Difference between revisions of "History talk:Release Type Restructuring Proposal"

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The idea of adding 'Commercial' is ridiculous in my opinion. "Commercial" is a word that signifies the exchange of money. It says nothing about whether an artist sanctions a release. This idea should be dropped, as all it would do is further confuse users. - [[User:artysmokes|artysmokes]]
The idea of adding 'Commercial' is ridiculous in my opinion. "Commercial" is a word that signifies the exchange of money. It says nothing about whether an artist sanctions a release. This idea should be dropped, as all it would do is further confuse users. - [[User:artysmokes|artysmokes]]
<ul><li style="list-style-type:none">You obviously don't understand where I'm going with this idea. I have said repetitively that the NAME isn't where it's at, but rather I was trying to come up with a descriptive phrase for releases which are legal (ie not bootleg) but not condoned by the artist. The name is nothing, this page tries to explain an abstract idea and give it a name. So instead of being full of it, try to READ THE PAGE I WROTE and HELP COME UP WITH A BETTER NAME, what's that? you cannot? well guess what, smart ass, that's the reason I gave it such a 'ridiculous' name in the first place, because coming up with a term or name for this is HARD. Please READ THE DOCUMENTATION & DISCUSSION before you start making unhelpful and rude comments that just illustrates how very little you have understood the subject. ~ -- [[User:mo|mo]] 16:28, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
<ul><li style="list-style-type:none">You obviously don't understand where I'm going with this idea. I have said repetitively that the NAME isn't where it's at, but rather I was trying to come up with a descriptive phrase for releases which are legal (ie not bootleg) but not condoned by the artist. The name is nothing, this page tries to explain an abstract idea and give it a name. So instead of being full of it, try to READ THE PAGE I WROTE and HELP COME UP WITH A BETTER NAME, what's that? you cannot? well guess what, smart ass, that's the reason I gave it such a 'ridiculous' name in the first place, because coming up with a term or name for this is HARD. Please READ THE DOCUMENTATION & DISCUSSION before you start making unhelpful and rude comments that just illustrates how very little you have understood the subject. ~ -- [[User:mo|mo]] 16:28, 22 May 2007 (UTC) Here's my take on the grid.
[[Brian Schweitzer|BrianSchweitzer]] 17:06, 22 May 2007 (UTC) [[Image:grid2.jpg]]
===Official Bootleg===
===Official Bootleg===

Revision as of 17:06, 22 May 2007

Discussion about Restructuring the Release Types

Note: This document might contain BadTerminology or references to renamed entities because of the terminology change from Album to Release.

This was moved from ReleaseTypeRestructuringProposal because that page became to unholding sizewize. please discuss things here.

Main Types


  • how do we describe *serious* vs. *unserious* classical albums (I am sure the classical mods understand what I mean. but others are probably confused as heck XD)

the following long section is by adamgolding:

To solve the issues around classical release types, first we need to get our heads around the distinction between a 'publication' and a 'work' and a 'movement' in classical music. Printed publications are essentially the pre-recording technology equivalent of 'albums'. Just like some albums are concept albums and some aren't, some publications unify their parts more than others.

Beethoven's Op. 1 and Op. 2 are publications which each have three 'works' within them (i.e. Op.2 no. 3), and each work has 3 or four movements each. The distinciton between a 'work' and a 'movement' is usually quite clear, although the line between a a work and a publication is often blurred. In the case of the op.2 sonatas, each sonata sounds fine and complete on its own, but if you listen to all three in succession you get at least some impression of an even larger dramatic unity (this is part of why beethoven was a revolutionary, but i digress). However earlier composer's published collections may or may not be intended to be heard as a 'meta-work' (i.e. like episodes in a series) in this way. In some cases it make have been chance factors that determined which compositions got published together.

  • In my opinion the easiest way to manage this is to think any catalog/opus number of a Composer as an album. So, in the same way we consider that pop releases that contains two different complete albums as ReleaseType=Album, a classical release containing only full opus is still an Album. Any other kind of release is a compilation, let's say till your point 5 included (note that from this point of view point 7 could be controversial). Of course following this any other attribute like live, bootleg or promotional must be avoided. -- ClutchEr2
    • well firstly, it seems strange to do that in pop cases! maybe 'compound album' is more appropriate. but this isn't good for cases when 'complete works' are still very short--i.e. when you have an album full of random madrigals that are standalone works. this is clearly an 'anthology' (and might say so on the cover) and not an 'album'.

