How to Add a Release

From MusicBrainz Wiki
Revision as of 08:41, 3 October 2011 by JimDeLaHunt (talk | contribs) (Release Information: fix typo "the")

If you are committed to helping shape the MusicBrainz data, you will pretty soon want to edit or add releases - and that means interacting with the release editor.

Release Information

This tab is full of text fields! Most of them are not strictly required, although you should always give as much information as you have. Make sure to look at the release style guidelines! Most of the information you need is there. If the release is of "classical" - as opposed to "popular" - music, check the (not completely official but still almost always followed) Classical Style Guide

A few tips for this tab:

  • If needed you can create new artists and labels directly from the release editor. Just write the names in the fields as if for searching, but do not select any result. Of course, you should not add duplicates: always use the search first!
  • To use the artist credit system (and get extra options to configure the release artist) click the box with the arrows by the artist field.
  • The Release Group field is only used to move a release from one release group to another. This means in most cases you won't need to touch it. Specifically, if you're adding a new release, you should probably leave it untouched. The best way to add a release to an existing release group is navigating to it and pressing the Add Release link in the sidebar of the release group page.
  • Remember this well: Language is the language of the titles, not the lyrics! An instrumental release with titles in French is a French release. Also, most European languages, including English, use the Latin script (the script this guide is written in!).
  • For the date the copyright year is not necessarily the same as the release year, especially for compilations and reissues. Don't assume it is.
  • If you have a physical release and don't know the release country, there's sadly no perfect way to find out. An option is to look at the barcode: the first three numbers in EAN barcodes indicate a country, that you can find in this list of country codes nicely provided by Wikipedia. They are not infallible though, but if the barcode and at least other sign in the release (like the distributor) point to a country it is relatively safe to assume it.
  • If you are entering a digital release, the country will depend on which page it is available from. Pages like BandCamp, SoundCloud and other similar sites have no region restrictions. In this case, it is safe to set the release to [Worldwide]. For releases from shops like Amazon or iTunes, that have region restrictions, the choice is harder, and there is no clear consensus on what to choose. Remember that you can always leave the field blank if you are not sure.
  • Packaging of a physical release is often hard to determine if you don't have it in front of you. If in doubt, leave it blank. For a description of each packaging type, check Packaging. For digital downloads, use None.
  • For labels, we follow imprints, not companies. This means you should look at the label logos, not the copyright statements. See How to Identify Labels for more info. Also, BandCamp, iTunes or CD Baby are distribution platforms, not labels. Don't use them!
  • The last two fields are free text fields and completely optional. Disambiguation is intended to differentiate versions of the same release. An example of a text that could belong here is "iTunes bonus track release". The annotation is used for stuff that doesn't fit in the database structure: read the Annotation page to find out more.

Release Duplicates

This tab is only used when adding releases. It will look for releases with the same title and artist as the one you're adding and propose them as a starting point. This allows you to reuse the tracklist and recordings of the chosen release for the one you're adding, and is especially useful if you're adding a reissue or a version with bonus tracks of a release that is already in MusicBrainz. Please only use this if the recordings should also be the same - don't use it for remasters!


The main use of this tab is tracklist input, which can be done through two interfaces: the Basic or the Advanced tracklist. The basic tracklist is basically a parser, and by default it uses the format No. Title - Artist (mm:ss), although it accepts a few variations on this format. You can (de)select the checkboxes under the input field to change the way in which the parser uses the data: play a bit with it and see if you get the desired result. One weakness of the basic tracklist, especially for various artist releases, is that it takes Title - Artist, but not Artist - Title. Although an option to swap those is planned, for now it might be easier for you to use the advanced tracklist if your source information is in this format. Also, the advanced tracklist is needed if you want to use artist credits (for example, to credit featured artists or collaborations).

The advanced tracklist is a table: you have columns for track titles, artist and track length. If you want to change the artists or use the artist credit system you will need to make sure the checkbox by "Artist" is checked. If you click on the "credits" link you will get a box in which you can change the name the artist appears with, and/or credit more than one artist for the track.

By default, on a new add, only 1 medium (disc) is shown. If you are editing a multi-disc release, you will want to add more: press the "Add Disc" button and you will be given several options. "Manual entry" simply adds another input field (or table in the Advanced tracklist) that you must fill manually. "Existing tracklist" allows you to load an existing medium from the database. This is most useful when a release includes - as a bonus, or as part of a boxset - a previously released disc, as you will load not only its tracklist but also its recording associations. "CD Stub import" and "FreeDB import" allow you to import some info from a CD Stub or FreeDB respectively: this will save some typing, although you should always correct the imported info so it follows the style guidelines.

Before advancing to the next tab, make sure you set the right format for each medium! This can be done from a dropdown above each input area.


Here you can assign recordings to the tracks in the release. If you're adding a new release and you haven't based it in an existing one, the default behavior will be to create a new recording for each track. This is not always what is wanted, and if you're sure that the recording is the same as one already in the database, you should select it in the search. If in doubt, it's probably better to create a new recording, as merging them is less time-consuming than splitting one that is wrongly assigned - and the information is less accurate, but not incorrect. On the other hand, if a track has an assigned recording that is not correct (because you based your new release on an existing one and this track is different, or because the existing release you're editing is wrong) you can change it here - or deselect it so a new one is created when you enter the edit.

Add Missing Entities

If you left any artist or label field filled without selecting a search result, you'll need to either choose an existing artist/label or create a new one from this tab. If you're offered one or more options already in the database and you find out one of them is the one you want, just select it and continue. If none of them is the right one (or you're shown no results) you'll need to create a new entity. Enter a sortname (see the guidelines for artist sortnames and label sortnames) and, if needed, a disambiguation comment. Once you've done one of these two things for all the entities in the page, you can continue.

Edit Note

Here you'll see a preview of the results of your edit. The list can be pretty long, but please do take a look at it and verify that everything looks correct! If it doesn't, you can go back to previous tabs and fix the errors.

Once you're satisfied with the displayed preview, you should enter an edit note. Please check How to Write Edit Notes and try to make your edit note as useful as you can! Even if you are entering the info from a physical release in front of you, it is helpful if you can give an online source that proves the data. Of course, sometimes this is just not possible, especially for obscure / underground releases. But at least make a quick check to see if you can find anything.

And you're done! Press Enter edit and your edit will enter the voting queue.

How-To Pages
Introductory Guides
Basic How-Tos
Specific How-Tos