How to enter an audio drama into the database the best?

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I see multiple possible solutions here:

a) There’s a clear-cut style guide for Audio dramas that does dictate some specific style and does work on every single release - writer, no writer? ground truth? which artists? etc. etc. - and let’s wait with the edits until it’s complete

b) Picard gets the ability to tag based on relationships - as the old Estonian saying goes: “Wolfs have eaten, the sheep are happy”

c) MB gets the ability to display credits based on relationships

Maybe someone has more ideas?

a) There’s a clear-cut style guide for Audio dramas that does dictate some specific style and does work on every single release - writer, no writer? ground truth? which artists? etc. etc. - and let’s wait with the edits until it’s complete

While there isn’t a clear cut style guide for audio dramas, there are clear cut guides for everything else which states “the release artist [or other information] will be sourced from the front cover”. It strikes me that, in the absence of other information, the front cover (or spine) is always the primary source of information.

b) Picard gets the ability to tag based on relationships

While not all relationships; the vocal performers, writer and producer are clearly available (yes we need a director relationship.

c) MB gets the ability to display credits based on relationships

I’m not entirely sure what you mean here … if performance credits are added to a release they are clearly visible on


This behaviour can already be achieved with a tagger script:

$if($inmulti(%releasetype%,audio drama),
   $copymerge(albumartist,performer:spoken vocals)

Edit: The above is just a quickly written snippet that gives you a multi-value tag for the album artist. In case you want to follow this approach and have the tag values separated by commas and accompanied by a matching album artist sort name tag (as vanilla Picard does), there is more work to do. Just let me know if you are interested…


I don’t want to join yet another argument. I agree with @eloise_freya, the cover does not list EVERY actor. But I can understand why @Avamander needed to enter the data in the manner it was entered as most of these Releases are copied from the website en-masse without any media in hand.

Example at random from Big Finish -

Look at the cover - only Colin Baker and Maggie Stables are listed. But look at that huge list of actors. Why are they are they not added at Release Level like we do with the members of a band?

It was a brilliant job - I am not knocking the work that went into that mission. But the lack of actual Media to get tracklists from made it impossible to assign the Actors to the recordings. IMHO that is where the actors should really be in this database - attached to the Recordings. Just like the performers of a musical recording get a credit at Recording level.

OR attached at a Release Level, again just like when we don’t know which track a specific band member played on.

A worry I have about Picard is that it has a new habit of putting things into alphabetical order. Which is then going to loose who the Writer is. While these long lists may be “human readable”, they are not machine readable. A computer has a problem trying to separate the Writer from the Actors, Directors and the rest. This is why attaching them to the Release and\or Recording like with Music would be more database friendly. Real roles can then be assigned.

I also don’t understand why some people think Picard is the only program that uses MusicBrainz data. Many Many other projects use this database. Many media libraries and other taggers do lookups. This is why this database is so fantastic. It is so well used in so many places.

The fact that Picard can “use a script” to pull this data apart doesn’t really help the other people using the data. Also the above script, while neat, does not work on all those examples that lack detailed credits at a recording level like the example I picked above.

An interesting quote to pick. It also explains why I gave up the discussion. The wolf shouted louder and this sheep gave up and ran away. I thought this was a relational database and not a shouting match.

I really do think you have done a brilliant job in adding all of those releases, but the Actors should be credited at Release level and not in a long list as part of the title.

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Because it’s been addition of new data that is much better than no data I haven’t really taken much issue. But now that you’ve gone in to ‘fix’ the credits and there is dispute, it’s definitely worth weighing in on.

There is no precedent in MB to store everyone involved in a recording in the artist credit field, even if it’s convenient for a user.

Please do feel free to raise votes like this, maybe in Voting/Auto-editor Request Thread

There are covers where like a handful of artists out of approximately forty in a collection are mentioned. Seems really wrong, IMHO, which is why I really don’t like the dictated style. In a sense it would make those releases by-default rather, um, vague if not pointless? On the other end, there’s things like the Highlander series, where the cover contains no credits.

One thing is displayed when clicked upon and scrolled down, other is dynamically generating the credited artists list based on relationships. That’s what I meant.


Can you clarify who actually gets credited then?

That’s my current perspective as well. Given the sheer amount of releases, the plan has to be rather clear-cut before starting to change them. Then there’s nothing to dispute.

I think it is rather vital that either an existing style guide is modified or a new one is created that deals with Audio dramas, with all the necessary details (artist credit and relationships included).

I just really don’t want the releases end up like they were before.

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That’s not really what I meant sorry - I was okay with you adding these releases in your own style, even if not in line with MB’s general style/guidelines. But now that someone is bringing them in line I definitely think the edits are correct.

I think you knew that you were forging your own path when you added these and I think it’s inevitable that they eventually end up following the style that MB has been built for. I don’t think anybody else agrees with putting everyone into the artist field, either in music albums or in audio dramas?

That said thanks for all of your hard work and I know that even though people might not agree with the style, everyone can appreciate the hard work. We’re all in it together :slight_smile:


Cover and/or what is credited on the distribution page for a digital copy.
Is a great example.

We follow artist (or the owner of the work/company) intent on MB, and if they wanted everyone credited in the same way then they would all be on the cover. I wouldn’t sharpie in all of the extra cast onto the CD cover so I wouldn’t do it to my digital copy either :stuck_out_tongue:

Can you provide an example of where this has happened? There is probably a very logical reason for such a disparity.

