Notability check before adding a release to MusicBrainz

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fe3148e1418> #<Tag:0x00007fe3148e1198>

How notable does an artist or a track need to be before being added to the MusicBrainz database?
Is an artist allowed to add their own music to the MusicBrainz database?

To put things into perspective and to have an example let’s take one of my songs “SummerChocolate” Is it notable enough to be added to the MusicBrainz database? If it isn’t notable enough, how notable would it need to be or how notable would I need to be for it to be eligible for entry?

Also it would be interesting to me to see your least notable artists/songs(in the MusicBrainz database) so I can get a better perspective on what songs/artists have made it into MusicBrainz that had low notability.(and to help me research their notability so I can understand where the line is drawn)
If some songs/artists were not allowed into the database for notability reasons it would be interesting for me to know of some examples of rejected songs/artists so I can look the artists up and/or their music.

Thanks in advance!

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It needs to exist.

Definitely! Just try to follow the relevant style guidelines while doing it.

The only line we have (which is in itself kinda fluid) is for compilations: if you make a compilation of existing music and publish it on your blog or as a torrent, that does not belong in MusicBrainz (it’s fluid because if you were a very notable artist in the first place, the compilation might be circulated widely enough to make sense as a MusicBrainz release even if you just published it in your blog or on Twitter or something). New music made by yourself? No limits.

Edit: I mean, we even accept this :smiley: :


Well, it needs to exist, and it would be nice if it exists somewhere other than your own computer and the computers of your close friends. Other than that, the practical lower bound of notability is “does someone here (including you, the artist) think it’s worth their own time to add” – and even that only because there’s more music in the world than time to add it. Here, at least, we like having data. I never understood those WP policies.

And bootlegs in general, even of a single album. Thinking about compilations separate from bootlegs does make me wonder about playlists, though: in order to be counted a release, it needs to come with the actual music, right? It can’t just be a track listing you go out and populate yourself?


And even that is mostly because it’s hard to prove it exists in the first place otherwise :slight_smile:

I’d say so, yes. Something that is just a list of things could be entered as a series, but I’m not too sold on using series for playlists either.


I’ve not added any of my own stuff yet. I am learning how to edit using other people’s pages.
But, in my head, I am thinking of MB as a historical record. Not an advertising site, an ego booster, or a resume builder.

Meaning - I record an album. I release an album. I post an album.

  • The fact that I recorded 20 songs, and only 12 made the cut, does not mean that I should post the other 8 as singles, nor should I make a “playlist” on SoundCloud that includes the 8 so that I can post them.
  • The fact that me and Little Jimmy recorded our “jam session” does not mean that we have a recording to post.
  • My doodles (uncompleted songs, riffs, poetry and short stories for future use) do not get posted just because I recorded them.

But I am old fashioned. I have a different thought pattern. Also, I came here from Wikipedia and I have seen too much garbage being added just because it has enough digital mentions to be considered notable - including albums that were never released because they were pre-hyped. Again, call me old fashioned, but an artist shouldn’t have a WP article stating “his debut album will be released next month” because he hasn’t achieved notability yet, regardless of how much his press team releases digital footprints.

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That said, if you do decide to publish the outtakes, it’s perfectly acceptable to add them to MB :wink:

Most of the time, this would just be removed in WP - but I can think of several artists who had enough notability after just a debut single or video that they would belong in WP before their debut album!

In any case, I will happily add local bands who haven’t released any music (and might never release it!) if they play shows - “Band X played live on Venue Y on this date” is also a relevant part of the historical record :slight_smile:


I’ve nominated (for deletion) numerous “debut not yet released” artists. Only a handful of them were removed. Like I said, if you have a press team putting out enough links, you qualify as ‘notable’.
I’ve even seen an article for some guy that Kanye West said “this is guy is the future”. No releases. Not even signed anywhere. The fact that KW talked about him made him notable.

I know it wasn’t always that way, but it is now. And it is sickening what does and does not qualify.

