Formats List

Questions about formats? Ask in the help section.

The Format Field

Format Abbr Comments
Vinyl Vinyl
Acetate Acetate Only to be used for production runs, not for one offs.
Flexi-disc Flexi Also known as sound-sheets (sono shito) in Japan
Lathe Cut Lathe Only to be used for production runs, not for one offs.
Shellac Shellac
Pathé Disc Pathé Disc Pathé discs were unlike any others. The grooves were cut vertically into the discs, rather than the more common lateral method. The grooves were wider than that used by any other company, requiring a special ball-shaped .005-inch-radius (0.13 mm) stylus to track them. The discs rotated at 90 rpm, rather than 78 or 80. The recordings started on the inside near the center of the disc, spiralling out to the edge rather than vice-versa.
Edison Disc Edison Disc (also 'Diamond Disc') A type of record marketed by Edison Records from 1912 to 1929. The 10" disc play at 80 RPM, weigh ten ounces, and are 1/4" thick.
Cylinder Cyl
CD CD Compact Disc
CDr CDr Recordable Compact Disc
CDV CDV CD Video, a hybrid format. LaserDisc-format video with CD-format audio on the same side of a single 8cm disc. Not the same as Video CD!
DVD DVD
DVDr DVDr Recordable DVD
HD DVD HD DVD The HD DVD disc was designed to be the successor to the standard DVD format. It can store about three times as much data as its predecessor (15 GB per layer instead of 4.7 GB)
HD DVD-R HD DVD-R
Blu-ray Blu-ray The name Blu-ray Disc is derived from the blue-violet laser used to read and write this type of disc. Because of its shorter wavelength, substantially more data can be stored on a Blu-ray Disc than on the DVD format. A Blu-ray Disc can store 25 GB on each layer, as opposed to a DVD's 4.7 GB.
Blu-ray-R Blu-ray-R See Blu-ray
SACD SACD Super Audio CD
4-Track Cartridge 4-Trk
8-Track Cartridge 8-Trk
Cassette Cass Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, or simply cassette, the most widespread and successful magnetic tape sound recording format. 0.15" wide, plays at 1 7/8 ips. Has two sets of stereo tracks, the tape is turned over to access the second side.
PlayTape PlayTape Two track tape cartridge using ⅛" tape
DAT DAT Digital Audio Tape
DCC DCC Digital Compact Cassette
Microcassette M/cass
Reel-To-Reel Reel
Betamax Beta
MiniDV MiniDV (also known as S-size or small cassettes) Intended for amateur use, but became accepted in professional productions as well. MiniDV cassettes are used for recording baseline DV, DVCAM as well as HDV.
U-matic Umatic An analog recording videocassette format, among the first video formats to contain the videotape inside a cassette. Originally intended to be a consumer format, but wasn't successful. It was picked up for use in professional applications such as TV.
VHS VHS
Video 2000 V2000
Video8 Video8 Video8 was launched in the 1980s, into a market dominated by the VHS-C and Betamax formats. Video8 had one major advantage over the full-size competition. Thanks to their compact size, Video8 camcorders were small enough to hold in the palm of the user's hand. pre-recorded "Video 8" tapes were made by Sony in the '80s/'90s
Laserdisc Laserdisc
SelectaVision S/Vision A video playback system developed by RCA using specialized Capacitance Electronic Disc (CED) media, in which video and audio could be played back on a TV using a special analog needle and high-density groove system similar to phonograph records. The format was commonly known as "videodisc", leading to much confusion with Laserdisc format, which is mutually incompatible with this format.
VHD VHD A videodisc format which was marketed predominantly in Japan by JVC, abbreviated from "Video High Density". They are 25 cm discs enclosed in a plastic caddy, with up to 60 minutes of video per side. At the end of the side, the disc can be turned over.
Minidisc MD
MVD MVD Multimedia Versatile Disc. Short lived optical disc format launched in Korea around 2002.
