New, and dreadfully confused... adding Audiobook multi-disc new release groups

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Hi… absolutely new here, and have read everything I can find in the FAQ, documentation, etc. about how to add Audiobooks to the MusicBrainz database. And… I am failing miserably. I’m especially miserable since I had this great idea I would catalog all of my 1,200+ audiobooks into the database.

So far, I have mangled my first attempt, and am unsuccessfully in trying to fix it.

I think I understand this:
Put first CD in Picard, have it scan for disc ID.
When it pops up that there is nothing for it in the MB database, click on the ‘find manually’ button in Picard.
Go to browser, and select add new release/release group.
Since this is Disc 1 of 38 discs, I use release name of the audiobook, with no number after it, as the release and the release group name.
Type in all the track and track title information.
Put in second CD in Picard, have it scan for disc ID.
When it pops up that there is nothing for it in the MB database, click on the ‘find manually’ button in Picard.
Go to browser…
The first time I put in the second disc, I created a new release for it, typed in the 2nd disc’s tracks and track titles. Then, I made an edit in the first disc release, using ‘add medium’ then ‘add CD stub’. That seemed to work OK.

But then I read that I shouldn’t have made a new release for it?
So, when I put the 3rd disc of the 38 multi-disc, Picard scanned it, manual search in the browser, and then instead of creating a new release for it, I instead clicked on linking it to the original 1st disc,
This created a duplicate of disc 2, complete with duplicate track lengths, track titles, and duplicate disc ID.

And… I can’t fix it. Tried to remove it from the tracklist edit page… nope. Wouldn’t remove. Tried to edit the tracks and track titles and track lengths…nope. Wouldn’t accept any changes.

Decided to just go ahead and put in disc 4 and keep going (and just ignore the disc 3 duplication of disc 2). But… now disc 4 isn’t labeled as disc 4, it’s labeled as disc 3.

You see my problem :smiley:
How do I remove everything except the first two correct entries, or how do I start over? I tried to fix by editing, but that doesn’t work. I tried to fix by removing the incorrect disc ID’s, but that doesn’t work.

Is there a step-by-step guide with pictures on how to do a multi-disc Audiobook entry (and hopefully how to include narrators, performers)? So far I’ve spent about 12 hours doing (or trying to do) 4 discs. I only have 1,200x15 to go…

Thanks kindly for your help – apologies if this question/topic is a nuisance, but I really would like to enter everything that isn’t in the database, and I’d like to be able to do it without too much hair loss :smiley:



First of all: please link to your entry so we can see the issues :slight_smile:


Ah…ok. So far I can’t find a link, it just shows up on my ‘overview’ page. The URL in the browser says:

I hope that’s it?

Here is a link to the listings for “Fool”. All of the ones with a release date of 2009 are mine:

EDIT: On the 2nd link above, the first “Fool” has disc 1 correctly, and disc 2 correctly, disc 3 is a duplicate of disc 2. the last “Fool” on the list is labeled as Disc 3. It’s not. It’s Disc 4.


I’m going to try to cancel all my edits for all of the incorrect entries, as trying to edit the edits doesn’t seem to do anything…nothing changes. Back later with update if this works… Although trying to cancel my edit for creating a series didn’t work (I mistakenly thought a ‘series’ == ‘multi-disc’).


EDIT: OK, I see that the ‘edits’ to my entries aren’t ‘working’ because the edits haven’t been applied, and it seems that I have to wait 6 days for the edits to be applied or to just disappear, or something.

Not sure what to do… can’t fix because fixes don’t get applied to to something I’m creating (need votes or something?), and I don’t know how to correctly add Audiobook multi-disc entries without creating the same mess all over again, so I can’t start on a new entry. Guess I’ll clean the house instead? :smiley:

Thanks for your help, I’ll check back later :smile:


I know at least two ways of doing this but the easiest to explain is:

  1. Add each disc from Disc ID submit as a new release. You will get 38 new releases.
  2. Merge all new releases together.

