MusicBrainz has a lot of relational data. But you still have to type plain text in all the database fields. In order for the database to be in a good consistent shape, the StyleCouncil has agreed on a certain style according to which such text should be entered.
Note that the StylePrinciples of MusicBrainz state:
- Follow ArtistIntent.
- If 1 is not applicable, use ConsistentOriginalData.
- If both 1 and 2 are not applicable, follow the StyleGuideline
The following guidelines are available:
- This is a Wiki version of the OfficialStyleGuidelines on the website which outline how the data in MusicBrainz should be formatted and organized. Being a WikiPage it is more detailed and contains discussion, questions (and answers :-). It is also more up to date than the version on the website.
- How to capitalize album and track titles. Since June 2004 we are working towards InterNationalization. This will give us language specific standards. CapitalizationStandard lists all available standards for different languages.
- For classical music (or any music, where the composer is taken as the principal artist) different style rules apply, and different problems arise. These are all addressed in this section containing ClassicalMusicFAQ, ClassicalStyleGuide and ClassicalStyleGuideDiscussion.
- This is a place for new style guidelines to be proposed and discussed.
Other Guidelines and Help
- These are guidelines that apply to a specific series of releases only, but not to all entities in general.
- If you have a question regarding an OddRelease you might want to look for it in AdditionalMetadata. If you find it there your question might already been answered. If you do not find it, you can ask on the UsersMailingList. When your problem has been solved, please list your solution there to help others that come after you.
- You might also want to look at HowEditingWorks and the EditingGuideline
s as well as HowToVote.
- The MisencodingFAQ deals with data where something went wrong with the CharacterEncodings and what to do about it.
The style guidelines form a very balanced set of rules. Changing them is a slow and careful process. Since 2005-12 a new process for StyleChange
s is emerging. See these email threads, HowToChangeStyleGuidelines, and also the older guide on HowToProposeNewGuidelines for details.
The MigrationGuideline requires that major changes to the StyleGuideline be tested by BetaEditing on the TestServer, to figure out if it entails any major SoftStructure changes.