Need some Style Guidence for a dramatic audio series

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f1c9624a248> #<Tag:0x00007f1c9624a158> #<Tag:0x00007f1c9624a068>

I would appreciate some style guidance for a dramatic audio series.

This audio series is “Adventures in Odyssey” (https://musicbrainz.org/artist/67e47f12-5257-47d9-8050-96239a05de65)

The current MB setup of the series is by album and track, but the track detail in most instances excludes the episode number.

What I have found by looking at multiple albums is that the CD track numbering is not in episodic sequential order and skips around between the multiple CDs in the album.

I looked in the style guides and I found some similar, but not exact examples and before I start fixing 60+ albums, I thought I would gain some insight from the Community.

Because this series was broadcast over the radio in sequential order, would it make sense to order the track listing as follows: “Broadcast Date: Episode Name - Episode Number”?

This way it makes it possible to sort the episodes across multiple albums in sequential order if one desires to listen to the episodes in sequential order, instead of album order.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!

2 Likes

Did you mean to write,
“would it make sense to name the Tracks as follows: “Broadcast Date: Episode Name - Episode Number”?”?

Where would you get the dates from? A quick glance a the link you supplied shows lots of Releases without dates.

Can you give us an actual example of what you mean? Write out an example track name?

Or a link to the Broadcast dates list you would be working from so we can compare?

-=-=-

A quick glance at one of those Releases shows guidelines broken. That “album 37” text should not be in the title. On the rear cover there is “Volume 37” mentioned.

Are you saying they were broadcast in a different order to the volume numbers?

If someone is sorting the tracks on a computer then surely they will naturally sort the album names first. Are the albums released in a different order to broadcast date? I am confused.

At the moment it looks like the tracks are named correctly to the covers. If it is about naming your ripped files then it is not too hard to tweak Picard to name the files to add the VolNo-CDno-TrackNo to the MP3 file. This would then give you the sort order you are looking for.

-=-=-

Looking deeper I think your Broadcast dates would soon cause problem. Look at Volume 3 https://musicbrainz.org/release/7e032b1f-1677-42a4-89b5-9a3e46183d5b

Clearly there are BONUS tracks in there that I assume were not broadcast. They would not have a broadcast date or episode number. So will end up out of sequence.

I think I see where you’d get your episode numbers from. Do you mean this Wikipedia list of “episodes by album”?

That link does better show how they are seemingly scattered on different CDs.

I think adding the broadcast date to the track names would be overkill. That data has a separate relationships to be put in to. Also a brief reading of the wikipedia page mentions they are broadcast on many different radio stations. You could end up with a confusion of dates.

Adding the episode number at the FRONT like on that Wikipedia page would give you the sort order you are looking for.

BUT this brings out the confusion of sort orders. If some episodes are not broadcast, then you are stuck with no number to put in front of them. Like on Volume 3 as I randomly picked out above.

There is no simple answer.

LOL - I have other stuff to do and now you have me digging for a solution. :laughing:

Go to the Odyssey website and follow through to the iTunes pages. And you will see they have solved this for you. Here is now they are naming the tracks on Volume 3 that I picked out above.

They are putting the three digit episode number on the front of the tracks. I think that would solve your problem while only slightly bending the guidelines.

Thanks for all that help!

You are correct, the AIO wiki would be where I would pull the episode number from.

The Bonus tracks do cause an issue with my original ordering scheme, so thank you for pointing that out.

You are correct that some of the episodes may not have been included in the albums and that there might be gaps regardless.

I have a couple followup questions based on your input.

  1. To ensure proper sorting of the episode number, I agree that a three digit number will work. The total episodic count is at 870+. Should I go ahead and and transition that numbering scheme to a four digit numbering scheme?
  2. The volume number for each album is listed on the spine and back of the jewel case and is extremely helpful in locating the specific album. I think it makes sense to keep the number in the title, but I know you stated that it broke the styling guide, should it go after the Title Name instead?
  3. One last issue on Track Naming, some of the tracks are a two part episode that are split by track number into three parts each, where the episode name includes the word “Part”. Currently, the track name substitutes a roman numeral (I) in place of the episodes actual part number (Part 1)
    (example: https://musicbrainz.org/release/ba8b0cfc-d2d0-48bf-9361-14dc05dcb270). Does it make sense to continue that kind of labeling with roman numerals to avoid the “Part 1, Part 1” that would otherwise occur?

Disc 1:
5 #17: A Member of the Family I, Part 1
6 #17: A Member of the Family I, Part 2
7 #17: A Member of the Family I, Part 3
8 #18: A Member of the Family II, Part 1
9 #18: A Member of the Family II, Part 2
10 #18: A Member of the Family II, Part 3

vs

5 #17: A Member of the Family, Part 1, Part 1
6 #17: A Member of the Family, Part 1, Part 2
7 #17: A Member of the Family, Part 1, Part 3
8 #18: A Member of the Family, Part 2, Part 1
9 #18: A Member of the Family, Part 2, Part 2
10 #18: A Member of the Family, Part 2, Part 3

Thanks again for your help!