At step 1:

  • You should reuse the same new release group (RG) for all releases by pasting RG URL in RG field. Otherwise you can just merge them in the end.
  • And you should name release 2 and further as Title (disc n) as this will ease the release merge in correct medium order.
  • You should name first release as Title and use it as merge target in second step.

I hope this helps, I tried to describe the shortest but it will take one week of pending merge edit before you see the complete 38 disc release.


The other method with which you get immediate result without waiting one week:

  1. Add all discs manually in a single new release, you don’t need to fill in track times.
  2. For each disc, submit its Disc ID and set track times from it.

I thought it would be longer to explain but it’s the opposite.


There is an Audiobook style guide that should be followed to make things consistent.
The main thing is we want to credit the Author of the book first and then the person / people reading the book second.

Musicbrainz supports having multiple artists used for each release, recording etc.
When selecting an artist there is an input field and an edit button.
Click the edit button and another window will pop up where you can set multiple artists.
You want the first artist to be the author of the book.
Add a join phrase such as " read by " but in your case this would be " performed by " as that is what the cover art suggests.
Add Euan Morton assuming this is the right person.
As multiple people can have the same name it is something you should check and possibly add a new artist to the database.
Input boxes for artist support pasting url’s so I have multiple tabs open and paste the url for the artist that I want so I know i have the right one.

The way I add releases to musicbrainz is to add the release with multiple disks and enter the track names and artists but not the track lengths.
Once the release exists you can use picard to attach disk id’s to the release.
When a disk id is added it now knows the track lengths and will automatically update the release and associated recordings with the correct time.


Thank you!
I tried this method just now, to add the rest to the “Fool” Audiobook, however pasting in the MB URL for first disc title release group didn’t preserve the added disc title (instead of showing “Fool, CD 5” it shows ). So, when I tried to merge, I couldn’t figure out which one was which. So, I left them unmerged.

Will try the second method you’ve written now, on a different audiobook multi-disc set. Although I don’t quite understand how to do it.

Thank you very much – I’m taking snaps as I go, to document for myself what seems to work, and unexpected results (like the naming problem mentioned above).

Also, I have read the style guide for Audiobooks (printout of it here beside me) but can’t figure out how to add the ‘narrated by’ etc. when I’m only given the option to select the author as listed. There isn’t any place I can see to add another artist on any of the pages I’ve seen so far while adding a release. I do have it on my ‘to-do’ list for future edits.

Or is it simply creating a new artist? I didn’t want to do that, but if I type “Christopher Moore, performed by Euan Morton” I’m confronted with having to create a new artist. I know I must be doing something wrong, so I have done that.

Anyway, if I understand what you’ve written correctly, I can perform the second method by manually adding the Audiobook title as a new release group, don’t add any track info for it, and use the ‘add medium’ button to add each successive disc in order, then, go back, and edit it all, once, for all track names, track lengths, etc. by simply adding in a disc ID… ?
In other words, don’t use Picard to upload a disc ID at first, just do it later and try to find which disc it is supposed to be linked to?

Thanks again, I’m trying it now…
PS. am I right in assuming that all of this work disappears in 6 days? or something else? I can’t find what happens after 6 days.


You have to look for the edit button next to the artist input field.
Clicking this button expands the entry and allows you to add more artists.


hmmm… OK, so I am trying the 2nd method, by adding a new release, adding all discs manually in a single new release (and adding disc IDs, track lengths, etc later) but boy oh boy… yikes. Anyway, I did it, please have a look here:

and let me know if I did it correctly. I chose “digital media” for the three MP3-CD discs, as they require a specific mp3-enabled cd player to use. Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those, so I won’t be able to upload their CD disc IDs.

(Although this time I did figure out how to add “performed by” to the artist name. Sheesh. I’m normally not this dense! :smiley: I can do CLI server admin all day, but web interfaces are another story :smile: )

Haven’t added the disc ID’s yet, which will, hopefully, add in the track times.