Like @reosarevok said, just because they never got a professional release, we don’t have anything against those eight cut recordings – and even if they’re rough, we have the “Demo” secondary type for a reason. Moreover, they wouldn’t even need to be in a Soundcloud playlist; the mentality I’ve been using is that unless it’s a particularly rough sketch, is obviously part of a set (same upload date, cover, etc.), or is a music video, something uploaded to there or YouTube counts as a single.

Recorded and did nothing with? Yeah, that’s somewhat debatable. Recorded and tossed on SC? That’s a perfectly valid release.

And again, if you’re intending them to record a better version in the future, then that seems like a “Demo” release to me. If you’re just putting it there as a “Well, this was a fun project but I’ve lost interest and won’t be refining it any more”, that’s maybe a standalone recording rather than a release, but it still has a place in the database.

I don’t think anyone here is advocating premature entity addition, but we don’t impose artificial “notability” requirements, either. Does something exist? If so, then why is it any less or more deserving of mention than anything else? From a more pragmatic perspective, one of the most common (though definitely not only) uses of MB data is for tagging files; people don’t just buy the most common or most well-reported release, they almost seem to track down the most obscure artists and the roughest demos and WIPs. Saying we won’t support that would be one of the more arbitrary ways we could come up with to turn people to other services.


For reference, we also store releases like this one: :rofl:


:see_no_evil: :hear_no_evil: :speak_no_evil:

Well, really, I hope my ex girlfriends don’t go through their old boxes and come across (and post) any of those 30 year old cassette tapes that I gave them with songs I wrote “for them”.
That’s not something I would ever consider a legitimate item.

And I, unlike some of the statements above, wouldn’t consider disallowing that to be something that would send users elsewhere. To me, the opposite is true - keep the amateur non-sense like that off of here and it would make the self-recorded self-produced self-released amateur albums seems more serious.
How can we be taken seriously (IMO) if a 10 year old put a cassette tape in a $20 boom box and uses the built in microphone to record songs.

I wouldn’t consider those legitimate MB releases either, since they’re not “widely distributed” at all—they seem to be more like personal mixtapes (even if they just happen to contain private/personal) recordings. (However, I think I would say that the Works you wrote “for them” would be legitimate Works to have entered. Maybe.)

This experiment, of having a very low barrier to entry by MusicBrainz, looks daring to me.
My outlook is somewhat shaped by Wikipedia who, through the alignment of the stars or the price of storage at it’s birth, instituted “notability” as a barrier to eligibility for entry.

Looking at the outcome of that early path taken, the entrenchment and consequences of an exclusive project-culture in Wikipedia, I wonder just how much recorded or live music meta-data the 6 (to 10 by 2050) billion humans on the planet will generate - and suspect that an inclusive-open project may actually function to produce an encyclopedia of recorded and performed music and a humane environment for editors.


I like the idea of having a minimum standard. But, again, because I am older and lived in a small non-musical town before technology made faking professionalism accessible and acceptable, I know how amateurish amateurs can be. I think it lessens the legitimacy of the “broke but serious” acts when it is sitting next to some 10 year old’s recording he made with an iPhone (in our day it was a cassette tape with a boombox).

I don’t think MB needs to have a bar as high as WP simply because MB is not a “freeform” writing site. It is a “here is the form, fill in the blanks” site.
And then, unlike WP, an individual artist or recording shouldn’t need to meet its own notability to be included separately. We can play the “friend of a friend” game. If John Smith’s album meets MB notability, and Little Jimmy worked on John Smith’s album, Little Jimmy can have an artist page, which then gets populated with Little Jimmy’s information.
Little Jimmy’s information may not meet criteria on its own, but the inclusion elsewhere deems it necessary to have information filled out. And THAT is something where WP fails. On WP, Little Jimmy can be listed on John Smith’s album page, but it doesn’t get linked anywhere because he do not meet notability. That will often times make you sit there and say “who is this Little Jimmy”, and can become confusing when it is a common name to distinguish between this Little Jimmy and that Little Jimmy.

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I understand that you have a problem with certain music existing, but I really don’t see any evidence for the idea of a musicians legitimacy ever being questioned because we allow non-professional artist data on a database.
Do you have any specific examples of problems that we have or are causing by not having notability requirements? Perhaps someone who’s thrown out their Beethoven collection because we stored a iphone composition?

