Proposed (unofficial) digital media guidelines

Marking one as [worldwide] when it’s explicitly and intentionally not available in Japan seems problematic. I’d probably rather leave it empty than set that.


I don’t think this is the position of most editors. Perhaps you should open a poll about that.

There seem indeed different interpretations regarding the country list issue specifically regarding this proposal and causes voting/editing conflicts:

@chabreyflint, @averyfollett, @wtfislibrious

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Does this account for most labels explicitly not releasing on Russia and sometimes Belarus? Seems confusing…

China is also a problematic case when you include Apple Music because I’ve seen it many times where a release isn’t immediately released there but after a few weeks or months they are.

The question of how release countries should be used for digital media releases has been discussed at great length (Russia gets mentioned here). At this point, I think it’s up to @reosarevok to decide what the guidelines’ intent should be. I’m happy to wordsmith the above text to try to clearly communicate whatever that intent may be. :slight_smile:

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Even if it was the position of most editors, I’m not comfortable as the style leader sanctioning in a guideline that clearly incorrect data should be used.


Since the country field is kinda controversial still and we have open discussions in the team too, I’d start with the other bits for now I guess.

Maybe we should have What should be grouped together? and What should not be grouped together? headings, matching Style / Release Group - MusicBrainz - that could then have a small section for physical releases (basically “group together different matrix numbers, don’t group anything with other differences including small cover art ones”) and then a longer one with the suggested bits for digital.

Then we could add the section about dates to the date section, and possibly also start with a bit more generic phrase that specifies that you shouldn’t use the first release date for the content in general but for this release (it’s not uncommon for newbies to use the original vinyl date on a CD reissue).

And leave the countries for a later update.


Thanks, leaving the country part out for now makes sense to me.

Regarding the “What should (not) be grouped together?” lists, do you mean adding those to Style / Release - MusicBrainz instead of creating a dedicated digital media page? If so, I can work on converting the proposal into that form, if it’d help get this done.

MusicBrainz already stores data that is legally incorrect, for example, Label-Recording Phonographic copyright.

This is nothing compared to that, IMO.

But if you insist that Style would say that [Worldwide] shouldn’t be used for digital releases that are known to not be available in a couple of countries because those countries have their own version, then I’d rather Style ban the usage of countries on digital media releases available in more than 50 countries (arbitrary threshold) rather than require editors to list 180 countries on the release. (The community has already been informed/requested to stop listing 180 countries on releases due to performance problems anyway!)

I’ve mentioned it years ago, but I didn’t find a ticket for it, so I also created MBS-13031.


Let’s keep that discussion to the incredibly lengthy existing thread shall we.

It’s safe to say that reosarevok isn’t alone in his concerns, but let’s not derail @derat’s attempts to get some guidelines in place.

Sorry, but I don’t see how this discussion is a derailment, and don’t know why it should be discussed elsewhere, when @derat’s proposed guideline currently says this:

Release Countries

If the artist or label’s intent was to make the release available “everywhere”, then the XW “[Worldwide]” release country should be used in the release event.

If we’re not going to explicitly define what “everywhere” (quotation marks intentional) means and does not mean, then nothing changes.

If you propose updates/changes to the actual guideline text being discussed here/quoted above, then this is the place for it.

But there’s no need to double up on everybody’s endless opinions regarding digital release countries, unless derat wants to tackle it.

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The Style Leader literally said he would not approve a guideline that says “[Worldwide]” should be used if a label intended to release it everywhere except Japan because Japan has a different barcode/etc. So the current guideline would be rejected depending on your interpretation of what “quotation mark everywhere quotation mark” means, unless I’m missing something, and I don’t know why I would propose guideline text that I personally disagree with?

I took a shot at this at User:Derat/ReleaseGroupingGuidelines - MusicBrainz Wiki (I figured there’s no reason to write it in Markdown first if it’s just going to need to be re-entered in MediaWiki later). Please let me know if it’s along the lines of what you were thinking.

“For physical media, use a single release when the only difference is the matrix number on the centre of a CD or the run-out groove area of a record.”
You’ve missed the bit about manufactured at a different factory \ location. For example, EMI UDEN is separated from EMI SWINDON even when all artwork is identical to both.

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What do you suggest that this sentence should contain instead?

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I am notoriously bad with words. :laughing: Just need to cover the fact that a product manufactured at a different factory is a different release. The current wording is a little odd that you are going into loads of details on Digital, but try and jam all the physical into one sentence.

Physical media gets a separate release for different medium, different packaging, different tracklists, different artwork, different text (including barcode font or price code changes), different production location. Differences in just the matrix\runout area are not enough for a new release.

It just seems that trying to cover everything about physical in one sentence is setting things up for confusion. Some editors seem to enjoy picking arguments based on misreading the guidelines.

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Is it? Back in the day the usual thought was “it’s relatively common for the same release to get printed in different factories and we don’t separate those”, but maybe the different artwork text guideline accidentally overrode that :slight_smile:

The database I’ve used for the last six years spends time making sure there is a split between factories. It does not go over the top like Discogs and separate every little change in a matrix, but there are clear differences kept between EMI UDEN and EMI SWINDON pressings. Or when change from being pressed in Austria to Poland or Czechia. Your database is a home to geeks who love data - and that data is being recorded thanks to the relationships you have in place for Glass Mastering, Pressing, Manufacturing and so on.


Ok, fair enough, I guess we even added a pressing plant relationship and place type, so :smiley:

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