I kept wishing for a text upload for all the titles, etc. I do have all that, already here. I could certainly parse/delimit/whatever is needed to suit the server requirements for fields/data type/etc to conform. The one-by-one entry is … yikes. Anyway, as you can see, it took 9 hours. If I could have just copy/pasted delimited text in for the discs, I probably could have done it in much much much less time.

But perhaps that is what the large-ish text box is for on the add medium pop-up, manual add? I couldn’t find any documentation regarding any text I would copy/paste into the box, however. Didn’t want to create another 6 day mess-up, so I typed all the entries in individually.



:slight_smile: hee. The image you attached there is showing me figuring out how to add the additional performing artist :slight_smile: That’s a snap of my entry :slight_smile:
I still have to wait 6 days to fix that “Fool” entry though. In the meantime I thought I would use it to ‘practice’ on, until I felt more confident to move on to the Audiobook ‘monsters’ lurking on the shelves here.

Thank you very much for your help – I know I’ll get the hang of it at some point. Meantime, I’m collecting snaps of how to do it (thank you for this one :wink: ) and will make a tutorial for my other audiobook freaks so they will be able to add their collections too.



You should cancel the duplicate Add medium and several other edits in I have written edit notes


OK, going to check now… looking for edit notes…


Thanks! I saw the notes and cancelled the edits on the two you recommended. Thanks!
Thank you so much for the #2 process for adding multi-disc releases. I think that will be easier for me for the Audiobooks I’ll add to the database.

My only regret about it is the huge amount of time spent typing in, individually, the book/chapter/title entries for each individual track. I was hoping there might be a way to copy/paste that sort of info into a batch form for each CD/medium entered. I can format the text into any sort of delimited file needed (I run multiple SQL servers here, so it’s second nature to me).

Anyway, thank you so very much Jesus2099.
ps. just call me Alys. Too much typing otherwise.


Um, yeah. Replying to my own post, so let everyone know who has helped me: Big thanks!
Also… I think I get it now :slight_smile:
So, my question is answered, I still have my hair (sort of) and I’ll continue adding Audiobooks daily.

I’ve received a few comments on my edits/entries, and they have been a huge help in understanding the web interface and database structural/nomenclature issues I was bumping into. Many many thanks!
eg. MP3-CD = DataCD

Thank you so much again, looking forward to seeing y’all in the edit notes :slight_smile:


I just had a look, and it seems like the closest we have for this is a section on the “How to add a Release” article:

I’ve made a ticket about this:


Adding a multi disc release

You’re welcome @Alys-Corduroy, it’s actually the same as @dns_server did as well:

Fixing the first release (CD1 and CD2)

Well, sorry as you later swapped CD 2 and 3, it seems I have made you cancel the CD2.
I have moved CD3 to second position.
There are still some edits that you should cancel, IMO.
Currently open edits:

You have two Disc IDs on CD1, if from is not CD1 then keep your remove Disc ID and submit the Disc ID to the correct CD.

Beginning with MusicBrainz editing

For starting editing MB you should have chosen a simple single CD pop album.
You are facing the most difficult part or MB, multi disc leads to incredible amount of work to add the release and moreover it’s an audio book that belongs to a certain guideline. :cold_sweat:

Maybe after those two huge releases, look at your shelves and spot a plain album that may not be in MB yet. As all editions make distinct MB releases, I’m sure you’ll find one.
Choose one very simple with only one artist credited (one band or one singer), no featurings, no funny stuff.
And with it, submit your Disc ID from Picard and see how relaxing it is to add a simple album. :wink: :thumbsup:


Not sure if anybody has addressed this, but if you paste everything into the track parser/ into the window that pops up when you hit ‘add medium’, it will parse all the tracks for you, and has always worked well for me.
Just have the track titles on their own line, and track times and artist can be on that line too, and it will do its best. Give it a shot :slight_smile: