Dev LabelCompany2009 Label Entity and Number Guidelines

Label Company Proposal 2009 -


Although this new system has the potential for more information to be
entered, one of the requirements is for it to offer a straightforward
system for submitters to use. As such, the guidelines need to be
straightforward and easy for the submitter.

The current label and cat# guidelines are somewhat long and imprecise,
mainly due to the transition between the old and new systems, but also
because of the need to define 'Label', and due to legacy rules regarding
catalog numbers.

The following is a rewrite of this section of the guidelines for the new
system, taking all this into account:


Labels and other Entities

This field is used for entering the label, record company, and other
companies, brands, and series information on the release.

If the required entity doesn't exist in Discogs, it will be created when
you submit.

Different Entities With The Same Name

For entities that share the same name, a number in parentheses should be
used, for example "LabelName", "LabelName (2), "LabelName (3)" etc.

Name Variation

Please check (using the search function) for slight variations in the
name (for example with or without 'Records' on the end).

For smaller 'independent' labels and companies, such a variation is
usually unintentional, so you can usually enter it using the Name
Variation function.

For larger 'major' labels and companies, any difference may be
significant, in terms of defining a separate branch, brand, or company.
These should be entered as on the release, unless there is proof that it
is a variation in the name of the exact same brand or company.

For example; "EMI Records Ltd" and "EMI Records Limited" are the same
company and should be listed using the Name Variation function, whereas
EMI Music Australia Pty Ltd is a separate company and should be entered
on its own page. These companies will probably appear on a release along
with the label (for example, 'EMI'), which should be added as a separate

The responsibility is on the user wishing to combine label or company
names to provide proof that the entity they are trying to combine is
indeed one and the same. For example, external links to official or
otherwise verifiable sites, and citations from printed texts, must be
provided. If in doubt, please do not use Name Variations.

No Label (Not On Label)

Releases which have no discernible label or record company, such as
self-released albums, limited edition tour merchandise, white labels,
bootlegs, etc. should be listed under the "Not On Label" meta-label.
Before choosing Not On Label, please check for any catalog number or
other markings that could associate a release with a particular label,
or labels. Often, white label records can be tied back to a label by the
catalog numbers found in the run-out grooves, and some CDs with limited
information present might include a label logo, if no catalog number is
clearly present.

Not On Label page has grown along with the rest of Discogs, and
pseudo-labels have been created to gather distinct series of releases
without labels. The most common groupings are based on similar content
and catalog numbers, and by artist.

The original naming scheme for these pseudo-labels was
'Series/ArtistName' (White), implying that the associated releases were
white labels. As not all releases of these sorts are white labels, a
more common naming scheme is now recommended:

  • Not On Label (ArtistName) -- for unofficial releases containing
    music by a certain artist
  • Not On Label (ArtistName Self-released) -- for music released
    specifically by an artist, as found on tours and sold via personal
  • Not On Label (SeriesName Series) -- for material with a clear
    pattern but no actual label name associated, like sequential catalog
    numbers and similar content, or the inclusion of an email address

Catalog and other Numbers

Discogs allows us to enter all the numbers on a release.

The catalog number is the most important number to list on a release. It
is usually the most prominent number printed on the release - often on
the spine, on the back cover, and on the label etc. It should be entered
directly as it appears on a release.

Where no catalog number exists, you must enter "none" into the catalog
number field (note the lower case n). (do we keep this???)

If the catalog number appears in different formats on the release (for
example "ABC-001" and "abc1"), enter all the versions of the catalog
number in separate catalog number fields. Be careful you don't confuse
it with matrix numbers.

If there is no apparent catalog number on the release, the matrix number
is important to enter if possible.

Please be careful not to add Label Codes or Distribution Codes into the
catalog number field. More information about these codes can be found on
the wiki Label Codes page and Distribution Codes page.

Sometimes individual discs in a multi-CD or multi-LP set will have their
own catalog or matrix numbers printed on them, separate from the main
cat# on the packaging. These numbers should be entered as matrix
numbers unless there are also matrix numbers on the individual items.

Sometimes individual tracks on a vinyl release will have their own ID
numbers printed on the labels, usually in a smaller font, and sometimes
in parentheses, separate from the main cat# of the release. These ID#s
should be entered in the notes.

How-To and FAQ

Unofficial Release Entity Names

Care should be taken with counterfeit recordings, which are packaged to
resemble the original as closely as possible. Often, the packing will
include the original label and company names. Enter these items using a
separate label; For example, if the original label is "LabelName", and
the suspected counterfeit contains this label name, it should be entered
as "LabelName (2)" - thereby creating a different label. The profile of
this label should be filled out to explain it's circumstances. Multiple
labels and catalog numbers

It is possible to list more than one label on a release. This should be
used for a joint release between two or more labels, or where an
individual release has multiple catalog numbers on one label. This
should not to be used for the same release being re-issued by a
different label. This would require a unique Discogs entry.

If a release has both sublabel and parent label catalog numbers, they
should all be listed, in order to complete the relevant discographies.
If it was released on multiple labels but one label was more involved in
the release, list that label first.

