Classical Tracks on Soundtrack Releases

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When recently listening to the “Eat Pray Love” Soundtrack my player displayed track 4 as “Der Holle Rache Kocht in Meinem Herzen” and I wanted to fix this right away. The track artist was “Wiener Philharmoniker” instead of “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” and the doublet recording I merged into the correct one (with Solti and Sumi Jo).

I was not familiar with the soundtrack style guidelines so this edit of course resulted in a down vote by an OST expert. This is because imo the Soundtrack and Classical style guidelines are somehow contradictive. For classical we have a stand alone track artist page

“The Track Artist field should contain just the composer; not the performer(s)”

without a limiting scope on just complete classical releases, while for OST we have one single page on release level

“If the cover art lists specific artists for each track, that artist should be placed in the track’s Artist Credit field. If there are no track artists, use the release artist instead. If there is no release artist, use the composer for each track instead.”

Classical tracks are broadly used in film music and part of countless OST releases. Today the guideline allow to use the composer as track artist if there isn’t any credit information available on the original release (and you can retrieve the information from other sources):

On Apocalypse Now OST you will find “Ride of the Valkyrie” nicely credited to Richard Wagner because there is no further credit information on the back cover or label while on Watchmen: Music From the Motion Picture the same piece is credited to Budapest Symphony Orchestra like printed on the back cover. Not very useful for a movie fan who wants to know what kind-a-song this is (okay, it is all in MB, but ARs normally do not get displayed on your player).

Or maybe you might pick the artist that in most cases is labeled “written by” on the cover, but that happens not very often. The guideline does not specify what to do if you have more than one performer plus maybe a writer / composer for a single track.

I believe that we need to improve the soundtrack style guide in terms of not demanding but at least allowing the use of CSG for single tracks on mixed soundtrack releases.

What are your thoughts about that?


Not particularly positive, sorry. The classical style guides, capitalization, and featured artists are the only places the “as printed” mantra doesn’t apply, and the latter two are easily excused as representing the underlying data and making use of the structure of the database, respectively. Classical is the only one left where we still habitually store information in what I assume is the older style, rather than letting it be described by relationships. Given free choice and intellegent enough scripts, I’d actually bring the CSG in line with those for soundtracks, rather than the other way around.


I disagree.

To me, the point of the ‘classical’ and ‘soundtrack’ guidelines are that we enter information a certain way on specific types of releases, not for the genre or style of a particular track.

When the context of the release is ‘classical’, we use CSG even if the track is an arrangement of Purple Haze.

When the context of the release is ‘soundtrack’, we use soundtrack style even for a track that wasn’t in the final cut of the film. (bonus track, alternate version or whatever)

(In my opinion, of course)


Put the release to my wishlist :slight_smile:
Track artist of course is Jimi Hendrix :+1: All the details are stored in the advanced relationships which is not a privilege of CSG. In soundtrack world it would be Purple Haze by Cronos Quartet :-1:

Comparing classical (and at some extent jazz) releases with the others I notice way more usage of relationships in the former, so what do you mean by “older style”?

My point was mainly about the track artist field which IMO nowadays is not meant to store hard facts but to display essential credit information on my phone or car stereo.

In soundtrack world it would be whatever the artist/compiler/label credited it as on the release.

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I don’t really touch classical all that often, so thanks for the correction on the relationships. I meant that, with a very few exceptions, we’ve been moving away from standardizing data as (I’ve heard) we used in old models of the schema and toward copying what’s printed on the disc itself. Classical’s a very strong holdout, but it’s one of the few things that we still standardize. In my opinion, if users want to display something different on their players, they can change that in Picard.

I’m not going to weigh in on the CSG too much - it’s an area I rarely venture into.
But I do strongly oppose the “the track artist is for essential credit info for my phone/car player” notion. It’s for the track artist; nothing more, nothing less.
Now I do realize that for classical releases that’s a bit of a fluid concept, with conductor, orchestra and soloists all vying for space (and releases inconsistently crediting one over the other). But I would still count the composer as absolutely the last in line for that field (they belong on the work, not on a performance unless they actively participated, unless the only alternative is [unknown]).


Yeah, one reason that I don’t use composer as track artist on my personal collection is scrobbling. I don’t want my different versions of The Planets all scrobbling under Gustav Holst (as an example).

Maybe listenbrainz will help with this problem, but it seems to introduce a lot of complication to get tracks all tagged with the same artist associated with different recordings.


Just make sure the listens you submit to ListenBrainz have Recording and Track MBID tags and there will be no fuzziness associated with linking them to the proper Recordings.

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Won’t that require standardization of those tags and support from 3rd party software? That’s what I mean about complication.

The tags have already been standardised…? Not sure what you mean with this. Picard is the official MusicBrainz tagger, so whatever Picard does for tagging MBID is the official standard way of tagging MBIDs. Recording MBIDs have been around for ages, and are officially part of the AudioScrobble scrobbling API (which Last.FM uses), so even if you can’t submit Track MBIDs using Last.FM software, well-written programs should still be able to submit the Recording MBIDs.

Sure. A lot of 3rd party software allows for seeing arbitrary tags though (e.g., VLC and foobar2000), so they just need to make sure to submit these as part of the ListenBrainz listens even if they do nothing else with them. Also, as said above, Recording MBIDs are part of the official Last.FM scrobbling API. If your scrobbling software isn’t submitting Recording MBIDs, you should report that to whoever is making that software.

Also note that the Simple Scrobbler (SLS) Android app is, AFAIK, the only program to officially support ListenBrainz submissions at this point, and they’re pretty limited in what data they can submit due to the Android API(s) (as I understand it). (E.g., SLS will submit Recording MBIDs, but most Android media players do not expose this information, so SLS cannot know it.) Hopefully players and plugins will pick these tags up as they implement native ListenBrainz support, unhindered by the old scrobbling API restrictions.

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Yes, the tags ate standardized with Picard, but what it takes to configure them in a player is not. And as you point out, particularly with mobile devices there’s an extra layer between the player and Musicbrainz.

I’m glad that already had this somewhat implemented. Anyway, I’m not saying it won’t happen, I’m just saying there are a lot of parties involved, and it’s easier to distinguish tracks based on universally used fields than ones unique to musicbrainz. I hope in a few years ago players are supporting scrobbles/listens based on musicbrainz tags.

Unfortunately, as of current version, it does not submit MBIDs. Which effectively leaves out LB for any Android device (as there seems to be no other way to scrobble to LB from Android).

There is an open issue about this – Does not submit recording MBID to ListenBrainz.

Any idea why it was disabled? It worked perfectly fine before.