Template talk:Infobox album

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WikiProject Albums (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Albums, an attempt at building a useful resource on recordings from a variety of genres. If you would like to participate, visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
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Chronology[edit]

Is there a verdict on whether the chronology includes all albums, including live and 'best of' albums? There is a mixture out there and a proliferation of best of albums really messes the chronology up in some cases. Dennisthemonkeychild (talk) 09:45, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

A different question: Shouldn't the heading link be to the artist's discography page (if there is one) instead of a repeated link of the artist's page found in the above heading? --Musdan77 (talk) 04:46, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Dennisthemonkeychild: See [1], where a consensus was established in 2010 that the chronology chain should include all albums. It's not something I agree with, and I'm grappling with a tricky issue at the moment over multiple versions of a compilation album by The Mutton Birds: released in different countries under different names and with different track lists.]] BlackCab (TALK) 23:39, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Modern criteria for what constitutes a single?[edit]

Someone else asked this question on the talk page for Template:Singles, but never received a response. In the modern era, what constitutes a single released for an album? Before the advent of digital music, it was a lot easier to determine this, as single releases produced a physical artifact, usually a vinyl record. However, with most (thought not all) songs from an album being available for download individually, what constitutes a single? Does it need to be sold separately on iTunes and other digital music stores? (Example: the original release of Prince's "Breakfast Can Wait") Does it need to be released separately in a physical format (vinyl, CD, etc.)? (Example: the forthcoming Sam Smith song "Writing's on the Wall") Is it a matter of what the record company promotes to radio and streaming services? If so, how would one determine that? It's easy enough to leave the Singles template out of the infobox, but for the sake of argument, what is the appropriate criteria for inclusion? Thank you. --GentlemanGhost (converse) 23:15, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

You likely won't get a unified response from either Wikipedia or third-party sources because, as you note, the digital age has really mucked up that definition. As such, the following response reflects my personal opinions. I've been writing and editing articles with this rough definition of what a single is in 2015: a single is a type of release that's much like a studio album or EP that can be legally obtained independent of another release (if one exists) that has its own release date, catalog number, cover art, etc. that could be digital or physical or free or paid. For several decades, there's been two senses of the word "single" -- a literal one and a more conversational one. The literal one is much like the one I've outlined above, while the more conversational definition uses "single" to describe popular songs and songs promoted in any, way, shape or form. Think of the relationship between the use of the word stomach to literally refer to the organ that digests your food, and the more conversational usage of the word that kind of generally refers to your abdominal area. In the digital age, the more conversational use of the word "single" is used to describe just about everything by just about everyone, which makes it even more difficult. Personally, since an encyclopedia is a fairly literal medium, I don't think Wikipedia should be defining songs as singles using the more conversational definition. But like I said, you're not going to get a unified answer, so whoever comments after me is probably going to disagree :) Fezmar9 (talk) 03:40, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
A single should be a song released for commercial charting purposes, not simply a promotional song. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:04, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! --GentlemanGhost (converse) 00:45, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
You might like THIS. I would like to emphasize that just having a video, in and by itself, does not create a single. Also the radio dates are not called "release", but rather "serviced to radio", "Radio add date", "sent to radio", etc.—Iknow23 (talk) 05:50, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

is there a standardized place to put a link to the relevant musical artist's discography?[edit]

I always thought a good place to a link to the discography article for the musical artist in question would be in the little album chronology header. right now, that is just an additional link to the musical artist's article. what do you guys think? link to the discography article? wouldn't that be helpful? Tangy 303 Mamet Sauce (talk) 22:21, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

I could support that. Walter Görlitz (talk) 07:19, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Studio parameter, take #2[edit]

I would like clarification on the format of this field, and for it to be included in the MOS for this template. Since 2008, albeit before the separate Recorded field was introduced, I have used this format:

1 January – 8 April 2014 at [Studio name] in New York City

However, recently I've been seeing something like this in the Studio field:

[Studio name], Toronto, Ontario

... or even <small> text being used for the studio. What's the deal there, and all the commas? To me it looks very awkward if the [Studio], [City], [State] format is used, rather than [Studio] in [City], [State]. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 00:55, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Date is to go in recorded parameter. Studio should go in the studio parameter.
I have seen small setting off the city, state/province.
I have been removing if only the city, state/province is listed without a studio name. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:19, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
Doesn't appear this question was resolved. So should it be

Abbey Road Studios, London

or

Abbey Road Studios in London?