For each label field that is added a catalog number field will also be
added. These must be completed. The sequence of catalog numbers should
match the sequence of label fields, for example if three labels are
listed the catalog number assigned by the label in the third label field
should be added to the third catalog number field. If all labels used
the same catalog number this should be added to all catalog number

Where an individual release has multiple catalog numbers on one label,
the first catalog number field should contain the catalog number that
best matches the label's catalog system. It helps to mention in the
notes section the location of the multiple catalog numbers on the

Legacy Label Names

The label cataloging system at Discogs has been under review to allow a
greater degree of accuracy when adding the labels and companies involved
in a release. In the past, 'false' labels were created to combine both
the branding and company on a release. This is especially relevant for
major label releases, which can have many labels and companies involved.

Please be aware of this when submitting, don't automatically change the
information presented on your release to 'fit in' with what is currently
listed on Discogs for major labels.

Always ask in the adding and updating forum if you are in doubt.

DIDX and other DID_ Codes

DID_ codes are the numbers used by Sony's manufacturing company,
Digital Audio Disc Corporation, to identify the master copies of CDs
duplicated in their pressing plants.

These codes should not be used as catalog numbers, please only enter
them into the notes section.

DADC has used a number of different DID_ code series over the years:

  • DIDC - Classical recordings released on Sony-affiliated record
  • DIDP - Popular (i.e., non-classical) recordings released on
    Sony-affiliated record labels.
  • DIDX - Recordings pressed by DADC by released on non-Sony-affiliated
    record labels.
  • DIDY - Recordings pressed by the US division of DADC for the
    Columbia House Record Club.
  • DIDZ - Recordings released on WEA Japan. (This code was only used
    from 1983 to 1985.)

A DIDX code on a release doesn't necessarily mean that copy of the
release was actually pressed by DADC. As more CD pressing plants opened
around the world, the record labels would often have other manufacturers
press later runs of releases originally manufactured by DADC, but
wouldn't necessarily remove the DADC mastering code from the CD's
packaging. In some cases the DIDX codes also appear in the matrix codes
of CDs manufactured by other companies.

The CSIG code that appears on some 3" CD singles may also be a
DADC-assigned mastering ID, making it a close cousin of the DID_ codes. codes (ASINs)

Be aware that codes (prefix: B000) used as catalog numbers
may indicate the submitter has taken the information from Amazon, and
not from the release itself. It is forbidden to use any source except
from the release itself as the primary source of information; please see
the general guidelines. Note, however, that Universal
subsidiaries / sub-labels can have a similar catalog number prefix;
these always have dashes in them, though.


Label - This is the brand the recording is sold under. The brand can
have the same name as the company releasing the item, or it can be a
separate entity.

Record Company - This is the official, legal name for a business
entity that is involved in the release. Sometimes, the name will have an
ending such as Ltd. (UK limited company) or GmbH (German company with
limited liability); a full
of these
types of business entities is maintained on Wikipedia. A company name
mentioned on a release may contain a country or territory name, such as
when the company operates in multiple territories; sometimes the
country/territory is part of the legal name, other times it's just added
to prevent ambiguity on specific releases and should be treated as a
name variation.

Label names and company names can be identical - for example, for small
independent labels - and can simply be treated as labels.

Distributor - This is a company who distributes the product to the
final point of retail (shops).

Publisher - This company is responsible for the writer's (composer's
and lyricist's) interests regarding aspects such as organizing and
selling the writers work, registering the works with collecting
societies and agencies, such as MCPS and PRS, producing and licensing
the production of printed music, and licensing the use of music. The
publishing company is often listed on a release alongside the name of a
collection society such as ASCAP or BMI.

Production Company - Consist of one or more producers and associated
support (administrative, publicity, technical etc).

Licensed From - Tells us the publisher that the work was licensed

Recording Studio - Facilitates the audio recording.

Mastering Studio - Produces the final master audio ready for

Manufacturer - Physically creates the final product to be sold.

Other / Unknown - Can be used where the role is unclear or not

Series - A special entity used to list a series of recordings. A
label will brand such a series with the same name / logo. A series
should also have a label. If in doubt, assume that an entity is a label.

Catalog Number - Usually the most prominent number printed on the
release, this number is the one that shops, label catalogs, collectors,
and Discogs use as the main reference number for a release

Matrix Number - A matrix number is used during the manufacturing
process to keep track of the process, for example to mark the sides of a
record. Often the matrix number will be the catalog number followed by a
side identifier, for example ABC-001-A and ABC-001-B, although for some
releases, the matrix number will be entirely different.

Barcode - An optical, machine-readable representation of data. A
barcode usually represents a purely numeric Global Trade Item Number
(GTIN), and is usually placed above or below a human-readable set of the
same digits with dashes and separations added, but these human-readable
digits are sometimes missing digits or contain mistakes. A GTIN may be
8, 12, 13 or 14 digits long, and can be constructed using any of four
numbering structures, depending upon the exact application. Audio media
usually features either the 12 or 13-digit format (GTIN-12 or GTIN-13).
GTIN-12s are usually encoded in UPC-A barcodes (primarily on North
American items) but can alternatively be in ITF-14, or GS1-128 barcodes;
and GTIN-13s are usually encoded in EAN-13 barcodes (primarily on
European items).

Other Number - Can be used for any other number encountered on the