Metadata is the biggest little problem plaguing the music industry

Release is an aggregate and stands beside the other two. On the atomic level MB goes like this: work → recording → track (which not coincidentally mirrors FRBR’s/LRM’s work → expression → manifestation, a model that NGS was to a certain extent based on). But ok, I’m arguing semantics here.

Now that’s something I can’t agree with at all! While all those years I’ve been using MB for my personal collection, still from some idealistic point of view I genuinely believe in MB’s strive for being the perfect/ultimate music database (and eventually a cultural one, indexing other art forms too). Which means it shouldn’t repeat industry’s cataloguing mistakes.

However I do agree with you that, ideally, it should fully map industry’s standards.

Multiple ISRC’s jumbled into one MB recording is simply lost data. So, if our own definition of recording doesn’t match the industry’s one (for whatever reasons - remasters, erroneous code assignment by different registrants etc.), then we need to go down to a more granular level (recording → track) to reflect all the exceptions.

Now I don’t think I’m in a position to discuss the technical side since that’s not my cup of tea. I can only present the idea for a specific case:

  • ISRCs remain attached to MB recordings
  • Two separate masters of a recording are represented as different MB tracks
  • each ISRC can be optionally mapped to different sets of tracks

I have actually encountered a situation like this not a long time ago and it’s already been discussed in another thread:

  • An exactly the same recording, Godmother by Holly Herndon and Jlin has been first released as a single in 2018 and assigned a code GBAFL1800302.
  • It was reissued as a part of the 2019 album spanning multiple digital, cd and vinyl issues with a new ISRC, GBAFL1800329.

I don’t think there’s any need to question or ponder on this decision, only to reflect it properly. That is, the [MB recording 1] contains two ISRC codes, where [ISRC 1] maps to [MB track 1] and [ISRC 2] maps to [MB track 2], [MB track 3] and [MB track 4].