A series of editing disputes prompted me to wonder if the music industry as a whole had settled on any sort of style guide. In my internet search, I found out about the Music Business Association (https://musicbiz.org), and the style guide that they published (https://musicbiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MusicMetadataStyleGuide-MusicBiz-FINAL2.0.pdf).
I’m not sure how “official” that guide is. There’s apparently no way to navigate to it from their main homepage, as far as I can find. I’ve also found references to a newer version of the guide, v2.1, which I can’t find anywhere.
Still, the existence of this guide is an indication that the music industry is at least considering implementing some standards in the area of metadata, and it seems to me that MusicBrainz should naturally be interested in following the same standards that the music industry follows. MusicBiz’s website claims that their membership represents "…more than 90 percent of the industry at large.
As an example of how this guide could benefit MB, take the example of the edits I referred to. The primary question that underlies the debate has to do with soundtrack albums, and whether phrases like “Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” are subtitles or ETI. Page 12 of the MusicBiz style guide answers this question specifically:
Has MetaBrainz considered aligning its style guidelines with this music industry style document? At the very least, it could answer some questions, like the one just mentioned. It would be good if a bit more clarity could be included in the MB style guides, and making sure MB is in alignment with the music industry seems like a good idea.