Need advice

Greetings to all.

I would like to start may be a little strange topic, but since i cannot answer myself to some questions, may be community can help me, coz you probably encounter the same problems (in more or less degree).

I am "working" in musicbrainz more than 2 years, but still consider myself a "noob" in many aspects. The main problem i have - i cannot develop for myself a method to organize my musical collection.

When i started it i even didnt know about musicbrainz and about metadata in the whole, so i just copy music files and manually add tags based on general data or leave those that contained in

files. Then i found musicbrainz (and discogs before) and started download metadata from there. In next iteration i found that many releases on MB have only partial metadata or incorrect at all, so i registered

here and started to work as editor. For now i learned quite much (separate thanks to Reosarevok and other members from MB chat :)) and could fill the metadata for releases i have mostly without additional help.

So what the problem, u could ask. And the problem - i cannot decide on which stage i can call the release "finished" and move further.

Let me show this on examples. I like to work systematically and created for myself a todo list where added all releases i have (or which i plan to get) and also additional useful (for me) information like where to get this release,

edition or certain label and etc. I attached the screenshot, so u could see by urself. So let’s take for example an “Assassin’s Creed” release from this screenshot - this is an example of release i could call - “completely finished”. We have

a certain label for it and all tracks from release are in musical databases (BMI, SGAE), so we can be sure about composer authorship for this case.

And for other releases i dont have this "full info", so i cannot consider them "finished". U could probably laugh, but it seems i am obsessed more about metadata, than to listening music itself. :smile: So if i dont have full metadata, then i cannot add this release to my musical collection and therefore cannot listen it. :smile:

Well, my thoughts in this topic are probably messy, but i hope u can get what i mean and give me some advice.

P.S.: may be there is someone who also interested in this releases and would like to edit/add complete info to them, i could share my todo list, so we can work together to "complete" them.

P.S.: since i constantly working with the musical databases to determine/check the works authorship, may someone knows - is there any tool to parse those sites to quickly get need info? For now i have to manually enter search query on every site and check every search results -> too time consuming. Would be ideal to have a tool which could send a search query to all sites and parse all results in summary table.


The way I’ve handled this so far is by consciously limiting myself to only the data available on the release packaging. I have some vague plans to someday circle back around and research more info about those releases that have minimal information on them. But that’s for the future after I’ve finally got my entire collection entered. I’ve been doing this for nine years and should be finished with the “R’s” in a few weeks. (Then I start on the S’s. Springsteen, Sinatra, Soft Cell, woo-hoo!)

I find that this method works in other areas of my life where my OCD-like tendencies threaten to take over. I set a rule for myself to follow. “Only what’s on the packaging. Done. Move on to the next.” I find it’s an efficient way of getting through tasks and not getting bogged down in an ever spiraling black hole of progressively more detailed data.


Sorry to reply by just adding more incertainty but those databases are not ideal for song credits.

They are made to send royalties to writers yes but they will for instance expand artistic credits (band→members) that makes sense for distributing money as the band members did band credits for that usually but that renders completely incorrect work credits if we copy that in MB.
When BAND is credited for SONG, it doesn’t mean that ARIANA, BEATRIZ, CINDY and DAVE (band members) wrote both lyrics and music EACH.

Further than that first mistake, they will sometimes put D.P. when the song rights fall in public domain.

But they are VERY useful indeed but should not be used without the booklets to check artistic credits for works. :slight_smile:


The problem is that all of us collectors have collections for different reasons and want to add to the data in different ways.

There is no “Complete”.
There is no “Finished”.
There can only be a state of “Ongoing Contentment”

I first started on my mission to “rip everything” a decade or more back. Every time I thought I could see the light at the end of the tunnel… something would change in my knowledge.

It never ends. As @Billy_Yank says - we have to set rules for ourselves to reign in the mad tendencies to go too deep into the daft little details. Only you know where your contentment lies. I know that each time I restart I am expanding what I have more and more. As well as learning loads about the artists, music, and industry in general.

There is also a bizarre satisfaction in knowing that updating the database here at MB means helping people world wide.

But, importantly, remember to listen to the music. :slight_smile: With my system I allow my music to be in the database even when tags are not perfect. A brand new CD will turn up and I need to scan, and rip, and tag, and rescan and retag… while this is going on I make sure that at least VLC is playing it to me even if isn’t fully ready for my database. :slight_smile:


I fully agree with @IvanDobsky and @Billy_Yank. I have been ripping and tagging since I bought my lightning fast 386SX Turbo back a few decades ago. I still have not settled on how to categorize my library! :confounded: That being said, tagging can easily change from a hobby to an obsession. :exploding_head: I wish you the best of luck with your quest! We are here to help.


4 posts were split to a new topic: How did you listen to music on “ancient” hardware?

Tries again with reply…

Don’t worry about going through the list many times. The fun of constantly heading down the same path is the rediscovery of the little details that get forgotten about.

Thanks for the answers. At least i see its a “common” problem and could only be solved by setting some borders for urself. I will try to find such borders.

I mostly edit soundtracks, so sometimes its the only source of info at all. BTW - about expanding… So it generally means that if cover art, for example, shows only one composer for the track and databases show two of them, then the second one is just receiving royalties and not the real author?

I was surprised to see that even spotify use MB’s data. Listened one album from there when there were no detailed composer info, made edits for this album in MB and then after some time checked again - now it was with my edits on spotify. :smiley:

Actually this worries me much. :smiley: I downloaded too much music which i plan to prepare for MB and with all this reedits and rechecks i am afraid i wont reach some albums at all. :smiley:

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It is the beauty of this true level of sharing. Knowing that as we satisfy our own needs for accurate data we are helping out so many other people.

It is why I especially like adding to those obscure artists in my collection.

In that case you start with music you care more about. In my own scheme I have concentrated most effort on my CD collection… especially the obscure stuff. Trying to work on a very common release like Dark Side of the Moon is a very steep learning curve… much better to start with something with less release versions.

Sometimes it is because the album comes up on my media player is often a trigger for me to then go and upgrade the data for it.

As to all that downloaded music - don’t be surprised if this causes you to go back and improve the quality of some of those downloads. Your first run through will mainly involve selecting the correct release versions and getting the MBIDs into place.

Then later return to MB itself and fill out more and more data…

I deleted much of my original waffly post, but music in my collection is all at different stages of rip, tag, scan… but importantly the majority of the music is at least at a stage to be playable. Even if I know I will return to add better tags, images, etc.

This is all about Enjoying your Collection. :slight_smile: I know when I try and explain to friends why I spend hours on MB cataloguing my music they do look at me a little odd… :wink: