Difference between revisions of "History:Official Style Guideline"

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==The Guidelines==
==The Guidelines==
It's important to know that these are '''guidelines''', not strict rules. The [[Style Principle|StylePrinciple]]s explain when guidelines should be applied and when they should not. There are also officially sanctioned exceptions to the guidelines.
It's important to know that these are '''guidelines''', not strict rules. The [[Style Principle|StylePrinciple]]s explain when guidelines should be applied and when they should not. There are also officially sanctioned [[Exceptions To The Style Guidelines|ExceptionsToTheStyleGuidelines]].
===Release Titles===
===Release Titles===

Revision as of 09:43, 3 July 2006

Official MusicBrainz Style Guidelines

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. Please take a look at the UsersMailingList if you require assistance.

About the Style Guidelines

The following are those StyleGuidelines that are officially sancioned by the StyleCouncil. There are currently three places to find these guidelines:

  • The original and uneditable official style guidelines on the homepage, which might be slighlty outdated. These will soon be replaced by
  • The WikiDocs version of this wiki page. This page is not reviewed yet, but will soon be the one and only official source.
  • The wiki version of the style guidelines. These might include discussions or changes which are not official yet.

Please do not change the guidelines themselves, unless you are a member of the StyleCouncil, or you really know what you are doing. If you have ideas for new style guidelines or changes, please send them to the StyleMailingList (if you are new to MusicBrainz, ask on the UsersMailingList first). They might then be added to ProposedStyleGuidelines and eventually be made an OfficialStyleGuideline by the StyleCouncil.

The Guidelines

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

Release Titles

The following guidelines apply to the ReleaseTitle field:

  • DiscNumberStyle:
    • Indicate DiscNumbers like this: "MainTitle (disc 2)".
    • If each disc has an extra title do it like this: "MainTitle (disc 2: DiscTitle)".
    • For bonus discs add " (bonus disc)" to the end.
    • Individual singles released with a disc number appended to the title should be standardised as "MainTitle (disc 2)".
  • Box sets are done like this: "(box 5, disc 2)".
  • untitled bootlegs should be labelled like this: "2000-10-22: Las Vegas, NV, USA".
  • Multiple releases on one disc and multiple songs on one track are separated by " / ". Yes, that's space, forward slash, space.
  • If the word "EP" or "E.P." is part of a title, it should be retained.
  • A soundtrack should be given the same title as the film, and should not include extra detail such as "Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" or similar descriptive information. Set the ReleaseAttribute to "Soundtrack".

Track Titles

  • About the uses of "versus" and how we deal with them.
  • How we deal with remixes and other versions of tracks (such as demo versions, etc).
    (see also the specific OCReMixStyle)
  • UntitledTrackStyle:
    • Untitled tracks are named "[untitled]".
    • Silence tracks are named "[silence]".
    • Unknown tracks are named "[unknown]".
  • Enter mix names and other track attributes in parenthesis after the title.


  • If the artist is unknown, file the release/track under the [unknown] artist.
  • Recordings that have no artist should be filed under [no artist]. This would be appropriate for silence, bird song etc.
  • Discusses how SortNames should be used.

General Guidelines

  • Discusses how titles should be capitalized in various languages.
  • Discusses how details relating to classical music should be stored (also can be applied to musicals).
  • Covers the little guidelines that aren't worthy of a whole wiki page all to themselves.
  • Discusses our policy on abbreviations.

Advanced Relationships

Release Attributes

ReleaseAttributes 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. This is just a brief summary of release attributes. Further detail can be found on the ReleaseAttributes page.

Release type

  • Album - An album, perhaps better defined as a "Long Play" (LP) release, generally consists of previously unreleased material. This includes release re-issues, with or without bonus tracks.
  • Single - A single typically has one main song and possibly a handful of additional tracks or remixes of the main track. A single is usually named after its main song. A single has different definitions in different markets, so if you are unsure please check the ReleaseAttributes page.
  • EP - An EP is a so-called "Extended Play" release and often contains the letters EP in the title.
  • Compilation - A compilation is a collection of previously released tracks by one or more artists. Please note that this is a simplified description of a compilation. If you are unsure, please refer to the full description on the ReleaseAttributes page.
  • Soundtrack - A soundtrack is the musical score to a movie, TV series, stage show, computer game etc.
  • Spokenword - Non-music spoken word releases.
  • Interview - An interview release contains an interview, generally with an Artist.
  • Audiobook - An audiobook is a book read by a narrator without music.
  • Live - A release that was recorded live.
  • Remix - A release that primarily contains remixed material.
  • Other - Any release that does not fit or can't decisively be placed in any of the categories above.

Release Status

  • Official - Any release officially sanctioned by the artist and/or their record company. (Most releases will fit into this category.)
  • Promotion - A giveaway release or a release intended to promote an upcoming official release. (e.g. prerelease albums or releases included with a magazine, versions supplied to radio DJs for air-play, etc).
  • Bootleg - An unofficial/underground release that was not sanctioned by the artist and/or the record company.