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Revision as of 08:03, 15 March 2009 by WikiSysop (talk | contribs) (12 revision(s))

Style for separate parts of a release title

Use a colon (:) to separate multi-line parts of a ReleaseTitle.

If there is an alternative dividing punctuation mark such as the question mark (?) or exclamation point Idea.png, use that mark instead of the colon.


Take an example from Etta James:

  • Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions

Or from Faith No More:

  • Who Cares a Lot? Greatest Hits

Or from Spock's Beard:

  • Don't Try This @ Home Either! From the Vaults, Series 3


The covers of CDs and LPs are generally full color printed squares. This allows designers to use text color, position and size to indicate what is a title or subtitle. Converting that to a single line of text for display on your iPod or in WinAmp requires adding something to separate or differentiate the different parts of the title. Various people have come up with different solutions to this e.g. put the subtitle in brackets, square brackets, after a comma, a dash etc. Eventually the MusicBrainz database will be able to support sub-titles as a field in their own right and this will allow the user to choose how to display them (even giving them the option to ignore them completely) but until then we needed an agreed format to standardise on.



It is acceptable to use the colon to separate extra sub-titles, i.e.:

Bug Swamp: The Complete Bug Hits: 1987-1990 (fictional title). --TarragonAllen

Here we are using colon as a separator, which is different from its grammatical meaning "A: B" means B is a development of A. I don't think it is a good idea to stick the colon to "A" in this example. What do you think ?

Also in other languages (I know in french), colons must be preceeded by nonbreak space or space. Do the style apply in these languages too? -- jesus2099 17:51, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Well, we don't do that kind of equal separation. The subtitle B is a property of the release A, or something. We don't do a separation like in "Sweden : Greece". To me, a space before the colon would indicate that both titles are somewhat equal. This is not the case, it's a SUBtitle. That's my german view ;-) -- JonnyJD 18:54, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Please note this is only a guideline for use on ReleaseTitles and not for general use on all titles. Additionally, it only applies to multi-line titles. --TarragonAllen

So what guideline applies to TrackTitles? IIRC works and parts of works (like movements in symphonies) can be separated by colons according to the ClassicalStyleGuide. So it seems to me that the guideline separate SubTitles by a colon (:) is somewhat of a GeneralSylePrinciple. I would prefer to say that applying this principle to TrackTitles is a bit more tricky, and that people should look at the ClassicalStyleGuide for this. --DonRedman

Authors: Original by NeilCafferkey (based on IRC and mailing list discussion), re-written for the wiki by TarragonAllen with help from DonRedman, and an example contributed by derGraph.