Database Guidelines 16. Master Release

Master Release Introduction

16.1. Master Release is a display function that gathers two or more matching releases together. It can be thought of as a folder that holds two or more Discogs releases. An example would be gathering several versions of an album, such as Michael Jackson - Off The Wall. Master Release does not change the data of the contained releases.

Guidelines For Master Releases

16.2.1. Releases that match two or more of the following will probably be eligible to belong to the same Master Release:

    • Has the same artwork (including derivatives)
    • Has the same tracklisting (the same recordings or versions, not totally different recordings)
    • Has the same release title (including translations)
    • Is a re-release, promo, colored vinyl edition, special edition, instrumental version, remix, multilingual release version (for example, Kraftwerk's Computer World), or other such variation

Additionally, the release usually has to have matching release format descriptions, from the following list:

  • Album - For example, CD, Vinyl, Cassette version of the same album. Samplers should normally not be put in the same Master Release as the full album.
  • Mini-Album
  • EP - For example, the white label version and the full version.
  • Single including Maxi Single - all versions should be bundled in the Master Release, including Maxi and Remix versions. For example, Madonna's "Deeper And Deeper" Master Release includes all versions, including the double 12" remix promo version.
  • Releases without any of the above format types can be put in with any other of the above format types, or in its own Master Release.

16.2.2. Master Release is intended to contain as many releases as reasonable. For example, the tracklisting can vary (sometimes radically), but there should be an obvious connection between the releases. Releases shouldn't be forced into a Master Release - if the addition of a release to a MR is contentious, confusing, or difficult, then it should probably not be part of the Master Release in question.

16.2.3. A release can only belong to one Master Release. If a release partially belongs to two or more Master Releases, it should not be added to them. For example:

  • Releases that combine two albums can't be on the same Master Release as the individual albums
  • Versions of singles billed as double A sides, where one of the tracks is different, can't be on the same Master Release. For example Laid Back - White Horse / So Wie So can't be on the same Master Release as Laid Back - White Horse.

Viewing Master Releases

16.3. There are two ways that Master Releases can be viewed;

A Master Release can be seen on Artist and Label pages as the release title followed by an arrow and the number of versions in gray:

On the artist page, the display gathers the releases in a particular section of an artist page (for example, Remixes), that are also in the same Master Release. The most popular label of all the versions is displayed, followed by a "..." to indicate there are more.

On the label page, Master Release is only used to gather together releases that have the same catalog number. For example, two releases with the catalog number ABC-001 that are in a Master release with be gathered together on the label page. However, if there is a third release in the Master Release with the catalog number ABC-001P, that will not be gathered with the other releases on the label page view.

Clicking the arrow or gray 'versions' text will expand the list on the page, so you can see the items that are in that master release under that section:

Clicking the title will take you to the second way a Master Release can be viewed, the Master Release page itself:

The Master Release page lists all the releases contained in that Master Release, together with things like the artist and release title, an image, tracks, date, genre etc. There is a link to the Master Release on each individual release that is part of it. You can also find Master Releases in the search results.

Creating A Master Release

16.4.To create a new Master Release, click Create Master Release on the left hand side artist page menu. You can't create Master Releases on label pages.

A panel will open at the bottom of the page (it stays fixed as you move about the artist page) and a tickbox will appear next to each release:

Select each release you want to add to the Master Release, and they will appear in the "Contained Releases" panel at the bottom. The radio buttons on the left side of the list are used to select which one is the Key Release. This release is the one which we take the release title and image from for the Master Release display.

Try to select the Key Release that best represents the title and image for all the releases in the master release, with the title taking priority. The tracklisting will also be taken from this release for display on the Master Release page - this is only a temporary measure until we code in the extraction of all track titles on all versions of the release, so please don't place very much importance on this at the moment.

After the list of releases is completed to your satisfaction, add a submission note if needed (this is NOT required for Master Release, but please use it if you want to mention anything to other users), and click "Create". The system will run some error check on the format descriptions, and if all is well, reload the page with the Master Release there.

Editing A Master Release

16.5.1. To edit a Master Release; From the artist page, click on the on the triangle that appears on the right hand side of the release list when you mouse over the Master Release, then select Edit this Master Release:

The panel will open at the bottom of the page with the MR data populated there. You can now add or remove releases from the Master Release or change the Key Release. Click save to complete the edit.

Advanced Methods For Creating And Editing A Master Release

16.6.1. For advanced users, you can create a Master Release at, and edit a Master Release at{master release number}. This allows you to enter and manipulate release numbers directly, and edit the notes.

16.6.2.To create a Master Release for releases that have a placeholder Main Artist (for example, 'Various'), you can create the MR via the artist page of any artist involved in the release, or alternatively you can use the advanced form described above.

Deleting A Master Release

16.7. To delete a Master Release, use the "Edit Master Release" link on the Master Release page, and remove all of the release IDs from the Releases and Key Release fields. At preview, it will detect you are doing a delete, and the preview will warn you. Submit to continue with removing it.

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