When entering a new release into MusicBrainz, the titles should be normalized by following these guidelines.
This page provides a summary of the important guidelines, please follow the links to the full guidelines when you need more information.
- 1 Guideline summary
- 1.1 Prefer plain text over artwork
- 1.2 Follow the appropriate Capitalization Standard
- 1.3 Expand abbreviations
- 1.4 Use parentheses for extra information
- 1.5 Use a colon (:) to separate subtitles
- 1.6 Use a slash (/) to separate multiple titles
- 1.7 Use a comma (,) to separate words such as “Volume” or “Part” from the title itself
- 1.8 Do NOT use (feat. Artist) if an artist is featured on a recording
- 1.9 Format designations in titles
- 2 Exceptions and corner cases
Prefer plain text over artwork
The way words are presented on the front cover artwork of a release is usually the choice of a graphic designer. If text is available (e.g.: on the spine; as the heading of a tracklist or heading of the liner credits; or as the title on an official webpage of the label or artist), then the official text should be preferred over the representations on the artwork.
Follow the appropriate Capitalization Standard
Album and song titles are often found in upper‐case on the back cover of CDs. For example, the album Songs of Love and Hate is written as “SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE” on the cover. This is usually the choice of a graphic designer, not the artist. So, instead of copying the title from the cover, we follow certain rules to capitalize a title. The rules are different for each language.
Please see Style/Language for more information.
Abbreviations in titles (but not acronyms) should generally be expanded. Probably the most common abbreviations used in titles are “Vol.” and “Pt.”; these should always be expanded to “Volume” and “Part”. The main exceptions to this guideline are “feat.” for “featuring” and “vs.” for “versus”.
See Abbreviations for more information.
Use parentheses for extra information
Additional information which is not part of the name of a song or album should be in parentheses. You often see this with alternate versions of tracks, or when an artist is featured on a track.
Use a colon (:) to separate subtitles
Use a colon (:) to separate any subtitles. If there is an alternative dividing punctuation mark such as the question mark (?) or exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the colon.
Use a slash (/) to separate multiple titles
If two releases are re‐released on one CD, or if two songs share the same track, the title should be split as follows: “This Is the Modern World / All Mod Cons”.
Use a comma (,) to separate words such as “Volume” or “Part” from the title itself
When a release or track is part of a series, separate the volume or part name from the title with a comma, like this: “The Red Weed, Part 1”.
If the title already ends with an alternative punctuation mark, such as a question mark (?) or an exclamation point (!), use that mark instead of the comma.
Do NOT use (feat. Artist) if an artist is featured on a recording
See Featured artists for the full guideline.
Format designations in titles
If a release includes a designation such as EP or E.P., 7", CD, LP, single, etc. as part of its title, include it in the Release Title. If a format designation is not explicitly part of the title, it should not be added.
Exceptions and corner cases
Sometimes it isn’t clear how these guidelines should be applied to a particular release, these cases may be discussed by the StyleCouncil. Decisions of the StyleCouncil concerning particular releases, series or corner cases should be followed. Currently there are two of these guidelines: