Tagging downloaded media: "purchase for download" vs. not linking every online store

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For assigning musicbrainz IDs to digital media releases downloaded from online shops, it would be helpful to gather the necessary metadata at a larger scale than just everyone picking the release semi-manually after download.

In many cases, these assignments could be automated by having “purchase for download” external links to the right point in the online shop. Users who download files from their vendors in a structured way (say, wget -m and unzipping in that place) can then utilize that information with minimal scripting effort, provided the vendor has some consistency in their naming (those I’ve used largely do; hyperion is a bit tricky as they have some aliasing). I’d like to use it that way.

In contrast, the relation URL guide says to “[not] try to link widely available releases to every online store” – meaning that I’d need to track that information … somewhere outside MusicBrainz (which I’d really rather not).

So my question is: Does MusicBrainz have concrete guidance (or could the community develop at least rough consensus on) on which stores are OK to include, and where to put that information if it’s not? If such links are useful to a larger number of stores than we want to have shown, would it make sense to have a “is additionally availaboe for purcase for download” at relationship (or flag on the purchase-for-download rel) that would allow having that data in the DB?

(I’m aware there are additional challenges to be tackled to have this use case applicable generally (batch edit when stores change their URI structures, canonicalization) – but getting a feeling of the general acceptance of many of those links would be a good starting point.)

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(By the way, trying to hit the balance between going off-topic and not forgetting what I was alluding to: The aliasing issue mentioned in hyperion referes to https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_LSO0001 and https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dw.asp?dc=W15834_311001 both describing the same release/-group, where the latter appears to particularly describe the digital-media release, whereas the former appears to more generally describes the release, and there seem not to be back-and-forth links in there. Mapping downloaded files to MBIDs should be possible with either, but we may want to make sure to pick the “best” in order to give users the best link-following experience.)

I feel like this is mostly for physical releases. You don’t need to list every local mail-order shop, eBay vendor, etc., etc. that happen to have a given (physical) release for sale at some point in time.

For any digital releases, I can’t think of any (legit) stores that wouldn’t be fine to link to.


Thanks, I’ll work from that. (We can still think of more sophisticated ways to deal with this topic when there is proliferation of digital media music shops, or when they start closing.)