UMD UMD Universal Media Disc. An optical disc medium developed by Sony for use on the PlayStation Portable. It can hold up to 1.8 gigabytes of data, which can include games, movies, music, or a combination thereof.
Floppy Disk Floppy
File File For any listed computer file based format description.
Memory Stick M/Stick Used at Discogs as a generic term, mostly found as USB 'flash drive'.
Hybrid Hybrid For formats that combine two or more basic formats
All Media Used to add further descriptions to a multi-media release, for example:

CD
2 x 12"
All Media, Promo

This tag is not needed when 'Box Set' is used, as the descriptions can be added to the 'Box Set' format in this instance.
Box Set Box To note that all media are enclosed in extra packaging. Like "All Media", Box Set goes on it's own line:

5 x LP
Box Set

The Description Field

Description Abbr Comments
LP LP The LP tag used by itself, denotes a 12 inch 33 rpm long-playing record. More info here
16" 16" Standard size for radio broadcast acetate records
12" 12" For Laserdiscs
12" 12" Please read this for how to distinguish an LP from a 12"
11" 11"
10" 10"
9" 9"
8" 8" For Laserdiscs
8" 8"
7" 7"
6½" 6½"
6" 6"
5½" 5½"
5" 5" For Laserdiscs
5" 5"
4" 4"
3" 3"
2" 2"
8 ⅓ RPM
16 ⅔ RPM
33 ⅓ RPM
45 RPM
78 RPM
21cm 21cm
25cm 25cm
27cm 27cm
29cm 29cm
35cm 35cm
50cm 50cm
80 RPM 80 RPM
90 RPM 90 RPM
15/16 ips
1 ⅞ ips ips stands for inches per second.
15 ips
15/16 ips
3 ¾ ips
30 ips
7 ½ ips
½"
¼" The most popular open reel to reel tape size
⅛"
2-Track Mono 2tr Mono Tape runs in both directions, with a mono track on each side.
2-Track Stereo 2tr Stereo Tape runs in one direction, as a stereo track.
4-Track Mono 4tr Mono
4-Track Stereo 4tr Stereo Tape runs in both directions, with a stereo track on each side.
10.5" NAB Reel 10.5" Reel A 10 ½" reel with a 3" hole in the center that fits onto a NAB hub.
3" Cine Reel 3" Reel A 3" reel with a hole for a splined ¼" shaft in the center.
5" Cine Reel 5" Reel A 5" reel with a hole for a splined ¼" shaft in the center.
7" Cine Reel 7" Reel A 7" reel with a hole for a splined ¼" shaft in the center.
2 Minute 2min Oldest type of wax cylinder, with 100 threads per inch, about 4" (10 cm) long, 2¼" diameter
3 Minute 3min
4 Minute 4min Development of the original cylinder with longer playing time, due to doubling of the number of grooves to 200 threads per inch
Concert Concert 5" diameter cylinder
Salon Salon 3 ½" x 4" cylinder from French company Pathé
Mini Mini A disc with a diameter of 8cm (80mm), or approx 3", can apply to CDs or DVDs.
Mini Mini A disc with a diameter of 8cm (80mm), or approx 3", can apply to CDs or DVDs.
Business Card B/card A business card shaped CD
Shape Shape A CD that is shaped differently from the standard circular.
Shape Shape A vinyl record that is shaped differently from the standard circular.
Minimax Minimax A Miniature CD single with a (usually transparent) built-in 12cm adaptor, which makes it look like a CD equivalent of a "clear vinyl" record, design-wise. Plays on all CD players, like a normal CD. Also called Fan Disc, AB-CD, and Semi-Substrate disc.
Minimax Minimax A Miniature DVD single with a (usually transparent) built-in 12cm adaptor, which makes it look like a DVD equivalent of a "clear vinyl" record, design-wise. Plays on all DVD players, like a normal DVD.
