Difference between revisions of "Release groups usage guideline"

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The latest (2009-05-24) Musicbrainz server release features a concept called [[Release group|release group]]s. Just as the name suggests, it groups several releases together in one entity. Since this is not obviously clear, this page explains the difference and gives some guidelines on how to handle them.
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The latest (2009-05-24) MusicBrainz server release features a concept called "[[Release Group|release groups]]". Just as the name suggests, it groups several [[Release|releases]] together under one entity. Since it is not obviously clear what a release group is, nor the kinds of releases that can be "grouped", this page explains and gives some guidelines on how to handle them.
  
Both release groups and releases are "albums" in colloquial sense, but with a slight difference: a release is something you can buy as media, e.g. a CD box, a vinyl record etc. on its own, while a release group embraces the concept of an album -- it doesn't matter how many CDs or editions/versions it had. When an artist tells you "We've released our new album", he's talking about a release group. When his publisher says "This new album gets released next week in Japan and next month in Europe", he's talking about several releases belonging to the release group the artist has told you about.  
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Both release groups and releases are "albums" in colloquial sense, but with a slight difference: a release is something you can buy as media, e.g. a CD, a vinyl record etc. on its own, while a release group embraces the concept of an album -- it doesn't matter how many CDs or editions/versions it had. When an artist tells you "We've released our new album", he's talking about a release group. When his publisher says "This new album gets released next week in Japan and next month in Europe", he's talking about the different releases that belong in the release group that the artist told you about.  
  
Therefore one release group could contain:
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Therefore a release group could contain:
* A "regular" release consisting of one or multiple discs, e.g. Transplant's single "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/ffecdcc5-08d6-3f2e-8d61-6329ce954bf1.html Diamonds and Guns]", a 3 disc self titled compilation by "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/7349c1f3-09fa-397f-848d-f976f315a746.html Nirvana]".
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* A "regular" release consisting of one or multiple discs, e.g. Transplant's single "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/ffecdcc5-08d6-3f2e-8d61-6329ce954bf1.html Diamonds and Guns]", or a 3 disc self titled compilation by "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/7349c1f3-09fa-397f-848d-f976f315a746.html Nirvana]".
 
* Multi volume boxsets and various artist compilations, like Mozart's 9 volume, 170 disc "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/3ea5428d-1d2b-35ee-bbb4-5fb7171a7269.html Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Complete Works]" boxset, or the compilation "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/1e8136c4-a5ca-36b9-958e-6741dc9addeb.html Bravo Hits 64]".
 
* Multi volume boxsets and various artist compilations, like Mozart's 9 volume, 170 disc "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/3ea5428d-1d2b-35ee-bbb4-5fb7171a7269.html Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Complete Works]" boxset, or the compilation "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/1e8136c4-a5ca-36b9-958e-6741dc9addeb.html Bravo Hits 64]".
* Different editions (special, limited, bonus etc.) with additional or alternative tracks or discs, e.g. Weezer's "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/9b8af98f-8214-32ee-9b05-96b8c557f7f0.html Weezer (Red Album)]" has ten editions in the database, and Franz Ferdinand's "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/1b4f4b3c-ca01-37b7-af1d-3e37989f86ad.html Tonight: Franz Ferdinand]" came on it's own, with a bonus disc, or on two vinyl records.
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* Different editions (special, limited, bonus etc.) with additional or alternative tracks and/or discs, e.g. There are 10 editions of Weezer's "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/9b8af98f-8214-32ee-9b05-96b8c557f7f0.html Weezer (Red Album)]" in the database, and Franz Ferdinand's "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/1b4f4b3c-ca01-37b7-af1d-3e37989f86ad.html Tonight: Franz Ferdinand]" was issued: on it's own, with a bonus disc, and on two vinyl records.
* Reissues (remasters, 10th year anniversary editions, etc.) e.g. Blind Guardian's "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/3a5d9bb8-8e19-379d-b294-ee8fcf743f77.html Nightfall in Middle-Earth]" released in 1998 and then in 2007, the musical "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/afdd011e-e2aa-39f3-b52b-1ffe001d8d87.html My Fair Lady (Original London Cast)]" released on vinyl in 1959 and CD in 1998.
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* Reissues (remasters, 10th year anniversary editions, etc.) e.g. Blind Guardian's "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/3a5d9bb8-8e19-379d-b294-ee8fcf743f77.html Nightfall in Middle-Earth]" was first released in 1998 and then reissued in 2007, the musical "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/afdd011e-e2aa-39f3-b52b-1ffe001d8d87.html My Fair Lady]" (Original London Cast) was originally released on vinyl in 1959 and then reissued on CD in 1998.
  
