User:BrianSchweitzer/Release Format Proposal
|Status: This page describes an active proposal and is not official.|
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'.