Music video as a release on its own: release date, cover art

I noticed that music videos are often seen as a recording, without a standalone release to them. For the release date some use the “written in” property and set that to “athmosphese” as a way to say world wide.
An example of such recording here:

furthermore, there is no upload of the thumbnail, while that is in fact a unique piece of work, similar to an album cover.

My solution on some data I uploaded was to add the music videos as stand alone releases part of the same release groups. This way I can add the cover art (the thumbnail).

furthermore, some music videos do not have identical audio to the release on say spotify or cd. There might be clapping at the end, or some spoken words in the middle. This also affects track lenght, but we would not want it to affect the average lenght calculation.

What would be the best solution in the future? Would be sad to just pretend thumbnails aren’t art, but I also don’t want to start making releases for music videos while others point out they aren’t supposed to be releases on their own.

I don’t think “[in atmosphere]” was supposed to be used for that. Only four works have been added to it, and likely to be an error.

I think with Red specifically, it was written on a plane, and there was no mention of who’s airspace she wrote it in

on the note of the actual topic, I also add videos as releases, since yes, they do have release dates, labels, and cover art to be captured~ eventually, I’d like to see them get their own release group type, see my thread linked below, but I have seen other solutions, including grouping it with the audio single

that said, currently I (generally) add them to their own release group without a type and also add the type=video tag to mark it to be fixed later, once we’ve got a proper solution

edit: I think the hacky solution you’re thinking of is adding a date to the URL relationship for the YouTube release, which I really don’t like as a solution


:rofl: The more you know.

Thanks. I’ve already set video flags on them but those take 7 days to get applied (vote). Makes sense to have them as releases for now.

Music videos are added as standalone video recordings, not as releases. As far as I know, there’s always been consensus about that.

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Seems that consensus is at very least not unanimous.

And again, that would mean completely dismissing thumbnails as accompanying art, since those can only be added as cover image.

That’s because they are not meant to be a music album cover, but a video thumbnail, which have nothing to do with the former.

And FYI videos added as releases are always taken down very soon (Edit #109016731 - MusicBrainz), so I wouldn’t waste my time in adding them if I were you :wink:

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debatable, so lets have that debate here:

an artist spends may hours on thumbnail art, it would be a waste to dismiss that. Doesn’t feel like I am wasting mine if I defend the legitimacy of their work.

My only waste of time is having to defend this release from being destroyed before we reach a better solution. Could you consider removing your edit in favor of not destroying data?

The debate has been repeated many times in the forum. May be an idea to go there and read some of that too.

Personally I don’t see a video as needing to appear in the middle of a discography as a separate release group. Usually these are videos of a single, so really just a version of that single. Hence the current logic to make them stand alone recordings and then link them to the relevant single as “video of” relationships.

Making a YouTube thumbnail is fairly meaningless. That is not really a “cover”, more of just being a requirement of YouTube uploads. When 1980s videos were release for 1980s singles they did not have “thumbnails”. They were released to promote the single.


but even if thumbnails aren’t cover art (which I think they very much are), you’ve still got release dates and labels to denote…

whether they get their own release group, they should at least have a release


but this isn’t the 80s, and a ton of music is released only through YouTube. the whole genre of YTPMVs (and also MADs) were built on these platforms. while sometimes the thumbnail is auto-selected, more often than not, it is the only cover art associated with a release

Thumbnails are also made to promote a single. Thumbnails are what show up as suggestion. Hell sometimes you can call them click bait, just like a poster or cover is made to draw your attention to the work before you ever heard it.

I can see why you would rather keep them limited to a standalone recording, but it does have copyright, does have a release date, does have a promoting image which represents the music art. In other words, it is something which got released. Maybe a different kind of release, but a release non the less.

also wanted to add, according to a recent poll I started, more editors think videos should be added as releases than not, with an even split on whether to have a seperate release group for videos, from the thread I linked above.


Doubt that makes a difference because musicbrainz isn’t a democracy, but we do agree on the what and the why, and beyond what a majority think it just makes semantic sense that video has been released to the public at some point. We can’t keep pretending videos and thumbnails are recordings without release without discarding relevant data and thumbnail art in doing so. And while we wait a couple people are actively deleting releases which is a destructive action. Mildly frustrated that people are ganging together to invalidate releases just because they don’t match their archaic expectations.


this is true, I was mostly saying there’s no clear consensus among editors, just a simple slight majority (of a fairly small sample of active editors)… the only argument I’ve seen against this so far is editors linking to that 8-year-old quote of @reosarevok stating what they’ve seen done in the past and that we should maybe hold off on adding them until they have a place. no reason we can’t change that now tho~

my opinion is also that we’re losing valuable data on these official releases just because of the opinions of a few editors, and I just think that’s real disappointing… I’ve even seen a fair bit of my contributions deleted because of this (tho only after looking through an edit search or two)… (I will note a few of these edits are quite possibly non-music releases, which probably don’t have a place in MusicBrainz, I can’t speak for all of these tho)

edit: one last thing to add before I leave for the day, currently there’s no good home I’ve found for music videos in any database except for MusicBrainz… IMDB doesn’t have the concept of music works (and isn’t open data), IMVDb isn’t active and requires approval for additions to be visible, and the Music Video Database is very bare bones at best (and I don’t know how open it is, both to submissions and to data use). I did just find Mvdbase, but don’t know anything about it, since they’re down for maintenance currently


I’m sorry but the idea of a music video not being a release is just ridiculous to me, when we have thousands of examples that they’re very much are. Every music video in Spotify is treated as a release. They even have unique barcodes. They have been treated as releases in Mora for ages and though Apple Music has a different category for them, they still have unique barcodes that can be viewed using source code and binary viewers. How are those not evidences of a release?


Throwing insults at people not realizing they are on the same team as you and have been thinking about it for years. That’s sad.

There are still open questions that miss answers and probably more that have yet to be asked (or are buried in someone’s collection with thousands of music videos…).

Every music video in Spotify is treated as a release

I have yet to come across a single video in Spotify. Would you be a dear and thoroughly document this feature? It seems quite limited still

When is now and does it come with code changes and redesign? BTW, some of the schema changes from 2017 and 2019 are still not implemented in the UI


I’m not insulting anybody. I said the idea that is being thrown around is ridiculous, which it is. I wasn’t even adressing you and if you’re talking about the note I left in your edits, that wasn’t an insult either.

If anything, this is what is insulting. Telling an editor to not do something because we’re going to delete it. It’s just so counterintuitive and it solves nothing.

It is limited because it still being developed. It’s in a beta state, so you’re not going to find an entire videography of an artist there yet. Some don’t even have anything, but it’s there. It’s also not available in every country and at least I can’t access it on the app, only in the web version.

And here’s the above release on a-tisket:

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I apologize if it was me throwing the insults… I just saw pages of release removal edits, including one of mine, seemingly just because they’re YouTube releases, and got unreasonably angry. I’m sure that’s not the intent, and hope we can continue to work together~

now can be whenever, I think, because we’ve already got the robust release system which can handle music videos already, whether they’re in their own release group or not

my opinion is that imprecise data is better than no data (as long as it’s not incorrect). if there’s no data about these releases, how will anyone know to fix it later?


Like others wrote, I’m what we an do this week is settle for a way ahich does not destroy data while a permanent solution is in the makes. I found myself searching for release dates, downloading converting and uploading thumbnails, only for someone to delete it with two clicks and a vague refeeence to the general consensus. Let’s stop that and see about the rest after?

Will that pollude the database with releases? Not really. We do mark those recordings as video, and link the release to a youtube url, and mark te recording as musi video. They can be identified in the future with a query on the database.