Proposed (unofficial) digital media guidelines

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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Thanks! I added the following sentence to the “What should be added as multiple releases?” section in User:Derat/ReleaseGroupingGuidelines:

Multiple releases should also be used for otherwise-identical products that were manufactured at different factories.

I want to make sure that any additions don’t muddy the waters with regard to physical media, but I’d like to otherwise avoid introducing new guidance. I’m not very knowledgeable about the details of manufacturing, and it’s already challenging to get multiple editors to agree on changes. :slight_smile:


I’m trying to stay out of this conversation as I could see it was mainly about Digital Media. Just didn’t want anything contradicting how the database seems to operate for the physical stuff (I could bore you with way too much detail about manufacturing if you wanted :nerd_face: - but this is not the thread for it :rofl:)


Perhaps “multiple releases can also be used…”

We want to let people differentiate this stuff if they want, but we also don’t want people to feel they’re doing it wrong - especially if the information isn’t on hand (e.g. no matrix information or scan available for existing releases in MB).

Just came here for guidance on what to do when a digital album is released with updated (completely different) cover art - thank you!

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I don’t see why it should be treated any different than physical releases. Unique artwork → unique release.


The only thing that annoys me about that is that usually there’s no way to know when the cover changed unless you keep on checking the release. I only noticed that SZA changed the artwork for the Doja Cat remix because she did it on the same day it was released.

I’m planning to add the (now slightly amended) sections in @derat’s proposal to the release guidelines page in a couple days, unless someone sees something really wrong with some part of them. So please scream ASAP in that case! :slight_smile:


I think it reads better if “multiple releases” is reworded to “separate releases”, and if “What should be added as separate releases?” is presented prior to “What should be added as a single release?”.

I don’t like “For physical media, don’t create a new release when the only difference is the matrix number on the center of a CD or the run-out groove area of a record.”

I have multiple pressings of some albums and appreciate representing them differently in my collection. I’d be upset if they were merged. I even scanned the artwork twice, even though they are the same. Example:

I don’t have an issue with multiple matrix codes generally. If someone wants to ignore it, fine, but let the folks who do want to separate the details do so. An extension of this is grouping similar matrix codes, which I touched on in the thread below. It’s a good thread for those interested.


there was a line added to the multiple releases section:

For physical media, use multiple releases for any differences besides matrix numbers, including minor changes to cover art (that can be as small as a different copyright line on the back cover or a different pressing plant listed in the matrix).

…but I guess they didn’t change it for the single release section…

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