Storing non-music products as Releases

But that doesn’t read as “voicing support” for not storing computer games in Musicbrainz as a release if there isn’t an audio medium involved.

The comment by @reosarevok to me is finding a place in a documentation to make a decision for or against this, not giving the argument approval/disapproval.

Why would the Style Leader support putting the scope restrictions in the documentation/guidelines if that’s not how MusicBrainz is? I really don’t understand what you’re driving at here.

Because nowhere in that JIRA ticket does the style leader explicitly say that they agree that the entity in question should not or should be in the database; which is what you claimed in point #1 (“already voiced support”)

I do think video games can (and usually should) have a place in the database, at least when they’ve got music. a release feels like it could be a natural way of entering this data, but I wouldn’t be opposed to using a new entity for this instead…

If the music is just somewhere in the game, but not accessible to be played apart from playing the game itself, I don’t think it should be on MusicBrainz. After all, we could just as well make entries for all other media that contain music ‘somewhere’, like almost every movie in existence and half of the video’s on YouTube or TikTok.

Some games from the CD-ROM era had a functional audio CD part that could be played in a common CD player, and some digital releases come with the soundtrack as digital audio files. I’m all for adding those as releases. If a game music rip reaches some kind of meaningful distribution, it can be added as a bootleg. This release doesn’t fall into any of those categories.


I mostly agree with this. We could (should) store a bootleg of the soundtrack of this, assuming it exists, but we’re not supposed to store videogames as such. If we ever did, it’d probably be as a work we can link the soundtracks to, but not as a release.


4 such bootlegs already exist: Release group “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis” by Michael Land, Clint Bajakian & Peter McConnell - MusicBrainz

So what about these examples:

Music files included/loaded onto your computer when you install the game

Music files that exist as digital files (MP3 encoded) on the CD-ROM


‘Original editor’ here (has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? very biblical)

Fwiw I’m fully aware that this goes counter to past MB convention, I see this discussion as the opportunity to talk about a possible future.

On a practical level, what is the benefit of not representing the ‘primary’ game release in the group? Most people tagging rips/bootlegs want to tag with the original release date (which we know because of the abundance of ‘game/film release date’ bootlegs that get added). But that’s secondary to the implication for MB as a music database - legitimate composer releases are hidden from their page (because bootleg), and it’s displayed in a random order.

I disagree that compositions for film and game are not musical ‘releases’ - soundtracks are a valid musical undertaking. The soundtrack that is released separate to the other media is an inferior reproduction, the music divorced from the context it was made for. Yes, the film/game release is not primarily musical, but that doesn’t lessen the musical contribution.

If MusicBrainz is trying to be the ‘ultimate music database’ then a rarely populated works tab with no dates just doesn’t do a soundtrack composer justice. Time to go to Wikipedia or IMDb to see their work in order… nooo. We can do it!

My ideal would be to have a couple of new release types (e.g. film or videogame) that we can put in a release group with any bootlegs. Or in their own. Picking it blanks the tracklist tab so you can’t fill it, and so on. A filter for people who want to hide them. Lacking this - yes, in my opinion a blank release in the group is better than some random ‘hope someone bootlegged this before they bootlegged the sequel’ order in the DB. Bootleggers shouldn’t have so much agency over someone’s work.

This isn’t the first time this has come up by the way. I’ve only entered those few blank releases (to the same artists as the release mentioned in the op), but a editor has previously made an (unfinished) effort to tidy up sonic soundtracks using the same method:
I believe they posted on the forums and there wasn’t much response. Personally, that series and the artist discographys looks better to me than a gappy selection of bootlegs in order of boot-leggery.


As an aside, even though I think the release improves the DB, I’m just as surprised as @yindesu that I wasn’t immediately yes voted into oblivion on that edit :face_with_peeking_eye:

As noted in yindesu’s ticket,

“A movie soundtrack is within the scope of MusicBrainz, and can be represented as both a Release and a Work, but the movie itself would not be a MusicBrainz Release.”

I agree with this completely. If movies are outside the scope of MusicBrainz, but movie soundtracks are in, then video games should be outside the scope, and video game soundtracks should be in. If the game publisher didn’t publish a soundtrack release, and no one makes a bootleg of the music tracks from the game, then IMO there’s nothing within MB’s scope.

I’ve said before that audiobooks are closer to the scope of BookBrainz than MusicBrainz (and here I disagree with one of yindesu’s notes in the ticket), and this is no different. If MetaBrainz establishes a “GameBrainz” project, the games themselves would belong there, while a published game soundtrack release would belong in MusicBrainz.


Hello, it’s me, the reoccuring problem finder.

Found another few - to be removed?

You could have linked the series :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

But yeah I still think removing stuff like this sucks. These composers worked hard (presumably, lol) on these and they were released. A work series is nice but just not the same ya know. Maybe someone - someone with time - can try find rips to replace them instead?


Edit: After typing all that below, I neglected to clarify that a release which is literally empty is kind of silly, indeed, and there are better ways to handle it even with our limited current tool-set. The following is the original post I made mostly in response to the discussion of whether media with musical portions have a place in the database:

I hard-agree with @aerozol on this issue, fwiw. I understand wanting to restrict the scope of MusicBrainz so that it doesn’t get out of hand, but it seems very counter to the database’s mission statement to not allow inclusion of music ‘by-portion.’