Anyway, we have several levels of 'release types' in existence for classical composers. (i won't use musicbrainz terminology, but will simply describe the releases in normal english). I'll list them, attempting to order them starting with the most 'alnum-likee' leading to the most 'compilation-like'.

note that distinguishing these categories could eventually be done automatically--i'm preparing a separate post on how to handle publications etc. in general.

1. A set of the Composer's complete works. i.e. The Complete Beethoven Edition. This has subvolumes, etc. but is sold as a set of a 100 or so cds (i forget how many, exactly).

2. A set of the Composer's complete works in one medium, i.e. "Mozart Complete String Quartets". This usually won't have subvolumes unless the body of work is very large, i.e. Bach's cantatas

3. A release containing exactly one complete publication and no other music. I.e. "Beehoven's Op.2 sonatas" or "Monteverdi's 4th book of madrigals" or "Beethoven's 9th symphony" (since the symphony was published alone) Note that this publication may even be by various composers, i.e. "The Magnus Liber Organi".

4. A release containing part, but not all of a publication, and no other music. This could (but doens't have to) be subdivided into

  • 4a. where the release contains only complete works that were included in the publication (but not all of them)
    • i.e. beethoven's op.1 nos. 2 and 3 but not no.1 i.e. vivaldi's four seasons (the four seasons was published as part of a larger cycle of 12 or so concerti) i.e. only vivaldi's "Spring". (this is also a 'complete work' within the four seasons, because it is a concerto unto
      • itself--so we have 4 conceros which are a complete sub-works of the 4 seasons, which is a complete sub-work of the larger publication)
    4b. where the release contains at least one incomplete work from the publication, but at least one complete work
    • i.e. beethoven's op.1 no.1, and then only the first movement of op.1 no.3.
    4c. where the relase contains no complete work from the publication, but only incomplete parts:
    • i.e. the first movements only from the op.2 sonatas i would actually rank 4c much lower than the other parts of 4, however.

5. A release containting more than one complete publication by the same composer, but no partial publications

  • i.e. beethoven's 5th symphony and beethoven's 6th symphony

6. A release containing a complete publication by one composer, and then a partial publication in addition:

  • i.e. beethoven's 5th and his op.2no.3 sonata

7. A release containing more than one complete publication, but by different composers, and no partial publications

  • i.e. beethoven's 5th and ravel's piano concerto.

8. A release containting a complete publication by one composer, and a partial publication by a different composer in addition:

  • i.e. ravel's piano concerto and beethoven's op.2 no.3 sonata

9. A release containing one or more partial publications by the same composer, but no complete publications

  • i.e. Vivaldi's spring and beethoven's op.2 no.3 sonata

10. a release containing one or more partial publications by more than one composer, but no complete publications. 10 subdivides more importantly into:

  • 10a. single performer, single era AND region (i.e. The hilliard ensemble plays medieval english music) 10b. singler performer, single era only (i.e. the hilliard ensemble plays the best of the renaissance) 10c. singler performer, single region only (i.e. the hilliard ensemble plays english music throughout the ages) 10d. single, performer, variable era AND region (i.e. the hilliard ensemble in concert) and then those four distinctions again when you have variable performers.

there's probably a simpler way to model this than the way i've set out. basically we have several things that can vary:

  • composer performer era region form (i.e. masses only, vs masses mixed with other types of music)

plus all the stuff about publications, works, and movements.


I really can't see any usefulness in having a Classical release type (apart from generating more and more flames about it) but I'm neutral to this. About classical album vs compilation, we know it's a tricky matter and open since composer never released an album but performers do everytime; I can't think about a couple of Piano Sonata written in different times but released once (and maybe on a single recording session) as a compilation which to me is a collection of previuosly released material. Moreover we have the highlights case: often it's not a compilation of best tracks of a full performance but they record just only parts of a 3 album work to fit in one. I'm open to discussion about all this but I think we need to reach consensus: make the nth exception for managing classical/opera or fit them somehow in standard rules? --ClutchEr2

  • I infact envisioned this 'classical' type namely to *be* this 'nth exception' you speak of. also i wanted a way to assign any type of release where different rules than the regular ones where used in the upsetting of the release information (artist, track name etc) namely that whenever an album has the 'classical' tag, it will *always* have the composer as the artist, and not the performer (which is usually the case) I wanted to ask you though, should 'highlights' be a subsection under 'compilation'? or is that not necessary? ~mo
    • To be really strict, IMHO highlights should be a subset under Album or even better a different type at the same level: it's not already released material but it's not an album thinking from the composer side. Anyway I'm not asking so much, probably common sense sees it fit under compilation. --Clutcher2