I'm accustomed to seeing it with a comma on most album covers. As for text size, <small> should not be used where the text is already small, such as in infoboxes. Piriczki (talk) 18:31, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
Comment: Piriczki and other interested parties, there has been a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs#Widespread usage of inaccessible text regarding the use of small text in infoboxes (there seems to be general agreement with you that it should not be used), and a proposal to create a bot to remove it from all affected articles. it has developed into a further discussion about what should be included in infoboxes anyway. Richard3120 (talk) 19:04, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
I've always used [Studio name], [city], [(add state or country if city not well-known)], [date]. Template:Infobox single and Template:Infobox song only have a "Recorded =" field, so it all goes on the same line. The three should be harmonized. —Ojorojo (talk) 23:22, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

You do realize that Studio = is its own parameter now, right? For live recordings, it's Venue =. The only thing that should be in the Recorded = parameter, is the recording dates. Also for the record, there's no guidance around adding the provenance of the studio or venue, so it's fair to add it. Linking should be within the WP:OVERLINK guideline. In other words, if the city is well-known, such as Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, etc., don't even link the city name. Linking the province or state is probably not required per that guideline. If the country is listed, don't link it at all. If three or more entries are to be used, use a list template. Based on the example, I would use

Abbey Road Studios, London

(backlinks broken for example here) and not "in London".

And for the record, if the editors at infobox song want to get with the programme, they could add the parameters, and harmonize their list requirements with this template all at the same time. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:30, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

The Studio = and Venue = parameters were added a year and a half ago without any notice or discussion.[2] Many recent album GAs don't use them and the change wasn't picked up for the single and song infoboxes. Anyway, this type of information is better discussed in the body of the article and, like the miscellaneous parameters, inclusion in the infobox is probably unnecessary. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:16, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Relying on feature articles to determine if something is done right is not appropriate. There is no criteria to determine if all infoboxes are used correctly according to the current documentation. This isn't miscellaneous information, the venue of a live recording is usually central to the album. Similarly, the studios can make a difference, particularly prior to the 1990s. I agree that it should be discussed in the article, summarizing it the infobox is not inappropriate. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:24, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I'd wondered where that Studio parameter suddenly appeared from, a year or two back. I agree (Ojorojo) that it's been introduced incorrectly, without due discussion let alone consensus, but then that same reluctance to involve other editors has governed other changes to album- and song-related templates to various degrees, I've found. I agree with Walter on this issue, though. The studio or live venue is important enough to warrant a separate field in the infobox. In the same way, we wouldn't/don't lump a record label in with the release date – i.e. "Released = 9 June 1978, Rolling Stones Records". JG66 (talk) 02:47, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support commas — You wouldn't write that a movie was filmed at "Hollywood in California". Also, the studio/venue parameter is essential.--Ilovetopaint (talk) 16:28, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support commas, but absolutely no text for any infobox parameters. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 17:16, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support prepositions (i.e. "in", "and"), not just commas - @Ilovetopaint:, of course you wouldn't say "Hollywood in California", but you would say "The Record Plant in Hollywood, California". There shouldn't be a final word on this. Some articles would benefit from listing out several studios located in the same city and using both commas and prepositions such as "in" or "and". How can you not see where that approach might be more conducive? If we used only a comma, readers could mistake the city of a studio as a separate recording location (eg. "Quad Recording Studios, Platinum Sound Studios, New York", the latter possibly suggesting "someplace in New York"). Dan56 (talk) 14:49, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
The studio parameter calls for the name of the studio, not the city in which it was recorded. If an album was recorded at some unknown place in New York, we wouldn't use "Studio = New York City". The city named following the studio is obviously the location of the studio. I don't see anywhere else where prose is necessary or used in an infobox summary. Piriczki (talk) 18:39, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps it's obvious if the city is New York. But what if it's "Caribbean Sound Basin" (which is a studio, but you could see how it could be mistaken for another kind of location, right??) Also, the name of a studio constitutes "prose", so what you're really proposing is banning the use of prepositions, which I don't see the harm of using in an infobox. If commas are being used to separate studios in a list, it's confusing when the last item will be the name of a city; you're putting the burden on the reader to make the connection, that it's not another item in the list but the location for all listed studios. I really don't see the harm in allowing what minimal use of prepositions like "in" or "and" would be warranted by this parameter. Studio names, city names, two-letter prepositions... these are all words. Is there some benefit of reader accessibility regarding commas I'm overlooking? Dan56 (talk) 23:20, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
There is no article for "Caribbean Sound Basin" and only five articles mention it. Are we to add "in" to every album infobox based on that? And wouldn't "Studio = Caribbean Sound Basin, Trinidad" suffice in those articles? Piriczki (talk) 23:54, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
You're being awfully reductive. That was just an example. And no one's forcing you or anyone else to add anything you don't want, but if I want to at an article I'm contributing to, I will exercise this preference, whose harm or disadvantage you have yet to explain. Dan56 (talk) 00:49, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support prepositions. Scratch my earlier vote—I've been swayed back to my original preference of "[Studio] in [City]", or "[Studio] and [Studio] in [Same city]; [Studio] in [Different city]". No need for country or state, and I have some weird aversion (or even revulsion) towards consecutive commas. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 00:57, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support commas (and other forms of punctuation if necessary). I agree that one-size-fits-all won't work, and anyway it's about presenting details on a specific album (or song) clearly and correctly. I think all infobox text should be concise, abrupt, just like items presented in a table. For albums recorded in several locations, I'd go for something like: Island Studio, London; Musicland Studios, Munich; Sound Recording Studios, Los Angeles – introducing semicolons to clarify the location of each studio, as one would in prose in main text to differentiate between items in a list. If there are a number of studios in the same city, then: Studio Olympic Sound Studios, Island Studio, Morgan Studios (all London); Musicland Studios, Munich; Sound Recording Studios, Los Angeles. I appreciate that the dots in the list templates would probably remove the need for semicolons in those examples, although I'm really not familiar with the templates. JG66 (talk) 03:27, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Bulleted flatlist for multiple studios/locations sounds good to me. It's already in place for genres. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 13:51, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
JG66 sums it up well and using {{flatlist}} lessens the need for extra punctuation. However, listing all studios where there are several overwhelms other infobox fields. In some cases, "various locations" may present a more balanced appearance. —Ojorojo (talk) 14:55, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Wow, that's quite a list at Led Zeppelin II (10 studios for 9 songs!). I struggle with the idea of "various locations", though; I've seen it used in one or two articles, but it's (by definition) so noncommittal – I mean, it's non-information. If the length is an issue, I'd be looking to remove the word "Studio" and lessen the load that way. So, taking the examples I gave above, "Studio = Olympic, Island and Morgan studios, London; …" might be the way to go. JG66 (talk) 02:04, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm confused. Template:Infobox album#Genre still says to delineate genres using commas, which I personally would prefer to bullets, since you don't usually see bullets used to separate items in a list. Dan56 (talk) 00:23, 26 July 2016 (UTC)
I think I saw a guideline somewhere else (maybe one of the general MOS'es) which essentially read like it was designed to "override" the usage of that parameter. There's a fair amount of seemingly outdated stuff in there, though; e.g., the part about linking producers doesn't adhere to WP:OVERLINK. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 00:38, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Back to the original question, is it "Abbey Road Studios, London" or "Abbey Road Studios in London"? I count five editors in favor of commas (Walter Gorlitz, Piriczki, Ilovetopaint, JG66, Ojorojo) and two opposed (MacDreamstate, Dan56). Is there consensus or not? Piriczki (talk) 19:10, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

