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[mb-experts] Singles / EPs / Mini-LPs / Albums Simon Tucker Sat Aug 12 06:06:54 2006

All,

This follows from a discussion on the wiki:

http://wiki.musicbrainz.org/ReleaseTypeRestructuringDiscussion

and relates to the Release Type Restrucuring, specifically the selection of 
the "Main Types".

To summarise my stance: I am concerned that this is substantial overlap 
between the notion of an EP and a single and, to a lesser extent, an album. I 
am not arguing that we should remove the notion of an EP entirely - just that 
it should be a tick box rather than an alternate category.

In my experience releases can either be put in a single or an album category 
and it seems odd to have an extra category which is almost in a limbo 
category of it's own. In addition to this looking through MB and releases 
that are categorised as an EP could largley by called Singles as well, a good 
example being:
http://musicbrainz.org/album/117cc2ee-4eba-4f28-90cb-91121ca747bf.html
Which is called an EP but was featured in the UK singles chart so can be 
considered to be both an EP and a single. Another example is:
http://musicbrainz.org/album/9684a208-1d83-489c-89f0-b23925317c6d.html
Which is an EP in MB but was rated as a Gold Album by the RIAA so in effect 
could be considered to be both an EP or an album. Whilst this is an exception 
and in my experience I would consider most EPs to be singles it does raise a 
problem if MB ever wants to expand the range of annotations.

For example, if we want to add chart positions to releases at some point in 
the future then we have a whole bunch of releases that charted in either the 
singles chart or the albums chart but we can't add this information easily 
because the EP category is not singles nor albums. Discographies are tricky 
because it's often dependant on the artist in question but most in-print 
discographies (e.g. the ones printed in Record Collector magazine) split 
releases into Singles and then Albums - only having seperate EP sections for 
older releases (when the EP was actually different from the singles of the 
time) and so any MB discography is going to look a bit odd.

To summarise I find it odd that I can go into a shop, buy a single release and 
then look it up on MB and find it's been dubbed an EP. I think there is 
overlap between EPs and Singles or Albums that MB is not currently going to 
capture.

Apologies for the length but then I am a nerdy record collector...
BrotherLogic

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