"releases that are re-releases of 2 or more releases on one disc" - i've never heard of one of these being referred to as a "split" before. in my experience, splits are always "releases where two or more artists share a disc". i'm not sure what you'd call the former - i'd say compilation but i think just classifying it as album (or, if it's 2 eps, "EP", etc) would suffice. hmm! dunno :) --Gecks


With the current proposal there is a problem with compilations/samplers, because they can't be put under one of the exclusive types "album", "single", "EP". IMO compilation needs to be moved here. In the NextGenerationSchema the exclusive main types will be attached to the album entry, while the other ticky-box-main-types will be attributes of the release.

Album describes a "concept" of a group of similar releases, and making a compilation is a different concept than making an album, because the first involves selecting some old releases while the second includes material that hasn't been released before.--Fuchs

  • Album is BadTerminology in retrospect, what I mean with "album" here is *Long Play* as upposed to *Extended Play* or 'Single' so these sould fit into [album] (full lenght, or LP) [compilation] ~mo I don't think that only the exclusive main types should be attached to the album entry in the NGS. Every of the ticky-box-thingies describes concepts as well. A remix of an album is a new concept, playing an album live as well. Album entities only cover different release entities that are very close to the same concept. So what a release entity should contain is the release status attribute. And the contained media store the physical media attribute. Counter examples? --Shepard
    • Depends on the definition of "concept", but I can give some examples: Depeche Mode Songs of Fait and Devotion and the live version. Both share the same tracklist and had been released in the same context. The live version is not a live album in the classical sense, but a collection and recombination of live performances of the tracks. IMO both share the same concept. Imagine an album release, that came with a normal and a special edition. The latter includes a bonus disc with remixes. Would you set "album" and "remix" as main type of the [[[Object Model/Album Object|ObjectModel/AlbumObject]] AlbumObject]? Or a simple box set release with different types of the included records.--Fuchs # is discussible. # Setting it for the release object does not fit either as the contained main disc is not a remix. ;) But I see the problem, a ticky-type (lol) 'bonus' could not be set, too - this would belong to the medium object. # A box set has its own album object (what else?). So no problem here. --Shepard


What constitutes a Remix? At the moment, I use it for different AR types (Remix, DJ-Mix). If Remix is a Release Status, so should DJ-Mix be. Possibly others. --Zout

  • That's a good question, and it opens up a can of worms. should 'remix' even *be* a release status? what do we mean with 'remix' here? and so on and so forth. basically it boils down to "can we say that a DJ-mix-cd is a 'remix-status'?" as I don't know much about dj-mix I can't answer this question. what (roughly) is the differences? ~mo
    • A remix produces other versions of songs. A DJ-mix only slightly changes the songs by adjusting their tempo (pitching I think that is) and fading them together and such things. I think most albums of status remix could actually also be compilations. Only the rare cases where someone takes a whole normal studio album and remixes all of the songs could not be set to status compilation. So I think: DJ-mixes could just be put under compilations. Remixes are more complicated. --Shepard
      • Do we need Remix here? Do things that can be represented as Artist<->Album ARs be a release type? --Zout
        • I'm starting to think we should delete 'remix' altogether. I don't know what it is.. it's a status of the track, not an album, more often than not. ~mo
          • No, I don't think so, because exactly the same applies for live: Anywhere but Home is all live but the last track. Of course at some point where there are non-live-tracks on the album you have to put (live) behind the titles of the rest. But when we allow multiple attributes you can still say: this is a live EP, that is a remix compilation or whatever because those attributes apply for most of the tracks. Yes even for compilations: what if tracks 1-9 are previously released and track 10 was not released before? Is it not a compilation any more then? --Shepard
        I have to disagree :) I'd really like to put DJ-Mixes under "DJ-Mix", not under "Compilations". --LukasLalinsky
    I don't know, if we need remix or dj-mix or whatever. But there has to be a way to put remixed records in a category like live albums and normal compilations (we wanted to get rid of the "compilation" thingy anyway). If I take a look at artists like Depeche Mode, there are tons of remix albums that should klutter the other categories. --Fuchs


I think Spokenword needs an extra sub type "Radio play". At the moment many actual radio plays are stored as Audiobooks in the db - this is wrong. And audiobook is just a book read by one person. A radio play is an audio play with many different characters and background sounds and stuff. At the moment we can store this as Spokenword but that is not exact enough I think. --Shepard

Single / EP

This is from a brief discussion on the mb-users list that I just wanted to revive here - feel free to delete if this is the wrong place for this. In brief I was arguing that I think the top level distinction between releases should be limited to albums and singles - an EP would then become a subcategory like compilation etc. It seems odd to have a category for this release. For example (these examples were sent over the mailing list) the following MB entries are currently marked as EPs but to all intents and purposes they are singles:

Certainly the former would have charted in the UK singles chart (albeit the indie singles chart at the time). Is there a significant difference between an EP and a single (beyond the inclusion of the letters EP in the title)?