Don’t put the # sign in there. That is a USA thing and not world wide. The Wikipedia page is neat and tidy, but your suggestion is very messy to read. Even worse in the second one where you write part 1, part 1.

The style guide says to use the text as the covers show. The trouble is the rear covers don’t actually match the way the tracks are broken down on the actual CDs. So there is no tracklist as the guidelines expect.

To try and answer your questions:

1\ Are they still producing these? The Wikipedia solution is neat and readable. There is no need for extra zero padding as they are human readable. If you need to adjust this for tagging purposes then tweak it in Picard and not the database. More importantly it is naming scheme the company uses to sell these on iTunes.

2\ It sounds like the Release Title should be Volume 1: The Adventure Begins. I see it written like that on the rear and I guess this is what the spine shows. Can you scan the cover in more detail so we can see these spines? Are there booklets with these?

(On a side note, you also should not be naming the separate CDs disc 1, disc 2, disc 3 as this is also against style guide and someone will come along and delete those bits)

3\ Wikipedia also covers the part 1, part 2 of those releases as they use 052a 052b etc. Much more importantly the Digital releases on iTunes use the 052a 052b naming.

If you must add numbering then use the iTunes releases as a guide for the names. That can then be argued as reasonable.

On the iTunes example of the disk you are quoting: https://music.apple.com/us/album/01-the-adventure-begins/559939816 the numbering stays fairly clear. BUT you seem to show that the CDs are broken up in to more parts than the Digital release?

The more I look at these the more I think that you cannot rename them in any sensible way. It is hard to even make them match the style guide as the track list doesn’t actually match the tracks on the CD! :exploding_head:

The trouble with stuff like this it gets repackaged and resold :moneybag: so many times that numbering fails to make sense. They repackage it cheaply so the track names don’t match the actual tracks. If you add too many made up numbers to it then the re-issues are harder to link by name.

I am NOT a style guru so other people need to comment. I tend to use a bit of “common sense” when reading the guidelines. I can see how the digital track titles could give an reason to add the episode numbers as the artist sees them. But as the CDs themselves don’t actually have a track list then some imagination will have to be used here.

We need to work on specific examples, and try and match the CDs to the iTunes releases as close as possible.

I see a compromise would be to use the iTunes versions as a master, and then add Part x to the end of each. But use your neater roman numeral solution as you have currently entered them.

Disc 1:
5 017: A Member of the Family I, Part 1
6 017: A Member of the Family I, Part 2
7 017: A Member of the Family I, Part 3
8 018: A Member of the Family II, Part 1
9 018: A Member of the Family II, Part 2
10 018: A Member of the Family II, Part 3
11 018a: BONUS! Paul McCusker Talks About Whit’s Family

1 Like

AIOVol1Disc1_Page_1 AIOVol1Disc1_Page_2

Here is a scan of the back cover plus the spine of Volume 1, plus a scan of Disc 1 of Volume 1.

As you can see, the 3 episodes on the disc are spread across 9 tracks, plus the two bonus tracks. So each episode on this disc has 3 parts to it.

Hope that helps!

Additionally, the series is up to the high 870s in numbering, so it will be a couple years before it occurs. Three digits is fine with me, just thought I would ask.

That does confirm the cheap repackaging I suspected. And something like this isn’t covered by the guidelines as there is no usable tracklist on the covers. That gives you iTunes as the best reference for what the company are currently selling the tracks as, which it looks like Wikipedia is following.

I’d stick to the “Volume 1: The Adventure Begins” as the Release title.

Then slot the three digit episode number in the front of the text you have already uploaded. Also keep your neater Roman Numerals as that is much cleaner to read.

Disc 1:
5 017: A Member of the Family I, Part 1
6 017: A Member of the Family I, Part 2
7 017: A Member of the Family I, Part 3
8 018: A Member of the Family II, Part 1
9 018: A Member of the Family II, Part 2
10 018: A Member of the Family II, Part 3
11 018a: BONUS! Paul McCusker Talks About Whit’s Family

That seems to me as sane as it can get really. It also means that the iTunes versions could be added to the same Release Group in a clean \ consistent way.

Looking at the end of the WIkipedia page they seem to be knocking out new episodes at 24 per year. So that gives you another five and a half years before the numbers would need to change. And they would need to rename their own iTunes files too, so I expect they will come up with a scheme.

Good luck. That is quite a mission you have there. Once you have done a few, post back here and no doubt there will be a bit more feedback from others.:smiley:

2 Likes

Will do, thank you very much for your guidance!

