How to add MCN number

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I met a thing that is completely new to me in edit 55530406, MCN number. I thought it’s better to ask other editor’s opinion about it.


I commented on the edit, but posting here also:

The MCN is supposed to be the EAN / UPC number of the release. That means it is basically the barcode. I don’t see a need to record it separately unless it would differ from the actual barcode.

It is not per see a catalog number, even so some labels use catalog numbers that are similar or at least derived from their EAN / UPC numbers (as it is in this case, 987 472-6 is part of the EAN).

To summarize: I think adding the MCN as catalog number is usually wrong, it should be added as barcode. Could be added as annotation, especially if it differs from the actual barcode printed on the release.


I thought it literally: “Media Catalog Number” == the catalog number for the media, the disc. This added to the style guide’s encouragement to add all catalog numbers seemed clear: add them as catalog numbers.
I assume this is not the assessment the majority would make, then.

The majority of the non-zero MCNs I have available right now, (93%, 144 out of 155 samples) would be valid as EAN and probably most of these are the same as the actual barcodes on the paperwork.

I would still be tempted to argue for adding an MCN as a catalog number if it is non-zero and differs from both the barcode and the other catalog numbers on the paperwork and such. (see the example case at the bottom of this post)

I think it would be nice to be able to search with MCNs online and finding the corresponding MusicBrainz releases, but I guess the annotation field can fulfil this.
It would be great if there were a barcode-like field for MCN per medium, where one could tick the box if they know there is no MCN and such but that’s maybe asking too much…

Here’s a case where the catalog number on the back is part of the EAN/UPC and there are two different MCNs for the discs, none of these numbers match and neither of the two MCNs would be valid as EAN-13:


Yes, it is kind of a misnomer, because it is AFAIK actually specified in a way to hold EAN numbers (13 digits).

I agree with this


Thanks a lot the both of you for that new info!