How can I tell which recording is which when merging?

I want to merge two recordings.
One is on a compilation album and has no relationships. The other is on the original album and has the relationships. (musicians etc.)

I seem to have managed to get the two recording on a same page so they can get merged:
(which was not very intuitive, but maybe I’ll get the hang of it later)

But how can I tell which recording is which?
Or doesn’t it matter which of the two recordings I select to merge into, and will all relationships be preserved in any case?


I hover my cursor over the Name (Winjammer in this example) and then check out the URL it links to. Most browsers show where a link will go if you look at the status bar.

You should merge towards the better quality target. The one with the most info. If they are the same quality of data, then select the oldest as the target.

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Will relationships that were present in the secondary recording get lost?

E.g, when the primary recording has composer, producer, and the secondary recording has the musicians.
Will that get merged?

This is why you merge towards the one with the best quality details.

Generally all those items you have listed should be merged into the final version. A few things don’t. For example the disambugeration text does not get copied across. I am not sure what else isn’t.

It is also worth keeping an eye out for clashes post merge. Sometimes you can get a “guitar” and “electric guitar”. Or two annotations stitched together.

No, they will be carried over. So for recordings with identical titles and artists (and no disambiguation) it doesn’t matter much which way you perform the merge. There is a convention to make the oldest recording the target of the merge, but without a userscript it’s hard to determine which is older.


It’s exactly to show you more info about each merging entity that I created MERGE HELPOR 2. It’s a browser user script.

There was even less info shown, back then.

Sorry I just notice that my script does no longer not show you releases… I have to restore add that.


Here’s some info on what does and doesn’t get merged. Generally speaking, relationships are merged but there are a few cases where they need to be reconciled.


Thank you guys, that’s all excellent information (and research…)
I found right-clicking both recordings and ‘open link in a new window’ makes it easy to see which is which.

Reading all your comments, it would be good if a column ‘date added’ was added to the merge recordings window from my screenshot?


It’s pretty much the minium thing my script displays:

The MBID age (row ID) column gives an idea on which was added before which (the lower ID the older entity).

The yellow highlight you see means that this is the last recording you clicked Merge link from (your previous page).

You can ignore the Remove selected entities column as it’s now bogus, now the MB integrates this long time missing feature (red cross now).


You probably can shift-left-click to open in new tab or even better ctrl-left-click or middle-click to open in new tab in the background, allowing you to open both recordings in only two clicks. :wink:

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@jesus2099 - what I would find really useful is if your Cover Display script would show the thumbnails on this page. For me a merge target will often be easiest to spot by the one having the artwork.

Using the lowest row ID as (the only) criteria for merging can lead to pretty awkward results, such as this artist who had a “temporary comment for merge” for almost 1 year.


Tell me why this “temporary comment” thing is good practice:

Don’t bash the editor for a fault in the GUI. If you see a pattern like that, just give the editor a little polite nudge and I bet it will be cleared up in no time.

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And this comment is enough well done so that we can remove it without too much research.
And this comment is very little amounts compared to amount of labels, artists and merges.

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