Are made-up digital compilations acceptable in MB?

I understand my question gives away my feeling about this, but this is an honest question, because:

  • The barrier for entry is extremely low, literally anyone can throw a bunch of songs together and call it a digital bootleg release;
  • This user clearly put a lot of effort into doing a good job and being useful. I wouldn’t want to put in edits to delete all these releases without being sure.

I’m talking specifically about editor @metaphorraccoon, who created releases for many (all?) of the Eurovision Song Contest (series here).

For each release, they explained:

Many Eurovision Song Contest years do not have official releases. This can make it difficult to manage them in digital media managers, such as Plex. There is also no consistently tagged collection of Eurovision Song Contest performances, making it difficult to create easy rules-based playlists. This collection of releases is aimed at helping this. They are not official releases and as such are marked as bootleg compilations.

The release information is sourced through Wikipedia, the Official Eurovision website, and supplemental fan information sites such as EurovisionWorld. The audio fingerprints are based on available Official audio recordings and releases, as well as audio extracted from performances hosted on YouTube, archives and other unofficial sources.

I think that’s fair, it can useful, but there’s no getting around the fact that these releases don’t actually exist, even as bootlegs, right? They could exist, but they don’t.

This is all very well-meant, but these are fake releases. The releases don’t exist. The release date is fake, it’s the date of the contest, which for many is half a century before there were digital releases.

My feeling is all these releases should be deleted, or is there an argument for keeping them on MB? Is the concept of digital-bootleg-compilation wide enough to accept releases that don’t seem to exist but are still useful to (possibly) many people?


I’ve never done this, but it seems to me that MB already has a place ready-made for things like this. Rather than releases, I think they should be Events, with setlists, under the “Various Artists” artist.

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They should really be a “series”.

But if they are producing full on bootlegs and sending them out via torrents, then they have precedence for that to be an acceptable release.

The “Events” idea is interesting, but not sure if it works here as events would be live versions? I assume these playlists are linking the singles.

Really they are just making up “playlists” which many people will now argue are legit.


i think if they are legit bootlegs (kind of an oxymoron there haha but you know what i mean) that can be downloaded somewhere, they have a space here. but if that’s the case the dates should be changed; i don’t really think digital music torrents were being published in 1957. & if there is no digital release at all, even a torrent, i don’t feel like they should be here.

i don’t know that i feel strongly enough to delete them. obviously there is some use to having them here, & if they’re entered properly they don’t cause too much of an actual problem. but i personally couldn’t justify adding them myself.

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@Beckfield, you make a good point about events setlists (I wasn’t aware of that), but I feel this editor wants these releases to organize their collection, event setlists wouldn’t be useful for that.

Yes, this is my point, I think the releases could exist, but they make no indication this is the case. Random torrents as releases already make me uncomfortable, but when even that doesn’t exist…


Damn, that is a lot of work someone has done…

As people know, I am usually very far on the side of ‘let the release exist’. But unless these releases actually exist as a torrent/bootleg/etc, then no, I don’t think they belong. The years definitely aren’t correct.


I’m with teethfairy and Aerozol - right now MusicBrainz is known for collecting metadata for digital bootleg releases in its database (not specifically I must add), and it isn’t the only one (RateYourMusic has a “bootleg / unauthorised” classifier and Discogs does list bootleg releases too). If they’re proper bootlegs that you can download, then sure. If they’re pseudo-releases that probably wouldn’t fly here or on RYM. IIRC MB doesn’t do pseudo-releases for events like Eurovision, mainly for translations if I recall.

If it really is a pseudo-release then I get why they did this - it helps with matching a whole collection of Eurovision songs, but honestly that’s what playlists are for. IMO they should’ve been added as an event with a setlist like @Beckfield stated. If it’s not then the years definitely need blanking out for at least the pre-digital download releases.

On that note, there’s also the fact that they added recent years, which do have proper releases. I added Liverpool 2023 when I bought it on Qobuz.


Great question indeed…
Let’s open the FLOODGATES! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m all for inclusivity… bootlegs, indie artists, DJs, and so on. We should aim to be the go-to database for all things music! What we need to focus on though, is constantly improving our organization to prevent the valuable from being lost in the clutter.

On the technical side, I believe in a near future MB will need to implement some sort of data-cleanup process. Perhaps it could be based on access frequency, consultation rates, API hit counts, and the like. This way, we could tidy up entries that seemed relevant at the time, but have proven to be irrelevant over the years.

Just my two cents on this.

If a music app like Plex, which the editor mentioned, wants to accommodate event setlists, I think they could modify their app to do that. I don’t think it’s a good reason to enter these things inaccurately, and I think a setlist from a competition, or a concert, being entered as if it were an actual release isn’t accurate. For one thing, as others have mentioned, using the date of the event as a release date is problematic.

