STYLE-381: Breaking down hybrid formats (Hybrid SACD / DualDisc / DVDplus)

Hybrid SACDs, DualDiscs and DVDplus are tricky formats, because they have two different layers. The layers should often have different tracklists, because they have extra tracks in one side, or because the recordings are different on each layer (stereo vs. 5.1, audio vs. video are usual differences).

Right now, a lot of Hybrid SACDs at least (I have little personal experience with DualDiscs/DVDplus) have been entered as just one medium, without differentiating between the sides. The proposal would be to always add a medium per side, and adding “pseudo-formats” for each format that can be used to specify which side is which:

Hybrid SACD:

  • Hybrid SACD (CD layer)
  • Hybrid SACD (SACD layer)


  • DualDisc (CD side)
  • DualDisc (DVD-Video side)
  • DualDisc (DVD-Audio side)


  • DVDplus (CD side)
  • DVDplus (DVD-Video side)
  • DVDplus (DVD-Audio side)

There was some strong opposition back when this was discussed. The main argument was that having multiple mediums for what is actually just one disc is confusing, and suggests that the release has multiple discs. While I agree it can be somewhat confusing, I feel that the benefits outweigh the drawback, but I’m curious what other people think.

Other suggestion was to wait until we get format attributes (MBS-3993). That hasn’t happened for years though, so I think it’d be better to do this for now, and transfer them to attributes if and when those get added.

If you have any suggestions on better ways to do this, reasons why it’s a terrible idea, or anything else to say, feel free to add a comment. Even if you don’t, do vote and say what your preference is!

  • Add the “sub-formats”
  • Wait for format attributes
  • Just don’t do this / do it differently
0 voters
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since these are two different formats on the same disc… hmm why not just enter them as “separate sides” the way we already do?

sure there is the issue with format not being defined this way, but adding these as “separate sides” could possible push the issue? and we can name track durations with some prependition maybe, as well as the ever fateful annotations.

on the flip side why make the distinction of “separate disc” when it is essentially just two discs glued together?

The CD sections of them support DiscIDs, and you cannot have a medium with more (or less) tracks than what’s defined by the attached DiscID.


I seem to recall that there was a suggestion at one point to name the formats something like “CD layer” so that releases might appear as “SACD + CD layer” so as to lessen the confusion regarding how many mediums a release has.

This strikes me as a bit of a hack, and won’t help with most third party applications that simply show the medium count as a number. But maybe it’s worth considering.

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Well, the suggested names would be stuff like “Hybrid SACD (CD layer)” and “Hybrid SACD (SACD layer)”, so it’d say “Hybrid SACD (CD layer) + Hybrid SACD (SACD layer)”. Which I think makes it a bit clearer already, although very long.

There’s a good reason why Hybrid SACD releases don’t have same tracklist 3 times on the cover: it’s unnecessary. For most the people annotation like “same recordings also available as SACD multichannel mix and SACD high resolution” would be enough. There’s no need to enter all relationships 3 times for little benefit.

I also wonder how services using MB data are going to match these releases with their internal DB when track and medium count don’t match. I fail to find even one other database repeating this data 3 times and listing all the layers separately.

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I have only a couple of Hybrid SACD, one of them says that a track is skipped on SACD layer (I don’t know the reason).
But yes, other than that (I have set it in the release annotation), it’s true that I did not really miss this feature.
I am not representative, though, I just use normal CD, and my SACD, well, I was not specifically looking for SACD editions. :slight_smile:

However, multichannel mixes are considered to be different recordings. So they really should be added separately.


My example of annotation text wasn’t anyway related to how we handle recordings in MB. Most of the SACD stereo mixes aren’t the same mix as on CD so you could also count that.

I’m seeing more trouble than benefits with all of this. Maybe for some people it’s necessary to see same data repeated 3 times to understand and trust it really being there. For most of us it’s enough if someone mentions “it’s there 3 times”.

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It’s not always unnecessary - I’ve seen SACD tracks that straight up include extra pieces of music, which we can’t really store properly right now. It’s not the most common though, admittedly :slight_smile:

I would say that we shouldn’t force someone who just wants to enter the basic data to add both layers (so, keeping the “Hybrid SACD” format and letting people just keep using that seems fine), but I think it’d make sense to allow storing the info for both layers if people are willing to put in the effort (after all, any 5.1 recordings are supposed to be different according to our guidelines).


Given that there seems to be a majority of people who think we should have the extra formats, and that I have also definitely seen cases in the past where they would have been very useful, I’ve added them. That said, I also very much agree that we shouldn’t force every user who just wants to enter their SACD or whatever to add two mediums and 3+ sets of recordings, so the following has been added to Style/Release:

For dual-layer formats (Hybrid SACD, DualDisc, DVDplus) a medium should be added for each layer, set to the specific layer sub-format (e.g. “DualDisc (CD layer)”). When a hybrid SACD has the same tracklist on both layers it is acceptable (for the sake of convenience) to enter it as just a single medium (set to “Hybrid SACD”), but any hybrid SACD that has been entered as two layers shouldn’t be changed to the one medium style.

I’m happy to make amendments to the wording on that to make it more clear or to make it flow better. It’s basically supposed to follow the same principle as unicode punctuation and CSG recording credits: “the preferred way is X, but the ‘lazy’ way that is Y is fine too, as long as you don’t turn an existing X release into Y” (set this to auto-close after it goes 24 hours without a reply, so we can talk about the wording in the meantime if desired).


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