Documentation outdated? Group Think change of opinion? How to decide for other releases?

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Hi, I’ve been trying to learn the right way to add info into MusicBrainz for a while now, and it sure always feels like a moving target that I’ll never really understand. But I came across what I think should be a clear cut case that I’m hoping doesn’t start a holy war, but would really like to understand who or what to believe when there seems to be direct conflict amongst standards.

I’ll also accept that I just continue to not understand something but I’m at a loss for how to sort this out myself.

I was refreshing my understanding on details of adding a release and getting naming right using what is documented at I always like the examples as they’ve helped in the past to visualize the scenarios I might face.

A few days later while adding releases from my library I came across my CD Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos.

I thought it looked familiar and it did. This title is an example in the Performers in Title section of the documentation.
“Release and release group titles shouldn’t generally contain performers unless they are clearly part of the title (either the performer includes it when mentioning the album, or the title seems “unfinished” without the performer name).”
Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”, not just “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”.

So I was surprised and confused when MusicBrainz currently lists the release as simply “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”

Bad edit? Change of opinion that makes it a bad example? Enough people felt it shouldn’t follow what seems like a logical rule?

My bigger concern is that if one can’t trust the examples in the documentation to be accurate, how is someone new to MusicBrainz ever supposed to feel confident in their understanding and application of the documented guidlines.

Curious how this sort of situation is supposed to play out, and whether this specific situation calls for a new edit to put the title as the docs imply it should be.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me understand how this is supposed to work.

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Based on Chaban’s links, it needs to be removed from the documentation. You did the last edit on that style page @reosarevok, can that example just be removed as it’s not clear-cut?

Sorry to hear that… when I first started I just added some track times that were missing. It was a slow start. I don’t think I added any releases until years later.

You’re adding releases + scans + discID with good comments :exploding_head:

Thanks @chaban for the links. I think I follow where the vote discussions leads to the conclusion for this specific example.

@aerozol , I’d actually say it should stay as an example but be updated to explain how to handle a situation like this release represents but is not currently described in the docs. It seems to be a great example of this situation, where even though a title sounds right and fits other naming criteria, the artist intention, if evidence exists, should always be the final decider. And if anything add some detail of the type of proof and how that should be added to the release to ensure the release name does not get changed accidentally because of an otherwise confusing scenario.

Lastly is forum posts and linking to the last person who edited docs the best way to get updates? Just curious for future situations.

Thanks everyone who took the time to help me understand this situation better.


I still hate that album’s title and think it’s absurd, but I can’t fight artist intent even when the artist makes no sense, sigh.

I would rather take it off the examples list than keep it as an example of artist intent, since this guideline is not about artist intent. But I guess it’s actually possibly useful to mention it? Argh, I dunno. I’ll try seeing if mentioning it sounds ok.


I very much feel the same as @reosarevok

I actually think it is not a good example at all, because of the difficult discussion. Many (including myself) felt like this was just wrong, but hard to argue against official artist website (which still shows it the same way even after a redesign) and other official representations of this. Maybe it serves as an example for artist intent, not sure.


I changed it in

I guess that’s a good example of artist intent trumping the guideline…


Can we please just tell the artists to behave and read the guidelines before releasing their albums. It would make life so much easier. (Some time travel may also be required)


I just did that.
But they wouldn’t listen. I guess artists will be artists.


Since nobody who knows better has answered this:
I tagged Reo because I know he is pretty active, and a style lead, and I saw he’d last edited the page. I don’t know about the ‘best way’… the forum is always good though imo.

Tagging me can’t hurt, in the future :slight_smile: Worst case scenario, I put my head on my hands and try to make it so I didn’t see it, which is probably not actively worse than nothing :wink: