How should digital releases, download and/or streaming be added?


I have up until now been tagging my own CD rips but has started to download albums from Qobuz. And I have some questions.

  1. Should each “shop” or “service” has it’s own digital release listed? The album may (or may not) be equal. There is no way to know whitout buying from all places and compair file-hashes
  2. They often don’t have any identifyer, no barcode, no label code ect.
  3. They often don’t list the release date (just when the CD-version was released), how to deal with release year then?
  4. Should Sreaming-releases whitout any download-option be listed? Considering that it exists hacky ways to download the musicfiles from Spotify, Deezer ect.

Does anyone have pointers on this?
When it comes to Qobuz I have read on the internet that they sel CD-rips, but it is now easy to know for sure. I can’t imagne they in fact are ripping the CD’s when the label can just send them the files they have. Also, if hey are ripping CD’s there is no way to se what CD release it was ripped from.

Exampl, release I added a few days ago:

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This is how I interpret things, I’m sure others will give their takes.

Nope, for the most part many of the popular streaming services will have the same content… a Taylor Swift album on Spotify is likely the same one the record company gave to Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube Music etc. The only times when a new release should be entered is if:

  • The contents of the release is different in anyway (more/less tracks, different sequence, bonus content, different durations etc.)
  • The release is in a considerably different format (so is a remix, a remaster, a specific higher fidelity quality)
  • The releases have different identifiers such as barcodes, catalog numbers

This is true, however tools like Atisket can reveal some of these items of information via API calls. Some services do however list identifiers

Nearly impossible to be honest, welcome to the madness. There’s big debates on how to handle this, I actually will simply omit the release date if I cannot confirm it. For releases in the last few years it can be assumed that the digital release happened at the same time as the physical. Do not get me started on release countries, that debate is still on-going.

Yep, its music at the end of the day and we catalog music. For an item to be on MusicBrainz it doesn’t have to be “downloadable” or “obtainable”, if it exists only as streaming content then that is fine.

Is the tool of choice for most of us who do this - it only works with Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music (iTunes) but it will do most of the heavy lifting for you.

Nope, unless they so happen to provide something like an EAC log file, or something buried in the metadata then its anyone’s guess.

Depends, I’m not familiar with this storefront. Most of the time it will be the labels doing the distribution and they’ve probably got “digital copies” of all their albums already at hand… smaller independents might “re-rip” their physical media to distribute via these storefronts and I have encountered the odd release here and there which has digital artefacting present from poor quality CD-rips.

That’s fine, please set the front attribute to the cover artwork please - otherwise it renders like this: