User:BrianSchweitzer/Release Format Proposal

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Revision as of 19:11, 22 March 2010 by BrianSchweitzer (talk | contribs) (New page: {{Template:proposal |proposal=49b |discussion= |champion=BrianFreud |rfc= |rfv= |status=In development |ar= |style= |trac=1372 }} This was a part of [[Release Type Restructuring Propos...)
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Status: This page describes an active proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-49b
Champion: BrianFreud
Current status: In development

Trac ticket # 1372

This was a part of Release Type Restructuring Proposal. It deals with Format, not Type, so it's been moved here for future development of the ideas.


The 'thing' containing the music. Almost anything could theoretically be considered a Format; for MusicBrainz purposes, Format refers to any Format which is, or could be, used for more than one Release. Whether or not that 2+ Releases were ever released is not important for the definition, though a Format which could be usefully assigned to only 0 or 1 Releases would not be useful to add to the list of Format. The physical container itself (if there even is one) only defines part of the Format; a VCD and a CD both use the same physical media, but use different means of encoding, and a VCD cannot be played on a CD player (and a VCD player, while it can play CDs, advertises that it can play both CD and VCD, itself drawing the distinction). VCD and CD would thus be different types of Format.
Media Category
This is a categorization based upon types of physical media. Most Format types fall into some overall Media Category. Any Format which also defines its own new Media Category likely is also a Format with only a single Release, and thus, perhaps is not useful for MusicBrainz. Media Categories can be members of other Media Categories. Example: VCD and CD both are part of 'Optical Media'
Format Category
The Format Category is based upon generalizations of the content type of a release. All Format types fall into some Format Category. Example: VCD is part of 'Video Formats', CD is part of 'Audio Formats'. Format Categories can be members of other Format Categories.
Attributes allow description of the variations which can occur within a single Format. 'Vinyl' would be a Format. 7", picture disc, large center hole, and red would each be attributes.

The Media and Format Categories actually are simply generalized Attributes; they describe 1+ Attributes common to every Format within them. Thus Blu-Ray is part of 'Video Formats', 'Optical Media', and 'High Definition Media'. That really is just setting the Attributes 'video', 'optical media', and 'high definition'.