Is it good practice to preamptively create a release group for an album that’s already announced by the artist with some info but has yet to be released nor been announced the release date so that when it’s released, the release could just be put inside the release group?
I would say no, since a new release groups get created for a new release anyway if no suitable release group already exists, so adding beforehand helps no-one.
We’re not the nightly news, we don’t need up to the minute updates. In fact, Twitter often gets it wrong.
I have done it for specific instances, but I prefer that it not be done. In fact, when I was a WP editor, I would always argue against it.
Yeah, the WP:BALL policy there also discourages future events from being made. Alright, I’ll refrain from making it.
On the other hand, if something more concrete is already available (like a tracklist on the iTunes store or the like) we don’t need to wait until the official release date to add a release In the same way, I wouldn’t be against adding a release group if there’s, say, an official album website to link to it (as opposed to just some info on the artist website). In most cases, for reasonably far-away albums, there won’t be enough info for a release group to even stick around though, since empty release groups get autoremoved
Edit: a tracklist in some random Tweet by the artist or whatever I would not add though - but if it’s made it to a store as a preorder already, it’s usually quite annoying for the artist/label to change it, which means it’s at least not intended to change
The argument against Crystall Ball for albums is -
if an album gets enough press, it is notable enough for an article. You just need to word things in certain ways, like saying “is scheduled for release” instead of “will be released”. Tracklists and genres are often left blank because of Too Soon.
But, you see, WP is non-structured data. Their data is very fluid, and can be easily changed on a whim.
MB uses structured data. We don’t have the same luxury of free-form writing that they do.
I do regularly add release groups ahead of the album being released.
I want to keep track of single releases and there is usually a single is released ahead of an album release.
I create an empty release containing a single and an empty release containing the album and have an “associated single / ep” relationship between the two.
I sometimes add empty release groups, particularly for releases which I’m adding (future) launch events for. I know that at least one release of the RG will be released at that time, and by the time they announce a launch event they usually also know the title (and type).
IMHO, it’s better to know that the release group exists without knowing the details of any of its releases than not knowing about the release group at all. (And if a duplicate RG ends up getting added, they can always be merged easily.)
Another case is where the releasing artist or label is interested in putting MBIDs for the Release and Release Group and Recording into the digital music files which they release. That requires MusicBrainz allocating the needed MBIDs before release time, so that they are known and can be written into the tags of the digital music files.
There is one Artist who calls me his “Registrar of Metadata”. Each album he releases, I rush to create the Release entry etc., then explain it to him. He appreciates the metadata. I have an ambition to someday be included early enough in his release process that I can get his consent to put MBIDs into the official digital media files from their very first initial release. The only way I can see to do that is to create the Release etc entries in MusicBrainz in advance of the album being released. (If things change shortly before the album is released, the Release etc entries may need to be modified. However, their MBIDs will continue to be stable and usable.)