Why don't you just open an RfC at the article you really want some so-called "consensus" to put our edit war to rest? ([3], [4], [5], [6]) Dan56 (talk) 10:13, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Harmonization with other music templates[edit]

Several music infobox templates have the same parameters, but different explanations/guidelines. For example, "Genre":

These should be harmonized, along with other common parameters including "Label", "Producer", "Format", and "Writer". (Infoboxes single and song specify {{Plainlist}} for "Recorded", probably because they don't have separate date and "Venue" and "Studio" parameters; these can be changed when added). The standard parameter guideline with explanatory footnote used in Infobox musical artist should cover all:

[Entries in field] should be separated by using commas, {{flatlist}} or {{hlist}}.[1]

[1] For short horizontal lists of two or three items, comma separators are acceptable, but for longer lists the use of {{flatlist}} or {{hlist}} is preferred as they offer a benefit to users of screen readers. Vertical lists should always be implemented by {{plainlist}} or {{ubl}} and never by <br /> tags for reasons of accessibility.

Are there any objections to adding this? —Ojorojo (talk) 15:57, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose Have those other templates harmonize with this one as this is correct. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:33, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
You do realize that Producer = allows for the optional use of {{flatlist}}, right? This was added over three years ago[7] and is consistent with MOS:HLIST. This option is used in many album GAs, including for Genre = and Label =; adding it here and harmonizing with other infobox guidelines just adopts accepted practice. One's personal preference does not make it "correct". —Ojorojo (talk) 14:16, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
I assume this comment was directed at me. Yes. All fields where a list could be present could use a comma separated values or list templates. Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:09, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Last album and next album fields don't work[edit]

In the Last album and Next album fields, the entry in the "This album" doesn't appear on the reader's unless you specify blank entries such as "". Please sort it out. You can see my point in this edit. Jodosma (talk) 18:51, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

It's been like that for years—as long as I can remember, or 2008 to be exact. If the field for This album is the only one that applies, with no albums before or after, then I was told (many years ago, and I agreed with the editor) that the discography section becomes unnecessary until further album articles can be entered. Introducing blank entries to force This album to show up isn't the right way to go about it, as WP guidelines widely discourage hidden elements unless absolutely necessary. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 19:36, 18 May 2016 (UTC)