iTunes track titles


iTunes track titles will often contain extra title information in parentheses like “live”, “remastered”, or the album name. I have even seen some absurd cases in salsa compilations where the extra title information for all titles is “salsa”. The examples that I am referring to are often the ones where the equivalent CD or LP do not have this extra title information that iTunes deemed important for us to know.

Question, what is this site’s stance on such titles? Should they be named according to how iTunes names them or should the extra title information that is often redundant be stripped out and be named more along the lines of their CD and LP equivalents (or their tape and 8-track equivalents for you old-timers ;-)). I am sorry if this has already been asked before but I have not been able to find an answer to this in the guidelines or the forums. Thanks!

What is and isn't acceptable ETI?

It depends on many factors. If it’s on all the tracks, I’d just 86 it. (I see this a lot with live albums.) If it’s on a set of tracks that are part of a multi-disc release (e.g. a box set) I might move it to the disc title. If it’s not on all tracks, I’d include it (within reason; “bonus track” automatically gets 86’d except in some rare cases).

To "86" something
To "86" something

Yes, I am referring to the cases where all titles have the same disambiguation (or most of them do with some weird exception). My inclination is to also remove this extra data (86 it as you said), but I want to make sure that there is some sort of official or semi-official stance on this.


It never hurts to put something like “all titles originally had ‘salsa’ appended within their iTunes track titles” into the annotation.
Even putting it into the comments means you can feel good about not watering down clean data - it’s still there if someone wants it, and nobody has to tag with… kinda dumb tags.

I don’t think there’s an official stance on something as specific as this.
Technically I think we would leave everything as-is, but unfortunately a lot of digital storefronts are messy affairs staffed entirely by monkeys throwing computers at each other, so it doesn’t always make sense to do so :sob:


Keep in mind that digital media releases are separate to physical media releases in MusicBrainz, so the tracks can be named entirely different between different releases, even if they share the same Recordings.

As such, I tend to stick closer to what the digital media distributor says rather than look at how tracks are listed on physical media releases. Of course, for digital releases distributed through multiple channels (say, iTunes + Bandcamp + Amazon + Spotify) it would probably make sense to look at all (or at least multiple) of these channels and see whether they all agree on the extra title information (e.g., do all the track titles have “(salsa)” in their name on Spotify too?). If 3/4 list something, then I’d go with that. If it’s 2/4 one way and 2/4 another way (or every store lists it differently), then I’d pick the “best” of these (and maybe I would glance towards physical media release track lists here).


I’ve definitely done that myself; there’s a number of compilation albums where iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon credit each track to a number of artists, but Google Play only shows the first associated with each song. For something like that, it makes no sense to create a separate release just for the “monkeys throwing computers at each other” (love that description!) or because of a technical limitation on their part. For anything where it’s less clear that it is intended to be the same “printing”, like those “Mastered for iTunes” releases, though, it would probably be safest to keep them separate.


This edit is what brought up my question.The CD version of the album does not have the extra disambiguation. IMHO putting the album name as a disambiguation to all tracks adds no useful information and should be left out, however I will respect the opinions given here.


Actually, and despite it looking awful and stupid (I was the one who removed them from the titles originally), it seems the artist does think they’re part of the name to some degree at least:


It does look awful and stupid. The band as such no longer exists (its singer Gustavo Cerati died a few years ago), so this is not so much an artistic intent decision as it is the label’s decision and if we are going by artistic intent, then the track listings in the CD and LP versions should also have some validity. I vote to have them removed no matter what the label tries to force down our throes but I feel vastly outnumbered.


[quote=“Wheeljack, post:9, topic:274548”]
I feel vastly outnumbered[/quote]
Maybe we’re on a different page, but I thought everyone has been generally supportive/ambivalent about you removing these?

I added a note to the annotation:


Speaking as someone who occasionally edits in languages and scripts I am totally illiterate in:
Having the exact same stuff in the titles can be critical to successful editing in those conditions.
The slightest difference limits the usability of the data to those with literacy in the language.

Yes. I agree that the practice of companies adding such stuff is stupid and ugly. If you can’t bear it I do understand.


5 posts were split to a new topic: To “86” something and other English/foreign phrases

To "86" something