  • Traditionally, a single (the term tells this, too) is a release related to one track (the A-side) and can include an optional B-side (which is a different song) and/or different versions of the A-side track. An EP (sometimes called mini album) was everything that is not an album and exceeds a certain length (traditinally longer than what fits on a 7" single) or has versions of more than 2 different songs. Those definitions evolved mainly because the chart rules (especially in the UK) changed every now and then. There are no EP charts, so somtimes EPs were counted as singles. Both of your examples wouldn't be listed in the UK single charts if they were released today. Other parts of Europe adopted the UK release schema, in the US singles are far less important. --Fuchs
    • Whilst I agree that historically there may have been a difference in the past (when there used to be an EP chart it seems) I am not entirely convinced that there is such a difference today, and since MB is largely focused on the now I just found it a bit odd that EPs are given a special category when most of them seem to be singles with the word EP in the title. For instance the former example I gave above did indeed chart in the singles chart (although at number 101 it seems). It's difficult to find examples as most of the bands I like don't seem to get in the singles chart or don't release EPs. But all the following MB EPs were placed in the UK singles chart when released so the distinction between EP and single is hazy at best: * http://musicbrainz.org/album/de5e14da-8f2c-4c31-ad5f-6804ca3c7a09.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/7da78eed-1370-48f7-a1dc-ecd782bc5ef3.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/a7701200-c6a8-4b84-9d15-da852af7e007.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/b81e246b-fac9-445f-a49a-5e1c03a3373f.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/664fc6fa-ea49-4133-b8bb-3f46d85e0228.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/17b3c81e-90ba-4937-9dcf-0e6cf6447cd8.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/ef2c4f13-477d-4658-8ea8-c64ff20b692b.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/314d934f-d53e-4997-b7a3-10ae0850c65a.html * http://musicbrainz.org/album/b44ba6dc-6789-488f-bc65-44d52fd4785f.html So are these just examples of bad categorisation?
      • Just took a look at the Kate Bush and the Beatles example, and both are categorized as EP on wikipedia. And both wouldn't show up in single charts if they were released today. --Fuchs EPs are largely a thematic choice now release categorisation isn't limited so much by the sound carrier (ie vinyl). however the distinction certainly in existance today - pretty much any 'rock' artist today will have 1 EP release to their name, for example. for a more verbose explanation, read my contributions to http://www.discogs.com/forums/topic?topic_id=86968 --Gecks
        • Fair enough - I'm not convinced though. It seems to me that something that's called an EP is clearly an EP but is often considered a single or an album. For example: http://musicbrainz.org/album/117cc2ee-4eba-4f28-90cb-91121ca747bf.html http://musicbrainz.org/album/9684a208-1d83-489c-89f0-b23925317c6d.html Both marked as EPs in MB. The first is to all intents and purposes a single - you would have bought it from the single section in the record shop and it charted in the UK singles chart at the time. The second is an EP despite having nothing on the cover to indicate this - I would have said this was an album given that it seemed to have spawned two singles (I don't know the band so I might be wrong) and was certified Gold by the RIAA (which I believe is given over to albums). Whilst it seems clear that EP should be a category in MB I am less convinced of the distinction between a single and an EP, and EP and a mini-LP and a mini-LP and an album. Even if you disagree I think some effort needs to go into a crisp clear description of what an EP is - the one listed on the ReleaseTypeRestructuringProposal is at best totally vague.
          • both examples are called EPs by the artist(s) involved (perhaps not on the CD itself - see official websites, discographies, interviews, etc). like i said, it's a thematic choice so an artists decision to call it such may not have any logic if you look at the tracklist on its own, which is also why it's impossible to write "a crisp clear description of what an EP is". PS, EPs and 'mini-LPs' are synonymous as far as I can tell. --Gecks
            • Okay so we can't define what it is it just is but I've still got the problem that I've now got this third confounding category and I want to categorise Radiohead's Drill "EP". Now I know that it was a single but it has the word EP on the cover and on an official website so I'll call it an EP. And then at some point in the future, as part of MBs quest to the font of all musical knowledge we decide to add chart positions to singles and albums, or something like that. Now that data is going to be incomplete because we're unable to do anything with EPs because they might not have been eligible for the charts, or they might have been eligible for the singles chart or they might have eligible for the album charts and so we can't really deal with this properly.
              • "Trade magazine Record Retailer launched a Top 50 singles chart on 10 March 1960. Its sample was only 30 shops to begin with, growing to 40 by March 1962, 60 by March 1963 and 80 by 1969. This was the only major singles chart to exclude EPs, which had their own separate chart until 30 November 1967. EPs were allowed into the main singles chart from that point on, just in time for The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour to enjoy a chart run which peaked at number two." see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Singles_Chart --Gecks
              My problem here is that we have overlap on our top level categories and isn't this the reason we're allowing something to be a "live" album or a "live" single, can we not also allow something to be an "ep" album or an "ep" single, or does it not make sense to do this? And to fan the flames further: a mini LP is certainly not the same as an EP; if an EP is an extended single then a mini-LP is a cut-down album but I don't think they meet in the middle - thus we'll need four top-level categories now.....BrotherLogic
              • EP = extended play, not extended single - they don't neccesarily have a 'lead track' - infact they rarely do, in my experience. i've always considered the two to be synonymous and will continue to do so until proved otherwise :) --Gecks Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ep, anaything is explained there and this discussion is getting a bit to long for the wiki. If you need more opinions, you better ask on the mailinglists. --Fuchs

