Capitalisation of Nine Inch Nails releases

I’m not sure that the capitalisation of many Nine Inch Nails releases is correct, for example:

Album + Live

“Live: Beside You in Time”

Album + Remix

“Further Down the Spiral”


“Down in It”
“Head Like a Hole”
“March of the Pigs”
“The Day the World Went Away”
“We’re in this Together”
“Into the Void”
“Every Day Is Exactly the Same”
“Copy of A”
“God Break Down the Door”

It’s really only the singles that have this problem, and there’s some inconsistency even in the same titles, for example “Every Day Is Exactly the Same”. Since many are named after tracks, I think it might be best to look at how what the track titles are on the CDs, and I would expect that they would use capital letters. There’s also potential issues with song titles themselves, for example “We’re in This Together”, and “The Day the World Went Away”, both on The Fragile. The exact name from the CD should help resolve this. Other songs on The Fragile don’t have any capitalisation issues, like “No, You Don’t” and “Just Like You Imagined”.

Also, the NIN Wiki always uses capitals: Nine Inch Nails - Halo numbers |
…and it just looks more correct.

I’m looking for feedback, and for people to look at the titles as they are on the CDs.

Musicbrainz normally follows its own guideline for capitalization of English-language releases, ignoring how it is styled on the release artwork.


Nearly all of those are in compliance with the style guidelines for English titles. Those guidelines are generally in agreement with the accepted style guidelines for titles in English.

In addition, this page explains why we don’t follow what’s printed on album covers.


Any style guideline is irrelevant. A song’s official title can be found on the CD itself.

Additionally, the song ‘Head Like A Hole’ uses a capital A in the title on YouTube,, and on Spotify too. The album “Further Down The Spiral” is spelt as such on Spotify too. These are the official titles.

I can understand not using stylised titles from artwork, which has been justified. I cannot understand ignoring the official titles for an arbitrarily defined style, which has not been justified.

It is the MB way. Artist Intent is not allowed for English titles, instead MB have their own Capitalisation rules to make language consistent. You have to be an American English teacher to fully understand them. There is a rule followed, and debates on it lost in the forum and edit notes. (Though the rules also get broken in unpredictable ways)

A better guide than US shops like Spotify\You Tube is looking on Wikipedia. They also follow a similar variation of the same Capitalisation Rules.

You could say this helps deal with those ALL CAPS or all lower case titles and brings consitancy.

If it is any use, there are plugins that will change things to an All Caps system in Picard for tagging if you prefer that style.

Doesn’t revision of music metadata miss the point of a music metadata database?

I’m using Plex, and having my correct metadata replaced irks me, so I’ll look into overriding that in Plex.

If you look at the rules, it is not overriding anything. Just making sure that Plex doesn’t look like a chaotic mess of different styles. But if you really do want All Caps All The Time, then just look a that Picard plugins and override things in your tags. Easiest place to change it to the style you need.

When I first saw it I thought it was madness, but you get use to it. And I now prefer it. Just a little frustrating for this Brit that they use US English rules which can sometimes be a bit weird.

But, it is entirely arbitrary. It’s preferable to just go with what is official.

Should Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D by И1И31ИCHИ41L5 be changed to Year Zero Remixed by Nine Inch Nails? Artist intent isn’t allowed for English titles, after all. Should the ‘И’ be changed to ‘N’? Where do you put the arbitrary line?

A potential resolution might be to, rather than have a single modified title, have a ‘Raw title’ and an ‘English title’ (pending better names).

Guidelines would keep that exactly as it is. That is not an English sentence, so English rules don’t apply there. Changing that title would be like translated something to a different language.

These rules do not change words. Do not expand abbreviations.

All the style guide does is bring a select of ALL CAPS, all lower, Mixed Case into one common English ruleset. It makes Plex tidier and easier to read. (I use KODI and appreciate these same rules)

It basically ignores the Graphic Artist’s choice of style, and uses a consistent English style.

Discogs does the same - but they go the All Caps Everywhere route. Wikipedia is accurately describing albums, again they stick to a similar common ruleset for their whole encyclopedia.

We need the English Teachers in here to explain this better. They can better explain articles, short prepositions, contractions, etc as described in Style / Language / English - MusicBrainz

That is not an English sentence

Neither are any song titles. You aren’t putting full stops at the end.

Artist intent does over rule. However, I don’t think this is artist intent. It’s just the way the services show the releases. I doubt any artist intent can be inferred unless they were all lower case or all upper case, etc. Capitalizing the first letter of every word is just normal on a lot of services. Nothing should be taken from that. Unless you get a letter from Trent Reznor stating he want’s each word capitalized, it follows MB capitalization guidelines.


That’s essentially it. The standard of proof for artist intent is, and should be, pretty high. I wouldn’t take Youtube, Spotify, Wikipedia, etc., as sufficient proof of artist intent. For one thing, I’ve seen cases where those sources disagree.


Is CD metadata good enough?

Trouble is you are just seeing what the graphical artist decides to write on the CD cover. Should MB seek out a handwriting font for when it is hand written? Or changes colour and sizes of fonts? I have some CDs with ALL CAPS and all lower keep jumping up and down between tracks. Can get total madness on some Various Artist collections.

As I noted above, Wikipedia follows the same style rules for titles as MB does. You Tube \ Spotify \ iTunes \ Amazon should be ignored as they are just shops and have no style.

I meant Title, not sentence. This is why you need the English Teachers to explain the rules :rofl: I know one strict editor out there who would find it funny seeing me arguing for the Style Guide…


I mean the actual metadata on the disk itself, not the cover. On Pretty Hate Machine, CID 9973, it says “Head Like A Hole”.

Metadata as in CDTEXT? I don’t think that is on all CDs, and then it is often in ALL CAPS.

If you mean what is written on the silvered CD, then this is not always on the CD face either. This is why MB will point you at using the rear of the CD case track list. (Maybe worth reading a few of the guidelines - they do actually make some sense once you give them a try)

Head Like a Hole - check out the Wikipedia page to see that MB is not just making this stuff up

I mean the actual data on the disc. Looking at the rip log file, it says “Head Like A Hole”.

Rip log file? Where is that data coming from? What are you using to rip with?

Something like EAC is pulling in online data for those titles. Like most ripping tools.

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