History:Official Style Guideline

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Revision as of 14:11, 25 May 2009 by PavanChander (talk | contribs) (Cleaned some of the formatting up.)
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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 sanctioned by the StyleCouncil. There are currently two places to find these guidelines:

The WikiDocs version of this page.
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:

Use a colon (:) to separate parts of a title: "MainTitle: SubTitle".
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)".
VolumeNumbers are special: append them with a comma like this: "MainTitle, VolumeNumber". See VolumeNumberStyle for specific details.
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).
DataTracks are named "[data track]".
Untitled tracks are named "[untitled]".
Silence tracks are named "[silence]".
Unknown tracks are named "[unknown]".
PartNumbers are special: append them with a comma like this: "Title, PartNumber". See PartNumberStyle for specific details.
This is a list of information that should be omitted from ReleaseTitles and TrackTitles.
TrackAttributeStyle (could be merged into the above ExtraTitleInformationStyle)
Enter mix names and other track attributes in parentheses after the title.


When two artists collaborate, file the track under the PrimaryArtist, and append the name of the SecondaryArtist to the TrackTitle like this "(feat. Everlast)".
This covers when to use one PrimaryArtist and when to use VariousArtists as ReleaseArtist for a release. Note that the ClassicalReleaseArtistStyle spells out different rules for classical music.
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 ArtistSortNames 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). More specific details on ClassicalReleaseArtistStyle.
Covers the little guidelines that aren't worthy of a whole wiki page all to themselves.
Discusses our policy on abbreviations.

Advanced Relationships

If a BandMember is usually known by a particular PerformanceName, use this to link them to the band instead of their LegalName.

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.

The Type of a release can be: Album, Single, EP, Compilation, Soundtrack, Spokenword, Interview, Audiobook, Live, Remix, or Other. See ReleaseAttribute for a short summary and ReleaseType for details.
The Language used in the ReleaseTitle and TrackTitles.
The Status of a release can be: Official, Promotion, or Bootleg. See ReleaseAttribute for a short summary and ReleaseStatus for details.