 
A release group should not consist of:
 
A release group should not consist of:
* Complete compilation series' that have different volumes released over time. Typical examples are "[[Series/Cafe Del Mar|Café del Mar]]", "[[Series/Hitzone|Hitzone]]", "[[Series/Ministry Of Sound|Ministry of Sound]]" and  "[[Series/Now Thats What I Call Music|Now That's What I Call Music!]]". Each volume of the series consisting of multiple discs can be a release group though.
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* Complete compilation series' that have different volumes that were released over time. Typical examples are "[[Series/Cafe Del Mar|Café del Mar]]", "[[Series/Hitzone|Hitzone]]", "[[Series/Ministry Of Sound|Ministry of Sound]]" and  "[[Series/Now Thats What I Call Music|Now That's What I Call Music!]]". Each volume's discs belong in a release group though, e.g. "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/359e66ba-49ee-341c-8f1d-885a28af26db.html Volume 1]" and "[http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/69533a2f-3060-39a9-a03d-3b95eda764e5.html Volume 2]" of the Trance Voices series.
 
* Different bootleg recordings of a live show, e.g. [http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/069f88ab-0e5e-48b8-b1f1-7f24cfc2d37c.html bootleg 1] and [http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/8ba7ca48-c8cf-4070-9e8f-30cdd2e76df3.html bootleg 2] of a 1970 Pink Floyd concert in San Francisco.
 
* Different bootleg recordings of a live show, e.g. [http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/069f88ab-0e5e-48b8-b1f1-7f24cfc2d37c.html bootleg 1] and [http://test.musicbrainz.org/release-group/8ba7ca48-c8cf-4070-9e8f-30cdd2e76df3.html bootleg 2] of a 1970 Pink Floyd concert in San Francisco.
  
Musicbrainz automatically considers every release in the database to be part of a release group, even if this group only contains this one release. You don't have to worry about creating release groups, you only ever need to merge them.
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MusicBrainz automatically considers every release in the database to be part of a release group, even if this group only contains the one release. As an editor you don't have to worry about ''creating'' release groups, you will only need to ''merge'' existing ones.

Revision as of 14:58, 24 May 2009

The latest (2009-05-24) MusicBrainz server release features a concept called "release groups". Just as the name suggests, it groups several releases together under one entity. Since it is not obviously clear what a release group is, nor the kinds of releases that can be "grouped", this page explains and gives some guidelines on how to handle them.

Both release groups and releases are "albums" in colloquial sense, but with a slight difference: a release is something you can buy as media, e.g. a CD, a vinyl record etc. on its own, while a release group embraces the concept of an album -- it doesn't matter how many CDs or editions/versions it had. When an artist tells you "We've released our new album", he's talking about a release group. When his publisher says "This new album gets released next week in Japan and next month in Europe", he's talking about the different releases that belong in the release group that the artist told you about.

Therefore a release group could contain:

  • A "regular" release consisting of one or multiple discs, e.g. Transplant's single "Diamonds and Guns", or a 3 disc self titled compilation by "Nirvana".
  • Multi volume boxsets and various artist compilations, like Mozart's 9 volume, 170 disc "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Complete Works" boxset, or the compilation "Bravo Hits 64".
  • Different editions (special, limited, bonus etc.) with additional or alternative tracks and/or discs, e.g. There are 10 editions of Weezer's "Weezer (Red Album)" in the database, and Franz Ferdinand's "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand" was issued: on it's own, with a bonus disc, and on two vinyl records.
  • Reissues (remasters, 10th year anniversary editions, etc.) e.g. Blind Guardian's "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" was first released in 1998 and then reissued in 2007, the musical "My Fair Lady" (Original London Cast) was originally released on vinyl in 1959 and then reissued on CD in 1998.

A release group should not consist of:

MusicBrainz automatically considers every release in the database to be part of a release group, even if this group only contains the one release. As an editor you don't have to worry about creating release groups, you will only need to merge existing ones.