CD-ROM CD-ROM A CD holding computer data, as opposed to a CD holding audio data that can be played back in an ordinary CD player. Use CD, Enhanced for 'mixed mode' CDs that have both audio and data sections of the disc.
CDi CDi Interactive
CD+G CD+G Also known as CD+Graphics, a special audio compact disc that contains graphics data in addition to the audio data on the disc. The disc can be played on a regular audio CD player, but when played on a special CD+G player, can output a graphics signal (typically, the CD+G player is hooked up to a television set or a computer monitor).
HDCD HDCD High Definition Compatible Digital, or HDCD, is an encode-decode process. It encodes the equivalent of 20 bits worth of data in a 16-bit digital audio signal by using custom dithering, filters, and some reversible amplitude and gain encoding. There is a benefit at the expense of a minor increase in noise. HDCD encoding places a control signal in the least significant bit of a small subset of the 16-bit Red Book audio samples. If no decoder is present, the disc will be played as a regular CD.
VCD VCD Video CD or VCD, or Compact Disc digital video, is a standard digital format for storing video. View CDs, as VCDs are sometimes referred to, are playable in dedicated players, personal computers, and many DVD players. Not the same as CDV (CD Video)!
AVCD AVCD Audio Video CD. Audio tracks are playable on the regular CD player, the video tracks are playable on a VCD player, DVD player, or PC.
SVCD SVCD Super Video CD, a format used for storing video on standard compact discs. SVCD falls between Video CD and DVD in terms of technical capability and picture quality.
Blu-ray Audio Blu-ray-A
DVD-Audio DVD-A Only to be used when the release shows the DVD-Audio logo.
DVD-Data DVD-D
DVD-Video DVD-V Only to be used when the release shows the DVD-Video logo.
Hybrid Hybrid A version of SACD (Super Audio CD) that contains a CD layer as well as a SACD layer, and if therefore playable on normal CD players as well as SACD players.
Multichannel Multichannel
AAC AAC Advanced Audio Coding, was designed as an improved-performance codec relative to MP3
AIFC AIFC A compressed variant of AIFF, also known as AIFF-C, with various defined compression codecs.
AIFF AIFF Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) is a uncompressed pulse-code modulation (PCM) file.
ALAC ALAC Apple Lossless (also known as Apple Lossless Encoder, ALE, or Apple Lossless Audio Codec, ALAC) is an audio codec developed by Apple Inc. for lossless data compression of digital music. Apple Lossless data is stored within an MP4 container with the filename extension .m4a – this extension is also used by Apple for AAC audio data in an MP4 container (same container, different audio encoding).
AMR AMR Adaptive Multi-Rate audio codec
APE APE Monkey's Audio lossless compression algorithm.
AVI AVI Audio Video Interleaved (also Audio Video Interleave), known by its initials AVI, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology. AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback. Like the DVD video format, AVI files support multiple streaming audio and video, although these features are seldom used. Most AVI files also use the file format extensions develop
DFF DFF Direct Stream Digital (DSD) encoded file
DSF DSF Direct Stream Digital (DSD) encoded file
FLAC FLAC Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) is a popular file format for audio data compression. Being a lossless compression format, FLAC does not remove information from the audio stream, as do lossy compression formats such as MP3 and AAC.
FLV FLV Flash Video is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet. Flash Video content may also be embedded within SWF files. There are two different video file formats: FLV and F4V. The audio and video data within FLV files are encoded in the same way as they are within SWF files. The latter F4V file format is based on the ISO base media file format.
MOV MOV Apple Quicktime Movie (MOV)
MP3 MP3
MPEG-4 Video MPEG-4 Video For any video in an MPEG-4 container. For MPEG-4 audio, please see AAC and ALAC
ogg-vorbis ogg
Opus Opus
SHN SHN Shorten file format
SWF SWF (originally standing for "Small Web Format", later changed to "Shockwave Flash", then changed back to Small Web Format) (pronounced swiff or "swoof") - a partially open repository for multimedia and especially for vector graphics. Intended to be small enough for publication on the web, SWF files can contain animations or applets of varying degrees of interactivity and function.
