I think this release and this release of Valotte by Julian Lennon could be merged. What do you think?
The back cover scan from @Cheezmo seems to match the back cover image on Discogs (linked to other release, Release “Valotte” by Julian Lennon - MusicBrainz).
looking at the front images back-to-back, I notice there’s different spacing between the letters across the top. I probably wouldn’t merge
also, the catalog numbers are slightly different scratch that, they might be the same, or the Discogs release might be linked to the wrong MB release… actually, now that I look closer at the Discogs release, I think I see the wider spacing of the first release linked
The short cat no is on the CD and centre of rear cover. The longer cat no is on the spine.
I’m not sure if I trust the image with less spacing as no edit note to backup the source. I’d always be suspicious of uncredited artwork.
The discogs images as linked match the Cheezmo images. Right down to the centre silvered ring on the Made in West Germany CD by Polygram CD with same red target on it.
I’d merge them as the earlier release is missing any real details as to where it is from. I’d trust the newer Cheezmo one more as it is better referenced and matches the Discogs page pretty well. Edit notes reveal a lot about quality of data.
The front cover art appears different - see the black patch in the bottom right of the “no edit notes” Release. Which would mean 2 separate Releases.
However a 10 minutes google has that black patch coverart looking to me like it comes from LP coverart and MAYBE not cd coverart.
If you search and are confident that there is no blackpatch cd Release then you could delete coverart, and then proceed as you think best.
That red target is significant. “Target” CDs are a thing, and they are collectibles. I know of a couple of websites that are dedicated to cataloging these discs, and, while many albums have multiple “Target” releases, both of these websites seem to be aware of only one “Target” release of this album.
The Target CD Collection: Lennon, Julian
Discogs also only lists one release with the “Target” designation.
I looked through all the Discogs CD releases. Several have the cover with the white border, but none of them are coupled with the Target version of the CD. However, all the releases with the same catalog number also have the same barcode, but none of them have the white-bordered cover.
The release with the white-bordered cover:
- is linked to the Discogs “Target” release
- has the same barcode as the Target release
- has the same catalog number as the Target release
Those three parameters agree, and the artwork seems to be the odd man out. I’m inclined to conclude that the two releases in question could be merged, and the white-bordered cover discarded as an incorrect cover.
Or, since there are several releases with the white border, this release could be changed to match a different Discogs release.
I’ve updated both releases with an annotation. I think it may be of advantage to keep them separate for now, just for the purpose of studying the amazing bits of “forensic” research in this thread.
In case somebody with an actual copy of a CD or LP comes along, there may be more evidence to make a conclusion.
Once you have been here long enough you’ll realise this kind of decision is going on all of the time. The good part of this thread is you see how people come to the decisions about quality of data and using external sources for checks.
It is also why it is so important to add notes to any edits. When I see artwork without notes I just assume a tagger has uploaded a random image to look pretty.
If there’s been this much discussion and still no certainty over the existence of a release, then let’s remove/merge it.
When there isn’t enough information in a database item to even confirm it’s existence = zero value.
Worse than zero value even, because it causes confusion - and other DB’s/users can duplicate incorrect information and then a feedback loop begins.
If the release does exist it is pretty trivial for someone to recreate it with some actual useful info
Put it to a vote. @aerozol sums it up well. I don’t think anything in this thread is saying keep the duffer. By putting the Merge Edit into place anyone who has subscribed to it will now get a notification that there is a change going ahead.
Way back in the distant pre-NGS era a lot of data was added with less checks than today. The database gets some good critical eyes looking over it now which sweep up data like this.
I haven’t done an intensive front-coverart search. If people voting to merge have done an extensive search on the wider - not just Discogs - internet, or have a statement from an Editor that they have confidence in who has done such a wide search then, yeah lets merge.
- No known wide seach for the front coverart would mean “no to merge” for me.
- Generally - if this was the sole instance in a Release Group (which it clearly is not) then I’d be voting against deleting it (and yes, deletion is not being proposed even for this low confidence Release).
Having seen what was, AIUI, editor-curated links being mass deleted instead of being moved to Annotations, and that deletion of high quality info from the db triggering nadah-zero process flags in the MB project, I’m pushing back against any possible development of a MB culture of “over-enthusiasm to remove data”. (This “over-enthusiasm to remove” is not present in the current case unless there has been no intensive wide internet search for matching front coverart.)
