History:Artist Page Redesign

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Status: This Page is Glorious History!

The content of this page either is bit-rotted, or has lost its reason to exist due to some new features having been implemented in MusicBrainz, or maybe just described something that never made it in (or made it in a different way), or possibly is meant to store information and memories about our Glorious Past. We still keep this page to honor the brave editors who, during the prehistoric times (prehistoric for you, newcomer!), struggled hard to build a better present and dreamed of an even better future. We also keep it for archival purposes because possibly it still contains crazy thoughts and ideas that may be reused someday. If you're not into looking at either the past or the future, you should just disregard entirely this page content and look for an up to date documentation page elsewhere.

The Artist Page Redesign

  • Attention.png Status: In limbo for 14 months now (2005-04..2006-06)
    Check out the WorkInProgress /ScreenShots from last year --Keschte

The artist pages keep accumulating more and more data and thus are expensive to load for both the database and the users. AdvancedRelationships, ArtistAnnotations and the ever growing number of albums, singles, compilations and bootlegs make it more difficult for users to find what they are interested in.

IMHO, the artist page (showartist.html) has to be split into several smaller pages which display only a subset of the available data that is easier to read for users. The pages would contain powerful user configurable ordering options (order by release date, name etc.).

The planned structure below is already the second version. It is the result of a discussion I had with DaveEvans. --MatthiasFriedrich

Rob and Keschte's Notes


  • code backend to list all releases the artist was linked to using relationships.
  • collaborations is not a good name though. if someone produced a record, it should appear as well --Keschte 2005-8-22: open Ruaok
  • code backend for songs tab (song browser, but supported only with AJAX)
  • write webservice to retrieve full release data.
  • This feature is nice to have, but not needed for APR functionality. 2005-8-22: open Ruaok
  • releaselanguage editor needs to be updated to support MBIDs (batch-op)
  • releasemerge function (albumbatch/merge.html) and other pages (haven't checked) need to support MBIDs
  • 2005-8-22: implemented, but untested Keschte
  • remove unappropriate bits for the Various Artist page.
  • Check if NonAlbumTracks release is handled correctly.
  • support performs as / legal name relationship for persons (similar to
  • member of relationships on the artist overview page)
  • Add 'login to edit this' to relationship box. example
  • shorted resolution display on moderation lists.
  • solution: use File:file-multiple.png to indicate that this artist has a resolution (and display resolution in tooltip). this won't break the flow of the page too much (for long resolution texts, that is). 2005-8-22: open Keschte

(Old) To-Do's

  • main page: does not list the group memberships correctly, because the performed instruments/vocals is counted as a group membership
  • seems to be correct now (4 artists on Metallica) 2005-8-22: closed Ruaok


  • compute number of releases, and va-releases to display on the tab of the artist navigation like Relesaes (20), VA-Releases (30)
  • The following part is the out-of-date discussion from 2004

Planned implementation

Main Artist Page (default page)

This page is displayed instead of the old showartist.html page. It contains:

  • Artist title
  • Artist annotation
  • Artist advanced relationships
  • MB statistics like number of subscribers etc.

Release Page

The release page contains several subpages. Each subpage is a filter that only displays a subset of the releases available for an artist.

Official Discography
  • Artist title
  • All releases with type "Official" (albums, singles, compilations etc.)
  • Artist title
  • All releases of type "Bootleg"
Various Artists Contributions
  • Artist title
  • VA releases, both offical and bootlegs
  • Artist title
  • Releases that don't have a release type or status. Maybe the non-album tracks pseudo-release should go here, too.
User Selected

This page contains a filter/order configuration tool. It can be used to select the release status (Official, Promotion, Bootleg, "none") and the order the releases are displayed (by name, type, release date, or a set of criteria). All of the above preset pages can be emulated.


This page contains a list of all tracks by a certain artist and the releases they appear on. It is a help to find inconsistent track titles and has been requested in some RFE.


This is a great idea. Without trying to put too much on this plate, something that will need to happen after the AR data starts getting populated is that users will want to see listings of the releases and tracks where the artists is featured through an AR link as a performer, composer, etc. in the same way as the releases where he/she is the primary artist. While this work doesn't have to implement the complete solution to the AR artist problem, it is probably a good idea to be thinking about it as you do the design. @alex

Another thing is that some AR data may want to be specially displayed. For example, you could take the URL for an artist AR "image" (artist has a picture at URL) relationship and actually display a randomly chosen URL of that type (there may be more than one) for the artist in a picture box that could replace the artist icon. @alex

Something I came to think about while discussing the DJ-mix AR; What about the ability to flag an artist as usually having a specific role? An artist might primarily be a (for instance) 
  • producer (which should by default show his produced releases via AR)
  • instrumentalist (shows the releases where he played his instrument)
  • remixer (shows the tracks he remixed)
  • mix-DJ (shows the releases he compiled/mixed)
  • ...
  • "artist" (what all artists are now - shows releases that artist "performed")

Other tabs would be available too of course, this is just about the default one shown when first chosing an artist to look at.

I'm not even sure if I think it's a good idea or not, just something that popped up in my head. //bnw

  • I think this sounds sensible, but I thought I'd drop in a couple of links to related ideas. First, the ArtistType would probably the best way to represent this. There's already, IMO, a case for adding a "Company" type to the existing "Person" and "Band" types. If we go down that road, it could end up being a hierarchy even more complicated than InstrumentRelationshipAttribute. Second, there's a similar idea proposed on ArtistRoleInheritance, specifically for instrumentalists/singers. The idea would be to have a "default role" attached to each artist. That idea could be extended if production roles were incorporated into the InstrumentRelationshipAttribute hierarchy itself. --MatthewExon

Open questions

What about

  • mo suggested that the selected page should be remembered when browsing artists (e.g. official, bootleg etc.)
  • promo releases?
  • uncategorized releases?
  • the non-album pseudo-release
  • show it under tracks, that would be intuitive --DonRedman maybe on the track listing, have the option of showing a column listing on which releases the track appears. e.g. Higher Ground appears on Mother's Milk and What Hits? ; Power appears on "none" (i.e. non-album track) --DaveEvans
  • Any chance of adding a release search within artist? e.g. as well as filtering on release type/status, also allow filtering on text string. This would be very useful, IMO, for artists with lots of releases. --DaveEvans
  • The existing AdvancedSearch functionality does this pretty well (and supports fuzzy matching) - you could just add two text boxes for Release and Track title search and link those to the existing functionality. @alex