How to enter expanding releases?

I ran into this one…

They have an album and keep adding songs to it now and then. (That didn’t happen before digital release! :slight_smile: ) Does that count as a new release in the same release group every time?
(I am glad they like full dates for those changes!)



yes, that is the best practice~

that is quite nice of them to give you all the dates tho~

1 Like

I hadn’t seen this done before. I hope that the practice doesn’t catch on. :slight_smile:

If you purchased the album in July 2009 and downloaded the four tracks that were available then, and then later downloaded track 5 after it was released in August, are your copies of the first four tracks now part of the five-track release instead? That’s pretty strange from a tagging perspective.

With physical media, it seems like it usually takes far more effort to actually create and distribute a new release than it does to add it to MB.

With digital (online) media, “releasing” something can be easier than adding it to MB.

(Algorithmically-generated content seems like it’s going to push things much further in this direction, but discussion of that that probably belongs in the “Implications of AI generated content” thread).

Well, it is possible and apparently people do it. We need to find the best way to represent that in MB. I do think that having it as a new version with more tracks makes kind of sense, like a reissue with extra tracks. When you download the 5-track version, you’re basically replacing the 4-track version with your new download. Slightly weird, but makes some kind of sense. I can live with it. :slight_smile:

Not if the conventions discussed here are followed, because the 5 track version is a new release with the date of the update. You still have the ‘complete’ release of your version :+1:

I’m still not convinced that creating a new “+1” release every time a new song is added is the best way to represent this. The release group seems a bit confusing now, too.

From Bandcamp’s perspective, this is one album that the artist released on 2009-03-29 and then modified periodically (which is something that MB doesn’t have any way of representing). There’s only one URL, and if you buy the album (or just get it for free, since it’s “name your price” with no minimum), you’ll have access to all future songs.

The text on suggests that the artist may view each song as a single:

This is a series of unofficial releases.

But I think I personally would’ve just entered this as one release with an annotation describing when each song was added.

Edit: Maybe a series would be appropriate here.

This feels related to other unresolved issues with online releases, like how to represent the countries where a release is currently streamable. Physical media is fixed at the moment of release; if it changes (which is much harder to do!), it’s a new release. Online releases don’t work like that, and creating a new release whenever there’s a change (or one for each streaming site, which thankfully isn’t done often) creates data that seems to me like it’ll ultimately be hard to use and maintain.

For another example of a change to an existing online release, see Release “gingerbread” by beek - MusicBrainz. Track 7 is now named “martian prawn paradise” at In the Wayback Machine, I can see that the artist renamed it sometime between 2016-09-22 and 2019-08-18. MB still uses the old track name. Should the release be updated to use the new name instead? Should a new release be created? What about if an artist just corrects a minor typo in a tracklist? (I see minor differences in tracklists and artist credits all the time across different online platforms.)

Creating a new release every time that a change is made to an online album is certainly one way to record when the change occurred, but I’m not sure that it makes sense to consumers of MB data or will be manageable in the long term.


I’m certainly not saying it’s perfect, but it’s nothing new and it’s worked fine so far.

This happens all the time with VGM music releases, where new tracks are released when there’s game updates. Seeing the dates when those updates were added is very useful (e.g. knowing that this is when ‘halloween’ bonus tracks were added). I think it’s a strawman to expand this to someone changing a track title having to create a new release - if you don’t want to create a new release for that, then don’t.

Examples: Stardew Valley, Fall Guys

This is obviously different to someone just tooling around with their releases, track by track, but as it stands it’s a hard no from me on a guideline that says to merge all those releases into one with an annotation.

I think the example in question is clear enough, and seems to follow artist intent just fine. If you’re merging it all into one, are you entering the date the release was first created? Or when the last track was entered? Both are wrong…

If there’s a better way to do this then I would love for it to happen of course. Perhaps as an extension of the Alternate Tracklists ticket (being able to set tracklists as being on X date), or in the Tracklist parts/sections tickets (which I can’t find atm, but allow tying dates into it.) Probably material for a new thread if you have suggestions.

1 Like

Thanks for the game soundtrack examples. I don’t have any great alternatives. Creating a new release containing only the additional track(s) feels to me like it’s more in line with what actually happened (X new tracks were released on date Y), but it won’t reflect the full album and tracklist as the artist envisioned it, so it has downsides as well.

1 Like