Documenting a YouTube channel

I guess this is somewhat of an edge case in MusicBrainz, but I’ve been trying to expand MusicBrainz’s coverage of the SiIvaGunner collective. Some of the issues that I don’t know how to address:

  • Only Bandcamp tracks and about 1,000 YouTube videos are credited; the other ~11,000 YouTube videos are either credited as though they were just the unmodified source material (à la the descriptions of GilvaSunner, which mostly hosts unmodified video game music) or have no metadata or joke metadata.
  • The majority of content is in standalone YouTube releases and has never been released in Bandcamp albums. So, there are no “official” credits for those tracks, aside from YouTube playlists which are curated by some of the channel’s contributors to catalogue their own contributions. The SiIvaGunner Wiki keeps track of most of these, but I don’t know if this is information that should be represented in MusicBrainz or how it could be represented.
  • The YouTube video titles are completely different to the Bandcamp track titles, because the YouTube video titles are deliberately misleading and mimic the title formats used by uploaders of unmodified video game music (particularly GilvaSunner). I’ve added a few of these as aliases as sort of a test.
  • The MusicBrainz guidance is not very helpful about how to categorize these tracks when relating them to the source recordings and compositions. The SiIvaGunner Wiki sorts them into MIDI swaps, melody changes, mashups, remixes, instrument additions, arrangements, medleys and covers (which are not mutually exclusive groupings).
  • Some of the Bandcamp releases have been updated after their original publication, sometimes silently.

For example, let’s say I wanted to document the video “Slider - Super Mario 64”, the YouTube release of “Grand Dad’s Secret Slide” by ZVAARI. The YouTube release is only half as long as the Bandcamp tracks, because it wasn’t looped, and it doesn’t have a fade.

  • Would the video have to be added as a standalone recording, since the audio’s different?
  • If the video were added as a standalone recording, would SiIvaGunner or ZVAARI (or both) be credited for the recording?
  • Should the metadata in the YouTube description be imported (i.e. directly crediting Koji Kondo for this track), even though it’s part of the joke?
  • How is the track related to its sources, and should it receive its own work? The track is principally an edited version of “Slider” from Super Mario 64, with part of the melody changed to “The Flintstones” from the 1960s TV show. For now, it’s tagged as partial instrumental cover recording of both “The Flintstones” and “Slider”, as well as a remix of “Slider”.

For another example, say I were to document the YouTube release “Green Hill Zone - Super Smash Bros. Melee”, which hasn’t been released on an album. The SiIvaGunner Wiki credits it to Sarvéproductions, because it’s in his YouTube contributions playlist.

  • If the video were added as a standalone recording, would SiIvaGunner or Sarvéproductions (or both) be credited for the recording? Would it be considered to be a single? (Most SiIvaGunner videos display a static logo, mimicking GilvaSunner’s videos.)
  • Should the metadata in the YouTube description be imported, even though it’s part of the joke? (“Green Hill Zone” isn’t on the soundtrack of Super Smash Bros. Melee.)
  • Should the YouTube playlist be documented on MusicBrainz? If so, how? Would a new release be added every time the playlist is updated?
  • This track uses the same source compositions as the earlier track “Green Hill Zone - Super Smash Bros. Brawl”, which was also made by Sarvéproductions and is already on MusicBrainz. Would those tracks be directly linked to each other? If so, how?

SiIvaGunner is already an unusually well-documented YouTube channel due to the existence of the SiIvaGunner Wiki, and articles have already been more or less completed for more than 11,000 videos. However, because it’s hosted on Fandom and probably stuck there, there are some unresolvable issues which could potentially be mitigated somewhat by cataloging that information more thoroughly and in a more connected approach on MusicBrainz (which, of course, actually functions as a database).