User:Jacobbrett/Release Event Style

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Revision as of 12:37, 17 October 2010 by Jacobbrett (talk | contribs) (added line about Label Codes)

Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-43
Champion: Jacobbrett
Current status: RFC


Trac ticket # 2145

A Release is a package/object you could buy in a store. A release contains one or more Medium, which hold the audio data of the release. For example, a release may encompass a digital download (medium: "Digital Media 1") with liner note files, or a CD jewel case containing two CDs (mediums: "CD 1" and "CD 2") and a booklet. A release in the MusicBrainz database also holds the following attributes: Date, Country, Label, Catalog #, Barcode, Packaging, Type, Status, Language and Script field. Each attribute is optional, though the more complete a Release entry is, the better.

See also: How to Identify Release Details

Identifying a Release in MusicBrainz

A release looks like the following:


Styling Release Attributes


The Date is formatted using the ISO 860 standard YYYY-MM-DD. It may consist of year only ("1980"), year and month ("1980-03"), or a specific day as year-month-day ("1980-03-20").


The Country is the country in which a Release was sold from a certain Date onwards.

Note: The Country of an album is not necessarily the country in which it was produced. The label itself will typically be more relevant. eg, a release on "Foo Records UK" that has "Made in Austria" printed on it will likely be a UK release.

The country list is based upon the ISO 3166 standard "Country Names and Code Elements", and also the ISO 3166-3 list of historical countries. In addition, the Country may be set to "[Unknown Country]", "[Worldwide]" or "Europe" (used when the specific European country is unknown).


The Label is usually an imprint found on the spine of a release (if more than one imprint is found, it may be appropriate to add them as separate labels(?)). A Label Code may also be used to identify the Release's Label. Several Special Purpose Labels also exist, although '[no label]' is the only one which should be used.

It is selectable from a list that exists in MusicBrainz' database.

Note: If you are sure a label does not exist (sometimes under a similar name), enter a new Label Name.

Catalog Number

The Catalog Number is a usually alphanumeric code found on the back/spine of a physical release. It should be entered as close as possible to what is printed (this includes, for example, spaces " " hyphens "-", and dots "."). Multiple catalog numbers may be entered.


The Barcode is usually an EAN or UPC number found on the back of a physical release. It should be entered as a number with no spaces.

Note: Some independent/unsigned releases may not have a Barcode, Catalog Number or Label, in which case, leave the respective field blank, though enter '[no label]' if there is no Label.


A Release may consist of one or more Mediums. For each medium added, the Format is selectable from a list. For example, a Release may consist of a single cassette, as a two-CD set, or in rarer cases as two CDs, plus a vinyl disc.


Packaging refers to the type of container a physical release was available in. The Packaging option selected should closely match the actual release, otherwise, select 'Other'. Or, if the release is digital, select nothing. It is selectable from a list.


A Release Status should be chosen, based upon it's status with the recording artist/label/other involved party. A Release Status may be 'Official', 'Promotion', 'Bootleg' or 'Pseudo-Release'. Descriptions of these Status' are available here. It is selectable from a list.


The Language of a release describes the language that the title and track list are entered in. The Language is selectable from a reduced ISO 639 list of 20 languages.

Note: 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. Though, keep in mind that it is quite common for languages to borrow words and phrases. For example, "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.


The Script refers to the character set used (e.g. 'Latin') for the [Release Title|title]] and track list. It is selectable from a reduced list of 12 scripts.

Note: If either Language or Script are unknown, select 'I don't know' for each field respectively. The Show full lists button can be pressed to populate the Language and Script lists with more options.

Note: You may enter a Release a a Language/Script differing from what's printed on the Packaging/Medium(s) (this is known as Transl*tion), though you should set the release status to Pseudo-Release.


To be titled "Release Style"(?) This proposal, when passed, should replace Release Country Style.