General Concerns

I think the proposed is even worse than it is now; the entries cover too many areas. We're adding physical medium but we still have Single, EP, Bonus, Demo etc. which closely correspond to the physical medium in the same section as Live, Soundtrack, Remix, etc. which correspond to content. Moreover, the content descriptors should be one-to-many. There are certainly releases that are Live Compilations, Remix Soundtracks or Classical Remix Compilations. I don't think Classical belongs here anyway, it's a Genre which should be captured elsewhere. -- WolfSong 12:10, 03 March 2006 (UTC)

Physical Media

General Ideas

I like the idea of a Physical Medium description. I also think that while vinyl and cassette will not be the method of importing, they should be included in an extended "Release Type." eg "Sgt Peppers, 1967, UK, album/8 track" "Sgt Peppers, 1987, US, CD" This way, when the only difference is the physical media, it would just result in extended release notes.

This way the "Physical Medium" option group could be freed up for a better abstraction. For example:

  • Single Disc
  • Two-Disc set
  • Box Set/ Multi-Disc
  • Single
  • Maxi-Single
  • EP
  • song 'for single song releases/ maybe merge with non-album tracks.
  • Set/ Show 'for complete sets or performances

The exact specifications of the disc type and format could be part of the extended release notes mentioned above.--Chuck__Carmody


What about official CD-Rs? e.g. http://musicbrainz.org/release/5b0134fd-86c0-45c2-8e94-96f6f4d6b36d.html is one. Should we be able to make the distinction between pressed CDs and CD-Rs? --Zout

Why change the CD5"/CD3" to CD 5cm and CD 8cm? CD5/CD5" is a widely used term, as is CD3" (or Mini CD. I think they were better before :) --Gecks

Hybrid SA-CD

In my opion it should be possible to make normal SA-CD and hybrid SA-CD releases distinguishable. Putting them under SA-CD only would be wrong, because they are as well an audio CD as a SA-CD. Most users won't even recognize they had a hybrid SA-CD if they don't have a SA-CD player. --Fuchs


Mo, see DualDisc. I think it needs an extra media type. It's a disc with a CD on one side and a DVD on the other side (which then is to include the whole album in 5.1 sound). --Shepard

  • I agree and added a link to Sony's DualDisc FAQ. --Fuchs
    • I see both of your points, but (and as I talked to shep with already) the problem is how MB currently stores the data, each side of the disc would become seperated TOCs and thus seperated discs, so the DD side will become a CD and the DVD side would become a DVD. ~mo
      • Yes and even in the future we will have one "medium-side" for each side/layer of a record. Although i still think it might be good to be able to distinct a double- record from two single-sided/layered ones. --Fuchs


For DVDs, I'd suggest to separate audio-only DVDs from concert/music video DVDs, discs with audio-only and video parts, and whatever other disc type should be added (IMHO, it wouldn't make sense to add movie DVDs because someone ripped the score). --derGraph

