User:Hawke/Proposal/Track numbering

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Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-STYLE-121
Champion: Hawke
Current status: RFC

JIRA ticket STYLE-121


Typically tracks are numbered from 1..n. However, track numbers can be altered to more closely reflect Artist Intent, the specific release and details of sides, chapters and other groupings. The guidance below considers the circumstances where this is (or is not) appropriate.

Unordered tracklists

Some releases have no defined track order. For these releases, leave the track number blank.

Unnumbered tracks

If the track listing is entirely un-numbered, number them in order starting with one. (for CDs, they should match the actual CD track numbers.)

If only a few tracks are hidden (unlisted) or unnumbered, leave the track number blank for those tracks.


Medium sides should be indicated with a letter (A, B, C, etc.) before the track number.

For most releases this will be similar to A1, A2, A3 / B1, B2, B3.

If the numbering does not restart at 1, use the number on the release: A1, A2, A3 / B4, B5, B6.

For releases which have their own lettering format, follow the release: R01, R02, R03 / S04, S05, S06; A/AA, etc.

Some releases have no useful side indication (e.g. both sides printed as 'Side 2'). In this case, if there is a matrix number or other identifier which distinguishes them, treat the lower-sequenced one as side A. Failing that, follow the track order from another release in the same release group. As a last resort, choose one at random.


  • R de Rumba has its own lettering, and zero-pads the numbers.
  • This single has different catalog numbers on each side. The lower-numbered side is considered “Side A”


Some media have “Sub-tracks”. This applies to CD “indexes”, DVD “titles”/“chapters”, and 4 or 8-track cartridge “programs”, and is also common in production music to identify alternate versions of a track (e.g. a 30-second excerpt).

For these releases, separate the main track from the sub-track with a period: 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2.

Note Note: It is currently impossible to store CD indexes other than index 1 on each track, due to the way discIDs are tied to tracklists. Enter as one track, using multiple title style if applicable. Do not enter additional indexes as if they were tracks, even if no discID is attached yet.


If there is only one title on a DVD, just use basic track numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

If a DVD includes a tracklist which doesn’t include some chapters, follow the tracklist numbering. Leave any skipped chapters un-numbered.


Live by Apocalyptica has 18 chapters in the first title, “Live Concert”; the first chapter is unlisted on the cover and the menus and only plays if you choose “play all”.

Unusual releases

Automatic-sequence albums
Some multi-disc vinyl releases are designed for use on an automatic record changer. In these releases, typically all of the “top” sides are played, followed by all of the “bottom” sides. Letters should be assigned to the sides in play order, which may result in a strange displayed track order:
  • A1
  • A2
  • D1
  • D2
  • B1
  • B2
  • C1
  • C2
side in cat. no.
Some releases include the side as part of the catalog number on each side (e.g. 8326-A and 8326-B). In this case, just use the side indicator (e.g. "A" or "B"). Do not use the matrix number as a side identifier.
double A-side
Some releases have other unusual numbering. (e.g. double A-sides, side AA, side AAA) For these cases, use whatever is printed on the release.
parallel grooves
Some vinyl records have several sets of parallel grooves. For these tracks, append a hash mark followed by the 'groove number' (e.g. B1#2). Ordering is left to the discretion of the editor and voters. Exception: releases with parallel grooves which have only one track per groove (i.e. one song) should be listed as if entirely un-ordered (tracks on first side should all be numbered ‘A’, second side should all be numbered ‘B’.)
Examples: Matching Tie and Handkerchief by Monty Python, Mad Magazine’s It’s a super-spectacular day
single-sided disc
single-sided discs should use side identifier 'A' for all tracks, to discourage editors from assuming they are double-sided and 'correcting' them.