Ambiguously titled tracks, but not necessarily untitled


I came across the release Ghostride the Drift - Ghostride the Drift and I noticed that the tracks had been edited to be [untitled].

The reasoning for this is that they might refer to vinyl indices, rather than being actual track names.

I don’t think that this is a sound conclusion though - the artist made a choice to label the tracks on Bandcamp as:


Given the option to call them all untitled, I take these to be the intended titles.

There are other sources that cite it as [untitled], but Bandcamp is the only one actually set by the artist, all the others are presumably taking the lead from MusicBrainz or just assuming based on the lack of liner information.

Keen to hear what you think. I’ve deleted my edit so people can discuss it.


Seeing as people seem to agree with my reasoning here, I’ve reinstated my edit.


For reference this is the release:

And this is the release on Bandcamp: Ghostride The Drift | Ghostride The Drift | xpq?

To me the naming on Bandcamp looks intentional, I think as this is the entry for the Bandcamp release the track titles should follow how it is named there. Not sure if that would be different for the actual Vinyl release.


Thanks for including the context.

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I would also preserve the “A1”, “A2”, etc. titles as displayed on Bandcamp (and regularly do, when I’m adding Bandcamp releases). It seems to follow the artist’s intent (as far as I can guess from what they typed into Bandcamp) and it’s probably more useful for people using MusicBrainz to tag their files.

I also see a lot of albums with “Side A” and “Side B” tracks when entering digital media releases of albums that were originally released on cassette. I usually preserve those as well, but I’m not sure if something else is preferable; perhaps Style / Unknown and untitled / Special purpose track title - MusicBrainz could be updated to provide some guidance.

(One caveat is that I’m not sure if Bandcamp prevents multiple tracks in a single album from having the same title. If it does, maybe the artist’s preference was for these to be untitled, but they weren’t able to do so. I’m not certain, but I think I sometimes see “Untitled 1”, “Untitled 2”, etc., which I tend to enter as “[untitled]” instead.)


i just tested this to be sure, and bandcamp does allow this!


so i would personally also be more inclined to retain the “A1, A2…” titles. the artist could’ve named every track Untitled if they wanted to


I agree that is clearly an Artist Intent of naming those tracks on Bandcamp. If they were meant to be “untitled” then they would be “untitled” on Bandcamp.


I wonder if tracks can be left really untitled in Bandcamp.
How I understood [untitled], it must be used only when the title is not shown at all.
Isn’t it so?

All those [something] are used when there is a lack of genuine text and we have to make up some text of our own, and we are putting brackets to show it’s some [editor text], not something coming from the artist or release.

If a physical release has some unlisted tracks at the end, taht’s where we use [them].
But if a physical tracklist shows some track as Untitled or Chanson sans titre, or Bài không tên, then we should follow this intent, unless we can demonstrate it is really a track with no title.


Sorry @zapmonkey but could you please cancel and redo while checking Reuse previous recordings button in the Recordings tab?
And then check all the Update the recording title to match the track title checkboxes, in the same tab?

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Yep, will do, very new to this.

Edit: Done.

I agree and this is what I meant. That Bandcamp page clearly shows 1. A1, 2.A2, 3.B1 etc which is a supplied name. And if the title was written as “untitled” then that is I would have literally written in.

[untitled] is when the name is blank or totally missing from a printed track list.

I am trying to think back as I know I’ve had some oddly title Bandcamp stuff, but don’t think I can remember anything that was blank.


The titles are just vinyl side numbers, they’re not printed on physical release. These are still untitled tracks and it should follow the style guideline. Artist intent has to be proven, these should still be considered untitled tracks.

I use [untitled] when the track doesn’t have a given title. “Untitled” or “A1” could be a literal title, but that would require proof of artist intent. An example would be Movable Parts, Chapter 1, which has the following titles printed in order “Untitled 1”, “Untitled”, “Untitled 2”, “Untitled Scetch”. In this case, nothing is printed on the physical release, and tracks being listed like “Track 1”, “A1”, “Untitled A1” on digital platforms requiring some kind of title to be entered, should still be standardized to [untitled].

