Releases whose catalog numbers and barcodes change before release

As some of you may be aware, most Japanese releases are often announced with their catalog numbers and barcodes determined well in advance of their release. Usually this data remains the same up to the final release date; however in some cases the catalog number and barcode may change in that time. I am not sure how to handle this situation. On VGMdb the standard practice is to preserve this information by marking the release with the original cat. no. and barcode as cancelled and add a note linking it to the version that was actually released; here on MusicBrainz, we do not have such a flag, so I am torn as to whether to edit the existing entity with the updated information (and preserve the original catno and barcode in an annotation) or just add a new release with the updated information and add an annotation explaining the situation. Someone told me a long time ago that MB will never store cancelled release data because it is beyond our scope; however there seems to have been a paradigm shift since then, as evidenced by STYLE-471.

EDIT: I have entered a series of edits taking the first course of action I listed above. I left them votable because I honestly have no idea what is correct.


I think I would definitely not create a new Release just for keeping the cancelled cat. no.(s). I’d probably go with storing it in the annotation for now, and maybe sometime we’ll be able to mark cat. no.s as cancelled like VGMdb.


For what it’s worth, it looks like there’s evidence that the new product (4988013202597) is actually a different thing than the cancelled product (4988013155794), due to the significant price tag change.

When catalog numbers look sequential, some people think there’s value in filling in the holes, even if those holes are known cancelled releases for which it was possible to place pre-orders. (Obviously, the way catalog numbers actually work is that they are divided across hundreds of labels so there will always be holes on a single label’s page.)

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I too would use an annotation for the original barcode/catno.
Only exceptions would be 1) cases where some physical copies with the original barcode/catno exist (e.g. as promos or a preorder-only printing), and 2) if/when MB adds the possibility to add catno/barcode with a canceled fkag (for which I suppose it makes sense to open a ticket).

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