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[mb-users] RFV: Definition of a Release Frederic Da Vitoria Fri Sep 01 08:43:40 2006

Preamble: This comes from the original thread "What makes a release in
Classical?", but the answers were wide enough to allow for a general
definition. I suggest to append the following text to the wiki page

<---start of addition--->

A Release (in MusicBrainz terminology) includes all the occurrences of
a given set of tracks: same tracks, same durations, in the same order.
Note that this definition doesn't say anything about the medium or the
editor. This is deliberate: a Release can include any number of
vinyls, cassetes, cds... A Release may include different masterings.
There is a certain amount of track duration variation that is
acceptable, a jew seconds at most. Digital remastering is a cause for
track duration variation.

A good example of this multiplicity is Peter Gabriel's first album
look especially to the annotations to this album; note the various
Disc IDs too: some of them correspond probably to some of the cd
releases in the annotation. Currently, MB doesn't allow to specify
which Disc ID corresponds to which "sub-release".

Elton John's Blue Moves was completely modified when first transfered
from vinyl to cd: one disc
instead of two 
and http://musicbrainz.org/album/6443e013-15d6-465e-b67c-d9ea365d7d09.html),
15 tracks instead of 8+10, and different durations for several songs.
Consequently, this CD version is stored as a separate Release in MB.

In classical music, two more problems arise:
* the album title may vary,
* the language may vary.
MB accepts that mediums with different album titles and languages be
regrouped in a single release. Of course, everything else must be
identical (same track listings, same durations, same performers, same
performances). In such cases, users should add an annotation for the
album title and language.
As an illustration, here are a few different releases of Bach's
Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould:
1955 recording:
1955 recording + other tracks:
1981 recording:
1981 recording in a box set:

<---end of addition--->

Frederic Da Vitoria

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