History:Official Style Guideline

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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 following style guidelines outline how the data in MusicBrainz should be formatted and organized. If you would like to participate in the editing process, please take a moment to review these guidelines. If you require further assistance take a look at the users mailing list.

Please do not change the guidelines on your own. If you have an idea for new a style guideline, or would like to suggest changes to an existing style guideline, please send a proposal to the Style Council.

About the style guidelines

The following style guidelines are those that have been officially sanctioned by the Style Council.

There are currently two places to find these guidelines (for more information on the transclusion mechanism see WikiDocs):

The Guidelines

It's important to know that these are guidelines, not strict rules. The style principles explain when guidelines should be applied and when they should not. There are also officially sanctioned exceptions to the style guidelines.

Release titles

The following guidelines apply to the ReleaseTitle field:

Subtitle style
Use a colon (:) to separate parts of a title: "Main title: Subtitle".
Disc number style
Indicate disc numbers like this: "Main title (disc 2)".
If each disc has an extra title do it like this: "Main title (disc 2: Disc title)".
For bonus discs add " (bonus disc)" to the end.
Individual singles released with a disc number appended to the title should be standardised as "Main title (disc 2)".
Series number style
Volume numbers are special: append them with a comma like this: "Main title, Volume number". See volume number style for specific details.
Box set name style
Box sets are done like this: "(box 5, disc 2)".
Live bootleg style
Bootlegs should be labelled like this: "2000-10-22: Las Vegas, NV, USA".
Multiple title style
Multiple releases on one disc and multiple songs on one track are separated by " / ". Yes, that's space, forward slash, space.
EP style
If the word "EP" or "E.P." is part of a title, it should be retained.

Track titles

Versus style
About the uses of "versus" and how we deal with them.
Remix style
How we deal with remixes and other versions of tracks (such as demo versions, etc).
Data track style
DataTracks are named "[data track]".
Untitled track style
Untitled tracks are named "[untitled]".
Silence tracks are named "[silence]".
Unknown tracks are named "[unknown]".
Series number style
Part numbers are special, append them with a comma like this: "Title, part number". See part number style for specific details.
Extra title information style
This is a list of information that should be omitted or included in release titles and track titles.

Artists

Featuring artist style
When two artists collaborate, file the track under the primary artist, and append the name of the secondary artist to the track title like this "(feat. Everlast)".
Release artist style
This covers when to use one primary artist and when to use various artists as release artist for a release. Note that the classical release artist style spells out different rules for classical music.
Special purpose artists
Several special artist listings ([anonymous], [data], [dialogue], [no artist], [unknown], and Various Artists) are approved for use when the artist is unknown, dialogue, nature sounds, data, etc. See this guideline for details on these artists.
Sortname style
Discusses how artist sort names should be used.

General guidelines

Capitalization standard
Discusses how titles should be capitalized in various languages.
Classical style guide
Discusses how details relating to classical music should be stored (also can be applied to musicals). More specific details on classical release artist style.
Miscellaneous guidelines
Covers the little guidelines that aren't worthy of a whole wiki page all to themselves.
Abbreviation style
Discusses our policy on abbreviations.

Release attributes

Release attributes define the type and status of an audio release and provide information about the contents of the release. Release attributes should apply to most of the tracks on the release. It's OK to have a couple of tracks that do not fit the release attribute, as long as the attribute applies to the release overall.

Release type
A release can be set to one of the following release types: Album, Single, EP, Compilation, Soundtrack, Spokenword, Interview, Audiobook, Live, Remix, or Other. See release attribute for a short summary and release type for details.
Release language
The language used in the release title and track titles.
Release status
A release can have one of the following statuses: Official, Promotion, or Bootleg. See release attribute for a short summary and release status for details.