Remix collections of one song: Single or EP?

Many artists release collections containing multiple remixes of a single. The majority of these are listed as singles in MusicBrainz. For Taylor Swift, there are currently open edits to change these into eps.. In the past, I had been voted down, so I’ve been listing them mostly as singles now, just so that we are consistent with how these are listed. However, there is also a problem that many include “EP” in the title. I thought there had been some kind of community consensus on this, but I can’t seem to find one, so I’m just going to create this thread so we can make an official decision. Personally, I believe artists see these as EPs, I had just been listing them as singles because I thought that is what most editors preferred.


Release Group / Type - MusicBrainz

An EP is a so-called “Extended Play” release and often contains the letters EP in the title. Generally an EP will be shorter than a full length release (an LP or “Long Play”) and the tracks are usually exclusive to the EP, in other words the tracks don’t come from a previously issued release. EP is fairly difficult to define; usually it should only be assumed that a release is an EP if the artist defines it as such.

If they have EP in the title, then marking them as such would definitely be accurate.

Spotify also differentiates between EPs and Singles so I normally would follow that if there’s a Spotify release you can reference.

The problem is inconsistency. I’ve come across many releases marked as a single on Spotify and Deezer and then an EP on Apple Music or vice versa. There are also cases of EPs marked as an album. Happens a lot in k-pop where mini albums (which are literally just a marketing name for EP) are credited as full albums on these platforms.

There’s also another issue. Spotify tends to group previously released singles from the same album together whenever the artist releases a new one. Usually if it has like 4 or 5 singles, it will be marked as an EP, but on Deezer and sometimes Apple Music (if there’s no pre-order for the album yet), those are usually realeased as 1-track single.

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This also gets messy on older releases. I’ve seen tracks clearly released as singles with two to four remixes on that single. Then two separate releases are made making 8 remixes. Now we get someone turn up with an 8 track version… To me it is still a single. It should naturally be in that same release group with the original single that spawned it. The single is there at the core, and there are lot of versions of the same single alongside it.

An EP is more naturally a selection of new tracks that are unique to each other, but not enough for a full album. I would not call 8 remixes an EP.

When Spotify, etc bundle 8 remix singles into the same playlist they are still singles.

I’ll also roll out the same old Single vs EP quote from Seal
The difference between an EP and a single is that a single has one good track and one throwaway track on it. An EP has three good tracks and is meant to be listened to as a whole.

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I had a similar discussion relatively recently, but the opposite - Spotify marked a release with 7 distinctly different songs as a “single”, which took me down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out how they code Singles vs. EPs vs. Albums. [1]

There’s one source that says “On Spotify, all products under 30 minutes or with 6 tracks or less are considered EPs”. [2] On that same post though, someone brings up that this isn’t the case for Pink Floyd. This hints to me that there may be some automatic designation applied programmatically, with artists/labels being able to override it if they like.

On the whole, if the release contains just the same song but remixed/altered, that seems like a single to me. If it has the title track + more then 2 additional, unrelated songs, I’d view that as an EP.

[1] Edit #93936527 - MusicBrainz
[2] Solved: Why a four song album is considered a single? - The Spotify Community

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my general rule of thumb has been to not assume anything is an EP unless it’s specified somewhere. if it’s a song with remixes of the song or three or fewer different songs, I’d call that a single, anything else is an album until I find otherwise

I do typically follow the majority between Deezer/Spotify/Apple Music when I’m importing with Atisket tho


this is something that the record label does for promotional reasons. i’m not sure why they usually only do it on spotify, but it is a new release and not a new release group imo


Spotify style guide:


another example is jazmin bean, who has a 40-minute, 11-track ep listed as a single.

I believe it so as well and that’s how I do it, but @rhetticent seems to not think so. Now imagine if we take that Gryffin “EP” and for every previous single, we add a new EP and a single RG for every song. We would have 7 singles and 5 EPs (because the first two would probably be labelled as singles).

Hmm, I’m not sure that’s the consensus that was met in the referenced edit, @wtfislibrious. We landed on EP + Compilation, not single. Please do let me know if I am misreading your argument.

Yes, and if we start doing that we’ll have multiple releases with the same name, some categorized as EP + Compilations and others as Single. That’s the problem with this consensus.

This is great but Deezer and Apple Music probably have different guides because the Taylor Swift RGs brought by @sammyrayy are categorized as EPs on both platforms. Only Spotify categorize them as singles, which falls under 9.4

9.4. If a product contains the same track with different track versions must be specified as
Single, unless the artist or label explicitly call it an EP, in which case it should be
specified as EP.

Which would beg the question, did the label just set it as a single by default or not? If so, it could mean that Deezer/Apple Music have different style guides which make those releases as EPs by default or they specifically set it on those platforms but didn’t on Spotify. Either way, there’s no obvious answer. Truth is those labels probably don’t give two cents about those issues and we are just overthinking it. lol


That’s exactly what I was thinking haha!
“If this has a bunch of extra remix/‘acoustic’ versions that are painfully shit, then it’s a single”

I can’t decide what this release should be. I lean towards single. But slightly more towards “I don’t think it matters” :sweat_smile:

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To add to the discussion, this looks so silly. We should really consider following Spotify’s guideline.

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Silly cos it is Sheeran? Or because someone has labelled a single as an album? Agree on both fronts. That is just multiple tracks of a single, so should be single/remix.

The artist would never list that as one of his albums in his discography. This is a playlist from a digital media company. Really it is a basket of separate single remixes sold as a bundle.


i see remix collections’ primary type as just what the primary type would be if they were all different non-remix songs, but + remix secondary, unless otherwise stated by the artist/label. so often 3-7 tracks = ep, more than 7 = album. 2 or 3 tracks can be a single or ep imo, then it mostly depends on the artist/label or how its listed (this title format i would call a single for example Release group “Pivot (Camo & Krooked remix) / Sinkhole (Skeptical remix)” by Mefjus - MusicBrainz)