Merge to oldest entity or no

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f7569b6d470>

The key is that it is cleaned up afterwards. Not everyone returns to merged data post-merge. Your edit is creating a better whole based on real knowledge and research.

And the weird part of the “merge to the oldest” is that it is not a rule. The rule is merge to the better quality and more complete MBID. There are a lot of editors who miss-quote the guidelines.

The direction is important as not everything gets merged.

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As we don’t lose anything in an artist merge, the role should be merge to the most used MBID, which often means the MBID that had been the longer time around, the oldest.

https://wiki.musicbrainz.org/User:Jesus2099/Merge_Into_Oldest_MBID

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Have a look at the actual guidelines and it says "you should choose the release with the most correct information. If there is no real difference, the usual choice is the older entry. "
https://musicbrainz.org/doc/How_to_Merge_Releases

Usually that is the oldest entry, but not always.

Totally agree with your quoted reasons for maintaining the old MBIDs for third parties, but the merged MBID becomes a redirect to the merged target.

Trouble is many editors have forgotten to check the quality of what is being merged as a target and just blindly pick “oldest”. This leads to loss of data in some cases like recordings where disambiguation text isn’t merged.

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Unfortunately that’s not true until MBS-10522 is fixed.

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That is a “how to” document and as such can be argued to (hopefully) contain best practices, but it is not an official, sanctioned Guideline similar to the Style documents. Anyone can edit this document at any time with no vetting process.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use it as a (lower-g) guideline/suggestion, but don’t hold it to the same level of authority as the Style (capital-G) Guidelines. (And remember that even the Style Guidelines are still just that: guidelines, not ultimate sources of truths that must always be obeyed.)

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I do a lot of research before I start making destructive moves. I try to find the earliest recording when there are multiples, and that is where I load the recording, instruments, producing, etc. Later versions will have this same information, unless they are re-recorded, in which case that’s a new release… Woody Guthrie was a mess, still is, but much better. I focused on his earliest Dustbowl Recordings, and then edited later re-issues as it made it’s way to Sony Legacy, under several sub-labels. There are none to merge, they all hjave labels, dates and release numbers, Took many hours

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