  • this your proposal sounds good, and I agree, it fits well with the " though we are not cdbrainz, we are not moviebrainz either. we are *music*brainz " mentality ~mo

Enhanced CD

Because we remove all the trailing data tracks, we should probably add some attribute to show that a disc is a CD with some extra material on the bonus track. Those discs are called Enhanced CD on the market. --Fuchs


I'm not sure if it's a good idea to add vinyl as a media type. Clicks, pops and hissing will surely affect the TRMs, resulting in a large amount of bogus TRMs. Tapes may also be of poor quality. And in the end, every non-digital source bears the problem of conversion into a digital format; and each conversion will have a different result. I don't know how much difference between two sources that still produce the same TRM is possible, but knowing that even the track length affects the TRM, I think we should have digital media only. --derGraph

  • uh, there are releases that are only released on Vinyl, TRM's are completely not in the equation, neither are mp3's. there are releases that where released on Vinyl/cassette but never will be released on CD or SACD

And often if releases *are* rereleased they are released with a *different* tracklisting than the original Vinyl and perhaps cassette with a bonus track. perhaps the LP Vinyl is split onto two cassettes, and the CD release has 4 extra bonus tracks. currently there is no way of saying that 'this release is vinyl' we need this.

  • But does it make any sense to add media that need to be digitized before a TRM can be caluclated? As far as I understand MusicBrainz, it's not a discographies library, but (in the first place) a system to help identify and tag ditital music tracks. Now with advanced relationships, it also helps to explore relationships between artists, persons, tracks, etc. (in contrast pure user preference comparison as Audioscrobbler does). I think that it makes sense to include such ARs into MB, especially because the "framework" is alredy there. But then, if someone wants to read an artists discography, she could just follow the discography link. --derGraph
    • Let's just say there are different views and different opinions on what musicbrainz is and should be, and mine seem to be as far aways from yours as possible. To me musicbrainz is about recording knowledge about music, period. An extended discography if you will. See it as the imdb of music. Personally I wouldn't have a big problem if we lost all the trm information tomorrow. THen there's the other side (you and others?) that are here because they have too many mp3s that they want to tag. But I still don'tr really see you'r point, even from that point of view. There are still loads of mp3s flowing around out there that are ripped from vinyls and others. Don't you think people might want to tag those aswell? //bnw
      • If there are some files on the net, and matching TRMs... fine, go ahead! I just wouldn't like to have some thousands of new TRMs just because some people tag their vinyl collection with MB. But then, who can tell they didn't already do? - This is pointless; you're right. --derGraph
        • TRMs in theory could be the same for Vvinyl and CD rips - the resolution is quite low, I believe. Pops and clicks shouldn't matter. Also, one rip from vinyl could get widely distributed on the net. Anyways, TRMs and their (possible) weaknesses shouldn't really factor into our decisions since they aren't neccesarily a permanent feature of MBz anyway... --Gecks

--- I already have a plan how to handle releases that where released as a vinyl and as a cassette and as a CD etc. with the same tracklisting. I will write up that after this proposal is finetuned and eventually put into work. ~mo

Release Status


I still don't get what this could be. I know the term from the collectors scene though, where they use it to divide commercial from promotional records, but that's what we have "official" for (although promotional records are "official", too). So maybe it would be a good idea to think about those term and choose a different one? --Fuchs

