Release / Date

Definition

The release date is the date in which a release was made available through some sort of distribution mechanism. For example, this may be via a retail store, being published as a free download on a website or distributed to industry insiders (in the case of promotional releases) amongst other mechanisms.

What a release date is not

Differences between countries

The release date of the same release in different countries may differ by several days or several weeks. For example, typically CD releases from mainstream distributors and released on different days of the week in different countries, e.g. (non-exhaustive, and not a general rule)

UK/Ireland Downloads (some labels) Sunday
most European countries, Australia & New Zealand Monday
US Tuesday
Japan Wednesday
Germany Friday (was Monday before summer 2005)

Displaying the day of week is not currently supported within MusicBrainz; however a GreaseMonkey script is available that will display this for you in your browser.

Sources for release dates

Since a copyright date is not a reliable source (only an indicative source), the release date will usually need to be sourced online. Possible sources include

All sources have varying degrees of reliability, differing by type of music, format of release and age of release. To be sure you may often need to cross-reference between several stores or sources. Note that many sources will not distinguish between countries reliably so one should be careful that the ReleaseDate one chooses matches the ReleaseCountry set.

Store-specific Hints