There’s a guideline that applies:

In some genres, like techno music, it is relatively common for releases to have a title, but no title for the individual tracks, as Christian Wünsch’s Proved Negligence. These tracks should be considered untitled tracks, and can be entered as [untitled] or, following the unofficial name guideline, as [Release Name, Part X] (always in square brackets).

I never see the unofficial name guideline being used in these cases, though. It’s a guideline, but an optional one not in common use.

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That is titled. Click on any track and you go to a page with a title at the top.


If it was untitled they would just be 1 to 5.

The artist has chosen to type those titles out when uploading the digital version of the tracks.


@finalsummer is probably right about this being a techno album without track titles, but on a release basis, for a reason or another, the artist had to come up with titles for Bandcamp, and I don’t see any harm in keeping these track titles as they are presented to us by the artist (or by their representatives).

The same recording can have several track titles, depending on release context.
And we could (if enough time to spend on this) choose the most useful track title for the recording title (like Release Title B3 rather than having 2 pages of [untitled] artist recordings).

Please, as you were on it, link. :slight_smile:
I would like to just click, not search.


If the numbering includes vinyl sides in the most common format of denoting vinyl sides in a track number, it suddenly becomes a legitimate title? Do you think it’s a coincidence that the physical release without printed titles also has two tracks on the A side and three tracks on the B side and that other sources list it as untitled?

The Resident Advisor review refers to the tracks as The B1 instead of “B1”. They’re not titled. This is so common that in this genre of music that the untitled guidelines makes a specific mention of it.

just for the record, i’m not exactly sure how, but you can leave a track name blank on bandcamp


knowing this i’m just not very comfortable removing intentionally placed titles. plenty of people have blank albums, or albums with tracks all called “untitled”. i don’t see the benefit at all to calling tracks “untitled” when they do objectively have titles on this specific release


That track title probably contains an Unicode white space character that isn’t one of the common space ones. If you don’t know how to type it, I would assume that most other artists not using some weird Unicode white space character instead of putting “Untitled” or “Track 1” as their track titles actually didn’t intend the track to be named that and did it just because a track title was required.


This is not the White Label vinyl. It is a reissue as digital files. So this version of the release has gained names on the tracks via that Bandcamp store. If the original vinyl was added, then of course it would be [untitled].

As it is currently the only version of the Release listed in MB then it makes sense to respect the seller’s choice of naming.


If it has legitimate titles added later, those should be on all releases with an annotation. It’s not uncommon to see a release with one or a few tracks given a title from a different source. You should never use [untitled] for tracks that have a title, even if there’s no title printed. Again, the guidelines are very clear about this.

If the artist gives the track a name somewhere else (for example, on their website) that name should be used instead of [unknown].

We shouldn’t “respect” metadata provided on Bandcamp etc. Files from there often contain things like album artists in the album/track tag with the label name in artist tag. That’s not intentional either. There’s no checkbox for untitled tracks on Bandcamp that formats them uniformly. There’s no enforced style guidelines at all on Bandcamp, but there are on MBz, and that’s why people often prefer to use MBz metadata to tag their files.


It’s not a coincidence - it’s the source of the name.

In the same way that Blur’s classic “Song 2” is named for being the second song on the album. I wouldn’t go change that to say “untitled” either.


You need to prove the artist intent. Pretty easy to do with the Blur song, which was released as a single with the same title! Why is “A1” a legitimate title here but not on the thousands of other vinyl releases in the same genre with untitled tracks (being so common in the genre, that the guidelines specifically mentions it)? It’s not just about this release.

There’s 11,071 vinyl releases on discogs with Untitled as a track title in just the Techno genre, 35,461 for electronic as a whole. I don’t think any active editors here wants to go through that many releases, see if they have a digital issue with placeholder track titles since the retailer requires something to be filled in, and then use whatever formatting they used instead of [untitled] as the title in MBz.

I don’t want to go hard on new editors, but this would be a very bad precedent set for editors active in this genre, like me.