I’ve been working on restoring my music library, which is quite extensive. In the past, I’ve used TuneUp, which has been pretty spot-on as far as identifying songs yet as TuneUp no longer seems to be in development, I need to look into alternatives, and Musicbrainz seems to be “the” alternative to Gracenote.
Yet, my first pass (using Jaikoz) with MusicBrainz has, to be polite, introduced a significant delta in expected results, to the point where I am now manually tagging over 80% of over 50,000 songs.
In my efforts to determine where the point of failure lies, I’ve decided to focus on a specific subset of music - specifically my Beatles collection, because I (as the kids say) “have the receipts” - I know exactly which albums I do have.
To be clear, the vast majority of my collection also “has the receipts.” I have my CD collection, my husband’s CD collection, my mother’s and my father’s. That comprises the bulk of my collection. However, my Beatles collection - acquired long before the Internet existed, is solely comprised of the Parlophone CDs, 1, and I believe the first Anthology. So if I bang my collection up against Musicbrainz, every song I have should belong to one of those CDs or be a duplicate thereof.
A Hard Day’s Night is tagged as I Should Have Known Better (RM1 take 22), A Hard Day’s Night Deluxe Edition, Vol. One, Track 2 of 31,
MB Release ID a8436b07-c2c8-4b19-9ea9-a568c7d9d264,
MB Recording ID efeb57e6-b076-4485-a343-fcf5f5bce7f4
MB Track ID dbc729ba-a3c0-486f-970f-88e31741cc67
This should be A Hard Day’ Night, track 1 from the Parlophone 2009 release. it literally HAS to be, because that’s the only way I acquired the song.
Eight Days A Week - should be on Beatles For Sale, or, at worst the “Red Album” (of which I have no provenance) but Musicbrainz has it as “The US Albums” which was released long after I stopped buying CDs and purchased directly from iTunes.
Eight Days A Week, The U.S. Albums,
MB Release ID 7d00573d-1007-4321-ac9e-e003b714a4c3
MB Recording ID 63dd7ef6-6d6e-44d5-a4d9-190e49223077
MB Track ID b2b6331f-0c67-416b-9f5a-25c4877c2bc4
Sie liebt dich - should be on Past Masters Volume 1, as that’s the CD I purchased. Yet Musicbrainz has this as Sie liebt dich (She Loves You) / I’ll Get You
MB Release ID 395813d4-16c7-4787-b5c0-e9ff0bc864f6
MB Recording ID 7a2287d6-357e-4cb4-adae-f19db3469c8b
MB Track ID 0eee4027-47fc-4993-b389-edb1d82a73a9
I bring these up because not a single song in my collection should be tagged to anything esoteric, and yet my collection is now tagged to albums I never owned, at the expense of albums I do own.
Now, I believe that the music tagger needs to take the blame for not assembling albums and just hitting the first entry and calling it a day, regardless. But the tagger can only work with the data it’s given, and I don’t know if Musicbrainz data is clean enough to accurately tag my collection - or if the ALL the folks tagging have the provenance for their entries. I have “apples to apples” comparisons. Gracenote would absolutely match these songs to the albums I expect. And IIRC, Musicbrainz has unique IDs for each individual file. Which means that someone told Musicbraiz that a song file that should have been attached to, say, Beatles For Sale, or Past Masters, belongs elsewhere and as QA is crowdsourced, it would take decades for the data to be properly attested and the proper albums “rise to the top.”
I could be very wrong with how Musicbrainz works, but right now, based solely on the results I get for the Beatles alone, I do not know if the database is as accurate as people hope.
My concurrent effort is to also work with Jaikoz to see if the tagger can be configured to “build albums” or otherwise prefer the top rated results.
If I am wrong in my assumptions (and I could very well be wrong), any insights into how to get the correct data would be greatly appreciated. I’m going to continue to use my Beatles collection as the “control” until I can make sense of how this system works. I can also provide a csv of the data.