  • 'Commercial' seems like a better name for the present 'Official'. In the proposal, the distinction between Commercial and Official is too fuzzy. Maybe we'd better drop it? --Zout
    • no and, no, commercial is *Not* official, what I mean with commercial here I mean things which are mostly sent by the record company or resold to other records companies but not added on most basic "official" discographies. kind of a reverse bootleg if you will. most "Time Life", "Now that's what I call Music", "Hits 4 Kids", "Kuschelrock" VA compilations fit under this bell. also some SA compilations like Scorpions Best (which I own) not illegal bootleg, but certainly not sanctioned by the artists.. like these arsheloads of 'best of' type things record companies try to send out to milk more money of a dead horse? those. ~mo
      • I still don't understand it 100%, but "commercial" seems to be a bad name for this afterall. How do you decide that an entry belongs to this cathegory? --Fuchs I don't like this one at all. When an act signs to a record label, they are (in most cases) effectively giving the label the right to do what they want with the music. Their appearence on VA comps etc is as 'official' as anything else. It seems to me the only thing that would make an official release a 'commercial' release under this rule is whether or not the artist would like to be associated with the release in question. I don't really like that - it's not easily determinable. I mean, I'm sure there are acts very happy to be on those 'Now...' CDs, and some that aren't. What do you class the entire CD as? --Gecks
        • The way I read it, there are two "Dimensions" to mo's proposal: * A: Has it been sanctioned by the artist? * B: Has it been sanctioned by the record label / rightsholder? This gives you a 2x2 matrix, well not exactly but more or less it's:
          A not A
          B official commercial
          not B ? bootleg
          I am not sure how good this is. I think this duplicates what is curently stated by "album" and "compilation": An album is credited as an 'official' work of the artist, a compilation just gathers some stuff that has previously been released as an 'official' work. --DonRedman
          • Would different versions in other countries be considered 'commercial' as they often contain bonus tracks, which is a label decision rather than an artist one (at least in most cases - I suppose there's no reason an artist couldn't give other countries special treatment)? --Gecks
            • naw, just to make it simpler, I'd say no on that. ; ) ~mo
    I don't know if this whole proposal will be implemented before the NextGenerationSchema, i guess not, so in this case the issue becomes another one were we found out, that a release can either be official or a bootleg, and the release event (the thing were the release date, region etc. is stored) needs the commercial/promotional attributes. Here "commercial" will be what it really is, a record, that can be bought while a promo is a record that is a give-away for advertising purposes. --Fuchs

The idea of adding 'Commercial' is ridiculous in my opinion. "Commercial" is a word that signifies the exchange of money. It says nothing about whether an artist sanctions a release. This idea should be dropped, as all it would do is further confuse users. - artysmokes

  • You obviously don't understand where I'm going with this idea. I have said repetitively that the NAME isn't where it's at, but rather I was trying to come up with a descriptive phrase for releases which are legal (ie not bootleg) but not condoned by the artist. The name is nothing, this page tries to explain an abstract idea and give it a name. So instead of being full of it, try to READ THE PAGE I WROTE and HELP COME UP WITH A BETTER NAME, what's that? you cannot? well guess what, smart ass, that's the reason I gave it such a 'ridiculous' name in the first place, because coming up with a term or name for this is HARD. Please READ THE DOCUMENTATION & DISCUSSION before you start making unhelpful and rude comments that just illustrates how very little you have understood the subject. ~ -- mo 16:28, 22 May 2007 (UTC) Here's my take on the grid.

BrianSchweitzer 17:06, 22 May 2007 (UTC) grid2.jpg 

Official Bootleg

What about those "official bootlegs" or "fan club albums"? Examples: The official Dream Theater bootlegs,Threshold discography containing fan club albums and the Symphony X fan club produced a cd which is available only for fan club members. Shall we just say they are official? --Shepard

  • Well, they are official aren't they? But we might add a flag for releases that are not by the artist's record label, but by the artist herself. --derGraph
    • yes, they are 'offcial' there needs not be a flag for this. in the new age of self publicing this will be more and more the norm, adding a "flag" (o_O) here is non-functional - in 20 years or so, will we have the majoraty be flagged?! any such info for now can be but in an annotitaion ~mo

As I understood it from mailing list discussions, the (slang) term "bootleg" was going to be dropped in favour of the less debatable "unofficial". What I think is a more urgent change to be adopted is that unofficial (currently "bootleg") releases are not grouped together with official albums. This is particularly important for stressing the difference between official live albums and unofficial bootlegs of live shows. If a user wants to read the listing for Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged in New York" album, for example, he/she has to go to the Nirvana page, click on "Show All Releases" (rather than see it displayed in the box with 'Bleach', 'Nevermind' et al) and then hunt for the release amongst 200+ illegal bootlegs. We have a platinum album effectively hidden by bootlegs that were pressed in very limited quantities, or weren't even pressed at all. (Try it, it will take you several minutes). I would strongly argue that the default view for artist pages should be "Show all official releases". Unofficial releases should be hidden by default, as they clearly appeal to a select bunch of collectors, not the mainstream music researcher/tagger. - artysmokes

  • afaik there is nothing wrong with the term 'bootleg' (as a non english native, I would say that 'unofficial' has a much more unclear meaning than 'bootleg' (which I understood the meaning of intuitively right-away.) Secondly I never heard of any changes to this, nor do I think there is any urgent need to do so. Thirdly this is not the place to debate what you think of that, I seriously don't want any of your drama concerning Nirvana-bootlegs here. Your comments about how bootlegs should NOT be together with the official releases, is somethng I fully agree with, and that is definitely part of this, but outside of the scope of this proposal. ~ -- mo 16:28, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Controversial or Where to put it?