I think the disagreement here is philosophical, and based in the idea of completeness. For instance, must a Release consist of nothing but itself, and nothing other than what we can represent in MusicBrainz about it? There are cases where there’s “more to” a piece of art than its musical portion, far beyond just games and movies, and to deny those entry in the database would, I feel, be to shoot the DB in the foot. And drive away a lot of like-minded users whose hearts and heads are otherwise in the right place.

Currently, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t represent Releases as “unordered collections” or anything, but a single Recording that represents the entire audio portion of a piece of media not a farfetched thing to store in the database. We already sit squarely at the top of this slippery slope by storing songs that are typed as “music videos.” Even if you want to argue that something doesn’t belong as a release, allowing Recordings to exist in the database for its aural representation isn’t exactly a difficult accommodation to make.

Furthermore, take the case of games with music rooms, which provide a means to play the music in an ordered fashion, often with at least some basic metadata presented. In this case, the game becomes an entire medium and you’re looking at a sort of nested-media release. The means by which you play it back isn’t conventional or traditional, but when you get down to brass tacks, the release of something which contains a soundtrack is a release of that soundtrack.

And, one last assertion of principle. The database exists to facilitate the mission statement. The mission statement is to be the ultimate music database. Music is contained in things. This needs to be handled, and if the database schema is not up to par to accomplish that task, then the database needs to change to accommodate it, rather than users being restricted by the schema. That’s putting the cart in front of the horse.


I’m still of the opinion that a video game can be within the scope of MusicBrainz, even without a mix-mode CD or MP3s in the game files

I’m all down for a new entity type to represent the “original” release date of a game, movie, TV show, or other product which might be outside the scope of the database

allow me an example that’s “clearly” outside the scope of the database, a Samsung washing machine

at the end of the cycle, it plays a little jingle. this is a recording of Die Forelle by Schubert, listening to the melody on this recording (and surely others)

am I saying we should store all the hundreds of Samsung appliances that play this jingle, definitely not. I am saying that there should be a way to store this data somehow. I don’t believe relegating it to a work is a proper solution either, especially not a still underutilized work as the original edit spawned.

I again go back to the quote from the About page:

As an encyclopedia and as a community, MusicBrainz exists only to collect as much information about music as we can. We do not discriminate or prefer one “type” of music over another, and we try to collect information about as many different types of music as possible. Whether it is published or unpublished, popular or fringe, western or non-western, human or non-human — we want it all in MusicBrainz.

video game music is a quite popular “type” of music, and as such I believe we should try and find a good place for it in the database; find a way to get the original release date in there, all that jazz (sometimes quite literally). I second what’s said above:

as a complete side note, it seems multiple people (1, 2, and 3) have remixed these little washing machine jingles, so maybe they are in the scope of MusicBrainz… WashingMachineBrainz anyone? :wink: (only mostly kidding)


Two other borderline examples to add to the conversations…

If a Game is added (with a blank track list), then will a film be added?

We usually agree not to add films as the soundtracks get added instead.

With the Samsung washing machine - we do have items like that in the database. See the Singing Fish and other bits of odd music playing machines…

In the above cases I think it was coming down to: valid for MusicBrainz if it was released for musical purposes. That allows the Soundtrack CD and Singing Fish into the database, but keeps the washing machine and film out.

I was actually considering mentioning FishBrainz in my post, lol

note also, I’m arguing for adding a single Samsung washing machine entity, not against, as it was released and it contains music. (granted, tracking down the first release date might be difficult…)

this is true, at least so far. the main difference (in my mind, at least) is a video game will usually have the music files stored somewhere on the medium seperate from any sound effects or dialog, whereas a movie or TV show does not. however, I don’t know that I’d argue against adding a film to MusicBrainz if someone wanted to start adding them

I think that’s too narrow, as it also excludes audio books, radio dramas, and podcasts, which are pretty clearly allowed…

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Okay - valid for MusicBrainz if it was released for audio purposes . :grin:

Just because a reversing truck plays audio does not mean it should be added. The Washing machine is just playing a notification sound. So is a mobile phone. It is not the main reason for the device. You bought that Samsung to wash clothes not to play a tune.

The singing fish is specifically designed to make music.

I would argue strongly against adding films as this is not FilmBrainz. IMDB and TheMovieDB cover films and MB should just cross link Soundtracks to their databases.

Just because something makes a sound does not make it fodder for MusicBrainz.

The Games are kinda grey… if you can easily load up the game media and extra the music files, then I can see a reason to add it. If the audio has to be recorded by someone holding a microphone next to the game, then that is like a film. The audio is now format shifting before it can be used. So if someone wants to add the format shifted bootleg, then it would be digital files or cassette of the soundtrack. It is not the game media.

/The above is all just personal opinion…


okay, as another edge case, can an instrument be a release?

this is a MIDI keyboard which has a bunch of demo songs preloaded. the songs can be played with just a couple button presses. how different is this from a singing fish? (besides of course the fact that you can hook it up to any MIDI compliant device or just play the keyboard manually)

Yamaha even sold little music cartridges with extra songs, seen in the video above on the right side. are these also releases?

yet another edge case, can an mp3 player be a release? I’ve been trying to figure out how to document the 20 preloaded tracks from my old SanDisk Sansa e200 (a playlist on YouTube, for reference)

…and how different is the Sansa from the obscure Playbutton I just found on accident*? (besides how it’s marketed)

*I was looking for a different obscure album format which was also an mp3 player, I figured this is about the same as the one I was actually looking for

IMO yes, absolutely.

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