Glossary of Terms
Many of the terms used in this documentation and within Picard itself have specific meaning in the MusicBrainz environment. Specific terms are defined as follows:
An acoustic fingerprint is a digital summary of an audio signal, that can be used to quickly identify the audio.
Please see Wikipedia for a full explanation of acoustic fingerprinting.
AcoustID is an acoustic fingerprint system built entirely on open-source technology. See the AcoustID website for additional information.
The musician or group of musicians performing on a release. For example, “The Beatles” is the albumartist for the album “Past Masters, Volume One”, while the albumartist for “No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees” is “Various Artists”.
The albumartist usage is different for Classical Music releases, which follow the MusicBrainz Classical Style Guide, listing the composer(s) first, followed by the performers.
The musician or group of musicians performing on a track. For example, “Jeen” is the artist on the track “Be (One in a Million)” on the album “Tourist”.
Please see the Artist page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
The artist usage is different for Classical Music releases, which follow the MusicBrainz Classical Style Guide, showing only the composer and not the performers.
An artist credit indicates who is the main credited artist (or artists) for releases, release groups, tracks and recordings, and how they are credited. They consist of artists, with (optionally) their names as credited in the specific release, track, etc., and join phrases between them. For example, on the release “Love Sponge” the artist is “Walk off the Earth” but is credited as “Gianni and Sarah”.
Please see the Artist Credits page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
The Cover Art Archive which is a joint project between the Internet Archive and MusicBrainz, whose goal is to make cover art images available to everyone on the Internet in an organized and convenient way.
Please see the Cover Art Archive page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
A Disc ID is the code number which MusicBrainz uses to link a physical CD to a release listing. It is a string of letters, like
XzPS7vW.HPHsYemQh0HBUGr8vuU-. Disc IDs for a release can be seen on the disc IDs tab for the release on MusicBrainz. Clicking on these will give a detailed display of the disc ID, including the list of attached releases.
A release may have any number of disc IDs, and a disc ID may be linked to multiple releases. This is because disc ID calculation involves a hash of the frame offsets of the CD tracks. Different pressing of a CD often have slightly different frame offsets, and hence different disc IDs.
Conversely, two different CDs may happen to have exactly the same set of frame offsets and hence the same disc ID. For example
lwHl8fGzJyLXQR33ug60E8jhf4k-applies to a wide variety of releases by a variety of artists.
The MusicBrainz Identifier, which is a unique code used to identify each element in the MusicBrainz database. These are 128-bit Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) represented as 32 hexadecimal digits, displayed in five groups separated by hyphens, in the form 8-4-4-4-12 for a total of 36 characters.
Please see the UUID page on Wikipedia for more information.
One of the physical, separate things you would get when you buy something in a record store. They are the individual CDs, vinyls, etc. contained within the packaging of an album (or any other type of release). Mediums are always included in a release, and have a position in said release (e.g. disc 1 or disc 2). They have a format like CD, 12” vinyl or cassette (in some cases this will be unknown), and can have an optional title (e.g. disc 2: The Early Years). For example, CD 1 of “The Wall”.
Please see the Medium page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
This term is obsolete and has been replaced with ‘standalone recording’.
An entity in MusicBrainz which can be linked to tracks on releases. Each track must always be associated with a single recording, but a recording can be linked to any number of tracks. For example, this recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is found as a track on over 100 releases.
Please see the Recording page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
Represents the unique issuing of a product on a specific date with specific release information such as the country, label, barcode and packaging. For example “Sea of No Cares” is one version of the album released by Great Big Sea.
Please see the Release page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
Groups several different releases into a single logical entity. Every release belongs to one, and only one release group. Both release groups and releases are “albums” in a general sense, but with an important difference: a release is something you can buy as media such as a CD or a vinyl record, while a release group embraces the overall concept of an album — it doesn’t matter how many CDs or editions / versions it had. For example the “Sea of No Cares” release group contains multiple releases.
Please see the Release Group page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
A recording that is not linked to any release. An example is “Sea of No Cares (live)” by Great Big Sea.
Please see the Standalone Recording page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
A track is the way a recording is represented on a particular release (or, more precisely, on a particular medium). Every track has a title and is credited to one or more artists. For example, track 7 of the album “Back to Boston” by Jason Anderson is “Driving Home”.
Please see the Track page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
A distinct intellectual or artistic creation, which can be expressed in the form of one or more audio recordings. While a ‘Work’ in MusicBrainz is usually musical in nature, it is not necessarily so. A work could also be a novel, play, poem or essay, later recorded as an oratory or audiobook. For example, the song “Blinded by the Light” written by Bruce Springsteen has been recorded well over 100 times.
Please see the Work page on the MusicBrainz website for additional information.
For more information on these and other terms used, please refer to the Terminology page on the MusicBrainz website.
For a detailed explanation of how all the elements are related within the MusicBrainz environment, please refer to the MusicBrainz Database / Schema webpage.