WAV WAV A Microsoft and IBM audio file format standard for storing audio. WAVs are compatible with Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
WavPack WavPack
WMA WMA Windows Media Audio (WMA) is a proprietary compressed audio file format developed by Microsoft. It was initially a competitor to the MP3 format, but with the introduction of Apple's iTunes Music Store, it has positioned itself as a competitor to the Advanced Audio Coding format used by Apple.
WMV WMV Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video file format for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft. The original codec, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming applications, as a competitor to RealVideo. The other codecs, such as WMV Screen and WMV Image, cater for specialized content.
MP3 Surround MP3Sur
3.5" 3,5" 3.5" Floppy Disk
5.25" 5.25" 5.25" Floppy Disk
DualDisc DualDisc Features an audio layer similar to a CD on one side and a standard DVD layer on the other.
DVDplus DVDplus An optical disc storage technology that combines the technology of DVD and CD in one disc. A DVD and a CD-compatible layer are bonded together to provide a multi-format hybrid disc.
VinylDisc VinylDisc A combination of a digital layer, either in CD or DVD format, and an analogue layer which is a vinyl record
Double Sided D/Sided
Single Sided S/Sided For two sided tapes that only have audio on one side. Please note this tag is not to be used when the release has the same audio on both sides. In this case, please enter the tracklisting for both sides, and explain in the release notes that the audio is identical on both sides. See the full guidelines here.
Single Sided S/Sided For cassettes that are blank on one side
Single Sided S/Sided For Laserdiscs.
Single Sided S/Sided
Single Sided S/Sided For two sided vinyl that only have audio on one side. Please note this tag is not to be used when the release has the same audio on both sides. In this case, please enter the tracklisting for both sides, and explain in the release notes that the audio is identical on both sides. See the full guidelines here.
Album Album Album tag usage has no relation to speed, media type, media item count (e.g. tracks spread over multiple 12"s) or use of the Compilation tag (whether for Various or single artist releases). This tag is only to be used where it is clear the item was released as such, Please see this section of the guidelines
Mini-Album MiniAlbum Only to be used where it is clear the item was released as such, Please see this section of the guidelines
EP EP Only to be used where it is clear the item was released as such, Please see this section of the guidelines
Maxi-Single Maxi Only to be used where it is clear the item was released as such, Please see this section of the guidelines
Single Single Only to be used where it is clear the item was released as such, Please see this section of the guidelines
Compilation Comp See the guidelines here
Stereo Most music formats are stereo, this tag shouldn't be used unless the item was released in stereo and mono formats, or is otherwise necessary to point out.
Mono Mono
Quadraphonic Quad A four speaker surround format. It had a number of different encoding methods, some of which were incompatible with each other. CD-4 / Compatible Discrete 4 / Quadradisc, UD-4 / UMX, Q4, Quad-8 / Quadraphonic 8-Track, SQ / Surround Quadraphonic / Stereo Quadraphonic, QS / Quadraphonic Stereo, EV / Stereo-4, DY / Dynaquad, Matrix H, Passive Pseudo Quad, Pseudo-surround sound.
Ambisonic Amb
Card Backed Card For card and paper backed Flexi-discs
Club Edition Club
Copy Protected Copy Prot. For CDs
Copy Protected Copy Prot. For Computer Media.
Copy Protected Copy Prot. For DVDs.
Copy Protected Copy Prot. For Video Tape.
Deluxe Edition Dlx Only items that have this printed on them somewhere (stickers etc), or were originally marketed by the label as such, should be tagged as this.
Enhanced Enh This includes formats sometimes known as "Enhanced CD", "Mixed Mode", and "CD Extra" where the music carrier (CD, vinyl, cassette, etc) also contains computer data in the form of software programs, videos, screen savers, music (tracker files, MP3s, etc), text, web links, games, and so forth).
