As a general rule, as with everything else on VocaDB, information that is already provided in one way usually does not need to be repeated in other ways.
Note: even though this guide talks mostly about "Vocaloid", almost all of the rules apply to UTAU, CeVIO and other related voice synthesizers as well.
Original songs ("オリジナル曲" in Japanese) are songs that are completely original content and aren't based on other songs. Original song is the version of the song that was published first, later versions are considered as derivatives regardless of who made them.
As long as the above rule is true, the original song type takes precedence over all other types, with the exception of Drama PV (see below).
Note that on VocaDB self-covers and self-remixes, made by the artist themself, are to be classified as covers and remixes, not "original songs", unlike on NicoNicoDouga.
Sometimes the producer might publish multiple different versions of a song, usually with different vocals or different lengths, calling all of them originals. The songs might be published in different media, for example an album song vs. NicoNicoDouga upload. To avoid misunderstandings, as a rule of thumb the version that was published first, regardless of medium, should be considered the original, and all others are derivatives. There are exceptions to this rule, for example if the earlier version is officially labeled a cover or if it's commonly agreed that way.
Extended ("long") versions of songs should generally be separate from the original song entry on VocaDB, unless the short version was intended to be only a demo, in which case it can safely be replaced by the longer version. Extended versions should generally use the remix type.
Instrumental song that is an original, meaning it's not an instrumental version of some other song, should be classified as original song, not instrumental. Instead, you should indicate that the song is an instrumental by using the instrumental tag.
Sometimes the artist might release multiple versions of the song simultaneously. In this case the primary tie breaker is artist's intention (which version was intended to be the "original"?). If the primary tie breaker is ambiguous or unknown, the second tie breaker is choosing the Vocaloid song over other versions (for example if the other version is sung by a human vocalist). As with other decisions you make while editing, if it's not completely obvious, please state your reasons and how you got the information in the update notes whenever possible.
Remaster ("修正版" or "リマスター版" in Japanese) means an improved/remastered version of a song. Sometimes artists may replace the original song with a remastered version, even deleting the original. In that case it's not necessary to add another entry for the original, and the remaster can use the "original song" type.
Sometimes the artist remasters the song for an album release. Quite often album versions of songs are remasters, but this is not always the case. If the album version is not playable online, it's okay to use the original song entry (the album should be tagged with the remaster tag), but you may create a separate remaster entry for the album version as well.
In order to use the remaster song type the song should sound almost identical to the original, with the general melody and song structure intact. Strictly speaking, as the name implies, a remastered version should differ from the original only in terms of mastering, meaning the original recording stays the same. In the Vocaloid world this term is often interpreted more loosely, and is not always limited to just mastering. Still, if the new version is noticeably different from the original, the remaster song type should not be used.
Cover type should be preferred when the artist releases a new version of the song with another voicebank (even if it's an upgraded version of the old voicebank).
cover: "a recording or performance of a song previously recorded by another performer."
cover version: "a recording of a song by a singer, instrumentalist, or group other than the original performer or composer.".
Cover (カバー曲) is a re-recorded version of a song, usually by an artist other than the original. Most commonly in the Vocaloid/UTAU world covers are used to record the song with a different voicebank from the original, keeping the instrumentals intact. Sometimes a cover is another artist's interpretation of the song.
Outside of Vocaloid world, cover implies re-recording of the song. However, in Vocaloid context, the cover term is used when adding Vocaloid vocals to an existing instrumental recording.
Cover type should be used if the same song is re-released with new lyrics (see the changed lyrics tag).
Sometimes the original artist re-releases the song with new vocals. The cover song type should be used in this case, with the self-cover tag.
remix: "a variant of an original recording (as of a song) made by rearranging or adding to the original."
Remix is an edited version of the song, usually made to sound quite different. The remix is often different musical genre from the original. This song type should also be used even when the remix was made by the original artist. In this case you should add the self-remix tag.
Remix may or may not involve recording new music. Often remixes are made using samples from the original recording.
If the song is re-recorded by the original artist with the same vocals, and the new version is too different to be considered a remaster, even if it has the same musical style as the original song it should generally be classified as remix.
Live versions of songs should generally be classified as remixes. Please avoid adding too many live versions of songs though. For song lists it's usually better to use the original song entry, unless there's a special reason for adding an entry for the live version. The live recording tag can also be added.arrangement: "the adaptation of a composition to voices or instruments, or to a new purpose."
In general arrangement involves new composition, so it's closer to cover, but in the Vocaloid world it seems arrangement is more commonly used as synonym to remix. Sometimes arrangement is seen as umbrella term for cover and remix, meaning any type of derivative song. The definitions seem to vary.
If the song vocals are different, either with new voicebank or language, but instrumental track sounds like in the original, then it's likely a cover. If the song structure or genre is different, then it's probably remix. If both instrumental and vocals are changed, we generally favor classifying the song as cover.
All other things being equal, try to figure out what the intention of the artist was when they made the song.
AKA off-vocal or karaoke.
Instrumental song type should be used for one purpose: instrumental versions of songs, when a non-instrumental version with vocals is the original. This means, just like cover and remix, instrumental should always be a derived version.
Other than the lack of vocals, instrumental song should be the same as the original version. If the song is otherwise different, remix or cover type should be preferred (with the instrumental tag).
The music PV type is used for remarkable PVs of original songs. By creating a separate entry for the PV the animator and other people involved can be credited accordingly, and things like the MMD models used can be indicated with tags. Sometimes the PV might be more well known than the originally published version of the song, for example the Sweet Devil PV by wakamura and Love is War.
Like with most other song types, music PVs should always be derived versions. If the song was originally uploaded/published with the PV, that PV should be included with the original song entry.
Generally, only the official PV (PV that was commissioned by the song artist) should be added to the same entry as the original song. Any major derivative PVs made by unrelated artists should have their own (Music PV) entry, regardless of whether the song was originally published with a PV or not. Additional official PVs with major differences should have their own entries as well.
If the song was originally published without a PV, for example on an album, and an official PV is released afterwards, usually there is no need to create a separate entry for the PV, the PV can be added to the original song entry. PVs with minor differences such as model changes can be added to the original entry as well, with the "other" type.
Drama PV is an animation where the main focus is story instead of music. Most commonly these are made with the MMD software ("MMD Dramas").
Drama PVs don't need to contain any singing, or even talking, but in order to be accepted on VocaDB they should have a Vocaloid character in a major role, or be in some other way strongly related to Vocaloid (or UTAU).
Note that unlike with the other song types, the drama PV type should always be used when a PV is considered drama. This is because the other song types are used to represent music, while the content of drama PVs is fundamentally different. Drama PVs are almost always originals, there are very few derived dramas.
Mashup is a song that is made by blending two or more songs together.
Simple mashups where two songs are simply mixed together are discouraged on VocaDB, unless they're well-known or present on an album. These songs are allowed to some extent, but like with instrumental songs, try to keep the number low and quality high enough.
Songs that mix multiple covers of the same song together (joining multiple vocal tracks) should be labeled as covers.
For now it's not possible to specify multiple original songs in the "original song" field. That's why those original versions should be mentioned in song notes.Medley is a special case of mashup where the songs are primarily played one after another, possibly with some overlap. The mashup type is to be used for medleys as well, except in rare cases where the medley is actually an original song, in which case the original song type should be used. Remember to add the medley tag.
Try to focus on quality when adding medleys: Adding too many medleys is not recommended, you should stick to those that are remarkable in some way.