HD/Hi-Res/24-bit Music entries/Studio Quality Music

I like the sound of that… however, how do you identify the mastering engineer on an iTunes release? I find it difficult to identify a lot of the behind the scenes artists on digital releases.

Yeah, of course. Only if it is identical to Spotify/Deezer or other digital releases in all respects except for being Mastered for iTunes. The reason is it’s the same mastering actually sent to the different services. It’s just that it was specifically mastered to meet the Mastered for iTunes (now Apple Digital Masters) criteria they want to have.

GitHub - ToadKing/apple-music-barcode-isrc for barcode & audio quality

www.jaxsta.com has info on mastering engineers, etc on many releases. It’s basically the same data you also find on Tidal.


Research, which may not yield anything.

For example, https://twitter.com/UVERworld_dR2/status/603561369846157312 discusses the different mastering engineers used between the normal resolution and high-resolution versions of a release. You wouldn’t find this on any storefront.

However, sometimes better sources just work. https://mora.jp/package/43000152/LZC-1058_F/ talks about the mastering right on the page, making it clearly different from the credits found in the CD/normal resolution version.

It seems that modern practice is to use the same master for both 24bit and 16bit releases, because modern recording and mixing is apparently done at 24bit/96kHz or above. (That’s different from the past, where many 48kHz sources were upscaled to 96kHz to be re-sold to us.)


@tigerman325 and @yindesu - Understood.

Looing at this comment, there’s no definite agreement on the matter yet, so for now, already created hi-res releases should stay separate, and it’s ok to create new ones as well (I think).

Here are some more merge edits that I encountered with further discussion on the matter:


I just got around to looking at these examples. While this was not my question, seeing the thoughts and history on this is interesting.

Given what I know of how MB does things, it would seem that a solid answer would be hard to provide here. I would believe that the recordings would be the same, since mastering is not considered. On new releases, I would highly doubt anything is done that would justify it as a new recording. I would assume that the different variations of “hi res” are simply taking the work before editing, downsampling, dithering, decimation, compression, etc. This would imply that the only real differences are the mastering, making the recording the same.

On the release side, I would believe that the releases are in fact different. Just as a CD with a different color case means a different release, a higher resolution is a difference that can be seen without additional tools, such as looking at the file sizes. I do not think MB is really set up for this though, at this time. In order to do it, a lot needs to be added as notes, disambiguation, annotation, etc. While that works, it does create problems when your “definition” is notes vs attribute fields. You lose filtering, searchability, etc over time as things grow. I like the idea of of leaving what is as it is for now. Especially as it relates to destructive edits.

I did notice on your examples that the discussion referred to barcodes and catalog numbers for these releases. While this topic has been discussed many times, my statement here is different. I do not think that should be a deciding factor on if the release is or is not different. On physical releases, different releases can have the same barcode and catalog number, so I believe that logic should carry over to digital… where it remains an attribute only.

I am interested to see how this comes to fruition.


When these are different, they are not all that’s different. They indicate that other relationships differ as well - label, publisher, copyright holder.

When we start compressing all of that into a single MB release we can have a can of worms beyond a quite simple sounding ‘just have multiple barcodes on one release’ starting point.


Agreed. What I am saying is I do not think it should be an only factor.

This is not a part of what I intended at all. A different barcode is a different release, I do not even think MB allows more than one barcode on a release. I was referring to statements that it not having a different barcode shows it not to be a different release. I was meaning that just because a barcode is not different, does not mean it is not a different release on its own.

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Ohhhh gotcha! My bad :grin:

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All good. I also understand that my comment there is quite different than normal, where I somewhat disregard barcodes on digital releases. Know that, I should have been more clear.

If a barcode is different, for many reasons (some you have mentioned), something is different. I have listened to all of the comments regarding the issue. I cannot disagree that a barcode difference is a factor, but my point remains that the bacode is often times not visible on the release. I can safely say that 90% (more I am sure) of my digital releases have no barcode reference in the metadata, not do they have a direct URL reference to a page or site where the barcode is readily available. To me, this makes it “secondary data”, but still data. What I mean by this… if I look at the release “in hand”, the information I can see is “primary”, the information I need to research to get is “secondary”. I am using general words, so please see my intent, not word use.

I’ve purchased items in the past from Qobuz where it’s obviously an upsampled CD master. Support are great and will always offer an exchange.


So, are you saying you do not want the “digital media” format anymore?

No. Where did you get that from? Just that the links to the store on digital media links could say “96 kHz”, “192 kHz”, “MQA”, “MP3”, etc. Currently we have to create duplicate releases for differences in audio quality. This is just follow-up on my suggestion from above.

Only if the record company chooses to assign different identifiers (catalog number and barcode) to it, or if it can be researched that the releases have different engineers.

That’s just not true. Even if the barcode and cat# are identical, we have been separating them out. I know you’ve seen edits in the past on releases I’ve commented on where the only difference is 16-bit vs. 24-bit and I wanted to merge them and was voted down. Having attributes on the links would eliminate the need to keep them separate. It’s very common now to have hi-res releases with the same barcodes as cd quality releases. It used not be this way, but it is now.

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That’s not my experience, but even if this were the case, what makes you think that adding the text “16-bit” or “24-bit” to the download link relationship would change the validity of merging those products into the same MusicBrainz Release?

Because they are the same?! I’m confused by your questioning.

I think these are all the same release. If we had the ability to add attibutes to the link we could have them all as the same and just on the the individual store links we could say what they are. Instead of having to create 3 releases, we’d have 1 and easily identify which store link is for what.


I think it’s a good suggestion and it may allow us to merge them, but I also wouldn’t assume that everyone would be happy to merge them once we can define which relationship is for what bitrate.

There may be other reasons why people want them seperated out (I don’t know)

I think that is @yindesu’s point?

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