I understand your point that we need to avoid unnecessary duplication of releases that are simply from different sources. This brings me to an issue I’ve frequently encountered as a relatively new contributor.
The vast majority of digital media are direct copies of physical releases. This trend has only started to change in recent years, with artists now beginning to create exclusive digital releases, or streaming platforms remastering old releases. Given this, are you suggesting we should refrain from adding a digital release if it replicates a physical one?
To illustrate, let’s consider the release group “Blue Hawaii” by Elvis Presley:
I appreciate the disambiguation in the title, “mastered for iTunes”, which clearly indicates that this is a new release from iTunes. But what about other versions from Spotify or an MP3 I purchased from Amazon?
While we could choose to disregard these releases, wouldn’t it be more in line with our mission to document those releases? Certainly, this creates similar entries, but isn’t this also true for CD and LP releases? Why would an iTunes, Amazon, or Spotify releases not warrant separate entries?
To conclude my point, if I were to add two new entries to “Blue Hawaii”, with the disambiguation “(Spotify remastered version)” and “(Amazon MP3 album)”, would that be acceptable?
I greatly value your input and it appears we share a common tendency towards perfectionism. You’ve raised a significant point about linking. Although links can convey useful information, we should remember that many users rely on MusicBrainz primarily as a data source for various apps, softwares, and websites, where the linked information might not be utilized fully.
With regards to the use of disambiguation, it’s clear we could start ignoring different types and sources of digital release. However, as I mention to tiger, isn’t our goal here to document all releases? As we move further into the digital age, I believe the disambiguation field will become increasingly essential. In fact, the ability to document Digital Media is one of the significant advantages MusicBrainz has over Discogs.
I’m of the belief that introducing sub-groups for digital media could greatly reduce the need for disambiguation. It seems to be a feasible solution that would improve both visual clarity and parsing capabilities. Of course, creating such categories/sub-categories would require careful thought and consideration, but it could ultimately make the use of disambiguation less necessary, as illustrated in my Elvis example. Your suggestion of categorizing into “(streaming, download, and streaming/download)” is a welcome idea.
I do appreciate the steps forward made by RYM in this area, and it would be wonderful if we could implement something similar.
In your concluding remarks, you noted our current handling of the Disambiguation field is “okay”, but we both agree there is room for improvements. Right?
haaha! Well, English isn’t my mother tongue, but I’ve recruited a trusty AI-powered corrector/revisor to lend a hand. Seems like AI is all the rage these days, infiltrating about 90% of correctors on the market. Isn’t it just so beautifully 2023? Welcome to the future, my friend!