Music Biz Metadata Summit 2020 full program

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This summit it’s scheduled for next week (august 18-20) and it’s all virtual this year, full event agenda available and looks interesting:


From the titles of events on this program, it looks like the commercial music industry is getting better and better at generating their own metadata in digital form. Would it be awesome if MusicBrainz could be on that program, or could be a recipient of the metadata from the publishers?

I’m not very comfortable with this idea. I deal with a lot of older music (circa 1970s-80s) and the metadata surrounding who played what instrument on each track is often very murky. On the original album sleeve, there will often be a single list of contributors for the whole album; if you actually listen to one of these albums (or do more research on them, in some cases) you’ll find that not everyone on that list played on every track. Many of these albums are now available digitally, and on digital platforms that display credits (e.g. YouTube Music, Pandora and Tidal, as well as Jaxsta) the whole list of credits for the album is sometimes copied to every track. Allowing music industry figures (be they artists or label liaisons) to dictate what the “official” credits are for releases will inevitably lead to more situations like this. I’ve been fighting against MB editors adding credits like this (whole album’s worth on every track, regardless of accuracy) for years; if it’s industry people making these edits, no one will be allowed to challenge them.

There’s a difference between “the MusicBrainz program is an acknowledged participant and appears in industry panels”, or “the labels contribute metadata to MusicBrainz in an organised way”, and “MusicBrainz reduces its quality standards to the most mediocre level of labels”. MusicBrainz imports raw data from FreeDB stubs, and (with the right script) from Wikipedia or Wikidata pages. It seems to me that having publishers supply a first draft of metadata for new releases could be a real positive. It need not prevent MusicBrainz from improving this first draft to something better, or from having high editorial standards.


That hasn’t been true for ages, because the data was crap :slight_smile: (of course, now that FreeDB is dead, it can’t even happen).

We’ve had offers for this in the past. We just haven’t had a way to deal with this properly. The closest I could think to a way how this might work is a bit more visible kinda-sorta-CD-Stubs, so people could adopt them and move from there, but the flood of new releases any not-too-small label would cause would be enough work for an editor to spend quite a bit of time per week on. So if we got majors feeding this data, I fear a lot would just never get out of the kinda-sorta-CD-Stub level.

The alternative (the data gets added as a normal release and we hope for the users to fix it) seems hugely disrespectful of the anxiety levels of editors - I can’t be the one who gets stressed when I see a pile of new, badly entered releases for an artist or label I follow, and I can’t imagine getting that every day or week…