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< Release
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This field describes which medium a release is distributed on. Normally a release will be distributed on multiple media with different catalog numbers and barcodes; each should have a separate release event.

The values may be:

Name Date of creation Rarity Details Map to
Compact Disc 1982 Widespread PCM, Avaialble in 120mm and 80mm formats. CD
DTS-CD a.k.a. 5.1 Music Disc 1992 Very rare DTS Audio CD
WikiPedia: Common? Data CD
WikiPedia: Common? Enhanced CD
WikiPedia: Common? HDCD
WikiPedia: Common? CD-R
WikiPedia: Common? 8cm CD
Blu-spec CD 2008 Common PCM CD
SHM-CD (english) (Super High Material CD) 2008 Common PCM CD
WikiPedia: Common? HQCD
WikiPedia: Common? CD+G
Vinyl record / Quad Vinyl 1948/1957/1971 Common Is a simple evolution of gramophone record: Analog, with preemphasis and other equalization techniques (LP, RIAA). Lateral grooves, horizontal stylus motion. Monaural were created in 1948, then stereo vinyl came later in 1957 and Quad in 1971: analog, with preemphasis and other equalization techniques. Combination lateral/vertical stylus motion with each channel encoded 45 degrees to the vertical. Vinyl
WikiPedia: Common? 7" Vinyl
WikiPedia: Common? 10" Vinyl
WikiPedia: Common? 12" Vinyl
WikiPedia: Common? Digital Media
Compact cassette 1963 (still) common? Analog, with bias, preemphasis, 1/8 inch wide tape, 17/8 inches/sec. 1970: introduced Dolby noise reduction. Cassette
WikiPedia: Common? DVD
DVD-Audio 1999 Rare? Common? DVD-Audio
DVD 1997 Widespread DVD-Video
SACD 1999 Rare? Common? SACD
WikiPedia: Common? Hybrid SACD
DualDisc 2003 Common? An audio cd on one side (though not redbook), and a dvd on the other side DualDisc
WikiPedia: Common? 8cm CD+G
MiniDisc 1991 Common ATRAC MiniDisc
Blu-ray 2006 Common Blu-ray
HD-DVD 2005 Rare? HD-DVD
WikiPedia: Common? Videotape
VHS 197X Common VHS
Betamax 1975 Common? 'Dolby Stereo' cinema surround sound. Betamax
WikiPedia: Common? VCD
WikiPedia: Common? CDV
WikiPedia: Common? SVCD (subtype of CDV)
WikiPedia: Common? UMD
Wire recording 1898 Rare Analog; magnetization; no "bias" Other
4 tracks cartridge / 8 tracks cartridge / Quad 8 tracks 1962/1965/1970 Rare? Analog, 1/4 inch wide tape, 3 3/4 inches/sec, endless loop cartridge. Quad: 4 Channel Stereo. Cartridge (4/8-tracks)
Phonograph cylinder 1877 Very rare Mechanical analog; "hill-and-dale" grooves, vertical stylus motion Wax Cylinder
USB flash drive 2004 (as music format) Common? USB Flash Drive
Laserdisc 1978 Rare? LaserDisc
Piano roll 1883 Very rare Mechanical digital Piano Roll
DAT 1987 Rare DAT
Reel-to-Reel 1930s Rare Analog; magnetization; "bias" dramatically increases linearity/fidelity Reel-to-reel
Digital Compact Cassette 1992 Very rare DCC
slotMusic 2008 Common? slotMusic is a type of microSD memory card developed by SanDisk preloaded with music in DRM-free MP3 format and other content. The current selection of songs comes from EMI Music, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. slotMusic

(*) Rarity is just a rough indication of availability as consumer products - values are: "Very Rare", "Rare", "Common", "Widespread"

Other items from the list I'm not sure how to fit in

Name Date of creation Rarity Details Map to
Microcassette Minicassette 1969 Rare Analog, 1/8 inch wide tape, mostly mono, some stereo. 2.4 cm/s or 1.2 cm/s. Cassette
4 tracks/8 tracks/multitracks recording ? Very rare? This is not in itself a physical format (may be performed on a variety of equipments, from tape based equipment to digital equipment and hard disks). Likely to be only available in studios, as professional equipments. Other
Elcaset 1976 Rare A short lived cassette format. Cassette
VinylDisc 2007 Rare? It is made from two fused layers; the silver layer contains the digital information (either in CD or DVD format) and the upper layer has a record groove, meaning it can be played on any record-player. Other? DualDisc?
SD card ? ? Any type of SD card can be used for music. If slotMusic is just a branded form of SD card, then perhaps that should just be renamed. Other? Digital?
Gramophone record 1895 Common Mechanical analog; lateral grooves, horizontal stylus motion. The terms LP record (LP, 33, or 33-1/3 rpm record), EP, 16-2/3 rpm record (16), 45 rpm record (45), and 78 rpm record (78) refers to specific types of gramophone records Vinyl

Partial list of digital audio formats

More information

  • The original ticket that led to our implementation is 2565
  • Mailing list discussion is here
  • Wikipedia has a list of Audio Formats