Release Group cover art guidelines

I’m not surprised :grinning:! and of course Wish you were here came in the plastic wrap with a sticker…is that the most well known cover?:wink:

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Yeah, I mentioned that one in that discussion. :grin: I think that is a good example of “best known” would likely lead to using the burning man image. Leaning forwards of course… as there are also the leaning backwards versions…

(Don’t look in the WYWH edit histories… you may see traces of me previously getting the black shrinkwrap covers showing… :shushing_face: :disguised_face:)


Note that the secondary ‘square image’ consideration comes with the caveat that it must still be representative. If a digipak image is the most representative, then these guidelines should be clear about not replacing it.

That’s what this guideline + release group images would help prevent - if these people set and tag with a clean ‘release group cover’, they will not be vandalising releases that don’t have a ’nice’ taggable cover :slight_smile:

Edit: It can be good to keep in mind the practical purposes for these images, which are currently (as far as I know):

  • Display/an image to show on our release group pages
  • Tagging/using them via Picard settings
  • ListenBrainz/LB will start pulling these for collages and feeds where the album wasn’t specified
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I assume ListenBrainz would act as any other website and crop\adjust as it needs to. MB should not have to change quality to fit another site’s needs.

You asked, I answered. I believe it is an unnecessary addition to the description. Still don’t see any reason why this should be in the spec as it will just setup the argument. The rest of the description is great, but this “pick a square” comment lets it down badly and feeds the taggers arguments. I get bored of arguing with taggers :frowning:

If a cassette is the first release, and the CD or LP comes later, shall we prefer the CD/LP cover? (Unless, of course, the cassette is more representative)

Isn’t that summed up by ‘prefer square’?

Absolutely!! A release should never be incorrectly adjusted for display, and this guideline should discourage that.

imo it is not a first issue question, but a question which one is the most recognizable. also i think we could think about only using the most ‘clean’ version, without logo or stickers, as most people internationally share the same memory of the idea of an artwork. so maybe the digital artworks might be best to use for RGs after all.

also many Bandcamp releases use unsquare artwork, which we (?) also prefer before the cropped and square artwork (also the userscript ECAU archives both)
example: Release “El carnaval profundo” by Mente Orgánica - Cover Art - MusicBrainz

there are also examples like this:

where title and artwork changed over time. imo the most common artwork of the recent era should be used. which also suggests, that we should change it from time to time.

also does a higher resolution of the same artwork qualify as a RG cover art change?

This part of the proposed guideline says ‘yes’, imo:
“Providing it is still representative, secondary considerations are to use the highest quality image”

Un-square and stickered artwork I think would come under if it’s ‘most representative’. That is, like a lot of MB guidelines, intentionally vague. In some cases a sticker might be integral to the packaging, sometimes it might be a pointless addition. I think it’s hard (impossible?) to cover all the edge cases in a brief guideline. In case of disagreements the voting system should be put to use.


I added the guideline mostly as originally proposed, but specifying that in general quality should be seen as more important than squareness.

If the current wording causes problems, we can revisit :slight_smile: