|Status: This is an official style guideline.|
See the titles guidelines for the release, medium and track titles.
In general, you should just enter the artist(s) as shown on the release (see the guidelines for artist credits). See Special Purpose Artist for what to enter when there is no proper artist or the artist is unknown.
Track artists should follow the release artist, except where another artist is credited in the track listing of the release. This can include various artists releases, featured artists, and tracks credited to another artist. If the release artist is a Special Purpose Artist, the performer should be credited if known, or [unknown] otherwise.
The release date should not be used to store the performance/recording date, the copyright date or the import date.
The actual (machine-readable) barcode should be chosen over the printed (human-readable) number in cases where the second is incomplete (e.g. missing the check digit) or incorrect.
If the release is a white label, self released or has no label, check the guidelines for special purpose labels.
If the release has no catalog number, use "[none]".
Bootleg should be used for pirated / counterfeit releases, but not every pirated release should be added as a MusicBrainz bootleg. An exact digital rip of an official physical release does not qualify for a separate bootleg release, even if no official digital release exists.
Pseudo-release should be used for translations or transliterations that do not appear on an actual release (even if they appear on an official site). Pseudo-releases should be linked to the original tracklist using the transl(iter)ation relationship where possible. Not all translations and transliterations are pseudo-releases.
- 千と千尋の神隠し is the original Japanese tracklist. This is the same as the Japanese release, so it is set to official.
- Spirited Away is the same tracklist translated into English. This is the same as the American release, so it is also set to official.
- Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi is a transliterated version of the Japanese tracklist. There is no known release which has this tracklisting, so it is set to pseudo-release.
If the release has tracks listed in multiple languages, the entry with both languages included is considered to be the official release. Entries with only one of the languages on the cover should be set to pseudo-release.
In situations where the physical release can not be obtained and the artist's official site lists multiple languages, default to the native release language of the artist as the official version and the others as pseudo-releases.
Withdrawn is to be used for previously official releases that were actively withdrawn from circulation. This does not include releases that have reached the end of their 'natural' lifecycle. For instance, an album being sold out, replaced by a shinier version, or retired from a streaming service. These examples would not automatically qualify for 'Withdrawn' status. The artist (or label) also needs to consider it expunged from their discography.
If in doubt, always err on the side of “Official”, which is the most neutral option. Only use 'Withdrawn' if the intention is fairly clear.
Language and script
The language attribute should be used for the language used for the release title and track titles. It should not be used for the language the lyrics are written in, nor for the language used for other extra information on the cover.
If several languages are used in the titles, choose the most common language. For releases where there's an equal mix of two or more languages and hence no obvious answer, 'Multiple Languages' may be the best choice. But remember that it is quite common for languages to borrow words and phrases, and so "Je ne sais quoi" in an English title does not make something multiple languages, nor do a few English words in a foreign language title. (Some languages borrow quite extensively, and especially for Japanese, unless most of the titles are in other languages, Japanese is probably the best choice.)
If several scripts are used in the titles, choose the most common script. For releases where there's an equal mix of two or more scripts and hence no obvious answer, 'Multiple Scripts' may be the best choice. However, as the Latin script is common in many languages that primarily use another script, Latin should only be chosen if there are no more than one or two titles (or a few characters) in other scripts. For example, a Japanese release with a mix of English and Japanese titles should normally use 'Japanese' as the script.
For dual layer/side formats (Hybrid SACD, DualDisc, DVDplus) a medium should be added for each layer, set to the specific layer sub-format (e.g. "DualDisc (CD side)"). When a hybrid SACD has the same tracklist on both layers it is acceptable (for the sake of convenience) to enter it as just a single medium (set to "Hybrid SACD"), but any hybrid SACD that has been entered as two layers shouldn't be changed to the one medium style.
For SACD-related formats, two additional sub-formats are available to represent the 2 channel and multichannel table of contents (TOCs) on SACDs. When entering SACDs, it is preferred to specifically enter mediums for any TOC available on the disc (be it one of each, only 2 channel or, in rare cases, only multichannel). While it's acceptable to just use the standard format if you're not sure about the TOCs, please do not change SACDs entered with separate TOC mediums to the one medium style.
Medium titles should only be added if each medium in a multi-disc set has an actual title (e.g. "The Early Years" vs. "The Late Years" in a best of compilation). "CD n" or "Disc n" should not be entered as a medium title.
The cover art for a release must always exactly match the actual art for that specific release. Artwork for a release should not be added to another release: for example, digipaks are not square, and a square digital front cover should not be uploaded to a digipak release.
While high quality scans are preferable for all physical releases, it is acceptable to add a square digital front cover to a CD release if you are completely sure that it is exactly the same (both on shape and design) as on the CD. For example, if you have the disc but do not have a scanner, a good quality digital image that looks the same is an acceptable substitute. If you're not sure, do not upload the image to the CD (you should of course still upload it to the corresponding digital release).
Any difference in artwork requires a different release. This includes differences in the legal text on the back cover, even if everything else is the same. An exception should be made for releases where every cover will necessarily be different (like hand-printed, hand-made or even knit covers): in this case, it can be assumed that all the different versions are equivalent and qualify as just copies of the same release, unless a difference is explicitly made by the artist or label.
Sometimes an artist will take down or recall an existing official release and then immediately reissue it with some changes; this is especially common for digital media releases. In these cases, mark the taken down release with the Withdrawn status and add a new release to the release group with the appropriate changes (and a release date matching whenever the change happened, if known). You can link these releases with the "replaced by" relationship. For example, if a trans artist re-releases their releases after a name change, the old releases should be marked as Withdrawn (not edited nor removed) and new releases should be added to replace them.
Keep in mind this applies only for straight replacements; a release being reissued of course doesn't mean the previous versions should be marked as Withdrawn.