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ENUM or separate table?


Guldstrand
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What is the best way to store a few formats/types on different mass media?
Like "vhs", "dvd", "blu-ray" for movies or "lp", "cassette", "cd" etc for music.

Is it ok with an ENUM field with all types / formats or should I have a separate table just for these?
(I already have a table with all genres.)

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I am not a great fan of ENUM, preferring to have choices like your "media type" in a table with an id, and store the id in the data table as a foreign key.

Having such values in a table makes it easy to form a list of choices for the user, a task which is a PITA if the values are stored as enum.

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Every time you need a new format you'll have to modify your table schema. That's not a good thing.
There is no exhaustive list of formats you can rely on, which means you are coming up with this list on your own and deciding "yeah, I think that's all of them". That's not a good thing.
If there's 20 different media formats then you've got an ENUM with 20 different entries. That's not a good thing.

It's the same problem as you had with the list of genres.

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