10. Capitalization Casing and Abbreviations

10.1 Capitalization, Casing, and Abbreviations

AlbumTitles and TrackTitles should not be in all capitals, all lowercase, or random casing unless it is a specific stylistic choice by the artist. Even in the case of a stylistic choice by the artist, a Digital Merchant may revert to their standard capitalization and casing.

When communicating a name or title in a different language, different rules may apply.

For example:




Album Title


Title is all upper case

Album Title

the downward spiral

Title is all lower case

Track Title

a TIMe to love

Title has random capitalization

“The” should be capitalized when it is the start of an Artist’s name. The following words should be lowercase, with a few exceptions:

  • a, an, and, as, but, for, from, nor, of, or, so, the, to, yet
  • Prepositions of four letters or fewer (at, by, for, from, in, into, of, off, on, onto, out, over, to, up, and with). Where a word that can act as a preposition acts in another way, it should be capitalized in accordance with the rules for that role.

NOTE: This is not consistent across all retailers, so consult with your Digital Merchant on their specific requirements for capitalization.

These rules should also apply to foreign language equivalents.

For example:

  • In the Still of the Night
  • (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman
  • To Be, or Not to Be
  • The One and Only

Always capitalize the first and last word in a title. Capitalize the first and last word in parentheses.

For example:

  • To Be, or Not to Be
  • What They’re Looking For
  • War (What Is It Good For?)
  • (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman

Intentionally misspelled words should be capitalized as if they were spelled correctly.

For example:

  • In da House
  • Kill ‘Em n’ Grill ‘Em It’s fo’ Realz

The elements of hyphenated words should be capitalized except for a, an, and, for, from, of, or, the, to, and in. Digital Merchants may alter the capitalization on their site.

For example:

  • Down-and-Out Blues
  • Just Another Run-of-the-Mill Day

NOTE: For general cases on capitalization and title casing not addressed in this guide, refer to The Chicago Manual of Style: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html

Frequent abbreviations of the original title should not be used to provide additional information about the content.

The following abbreviations are acceptable: &, a.k.a., DJ, feat., No., Pt., Pts., TV, vs., Vol. to be used only in titles. They should not be used in artist names.

The following case-specific abbreviations should not be used: Alt., Dj, Ft., Feat., N., Rmx, Tv, tv, V., Vl., Vs., v., w/, w/o

Please use discretion when making these changes retroactively to your catalog or expending resources to change current releases. The requirements for Digital Merchants in this area are varied.