On cd cover art, booklets, and such

I have this release, which is a digital release with no packaging/physical medium, but the art/booklet for the cd packaging is included as part of the download. I went ahead and added all of the cd art to the cd release, but not the digital release yet. I have a few questions:

  1. I’ve seen edits to remove cover art for the wrong medium, so should the cd art only be added to the cd release? Or is it fine to add the cd art to the digital release as well since it was included as part of the digital dowload? Or maybe something in-between where the booklet is added, but not the cd-specific art?
  2. I’ve added digital copies of the booklet for the cd release here, should the scanned versions be removed, since they’re identical to the digital versions, but lower quality (one of them is upside down), or should they be left?
  3. Is there any particular order that should be used when sorting the cover, spine, back, booklet images, obi, etc?
  4. Would a picture of the label for a cd (and not the cd itself) be medium, or other? (or medium and other?)
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Yes, CD art should only be added to the CD release. If there is other art included in digital download, i.e. a PDF Booklet, etc. add that to the digital release. That’s becoming more rare unfortunately, since it appears more sites are devoting to streaming rather than downloads. Cover art MUST be a scan/pic of the actual medium. If the digital download actually came with scans of the physical artwork, than yes, you can add those. However, I would definitely, put in the comments that the images are included with the download, so that they won’t be removed. Otherwise, they likely will be. Digital copies of the booklet included in the download should NOT be added to the CDs unless you are 100% positive that they would result in identical images as if you had scanned them. In other words, a MB release reflects what is with that release. We try not to cross over any images from one medium type to another. Whatever the FIRST image that says front on it will be the one used as the cover art. I try to always show those first in the order, however, since the cover art must say “front” as the type to be shown, it really doesn’t matter the order. The label image on Vinyl or CDs should be marked as medium, even though technically it’s not an image of the entire medium.


So, based on your feedback it sounds to me that as a general rule:

  • All non-cd cover art included with the digital download should be added to the digital release, but not cd-specific cover art
  • It’s ok to add digital copies of cd-specific cover art that were included with the digital download to the cd release if they’re identical to the physical cd cover art

I do have some specific questions though:

So in the case of this release, scans were already available, and in every case but the obi, the digital copies included with the digital download of this release were identical to the scans. The scanned obi has a barcode, and the digital copy has no barcode, but is otherwise identical. Should they both be left, or should the digital copy be removed since the barcode is missing?

I guess this is mostly subjective, but if a scan and a digital copy of the same cover art are available, should all of the digital cover art be placed in order before the scans (or vice versa) [i.e. Front cover digital copy, booklet digital copy, back cover digital copy, front cover scan, booklet scan, back cover scan], or should it be arranged where each piece of cover art is listed in order, but the digital copy and scan are placed next to each other for each cover art (i.e. front cover digital, front cover scan, booket digital, booklet scan, back cover digital, back cover scan)? I could see it being done both ways, although I think I’d do it the first way personally.

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Presumably if you got this physical edition the obi would have a barcode on it. So an image of the obi without any barcode is definitely not correct for that physical edition.

Personally I don’t think there’s any point in uploading any cover art from the digital to the CD edition (or vice versa) when we have both editions in the database. Each edition can have different images.

The main reason in my opinion would be that the digital copies of cd art are objectively better quality. Even if you have good scans, there will always be a color discrepancy due to the particular scanner used, and digital source files were used to print the cd art in the first place. For digital art of the cd label you can sometimes see part of the art drawn past the edge of the cd where you would never see it otherwise.
My question is where do we define what cover art should be placed with which release? From what @tigerman325 said here:

the booklet that was included with a digital download is ok, but cd specific art, like the disc label, obi, back and tray art shouldn’t be added to the digital release, only a cd release. If you shouldn’t add digital copies of cd art when scans exist, does that mean they don’t belong on the Cover Art Archive at all? While keeping both digital copies and scans on the cd release seems a bit cluttered, I think it’s still valuable to have both. For example, if someone wanted to make edits of the cd art for a remix they made of a song or something, the digital copies would be valuable. It would make more sense to me if all the art included with the digital release was just put with the digital release, but that could also cause confusion about whether it was a cd release or not. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to archive these, if there are no hard rules on this I guess I’ll just do the best I can and not worry about it.

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Musicbrainz/Picard deals with this by letting you tag using the release group cover image, which should always be set to the most loverly image in the group.

This means we can upload ugly but correct covers to other releases instead of just copying the same one everywhere :slight_smile:

There may be a misunderstanding here - all artwork that actually comes with a release (e.g. included with a digital download) can be uploaded to that release. Just don’t upload it to another release.
Same goes for copying scans of a physical CD to a digital release.

This is a ‘hard rule’, although there are always fringe cases.

Hopefully that makes sense, and means you can store the info you wanted? The only thing that MB wont cover is artwork that has never been included with a release… for instance some fans tidy up/create artwork themselves - we just link to sites like fanart.tv for that kind of thing.


That’s why I said only time, and it’s rare, that scans of the CD cover art should be added to digital releases is if it actually comes with the release itself. If someone makes a remix or something, than that’s an entirely new release. We wouldn’t add artwork to an existing release that belongs to a new one. There’s relationships set up to show these types of connections between releases.