Lastly, I would like to suggest that in addition to

  • Official
  • Commercial (which is a great idea), and
  • Bootleg

there also be a category for

  • Broadcast

This would include anything taken from FM/XM, TV, Cable, or PPV. These should not necessarily be categorized as "Bootleg" There is a difference, and it is well worth the distinction. When "Robert Plant on David Letterman" surfaces on mp3, or "Take a Load Off Annie, by The Band on SNL" there would be a good place to catalog them, and still keep them separate from the Official releases.--Chuck__Carmody

  • But this'd belong under the Main Types, not under the Release Status. And also it's very equal to Live. A broadcast differs from other types, yes, but only as long as you have the view on how music is brought to you. Yet musicbrainz only focusses on how music is recorded and stored. So broadcast cuts can be everything from web album/bootleg/live to cd/official/interview. --Shepard
    • There is no way any Official CD or bootleg show could be considered a Broadcast. A broadcast is a live or tape-delayed performance meant to be consumed in real time by the audience. A bootleg recording is different, as is anything already released on disc. Simply playing albums over the air would not qualify. A good example of a Broadcast "set" would be Paul McCartney at the Super Bowl last year. That was a distribution method not meant for posterity initially, but for immediate consumption over broadcast airwaves. They would not necessarliy have to be airwaves, cable/ppv/onDemand would qualify, but the point being it was neither "Official" "Bootleg" "Promotional" etc... It was its own means of distribution and authentication. I think a lot of people have trouble separating the music from the packaging it comes in, and even though it would be challenging, I would hope MB would be open to the idea that music can be distributed in ways other than glass and plastic.
      • No, sorry, you didn't understand what I was saying (or did you even read it?). Of course a broadcast is different. It is a different way of distribution. But! As long as it is not recorded we don't care about it! There is no sense in saying "at date XXX the band Y made a broadcast stream on radio Z performing the songs A, B, C" and storing that data in MB because it is not of any use for people out there - the same as for concert - it's a one-time-event. But if someone starts recording this and distributes it, then you can say "here we have the recordings of this and can store it with the track times" - and the important thing is that you can hear it over and over again. A different thing is of course if the broadcast is not one-time but permanent. If for example you have a site that distributes albums of several artists only as live streams. But in this case this would go in the category "Digital Media" in mo's proposal (or in a subcategory stream if you want one). --Shepard
        • OK, you're right, I don't think I understand your point of view yet, but here is mine in a nutshell. If I record something that is broadcast, then I have a recording. I definitely don't mean the broadcast as the medium, like CD, Album, StreamingAudio. That's not what I mean. I just meant if I get McCartney's halftime show to tag, it doesn't fall under any category neatly (Official? Bootleg? Promo?), and it would allow for tagging of music ripped from artists' performances on TV shows and the like, that's all I meant.
          • If one rips it, does a nice cover for it and stuff and distributes it either over net or on CD-R it's a bootleg. All things less "official" than that we don't care about. Just for the reasons mo said: everyone can rip it like he wants, so you get differences in track times, track titles and even the audio data. MusicBrainz is a database for music data that is distributed to many people. Do what you want with your personal rips. If you get rips from the net, then live with whatever titling is used or if it classifies as a bootleg, add it. --Shepard
    As for the "broadcast" idea, I guess it would be exactly what you are suggesting. I only mean it to cover "releases" that are not on physical media. I guess your Simpsons example hits that right on the head, and if that's already been considered, then I don't really have anything new about that. It just seems like there should be a way to catalog that music, whether or not any two rips are identical.

IMO, anything recorded off of TV or Radio falls under bootleg. and should be titled as such where the date is the date of the performance. "197Y-MM-DD: Saturday Night Live, Studio 8H, New York, New York, USA" It's a recording of a performance. The source happens to be television. McCartney's halftime show easily falls under bootleg. Lack of cover art does not make something not be a bootleg. Recordings of live streams also should go under bootleg, again dated with the date of the performance. see www.etree.org or db.etree.org for more information and examples of broadcast bootlegs. over-organization is not always a good thing --BrianG (by the way "Take a Load Off Annie" is actually called "The Weight" isn't it? and I don't think The Band even played it on SNL, Robbie Robertson & Bruce Hornsby performed it on SNL though in 1992)

Multi Disc Set

One thing people have been saying is that there should be a logical section for multi-disc packages, presumably so that they don't get split all over creation. --ChuckCarmody