Adding your own music / linking user accounts to artists or labels

If you’re a musician, and you also love MusicBrainz, then it makes sense that you’d want to tag any self-released music with the correct MusicBrainz metadata. I routinely do this myself: finishing a song, then adding it into the MusicBrainz entry for my self-released premasters, then a week later once the metadata’s been approved at MB, actually uploading the track to the page.

This is working quite well for me, but I understand that I’m basically working backwards: MusicBrainz, like Wikipedia, seems designed to cite other sources, rather than to be the originator of any information. So I end up with a chicken-and-egg type situation.

In particular, during that week-long wait for approval, I’m saying “here’s a song that’s available on my website” when what I really mean is “here’s where a song will be available on my website just as soon as this edit’s approved”. During that time, someone else can visit my website, see the song’s not there yet, and contest my edit. This week, that finally happened.

Is there any way to say that a particular user is the same person as a particular artist, or in a particular band, or runs a particular label, and therefore auto-accept their edits just for that one artist/band/label? I could see that being useful for anyone in the industry who wants to edit their own music’s entries.

I’m sure what I should be doing is uploading my songs without the metadata first, and acknowledging all the credits, the license, etc, outside of MusicBrainz first, so I can point to such citations in MB. I realise this is all my own fault for making my site so dependent on MB as if MB is the primary source, rather than the other way around. But can anyone blame me for liking MB so much? :blush:

For now, I guess whenever I add my own tracks to this particular release, I’ll make sure the edit note is along the lines of “I made this track, so please believe me, as soon as the edit’s approved, I will upload it to the specified site”, but I’d rather avoid repeatedly saying such things if possible.

I think being able to link a user account to an artist or label (after some kind of manual verification) would be useful to encourage more musicians and label owners to enter their own metadata. In theory, they should be authoritative on the subject of their own music, cutting out all the guesswork and hearsay.


This also ties in to how neat it would be to let users who are artists or label owners upload a photo of their own band, even if it’s not noteworthy enough to have a Wikipedia entry. At the moment, because Wikipedia’s the only accepted source of artist photos, anyone Wikipedia doesn’t deem noteworthy can’t have their photo on MusicBrainz. Especially since the music industry collapsed, that’s quite a lot of artists.

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The lack of photos is for all artists due to some daft legal claim.

I would have thought if you start more edits with “This is me” or “I am the artist” it should stop the daft no votes from the pedants.

Maybe add a few more notes on your user profile about your music? Like a link to your MB artist page? Makes it easier for voters to check then. :slight_smile:


For artist photo’s I would just upload the photo to wikimedia commons and see what happens.
Wikimedia commons has a rule that you should not upload self promotional material so you should probably not upload this yourself.
But I wonder if there was a openly licensed photo somewhere that someone could upload on your behalf?

For musicbrainz there should be a musicbrainz -> wikidata -> Wikimedia commons set of relationships.
There is not a notability requirement for wikidata in the same way there is for a wikipedia article and being the glue in the middle should be useful enough for thair requirements.


Real glad to see an Artist using MB for their Releases.

It would be great to have more Artists doing this.
And you sharing what works and what doesn’t gives 3 everyone here valuable insight.

More Artist photos on MB would be a real plus and would make it more attractive to more Artists - I understand that is planned for MB. Maybe one of coding people could tell us how it is progressing?


I had no idea profile pages supported any kind of formatting or linking! I’ve now added a link to both my artist page and record label’s page. Thanks for the tip, Ivan!

It might possibly be a worthwhile feature request to add a basic help / information box to showing which formatting is available. I used a bit of trial and error to work out that you should use square brackets for links, with the URL before the pipe and the text after it, but I think there are probably a lot of users who might not be quite so wiki-savvy yet might still want to do such a thing. It’s a really neat feature, why not offer a handy guide where it’s needed?

As for artist photos (and for that matter, lyrics), I realise there are vexatious litigants, but if there’s a way for a user to say “I’m this particular artist, I have the legal right to anything in relation to my work that I upload, and I hereby give you permission to publish it”, and if you can verify that person is who they claim… I’d imagine that would then give you the legal ability to let them upload photos, lryics, etc for just their own works.

I think that in many ways, MusicBrainz is more similar to, say, IMDB than Wikipedia. It’s a really useful resource when you’re thinking “who contributed to this art, and what else did they contribute to?” I’m pretty sure actors willingly provide their headshots to IMDB because they’re spending time/effort/money on cultivating a professional image of themselves, and getting that carefully cultivated image into such a database is good for their career.

I can only imagine musicians might view MusicBrainz in that same way. “We spent a lot on publicity photos of our band, press releases of our new album, etc… When people look us up in a popular online database, it would be nice if they could see our glossy photos, rather than a photo a fan took on a smartphone at a concert several years ago.” I’d wager that for some bands and labels, they’d have a vested interest in getting some of their copyrighted content into the database, so would gladly upload it themselves. But obviously you wouldn’t want to let anyone upload someone else’s publicity photos, lyrics, and so on, only their own. While I can’t speak for anyone else, I’d certainly be uploading my lyrics and even my logo if that was an option. :blush:


I think I good edit note here would have been something like:

I am Zoë Blade, the artist. I’m making this edit to seed the data into the files I will be uploading shortly after the edit has gone through. It will be available in this location: … (only accessible to my patrons)

(Last part may or may not be applicable. :slight_smile: )

One of the ways that MusicBrainz is more similar to Wikipedia compared to IMDb is the licensing: when you upload your mug shot to IMDb, you grant a license to IMDb and only IMDb to propagate said image. When you upload data to MusicBrainz or Wikipedia, you grant a license to everyone to propagata said data. Artists that spend “time/effort/money on cultivating a professional image of themselves” are not always comfortable in letting anyone use this professional image for (almost) whatever that 3rd party might feel like.

However, this is a different discussion which is worthy of its own, separate thread… and I’m pretty sure there already is at least one already. :wink:


I am not a recording artist, but I do talk to local recording artists about MusicBrainz, and I urge them to do the same thing. That is, I want them to make an entry in MusicBrainz for an upcoming Release with all its tracks and contributing artists, so that when the Release appears in digital file form, the digital file can have the MBIDs for the Release and Artists and Tracks embedded in the digital file. And, when the Release appears in CD form, the CD DiscId is already registered in MusicBrainz. I am willing to make the entries for them, in advance of the Release being distributed.

I would like to see MusicBrainz have some style or editing guideline to encourage this sort of pre-registration, as long as it is done right and in good faith. I think it’s wonderful for MusicBrainz to see artists embedding MBIDs in recordings right from the first distributed copies.

Yay, @ZoeB, I applaud you!


One thing you may want to do is add the recording first then update the medium.
Adding a recording is automatically applied without needing to vote so you can add details to that straight away.

You can then edit your release to add this recording.
As this is a change it will go through the normal 7 day window before the edit is complete.