The way I see it however: its like a movie or TV show - there’s often 10s or even 100s of actors involved; but you would refer to a TV show episode as by its main actors / recurring cast and any featured guest start (usually the principle antagonist).

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Most likely 'cause it’s a collection of short stories.

Yeah and the current suggestion goes against that line of thinking in the end :P. When entering I did generate, as a test, artist credit according to starring artists, it’s not really that nice.

I guess you could just get Audiobook SG updated to include dramas and I’ll follow that.

I’m unsure what you are saying goes against that line of thinking…

I’ve always been consistent that the Artist Credit should be the Writer and then “stars” of the drama (as listed on the cover).

This would be identical to considering (to use an example DVD close to hand) Wonder Woman having the artist credits “Stanley Ralph Ross” (who developed it for TV) “starring Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, Richard Eastham & Beatrice Colen” - as listed on the DVD (back) cover.

Each episode wouldn’t have every actor listed as the artist credit though you may add “guest” stars. All actors would be linked via relationships however.

That the suggested style doesn’t always provide the effect you described.

Once I get my summer vacation again I’ll update my local DB and see if I could fix up the relationships real quick for every BF release out there.

Is MusicBrainz really the place for non music stuff?

Wonder Woman seems to be a film.
Well if it includes the film soundtrack, okay, but otherwise… :thinking:
Artist interviews, or other stuff like that, that revolves around music, okay.

I mean should we really pull our hair out for these radio fictions, etc. I feel they would more likely fit some kind of MovieBrainz.
Well I do also have some story based non-music release (also some Sounds of the forest kind of record), but I would not really mind if I should remove them from MB one day.


But it’s just random thinking, I agree I would also try to set those records in MB like my others records because I’m building up my collection here.

Even if somehow, I don’t think I will see many relationships between these records and my music records and it’s mainly those links that are interesting to discover other non-obvious stuff my artists have worked on.

But I don’t mean don’t do it.

Wonder Woman (actually the TV Series) was being used as an example of why we don’t put all performers in the artist credit.

While you’re right it’s MusicBrainz; with the addition of style guide for Audiobooks (and broadcasts) it already became more - and Audio Dramas are simply an extension of that.

I am new around here… but I’m thinking of it as more AudioBrainz … anything which is audio in nature and generally has been released on an audio format - CD, Vinyl, Cassette, etc. It makes sense (to me and I would suggest most people) that anything released on an Audio format is included; but yes, the primary purpose is Music therefore as much as demanding new functionality to fit in Audio Dramas we need to look how to fit Audio Dramas into the existing schema.

PS. as noted in that thread; things like TheMovieDB and the TVDB do exist but aren’t structured as well as MusicBrainz is; IMO the quality of the data has improved a lot since 2016 and I’m not sure (again of course IMO) splitting resources from MusicBrainz to replicate what exists elsewhere is a good use of time.


So first off, thank you to @Avamander for their initial work on adding all the Big Finish releases from the website. As I have access to a considerable number of the CD releases (all but a handful of the first 226 Monthly Releases plus many Eighth and Fourth Doctor Adventures, Galifrey and Lost Sories) I’ve been (slowly) adding track details and cast/production information.

So now I’ve started some additional thoughts:

All Big Finish releases have a Catalogue Number printed on the CD packaging: this is usually synonymous to the Production Number on the website but does sometime vary, or exists where there is no production number on the website.

Prior to around 2003/2004 (not sure exactly) each physical release has a barcode separate to their ISBN. Where this exists I have been adding the ISBN as a secondary Catalogue Number. I think its important to store this information. I’ve been making it clear in the catalogue number field that it relates to an ISBN.

I believe (based on Big Finish material read in combination with the Audiobook style guide) the writer and main case (stars and guest start if you like) should be used as the release artist credit. Where there are tracks which are obviously different artist credits (primarily any trailers and incidental music ‘bonus’ tracks along with releases with multiple authors) I’ve been varying the credits.

All performers (including the stars) need to be added as Spoken Vocal credits. I’ve been adding these at release level (except in the case of releases where authors vary. In addition I’ve started to add the full cast and production credits as annotation at a release group level.

For each story, I’m creating a work with author related.

My process (in the main) is to do a first pass adding track details from the releases which I have on CD, some of which I also have access to the downloads. It’s easier for me (mostly as I already have the track suitably named) to add a “release from cluster” using Picard and then merge the old listing (with no track listing) in. Sometimes I might not have the full CD to hand when I update so might leave catalogue number and/or barcode blank initially.

I will then do a second pass where I will add full performer details. Once all performers are added as voice credits I will then update the release group artists to reflect the releases.

Okay that’s what I’ve been doing and my plan. If anyone has any comments or further proposals around this plan … please feel free to comment.



I think you have this correct. I also add ISBN as catalogue numbers. Certainly good to see a consistent style. The only thing I’d add is what I picked up on in Shada. Episode \ Chapter \ Part titles on the tracks. Seems sensible to stay consistent with what you found on the audiobooks on the website. I notice my TV shows for Dr Who are “Episode” and “Chapters”. I think “Part” should be kept for when a recording is split.

Thank you.