How to retrieve a 'Boxset' tag?

For box-sets like these:

Is there a way to retrieve a ‘Boxset’ tag for them?

I wasn’t able to figure this out, but I am guessing it should be possible?

Not sure, as there is not really a specifier on MB that says “this is a boxset”. It also depends on the definition of boxset. Some ideas:

  • Consider all releases with more then X mediums a box set
  • Use a specific folksonomy tag “boxset” (that then also needs to be set, of course)

I was wondering if you could use something like “multiple media plus release packaging is box”, but both and have empty packaging fields. ( has its packaging set, but it’s “other” rather than “box”.)

From looking at Release / Packaging - MusicBrainz, I’m not even sure whether “box” would be the correct type for e.g. a box with one open side that holds a bunch of jewel cases.

Yes, I made the exact same observation. Originally the packaging type was on my above list, but I removed it. There are for sure some “box sets” that have exactly the packaging as described, but it seems to be a very unreliable measurement.

Another measurement would be whether the release group has “includes” relationships to other release groups (again likely with somehow checking the number of such relationships), as the Kate Bush example does. That data is not directly available in Picard’s scripting, but a release metadata plugin could access the data and make it available.

Yet again, this totally depends on the type and definition of box sets. If a box set consists of previously individually released albums or singles this works well. But there are also huge box sets e.g. for classical composers which focus on providing all (or the majority of) their works.

The only proper way would be if box sets could be marked as such in MB. I think there was some forum discussion about this some time ago? Not sure. The tricky part is likely to agree on what a box set is, as it is such a loose term.


For reference these are the two examples mentioned in the original post:

  1. I think you could have a digital download of a “box set” release, so using the MB packaging field would be an unreliable indicator.

  2. I don’t think there is an accepted standard definition of how many media (or tracks) constitutes a box set, so I think it would be up to the user to decide that e.g. 3 or more media or (say) 50 or more total-tracks constitutes a box set.

Thanks outsidecontext, that may be the best option. (for now)

I’ve seen the thread where this was discussed, and indeed no consensus was reached on this.

Still, I think in a case such as the Kate Bush release that contains 7 original albums, most people would agree that that can safely be labeled a boxset.
Same (but probably more disputable) for the Scott Walker release that contains 5 themed ‘albums’.

But I can understand this is something a bit difficult to reach an agreement on.


I use KODI and they started to create something for this so better artwork can be displayed. What they track is when a Medium has a subtitle it was then assumed it was a boxset. They also added a hack to allow “boxset” to be added as a type in the “RELEASETYPE” tag.

a) there have to be 3 or more discs involved with 3 disc subtitles,
b) have to include “boxset” in the album type (read from tag RELEASETYPE in .FLAC or custom type “MUSICBRAINZ ALBUM TYPE” for .mp3

(That thread is a PITA but it does include how KODI is handling boxsets… would be cool if MB and KODI could sync up even more efficiently…)

To be clear, that item “b)” above was a way to manually change a tag to say “this is a boxset”. Maybe someone can create a script for picard that spots the folksomony tag and then sets that FLAC\MP3 tag?

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A problem I see with using packaging to test for a boxset is we lack the correct packaging types. We need a “box” type to cover that. And as noted above, digital boxset would not be able to be specified. Many of my “boxsets” of albums are just in a slipcase.

The “Includes” idea is useful - but fails on various levels.

  • Many people don’t bother adding these relationships.
  • Only works on a Release Group level
  • Many re-issued CDs can get an album and singles on the same release, but this is not really a boxset.
  • A normal release will have “includes” if singles were released from that album
  • Can’t see a “25th anniversary box set” that has been added to the release’s original RG.

KODI’s hack works for many of my boxsets. I like that it can also pick up those “30th anniversary” boxes with multiple CDs in. I like that for the artwork changes.

Far more useful for the boxes with multiple albums in like at the start of this thread.

If you take the word ‘box’ literally, that could be a problem.
But since we live in a far less physical era these days, I think that ‘intention’ should be the relevant factor here.
I personally have left the concept of ‘LPs’ and ‘CDs’ far behind when managing my digital library.
And I grew up with all that stuff…

I mistyped - a “boxset” type is something we need. A simple flag. Something to say “this is a collection of releases than can be treated as separate items”.

Trouble is you can’t set that as a Release Group as I have 25th Anniversary releases that fit the “boxset” flag as they are original release, live version, extras, demos… a box of related stuffs.

It is why I find that KODI method that focuses on discsubtitle a neat hack to produce this result.

eg King Crimson’s “The Road to Red” with it’s 21 CDs, 1 DVD and 2 Blurays, is in the “Red” RG.

It shouldn’t, there is a separate single from relationship for this.

IMHO this really shouldn’t be, this should be a separate RG.

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Tagged as being a ‘boxset’ perhaps?

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To anyone interested in the matter, this is a thread where boxsets were discussed some 7 years ago.
(the thread was locked, so it’s probably not open to discussion anymore)

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I don’t mind either way, but it did seem odd that it was the only one of the box sets that wasn’t in the RG with it’s original release.

haven’t read the whole thread yet, but I wanted to mention there’s a more recent thread and ticket for adding support for differentiating this kind of release here

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Thanks, I must have totally missed that one.