all links’.

Just on the ones (such as the one from my example) where I am guessing the vast majority of users will not want to leave the MusicBrainz page.
I don’t think it’s bad to deviate from being strict for the sole purpose of being ‘consistent’ to accommodate for how an actual human uses something and making things easier.

Ah well, I made my point, thanks for sharing opinions and the feedback.

I could write a userscript that made all the sidebar links open in a new window/tab if you want.

Edit: Sorry, replied to the wrong post…

I agree it might be useful in these cases. But I am accustomed to using a shortcut to open things in a new tab when I want, and it really bugs me when websites make that decisions for me. I never hold down a ‘don’t open in a new tab’ shortcut, just in case, when clicking a link.

However I have sat with many computer users who don’t know the shortcuts, and it can be better to do it for them. On the other hand, some users are so un-savvy that they get confused with multiple tabs opening. So again there is no clear answer.

My professional opinion leans slightly towards ‘don’t open in a new tab’ (accessibility-wise it can be disorientating for people with low vision, and mess with screen readers). My personal opinion, as a MB user, leans the same way but much more :smiley:

btw @hiccup, if you have a mouse with a clickable scroll, clicking the scroll wheel on a link is what I do to open new tabs.

If the site is not consistent on current/new tab, then I am never sure what will happen when I click and it bugs me.

Everyone does not have userstyles to warn them (red window icon) when links might open in new tabs: WARN_NEW_WINDOW

To be honest I think MB would greatly benefit from a user preferences system that would allow customisation of this type of behaviour. I imagine it has already been raised before though.

This one works for most kinds of forced new tabs even a-tisket:

alternative userscript (doesn’t work with a-tisket supported with version 2.3.0):

or if you want the reverse:


Coming soon to a production MBS near you: https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/MBS-13320