Mp3 bureaucracy

I sometimes cleanup/correct or fill in incomplete releases.
This entry

was simply entered as a japan digital media release with an Amazon store link.

If you visit the link, and click the purchase button on Amazon, two options appear, one is
is an mp3 album and the other the audio cd.
I filled in the label, catalog, barcode and added the audio cd discogs link. I changed the media from digital to CD.

Now auto-editor chaban voted against my edit to change to CD and and the barcode.

Clearly the amazon store is using the audio cd to rip to their mp3 release. I dont see how adding mp3 releases is helpful to the database. Its like clogging up it for the sake of Amazon selling it. And this means virtually every mp3 album available for sale by Amazon or other should be added to musicbrainz with no other identifying information other than the store, album and release. In fact anyone can rip their own discs and convert to mp3 and nothing to separate their rip from amazons other than a receipt of sale.

This makes no sense to me and what value does it have other than for the sake of doing. And clogging up the database. Forest for the trees kind of thing here.

They should! That doesn’t mean you cannot also add the CD as a separate release in the same release group, obviously :slight_smile:

Also, nobody forces you specifically to add the digital versions - just don’t remove them if someone makes the effort.


BTW, soon there will be more digital releases in the database than CDs


My attitude around this is that someone might have originally added the digital media release to MB after purchasing it. I don’t want to mess up their collection by editing the release to describe something different from what it originally described, so I typically add a new release instead.

I make exceptions when an MB release is a huge mess of data from multiple actual releases or if I doubt that the release actually exists, but that doesn’t seem like the case here since the MP3 version is still available from Amazon.


Rage quit


1 Like

Well I can’t say the OP isn’t on to something. When you try to become everything to everyone, you usually end up not being much at all. Very commonly end up being surpassed. This is the biggest risk to MB methinks.

Amazon is a goliath which basically manipulates search results and sells direct from china goods to buyers and always kept it’s bazaar like interface that they never even bothered to update. Hardly a musical mecca for music lovers. MB ending up being a bazaar is not exactly appealing nor will it necessarily draw more people in. I don’t see it becoming the wikipedia of all media, as we are entering more an age of specialization, niche rather than or

I can understand distinct releases from places like bandcamp or record labels. I don’t see the benefit of adding every mp3 that’s for sale out there. Sounds like a mission without a distinct purpose (as of yet).

PS, I’m an old school logitechmediaserver user who is using picard to tag my flac rips and digital flac media buys. I personally don’t touch mp3s but thats a personal preference:)

Seems to be rage quit season

1 Like

If I’ve bought a MP3, spent my time adding it to MB, and then tagged the MP3, I don’t want to wake up the next morning with my files changed to a ‘CD’ that I’ve never seen. If that was standard practice, I don’t see why I would update MB with my digital purchases again, after that.

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and community editing is not for everybody. Users who can’t politely discuss minor issues (e.g. please use the ‘new release’ button) might save themselves, and everyone else, sanity points by weeding themselves out early.

p.s. I added the CD release in question, here


Clearly the amazon store is using the audio cd to rip to their mp3 release

No! Has Amazon ever ripped CDs? It’s certainly not the norm. The norm is that digital media files come from distributors who get them from labels and artists.

Even AutoRip is not meant to imply that Amazon rips the CD for you, but that they provide MP3s so that you don’t have to make them yourself. AutoRip is an option for some vinyl sales as well, yet they’re not ripping LPs. (Although this LifeWire writer seems to believe that they do!) :grin:

If there was a time when Amazon ripped CDs in some cases, that would be kind of interesting, and I’d like to read about it.


I always thought it was the other way round - that they sometimes print (or once did) CDs on demand, from the digital files they have?

1 Like

Hello, @greenfoot. Welcome to MusicBrainz!

I am also an old school media server person, using Picard to tag my FLAC RIPs and digital media buys (FLAC where offered, other formats when necessary). I mostly enter data into MusicBrainz because it describes the albums in my collection, letting Picard tag the digital media files correctly.

Because of that, I want MusicBrainz to distinguish between the exact album I have, and similar but different albums. If I bought a CD, I want to tag using the MusicBrainz data about the CD release. If I bought digital files, I want to tag using the data about the digital release. Changing a MusicBrainz entry about an MP3 release into an entry about a different, CD Release, may well screw up my tagging. And that was exactly what the OP did:

Ouch! No, the right thing would have been to copy the digital media release, and make a new Release entry in the same Release Group, describing the CD release.

I see you are not a fan of the shabby mess which Amazon has become. But I don’t see why your take is:

What gives you the impression that MusicBrainz is becoming a bazaar? It is a listing, of what others are selling (or historically sold) in the global bazaar. It won’t sell the products itself. In my experience, MusicBrainz draws people in by being a really good listing. That attracts those who value good data.

I don’t advise new MusicBrainz contributors to add every release that’s out there — just the releases which matter enough to them that they are motivated to get the data right. For instance, when I buy a new album from a newly-successful local artist, I am motivated to enter data about that album. My purposes are to provide Picard with the data to tag the album’s music files, and to support that artist by documenting their work. There is plenty of purpose in that, from my point of view.

Anyway, @greenfoot , welcome, and I look forward to your contributions to MusicBrainz. Your collection probably has some albums which nobody else has, and your entries for those albums will improve MusicBrainz!


I believe way back in the early days of Amazon selling MP3 this is what they did to create their initial library. I don’t think the labels were ready to supply the store with digital media of the CDs, so Amazon made their own library up for sale.

My rusty memory tells that Amazon were one of the first to supply non-DRM digital files (low bitrate though). iTunes was still all tied up with DRM, locking your music to your device. I do certainly remember the time every CD you bought from Amazon would come with a “free” rip of the album you could download straight away while the CD was in the post.

This is certainly Digital Media history worth documenting.

(Edit: Looks at Wikipedia and that says I am likely talking rubbish as it mentions labels providing the music. Still doesn’t stop me thinking this may have initially started simple… but that’s memory being unreliable :grin:)

1 Like

Oops, I just realized how this might come across! I didn’t mean you by the way @greenfoot - welcome!

I specifically meant editors who are rude and inflexible when the community disagrees with something. Compared to ‘just’ disagreeing and passionately arguing, which is the MB community’s bread and butter :sweat_smile::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Yeah, Amazon was more than a decade behind the online retailers who were the first to sell MP3s. (est. 1997) is the oldest one I can think of, but at the time I think they were strictly for indie artists who uploaded their own music. (Wikipedia says that Cductive, which was also for indie artists, was founded in '96, but I’ve never heard of this company.)

eMusic (est. 1998) had contracts with major labels by the early 2000s. I know there were other startups that merged or flopped early on. This is a digression, but honestly I don’t know how eMusic survived. I think it was in 2000 that they offered free MP3 players and Logitech speaker + subwoofer sets to new customers who bought US$10 worth of MP3s or something crazy like that. (I think it was three MP3 tracks.) You could choose the player or the speaker set. The MP3 players ran out first, so some had to “settle” for the speakers. I’m not sure of the cash value of those products at the time, but they weren’t cheap. I think the player cost more—maybe US$125 retail? The speaker set may have retailed for as much as $75.


Here is 97’s

1 Like