If you’re referring to my edit note, a reverse image search does search ‘the wider internet’. In this case it matched 1:1 to a Discogs LP image.
Even without an image search the release has nothing unique attached (including this average quality image without lineage) so it’s an easy merge. If there was anything useful or identifiable attached it would be a different story, as you suggest.
This is not “over enthusiasm to remove”. This is about adding polish and quality to the data we have. As noted in the merge note, there is next to nothing in that edit history. There are edits with gaps of years apart that add a track list, a cat no (with a description of “Made in West Germany by Polygram”), and a photo added four years later without source credit that has been traced to an LP on Discogs.
The other release is a great example of a consistent Release which all links together - art, discID, catnos all coming in at the same time and with proper references. And it clearly shows that text on the CD image of “Made in West Germany by Polygram” with matching cat nos.
There is a lot more care and checks going on here that you are giving us credit for. Totally agree that we should not just delete stuff that “looks wrong”. This certainly would not be deleted if it was the only Release in a RG. This is being researched and checked and making sure nothing is being lost. We are being careful and more eyes are on this one checking it than many edits thanks to this thread.
(Haha - this geek had to do the daft stat - the eyes on this thread have 500,000 edits between us )
Sorry, not trying to sound aggressive. Just listing some of the train of thought going in here. Not meaning to upset anyone. I am just a bit rubbish at how I type at times.
No idea what this is about - don’t think it is related here? We are not loosing anything. I agree that any deleting of data is bad. I know I often poke people to add things back into annotations if interesting details are being lost. Can you give more details? Or is this OT?
It is about what followed directly after the comma that is directly after the end of what you quote - ", I’m pushing back against any possible development of a MB culture of “over-enthusiasm to remove data”.
Yes as I think new Editors need to see that removing info from the db is better done only after very careful consideration. (Which I’m confident has happened for this Merge seeing @aerozol 's post above.)
Absolutely agree with you. Destruction of data is bad. This is a database for history and is a snapshot of what we know about the music and its medium. It is quite common that a link that was referenced for an edit five years ago has now disappeared leaving MB as the only place with that knowledge. I’ve often gone diving in the Way Back Machine to pull information out to preserve it about some obscure artist.
I hope new editors can see here we are carefully checking the data and them merging it into a better shape. Nothing will be lost. All references should be kept - even if they are not interesting to us, they may well be interesting to someone else in the future.
There is no such thing as too much information.
I know what you mean! (In my case it bugs me when I see it with digital releases) But I don’t think that all MB data is good data and should be kept
Imo if you can’t meaningfully identify, find, understand (etc) data then it’s often not useful. For instance, if someone wants to find a cover image for this release there’s hundreds in a Google image search. Adding 100 of these cover images to a release would be adding heaps of ‘data’. But it wouldn’t improve MB in terms of what it aims to do. Provide searchable information, with a reasonable level of confidence, on specific releases.
When I worked at the library I learnt a lot from watching the archive team. I was shocked when they would throw piles of photos in the bin*, or refuse their donation
When I asked why they said it was because there was no identifying information in the image. The donator had no information on where they were from - no physical location, no names of who was in the images, who took them. They had no artistic interest. When the community was approached none of this information arose, and because of the age of the photos it was unlikely that any ever would. They could scan the images and put them into the online database - but without any tags they would be completely unfindable. They would just float there in isolation, and nobody would ever look at them. Without search terms that could be applied - addresses, topics, people - they represented hours of cataloging work for no value to the community. A blurry picture of two people at a party was only useful if someone (for instance) was looking for ancestral information and a relative was in the picture, and that name was findable. I just thought if it’s old then surely there’s value! But after observing them (and their db stats/usage) for just a short while I agreed with their approach.
*don’t worry, they were very professional, and studiously uploaded hundreds of thousands of photos, but archival space is not unlimited sadly
Great topic, thanks @mmirG
@aerozol, what you write is a brilliant push-back against the bias towards not improving the database by deleting useless sloppy data.
If things change and MB stops presenting me with necessary info only in Cyrillic when I attempt to edit, then, armed with your rousing post, I’ll delete useless data much more often.