If an image is back of the tray

I got into a little discussion with @Beckfield on my adding artwork here:

According to the guidelines the back of the tray inlay should be marked ‘back’. Most artwork collections have multiple images that are the back of something. O-card, slipcase, box, booklet, poster, and tray card. If I see only ‘back’ it would not be clear to me.

I once saw someone else mark the back of the tray as tray/spine/back and I thought that was very clear so I started doing the same. The front of the tray I mark as tray only, not front/tray.

How strict is this? It’s not wrong, I guess, the tray tag is just adding information, and to me it is clearer.

I have been using this for months, and have added hundreds of CDs. What to do?

Musicbrainz has a standard way of naming art, and it is slightly different to pure English language.

The standard is also use outside of MusicBrainz by many people using artwork for tagging.


Yes “Back” is literally in many places, but not in arwork used for tagging. The only ONE back is the back of the item you hold in your hand when you take it off the shelf.

Similar with “spine” - this is only the external spine. Not the spines you fine on the inside of the tray.

This slight tweak to the English Language means other systems can access the artwork in the Cover Art Archive and just ask for a “back” and not get the last page of a booklet.

So your use of “Tray” to describe the back image is incorrect and you should really fix those.

Update: If a search wizard knows now to make a search for “type = tray” in your artwork I would happily help bang though the edits and fix this. I’ve done it before for other people.

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I can’t understand how an image can be Back/Tray. How can it be both?
Cover Art / Types - MusicBrainz should make this clear.


It is the bit of card in a “tray”. So a twist of language will make it “the back of the tray”.

This is why the guidelines standardise the meaning.

Just like when people call the last page of a book “back, booklet” “because it is the back of the booklet”.

Hmm, looks like I have some fixing of my own to do. I’ve always included spine with tray.

It is a common mistake. Easy to do too.

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, the style guidelines are in need of improvement. Tray is clear however. Back of the tray is nonsense. Back,Tray shouldn’t be allowed.

Nothing in the guidelines allows it. Back is “The back of the package of an audio recording” and tray also has an image as an example. That guideline is pretty good. The main problem is these guidelines are not promoted enough. When someone uploads art this needs to be waved around more.

When you do an edit to upload the artwork this guideline link needs to be in the text on that page. It only appears when you shuffle images.

When you edit art you just gets lots of details about writing an edit note.

I’d say including spine with tray is the intuitive choice. Not sure if I agree with the guideline on this one, but happy to comply.

Intuitive, yes. Just like “back, booklet” is intuitive in literally language. MB has specific meanings of those words that means “tray+spine” is not a thing (tray is always on the inside, and spine is always on the outside) also is “back+booklet” almost never going to happen. (Unless you have one of those deluxe book edition releases…)

But I hope you can see the logic as to what the guidelines are trying to do. By having “spine” as the outside of the package it allows an external tool to re-create an artificial mock-up of a Release. A media centre can request a front, back, spine, top, bottom to make a mock-up of the release package.

With the multiple tags possible I intuitively tagged all that apply.

If Back/Tray is basically never possible, a warning would have been nice and easy to implement in the UI.

So the outside of a booklet cannot be booklet/front/back either then?
And a jewel case in an O-card will only have Back for the O-card then?

I have been doing this for months and have added hundreds of CDs…

A booklet can be “front, booklet” as you’ll often see that. But the last page of a booklet isn’t a “back”.

An O card would be the only front and back in a release.

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I am mad… and am happy to help on a repetitive task like this. I went through someone’s 400 artwork additions correction something like this a few months ago. I can’t do that with your 4000+ unless we can setup some kinda search to sift out the “tray, spine” combos.


We need to add the booklet/front/back combo’s as well then…

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They don’t explicitly state it’s not allowed either, they could be clearer. Apparently, the software doesn’t check…An opportunity for improvement…

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If a search wizard can show us how to form a search for “tray, spine” it would be easy to then tweak it to “front, back” too. I just can’t work out the custom search needed (and have been trying)

editor = (username), Type is (Add Covert Art), with type including (tray, spine)

Absolutely, but let’s remember that they are community-led guidelines - if you have improvements in mind for this case, please draft them, and we can make them happen :+1:

p.s. because it’s come up as well, booklet + front is a often legitimate combination

Except when the last page in the booklet if different from the back of the cd jewel case. Booklets really need to be separate and rethought

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Sorry, I will re-write that comment. Me bad with words again. I was meaning there are things we say in the English language that don’t fit the guidelines. “back+booklet” is never going to be a legit thing. “Back” has a very specific meaning

(I have also see people go “medium+back” for similar confused language reasons)

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