1 Like

I have completed somewhere between 15-20 album edits, that should be enough for people to take a look at.

2 Likes

Looks like you are on the right track to me.

Little tweaks I’d make is to keep the consistency rolling along. At the Release Group level I’d set the artwork to always be that common CD shaped cover image.

Look on the right hand side of the RG edit page and you’ll see Set Cover Art for those few that have changed to the earlier cassette image.

I know how repetitive but also really rewarding work like this is. Seeing a mess slowly come together as a neat organised result. Takes a lot of patience. A lot of this kind of clear-up goes unseen in the MB DB.

Nice one. :+1:

1 Like

Thanks for the complement.

I am focusing on the albums that I own first and then will go back and finish the others.

I agree that the release group level that the album cover art should reflect the most recent covers. Some of the old releases will have release specific covers, but I don’t recall seeing any cassette image covers. I’ll have to go back and keep an eye out for those.

Thanks for the heads up on that.

2 Likes

Usually the Release Group artwork is set to the “original release” or “most common image”. It is what taggers will grab when they don’t like the exact images. As there is a clear consistent set of images already in place then they seem best to select.

Seek out @jesus2099 and his FUNKY ILLUSTRATED RECORDS to see the Release Group in all its glory.


https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/2334-mb-funkey-illustrated-records

1 Like

I just about got all of the albums correct and I have some feedback for everyone:

The Roman number system is not making as much since when I got to Volume 58.
The entire volume is a 14 part episode, resulting in a Episode name that is 764: The Ties That Bind XIV, Part 3.

As I continue to think through this, due to the number of episodes that have multiple parts, I think that an alternate scheme should be used for the split tracks, such as “764: The Ties That Bind Part 14 ©”. The letter can not go at the front due to multiple album extras already being labeled as ###A and we already ruled out “Part 1, Part 1”.

I am open to alternatives and I dislike the idea of going back through and doing another round of edits, but has I have started to use the volumes at listen to them, the part number has become very critical for me to determine the episode length and should only be used in those instances where there is an actual longer episode.

Let me know your thoughts,

Thanks!

1 Like

Those pesky Romans and not correctly alpha sorting…

How may places will the Roman option break?

If it was me, I’d keep to the Roman when it makes sense. But maybe for that big one go back to fully Arabic and part 1, part 1 seems a sensible choice there.

Though, looking at that title of “764: The Ties That Bind XIV, Part 3” I would probably just stuck to the Roman all the way. The 764: at the front is setting the sorting order anyway. And it is a clear pattern you have built up to that point.

How many cases does the Roman pattern break?

I agree that it would be a big headache to have to go back and change everything for just a few cases.

-=-=-

With the Part n, Part x option - how high does Part x get?

I don’t mind going back and redoing it, as I developed an import mask that translated the existing format into the new format, I would just need to tweak it to accept the new format, it would be much faster than the first timer through.

There are 70+ episodes with Part in the episode name, so 8% of the 870 or so episodes. The Part X only goes up to 3.

Patterns can be remade, it is just agreeing on the pattern to use in regards to what makes sense. It needs to be consistent all the way through. When I am looking at the title on my playlist, it takes several more seconds of thinking to translate the I, II or III into a Part 1, 2 or 3, which I have found is far more important than the track breaks in the episode. The track break indicator really belongs at the end as an (a), (b) or ©. I was originally fine with the Roman numerals, but it has gnawed at me as I have completed the edits that we have actually modified the episode name (for episodes that actual have Part in the name).

Another example is the following set of episodes on Volume 37, each of which is split into three tracks:
Plan B, Part 1 of 4: Missing in Action
Plan B, Part 2 of 4: Collision Course
Plan B, Part 3 of 4: Cross-Fire
Plan B, Part 4 of 4: Resistance

2 Likes

Tricky to give a perfect answer. If Part X only steps up to 3 maybe this is a better place to try part a,b,c or part i,ii,iii? That then leaves the full run of Arabic numbers available for the first Part n?

Or just stick to the way they have done it. It may be more confusing to read, but it is their original plan.

1 Like

The Publisher never specified a format for the split episodes, only the single track ones.

I am going to start making the changes here in the near future.

The revised format will be as follows for the split track episodes:
“123: Episode Name (a)”
“123: Episode Name (b)”
“123: Episode Name ©”
“124: Episode Name, Part 1 (a)”
“124: Episode Name, Part 1 (b)”
“124: Episode Name, Part 1 ©”
“125: Episode Name, Part 2 (a)”
“125: Episode Name, Part 2 (b)”
“125: Episode Name, Part 2 ©”

The single track episodes will remain unedited as follows:
“123: Episode Name”
“124: Episode Name, Part 1”
“125: Episode Name, Part 2”

1 Like