Personally I would quickly move on if MB made it its business to be the arbiter of taste when it comes to whether music is ‘good enough’ or ‘professional’ enough.
Both because I find the whole idea distastefully elitist and because its usefulness as a tagging and database source for my needs would become inferior to other sources.


I’ll add two pragmatic reasons:

  1. Policing notability involves constant vigilance and lots of time and energy to evaluate new person/group entries, and search out and delete “fakes”, non-notables who are trying every trick that is open to them (not having a commercial publicity department to achieve notability “legitimately”) in their efforts to get themselves into the database.

  2. This vigilance and concomitant attitudes and workload produces a highly problematic work environment for volunteer editors.


Before I reply I’d like to state that I consider that my topic has been answered.

I like this idea when it comes to judging my own music(not anybody else’s, since if they think it is notable I’ll respect that and also will appreciate their music being on MusicBrainz, unless they ask me specifically to give my opinion on if I think their music is notable or not).

Do you think that your personal standard regarding your own music can be measured? Can you measure it, ie. in Youtube views?(maybe even Youtube statistics like how many views the song got in a certain amount of time ie. in 1 month it got 250 Youtube views, but it needed at least 300 views to qualify according to your personal minimum) Views on some site? If the song was featured on the startpage of a site for x amount of days? How notable does your music need to be before you’d consider it notable enough to enter it into MusicBrainz? I’m brainstorming a bit here…I’m trying to find out if you can measure your own current notability standard(a thing that might change over time at one time demanding more notability sometimes less)

One final question(and the last edit to this post since I’ve edited it countless times already) At the same time though I’m thinking, the song you’ve made that you consider most notable of all in your whole collection, is that notable enough according to your personal minimum notability check that you would consider adding it to MusicBrainz?(don’t take it personally, just brainstorming here…)

Food for thought :slight_smile:

But notability doesn’t necessarily mean popularity. Therefore, a minimum download/view doesn’t apply. Particularly for someone like me, who is older and has never posted anything on YouTube (but has sold 10,000 discs out of the trunk of his car in a single month).

For example, I spoke about the song I recorded for an old lover on a cassette tape using the built in microphone on a $20 boom box. Certainly doesn’t meet any sort of “legitimate” recording standard. But, today, those types of recordings have a better sound quality because kids hook up their guitars to their iPhones which allows for a much better SNR.
Just because it was recorded on a 32bit processor, it is still just doodle. It’s the kind of thing we post on Throwback Thursday - not the kind of thing we host on our iTunes page.

And another thing where a minimum standard should be applied would be ‘events’.
In America, every Saturday night, in every VFW, in every Holiday Inn, in every corner bar, there is some band of 50 year old men trying to escape their wives and children two nights a week by playing Mony Mony and Mustang Sally for 20 people.
Should MB let 50,000 events be posted every week for that sort of thing?

If we don’t have sort of basic minimum, then everything is permissible. And if everything is permissible - its anarchy.
Just use Wikipedia as an example. It was fine back when there were a handful of editors adding a handful of pages. But as it grew, they needed to clamp down on what was qualified and what wasn’t. There was a group of people called “deletionists” that wanted some stricter rules. They failed.
Today WP is full of vandals and has articles such as “list of lists”.

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This was already answered earlier by @reosarevok:

I personally have binges where I scour YouTube for small-time cover musicians and add their stuff to MB. I’m currently adding a number of Twitch Music Creative streamers—some of them have stuff on SoundCloud/Bandcamp/etc., some have performed live at some point somewhere, but some haven’t either, but they’ve performed music live on Twitch (which is notable enough for me).


Sounds like this was easily distributed enough to be on MusicBrainz.

If it’s uploaded somewhere where other people can download and/or stream/listen to it, it’s perfectly valid to add it to MusicBrainz.

Yes, please!!

We do: «It needs to exist.»

Off-topic, but: Anarchy is the organisation of communities without a state/government, which means the community itself sets the rules—not that the community is without rules. Many open source and open data communities are somewhat anarchistic.