For the model of a software project, I need a generic term that is abstract enough to encompass a single song, TV episode, movie, audiobook, etc.

The word content comes to mind, but it is plural. The words entity and item are much too ambiguous.

Any ideas?

  • 3
    Content is not necessarily plural - it can be a mass/uncountable noun. Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 11:16

6 Answers 6


How about composition?

The Associated Press Stylebook's section on composition titles includes instructions on how to handle titles of:

books, computer and video games, movies, operas, plays, poems, albums, songs and radio and TV shows, as well as the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art.

  • Composition seems like it would work great. Thanks!
    – Ian Unruh
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 16:26

How about "media item"? That's what I've seen similar software use.

  • I use "media clip" for playable content. While "clip" has connotations of brevity, it's merely short for "clipping," and relative: what's a feature film but a two-hour clip made from two hundred hours of footage.
    – choster
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 6:42
  • I seem to recall the phrase "1000 media items in your library" used in some software; don't remember which one it was though. Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 6:58
  • Media without item would seem to be sufficient.
    – Adam Musch
    Commented Apr 13, 2012 at 14:22
  • No, media is plural. Think what the user is doing with the software - "I would like to play a media" versus "I would like to play a media item". Commented Apr 14, 2012 at 3:09

Use the word "Entertainment"....


Perhaps terms like these:

media asset, media file, media clip.


The most generic word creative people use is piece. You might consider number.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Ditionary piece > [countable] a single item of writing, art, music, etc. that somebody has produced or created; a short item of writing from a longer work

piece of something a piece of music/art a fine piece of writing They performed pieces by Bach and Handel.

Merriam-Webster Dictioanry piece 5 : a literary, journalistic, artistic, dramatic, or musical composition


How about: "PLAY" ?

This encompasses all of the sections that you require.

  • 1
    -1 "Play" is what you do to/with them - not what they are.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Jul 24, 2013 at 17:46
  • Only in a theatrical sense.
    – Mike Nakis
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 8:29

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