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In MusicBrainz terminology, a release is an entry in the album table of the database. For CDs, a release represents 1 CD. For vinyl and cassettes, a release represents both sides of the record or cassette.

Each release belongs to a release group, has a release title, and consists of one or more tracks. Each release has one release artist who is the primary artist associated with that release and can have that same artist, or various different artists, associated with the tracks. Other artists can also be associated with a release using advanced relationships.

Each release has a Release ID, a unique identifier for that release.