Live audio release in multiple formats = unique release for each?


For those who don’t already know, the band Bon Jovi are currently on their This House Is Not for Sale Tour. Every show thus far has been made available for purchase as a digital download in either FLAC or mp3 format, with separate purchase links for each. There were even USB wristbands sold at the shows that came loaded with a code good for one download. My question is this: Should there be a separate release for the FLAC and mp3 versions (with a possible third release for the USB drives)?


I’d say no. I don’t think it is discouraged to have separate releases for different digital file formats (MP3 & FLAC), but I don’t see a lot of gain in making the difference either. And because the USB wristband doesn’t contain any music itself, just a download code for the two download options, that shouldn’t be a separate release either in any case.


I should also note there are different cover images for the FLAC and mp3 versions (visible at and Would this be enough to warrant separate releases?


Oh, if the cover art differs, then I would definitely have separate releases. Online stores usually just offer the option to download different file formats for the same release, and I was thinking of those cases. Actually this is the first time I saw different cover art for different digital formats. :slight_smile:

Btw, slightly related topic: What’s the official guide for 16-bit vs 24-bit releases, if any?


If the cover art is different, it’s a different release, even if it were two identical digital releases otherwise.


I would also add that if they fingerprint differently it could mean a different master and mean not only a different release, but different recordings. 99% of the time this is not the case for digital releases, though you should keep an eye out for any “mastered for [format]” notices on the release.


Did you mean to say “different mix” rather than “different master”?


I’m fairly certain he meant to say “different master.” We discussed something to that length here a while back (in a thread I started, no less): “Mastered for iTunes” releases: Series, disambiguation or both?


I [quote=“CallerNo6, post:7, topic:218898”]
Did you mean to say “different mix” rather than “different master”?

I meant any processing, mixing, mastering, editing, etc. that results a real difference between versions of the recording to either the discerning ear or fingerprinting software.