Is it really better to have no cover then a square one?

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The actual official style guideline says about Cover Art:

The cover art for a release must always exactly match the actual art for that specific release . Artwork for a release should not be added to another release: for example, digipaks are not square, and a square digital front cover should not be uploaded to a digipak release.

Does this mean that is better to have no cover at all then a square front cover for all the digital media releases here on MB?
Do we speak about the format “Digital Media” or only the packaging “Digipak”?

Or does the term “should not be uploaded” means: Only do that for informational reasons if no cover isn’t yet available at MB/CAA - such an upload is not explicitely forbidden?

In some cases, it might be acceptable, for example when original release cover art is hardly available (very rare releases), but it shouldn’t be encouraged since people tend to upload totally unrelated cover art and it makes release identification harder for all. So, if one uploads a cover art which isn’t exactly the correct format or from a source which isn’t the actual release, a big bold comment has to be set about it.

What I see is mainly people uploading cover art without any research, from dubious sources, just because it’s “easier” for them, such behavior isn’t something MB community should encourage. That said, I think there are legit cases, editor just have to be ready to defend his position and clearly inform others editors about reasons.

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Thanks @Zas. Could you please clarify to which cases your statement applies?

For digital media, a proven source is usually available (URL of service providing the digital media) so it’s easy to check, there’s no constraint on actual dimensions for such releases.

For physical releases, only scans/photos of actual release are proven-source.
For digipak CDs front/back cover cannot be square. A contrario front cover of most jewel case CDs is square. But of course there are special cases…

We see a lot of cover art from jewelcase CDs used for digipak releases (or the reverse), the thing is that attaching wrong cover art to a release causes endless problems to everyone (attaching wrong metadata to a release is definitively what MB community tries to avoid, cover art is no exception).

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Thanks again.

Just to be sure that I fully understand the difference between a Front Cover of a Digipak-CD and a Jewel case-CD:

The front cover of a CD is mostly the 120x120mm front picture of the booklet, correct?

The front cover of a Digipak is slighty wider then the including CD tray itself (about 140x125mm), covering the entire front and therefore never square, right?

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Yes, Digipak cover size is rectangular and equals the jewel case outer size (booklet/front cover + grip + borders).

Jewel case front covers are in some very rare cases, the rectangular back (same as Fatbox), more often but still minority, the front cover is a rectangular slipcase.
But most of the time it’s the booklet front cover (almost square).
Gatefold covers are also generally square.

What I mean by stating these rare cases is that what counts is always how the actual physical release looks.

And, IMO, if for whatever reason we have to upload a wrong cover, it must not get the Front attribute and it must say it’s wrong and why it’s wrong in the image comment.
Without this we can remove them.

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