Etched Etch A record that has artwork or writing etched onto it in an artistic manner. Not to be used for the standard catalog number, matrix number, pressing plant's name, mastering engineers name, and other basic run out groove etches.
Jukebox Jukebox Any item labeled as being released for the jukebox market. This item should only be used when it is clear the item was released as such, for example it is explicitly mentioned on the release, or by the label, artist, or other reliable source.
Limited Edition Ltd Only items that have this printed on them somewhere (stickers etc), or were originally marketed by the label as such, should be tagged as 'Limited Edition'.
Mispress MP Notes that the audio on a medium that is replicated by pressing (CD, vinyl etc) is incorrect in some way (usually, the wrong tracks).
Misprint M/Print Indicates that there is an error in the printed material on the release (labels, CD booklets etc), for example, indicating wrong track listings etc. There must be a corrected version of the release for this tag to be used.
Mixed Mixed Continuous mix, DJ mix, segued audio. Use this tag if all of the tracks are mixed together into one continuous flow, for example DJ Mix CDs, mixtapes etc. Most of the time, using this tag calls for a 'DJ Mix' credit.
Mixtape Mixtape Only to be used where it is clear the item was released as such.
Numbered Num
Partially Mixed P/Mixed For releases that only have a part of them segued.
Partially Unofficial P/Unofficial To indicate that only some tracks on the release are unofficial. Use the notes to give further explanation.
Picture Disc Pic For Laserdiscs.
Picture Disc Pic
Promo Promo Promotional copy. Only add this tag if it is explicitly mentioned on the release. Some releases from the 60s and 70s may be marked as 'Demonstration', the Promo tag is correct to apply to these as well (but do not confuse this with 'demo' self releases by artists to demonstrate their work).
Reissue RE Please see the guidelines for further details
Remastered RM This tag should only be used where it is clear the item was released as such, for example it is explicitly mentioned on the release, or by the label, artist, or other reliable source.
Repress RP Please see the guidelines for further details
Sampler Smplr In English, "sampler" has a different meaning from 'Compilation', a sampler is a free or low-priced preview of a larger release(s). Although in other languages the two words may mean the same thing, in Discogs they should not be confused.
Special Edition S/Edition Only items that have this printed on them somewhere (stickers etc), or were originally marketed by the label as such, should be tagged as 'Special Edition'.
Test Pressing TP
Transcription Transcription This tag is for releases licensed to radio stations for public broadcast which were not sold to the general public
Unofficial Release Unofficial See the guidelines for details.
White Label W/Lbl Center labels on a vinyl release without proper print on both sides. Additional marks with a rubber stamp, small printed sticker, or handwritten on an otherwise blank (but not necessarily white) label would still generally be considered a White Label release.
Multichannel Multichannel Used to note any digital surround type format, use the free text to give specifics if possible.
Multichannel Multichannel For CDs.
Multichannel Multichannel For DVDs.
Multichannel Multichannel For HD-DVD
Multichannel Multichannel For Hybrids.
Multichannel Multichannel For Laserdisc.
Multichannel Multichannel For other video formats.
Multichannel Multichannel For SelectaVision.
Multichannel Multichannel For Video Tape.
NTSC NTSC For CDs.
NTSC NTSC For DVDs.
NTSC NTSC For Hybrids.
NTSC NTSC For Laserdisc.
NTSC NTSC For other video formats.
NTSC NTSC For SelectaVision.
NTSC NTSC For Video Tape.
PAL PAL For CDs.
PAL PAL For DVDs.
PAL PAL For Hybrids.
PAL PAL For Laserdisc.
PAL PAL For other video formats.
PAL PAL For SelectaVision.
PAL PAL For Video Tape.
SECAM SECAM For CDs.
SECAM SECAM For DVDs.
SECAM SECAM For Hybrids.
SECAM SECAM For Laserdisc.
SECAM SECAM For other video formats.
SECAM SECAM For SelectaVision.
SECAM SECAM For Video Tape.