release Event Style
Style Guideline for Release Events
- The ReleaseDate describes the day on which the release was first sold in stores. This is not necessarily the production year (that one which you find on the sleeve as (p) 1979). The release date is mandatory. It can consist of a year only (1980), a month in a year (1980-03), or a specific day (1980-03-20).
- The ReleaseCountry describes the country where the release hit the stores on that specific ReleaseDate. It is not the country where the release was produced. The country is optional (you can set it to "unknown country"). See below for the intricate details.
Details of the Release Country
When adding a release event to a release, you have to choose the country. The list of countries you can choose from is taken from ISO 3166, which is a widely-used standard list of countries. Please do not use the release country to describe the country in which the release was produced, or from which the artist originates. For each country in which the release was issued, add a new release date, alongside the name of the country.
Composite Release Areas
Not all record distributors stick to national boundaries when they define the regions in which they issue a release. Releases are often issued in more than one country at the same time. For example, some releases state that they are distributed in "Australasia" (presumably Australia and New Zealand) or the "Benelux" (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). In these cases it is OK, to add one release, and simply choose one of the countries to represent the entire release area:
- Choose the Artist
s country of origin. Shihad is a New Zealand band; if they release anrelease in Australasia, define the ReleaseCountry as New Zealand .
- Where this information is unknown or ambiguous, choose the country with the largest sales.
Fuzzy Release Areas
MusicBrainz also has some fuzzy release areas:
- Unknown Country
- If you cannot find the country, but know the ReleaseDate, use this so that the date can be added to MusicBrainz.
- The "term" worldwide is still debated, but a majority of the community feels that it should be used for Internet only releases where the distributor has not specifically stated otherwise. (Please discuss). It should not be used for releases through iTunes, Napster and similar, as they release music which is commercially available in retail outlets. It should also be used where a global distributor does release in most of the world on the same date (which is extremely rare).
- Trade within the EU is so open that it can be really difficult to figure out in which European country a release was released. "Europe" offers a fuzzy first guess, that can be changed later on, if someone finds the information. Do not use this simply because it says "produced in the EU" on your CD!
Staggered Releases in Different Areas
Another common phenomenon is that, even when a release is released more-or-less simultaneously in many countries, in fact the releases are slightly staggered. For example, a release might be released on a Sunday in the US, but on Monday in Europe. I have no suggestion for what approach would be best in this situation.
The European Union
The European Union is currently not represented as a separate country, but this could change in future. Right now you should use the fuzzy 'country' "Europe" if a release is distributed in a large proportion of the EU countries simultaneously.
Where only a small number of EU countries are covered, for example UK and Ireland, or just the Scandinavian countries, use the previous strategy of simply choosing one representative country.
There is currently no ability to enter the names of historical countries, such as the USSR, as a release country. It has been proposed that we should add the countries from ISO 3166-3 to allow this. A couple of those will be added soon.
We know that this system is not ideal. In the future MusicBrainz should be able to store Labels, Catalog IDs and other information. But there is other much more pressing stuff for CurrentWork, so that this will have to wait a bit. There will be a much more detailed representation of releases in the ObjectModel of NadelnderBambus.
- ReleaseDate is mandatory? What if they don't know it? --Gecks What about official vs real ReleaseDate? It seems that ... when a Release is first sold on a market... means, that the earliest date of a sale should be entered (real), not some announced release date (official). I always thought that the dates have to be official release dates, but after reading this page, I have doubts. --email@example.com
- It probably should be rephrased then, as i think generally it's only going to be the 'official' date that's useful in a discography, and i'm pretty sure that's the what the practice is anyway. --Gecks