Automatic aliases

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I’d like to see some names added automatically as aliases, and without the ability to remove them.

i realize after typing it, that this is a long example, so feel free to skip to the end section

Let’s use John Smith as an example (for those not in the USA, John Smith is a common name, and is often used in made up examples because of its commonality).

John Smith recorded an album. He has a listing on MB.

But, during a “summer abroad” in college, he met up with another young musician and performed on his album. Of course, being in the UK, and being just some random friend’s album (not a big label release), spelling was not important and he got credited as Jon Smith (a more UK-ish spelling).
I own this album, I create an entry for Jon Smith because that is how it is spelled in the liner notes, and I had no idea that he was the same John Smith I previously mentioned.

Fast forward a few weeks - some historian comes around and says “these two are the same person, let’s merge them”. They get merged. Now there is one listing, John Smith. If the edit is done correctly, that one artist credit remains as Jon Smith.
But, when I search Jon Smith, John Smith does not appear in search results because there is no alias listed.

And it doesn’t even have to be something that simple (John/Jon during a merge).
Prior to the alias feature being added to the UI, we often created multiple entries for the same artist - legal name entries that used the ‘performs as’ relationship for a stage name entry. But they often get merged now that we have the alias section.
I created an entry for Jennifer (because of a miscredit on an album), but when I found the error I simply changed the spelling of the artist entry to Jenifer.
Sometimes artists simply change their name. There’s any number of reasons as to why an entry’s title may change.
And think of all of those “foreign” artists, who have releases using the spellings of the local nations an album is released in (we’ve all seen the Japanese artists where it says
Name 岡本弥紀
Sort Name Okamoto, Yoshiaki)

Someone just said to me that it could even apply to releases and labels.


if you skipped the story, you can begin here


  • I’d like to see the name of an entry being automatically added as an alias. That way no matter what happens to the name of the entry in the future, that particular spelling is always available for search (and users).
  • I’d like to see “credited as” spellings being automatically added as an alias. That way, no matter what happens to that credit, that name variation is always available for search (and users)
  • And I would like these automatically added entries harder to remove than the manually added aliases - such as, with a positive vote (not just a 7 day 0-vote acceptance). Currently, aliases can be added/removed at will.
    Side note: Yes, I have seen artists remove “search hints” (such as John/Jon/Juan) from their listings because “this is wrong”.

I think we could easily get those variations automatically added (the way Discogs and IMDb do) to the alias list. And in the long run, it would save a bunch of headaches for users.


This isn’t what happens when an artist is merged in MusicBrainz.


whether it is or isn’t -
you see what i am getting at. Certain aliases are more important than others, and shouldn’t be removed without consideration.