It just feels like they are trying to shoe-horn these things into a structure that isn’t a perfect fit for it, so it will work in some other (one other) app.


@Beckfield, I agree with you, hence the thread.

Something else that came to mind is that it’s not even clear what these recording are. For a long time there were no releases for the Euro SC, I feel that’s quite a recent thing, performers would release their songs as studio-recorded singles to promote them. The release date is the contest date, but the recording lengths are for the studio recorded singles, presumably… Or not, it’s really clear

It seems there isn’t really any disagreement about this, even people from the other side of what I’d like to call the “Let It Be” divide seem to agree just making up a bootleg is crossing the line. I will put in the edits to delete these recordings, but I’ll make clear that if this releases actually existed, even as bootlegs, they would be allowed.


Hello everyone,

I believe we might be diverging from the main topic of discussion by focusing too much on a single example. The central question here, as highlighted by the author in the title, is:

“Are made-up digital compilations acceptable in MB?”

I propose that we redirect our discussions back to this overarching theme rather than focusing specifically on the provided example.

Best regards.

Actually, I created this thread specifically about this example, because I didn’t want to remove these releases without being sure what the community thinks. But I do think we reached a conclusion about the general topic: digital bootlegs are acceptable even in the most tenuous circumstances, such a song compilation torrent; but just making up a release because it’s useful to have is not acceptable.


There are quite a few old threads on the topic as it pops up quite often. Usually in a discussion on “playlists”.

Just wanted to pick up on this. As someone who edits some very weird, unpopular and rare music I don’t see how this would work. MB should never be a popularity contest. The way MB documents the really obscure and rare is a big bonus.

From a database viewpoint, storing more data should not be an issue. Storage costs are always getting cheaper per TB. Personally I think the question is more about categorisation which is where an unofficial playlist like in this thread needs a “type” as it is not official, and not a bootleg. And a “series” is not popular as it can’t translate into Picard for the taggers to use.


Some aspects of the notion of what constitutes ‘a release’ seems to be vague in MB definitions, perhaps deliberately, but…

How many streaming platforms does a digital stream need to be made available on for it to be considered released? and for how long? I notice the one I recently looked at because I have a cd of the same live concert doesn’t even list the platform (see Release “The Final Hurrah” by Simon & Garfunkel - MusicBrainz). So is it enough to stream a release from my server once for it to be released as a digital stream?

How is a digital stream that different to the broadcast of a live tv show and its set list? If I watch a recording of it on ‘catch-up’ TV does it now become released?

I feel like there’s a type of release missing that events currently attempt to handle, but not well. I’m reluctant to dismiss all of the work that has been done. It seems like MB needs some other release type.


Yes. As I understand it, “publicly available” comes in to the equation. So release it as a torrent and seed it for a week.

I believe if you publicise your “exclusive” stream in your blog for a few days then you can claim the same fame as those “top 100 rock tracks” playlists. As long as you tell a couple of your mates to read your blog and download, it is now public. Doesn’t really matter how well read your blog is.

Plenty of blogs out there who remaster albums and put them out as bootlegs while hosted on Google Drive.

But all of these actually exist - even for a limited time. Currently the lists that are the topic of this thread have only ever existed as track lists and never a physical download. Just a copy\paste of a Wikipedia page.


but an bbc iplayer recording would be more than a track list… why not add a new release type called event? - and a compromise

EDIT: i now understand the difference between the live broadcast and the tracklist of the singles that were performed on the broadcast. So this argument is retracted

i feel like this would be confusing as we already have “events” in musicbrainz.

ideally i’d really like if there could be a way to somehow use Picard to tag a series, as if it were a release… to me that sounds like the best compromise. it’s probably not possible but i already know of one series i’d love to be able to tag properly

this would be great. these releases could instead be entered as individual recording series and then it’s a win-win. though it’s probably not relevant for Plex unfortunately… even if we do somehow gain the ability to tag series with Picard i don’t think Plex would catch up. the tagging isn’t the issue there, it’s that Plex sorts its releases based on the MusicBrainz release database, so these still wouldn’t be properly sorted under “compilations” (which i assume is the issue that led to these being added as releases).

sorry i’m rambling again… tl;dr in a perfect world i’d like to be able to tag with a musicbrainz series, and i’d love if plex somehow caught up with that


But these are not event versions. Eurovision is live performances, and this is a list of the single versions.


There is a ticket for that somewhere in the system… that would solve a lot of the puzzles of playlists.


They don’t have to be called events, can be something else.

yes, this is true. so it really is a playlist. Series is not intuitive to me. What about it is a series? It’s not similar to other series in MB such as ‘release series’

compilations are problematic on other music players - such as itunes