Release with DLC

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A physical release I have comes with a URL printed on it. This DLC contains the release’s tracks in digital format and a bonus track. Should these be added to this release as a separate medium? This is how Discogs seems to handle this.


Yeah I guess so. It’s not a separate release if it comes together.


Do you have any examples of how this is handled elsewhere in MusicBrainz? I’d like to see if this has even been addressed before.

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It isn’t clear to me that these mediums come together.

Having a URL to a digital release seems somewhat parallel to having a physical address where you can get a release in a different format, say vinyl, cassette or 8-track.

Well I guess the question is:
Do you get the link (and permission to download) just if you buy the physical release, or can you get the same digital release otherwise (legally)?

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Right, this URL comes with a password, so you can’t get the tracks elsewhere.


I’m still seeing a parallel with a physical address to get a physical medium even if an “exclusive offer” password is involved.

This does not mean that this is the best way to approach the situation though.

What are the benefits of approaching it, like Discogs, as one Release spread across physical and downloadable mediums?

What are the costs?
I’ll say, “A physical Release is what you get in your hand.”
Changing that definition to include linked exclusive digital versions might then be very different to the way a vinyl Release with a physical address from which you could get, with a passcode, that album in a different format.

I guess an alternative to the two mediums would be to leave it as it is and just add an annotation that you get a password protected link to a digital download with your purchase.

I can’t speak for music, but for movies -
many places are giving away the digital copy when you buy the physical copy. It is to help prevent piracy.

I would add a new medium with the bonus track
I would also put an annotation that says there is a code included in the release that can be redeemed to download the track to make it clear where it came from.


I have been adding digital download codes that mirror the physical release as a new release. Duplicating the tracklist for every CD/LP that comes out these days seems impractical, and is annoying when tagging - nobody who has the digital files actually thinks they are just tagging ‘medium 2’ (2-1 etc) and they also don’t think it’s incomplete because they don’t have all the tracks twice.

It does not match our physical release guidelines, but I think it makes more sense in these cases. Without a concrete guideline you can make your edits however you prefer though!

As always, a seperate digital release should be disambiguated and annotated properly to make things clear.


Could you link one of the DLC releases that you’ve edited? I’m interested to see how you’ve done it. :grin:

I was just looking for one, but it’s been a while and I can’t find one… sorry!
Most of my purchases it’s a bandcamp download code though, in which case I add the Bandcamp release seperately anyway - in those cases it really makes no sense to add another medium/ the bandcamp tracks twice imo.

Edit: That particular example has different cover art for the digital version, another reason why seperate releases might be a good diea.

How does this look?


Looks fine to me, but curious to know what others think.

One small thing is that perhaps ‘download code’ instead of ‘DLC’ would be clearer for users who don’t know the abbreviation. Or something along those lines.
If you the cover art embedded in the tags is different to the physical release that might be useful too.


I was a bit unsure about having it as separate release, but seeing it I think it makes sense in cases like this, where you can download the entire album.

Here is another example, but it differs from the above as the download did offer additional tracks that are not part of the CD. In that case I think it makes more sense to include it as medium on the same release.

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It’s good that you ask. I would probably go for the separate release approach as well, but it’s definitely not been discussed enough. My guess is that a lot of people don’t add it at all.


I probably wouldn’t use a separate medium for the bonus track (it’s all digital, so any medium split seems odd).

I’m also not sure about the titles. MB style is “Title: Subtitle”, with some leeway for Japanese releases because artist intent is more in play there.
For the release title, I don’t immediately see any evidence for the “Foo -Bar-”. Similarly, for track 1 I would expect “Introduction: Xxx”, barring evidence to the contrary.

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I decided to have the bonus track as a separate medium because the page that these tracks are downloaded from have two download links. One for a zip file of the original tracks, and one for the bonus track. That makes the most sense to me.

As for the titles, the documentation states If there is an alternative dividing punctuation mark such as the question mark (?) or exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the colon.
I take that as also applying to '-'s on both sides of the subtitle.


If it’s two separate download pages, I would be more inclined to use 2 releases (it increases the likelihood that the album zip is simply the digital release, not a special DLC set). But 2 mediums can work too I suppose.

As for the title: I had missed the subtitle on the cover art (should have zoomed in more); I agree that it’s appropriate now. Mainly because it’s a Japanese release though - I’m not sure I agree that the -X- form matches the “keep alternate punctuation” rule in general.

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