History:Official Style Guideline
These are the official style guidelines for data entry into the MusicBrainz database. You can find the original and uneditable official style guidelines on the homepage. This here is a Wiki version of these guidelines. Each guideline has a page of its own with examples, discussions and links to related resources.
If you have a question, like how to apply a guideline to a specific album, the best idea is probably to ask for advice on the UsersMailingList.
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.
Official Style Guidelines
Status: This is nealy complete. Most guidelines now have a page of their own and there should be no outdated information left.
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. Further, there are officially sanctioned style guideline exceptions (explained in StylePrinciple).
This page only contains an ultra-short description of each guideline. You will find much more information on the page of the respective guideline.
- Use a colon (:) to separate parts of a title: "Title: SubTitle".
- Indicate disc numbers like this: "Title (disc 2)".
- If each disc has a name do it like this: "Title (disc 2: DiscName)".
- Individual singles released with a disc number appended to the title should be standardised as "Title (disc 2)".
- VolumeNumber"s are special: append them with a comma like this: "Title, VolumeNumber". See VolumeNumberStyle for specific details.
- For bonus discs add " (bonus disc)" to the end.
- 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 albums on one disc and multiple songs on one track are separated by " / ". Yes, that's space, forward slash, space.
- If the word "EP" 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 AlbumAttribute to "Soundtrack".
- 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).
- DataTracks are named "[data track]".
- Untitled tracks are named "[untitled]".
- Silence tracks are named "[silence]".
- Unknown tracks are named "[unknown]".
s are special: append them with a comma like this: "Title, PartNumber". See PartNumberStyle for specific details.
- Enter mix names and other track attributes in parenthesis after the title.
- When two artists collaborate, file the track under the primary artist, and append the name of the secondary artist to the TrackName like this "(feat. Everlast)".
- If the artist is unknown, file the album/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.
- 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.
- If a BandMember is usually known by a particular PerformanceName, use this to link them to the band instead of their LegalName.
s define the type and status of an audio release and provide information about the contents of the release. Album attributes should apply to most of the tracks on the album. It's OK to have a couple of tracks that do not fit the album attribute, as long as the attribute applies to the album overall. This is just a brief summary of album attributes. Further detail can be found on the AlbumAttributes page.
- Album - An album, perhaps better defined as a "Long Play" (LP) release, generally consists of previously unreleased material. This includes album 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 AlbumAttributes 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 AlbumAttributes 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.
- 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.