Organizing and adding to a Release

I have an old rip of a Time-Life CD book release from Germany called The Emotion Collection.which is fully documented at Discogs but only partially exists at MusicBrainz along with stray entries not part of the collection such as Without You and Coming Around Again.

I originally tried a script which is supposed to migrate data from Discogs but it’s missing loads of stuff that MusicBrainz doesn’t really explain the needed data so I figure I’ll go the long way and input everything by hand.

First: The Release Group entries do not prefix each set with "The Emotion Collection: " as the standalone entries do. I believe they should. Is it recommended that I make edits to the existing data first (rename the Release Group entries, add the standalones to the Release Group) and then add one of the missing releases? I don’t know how voting works here and am kind of reluctant to add new data in what I believe is the proper format only top get the edits rejected.

Second: I have the liner notes for each release so I can line up the compilation entries with the recordings that were licensed. Is adding this info preferred over simply listing tracks and artists? I don’t have access to the original discs and plenty of compilation releases are thin on track details so I’m asking for feedback on linking up as much as possible in this case since I have nearly 400 tracks spread across 16 Releases.

Thanks in advance for any advice or opinion and I look forward to contributing to this great community.

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Welcome!! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Possibly, this is always a tricky grey area though.
I’ll tag in some people who seem to have worked on this collection, so that you can get some input before creating a bunch of edits: @fmera, @wcw1966, @otters61, @rochusw
It can be impossible to find consensus that makes everyone happy, but in the end consistency is the most important.

When you add a release, you will see that you can search for and use existing recordings in the ‘Recordings’ tab of the editor. If this this is what you mean - it’s definitely preferred to match to the licensed recordings, if you have the time and the inclination!
For existing releases, ‘orphan’ recordings can be merged with their proper version using the ‘merge’ function.
If you have scans of the release/booklet/liner that’s always super helpful to add to MB. Watch out for matching versions correctly - e.g. if your scans have different text somewhere (like ‘manufactured in Germany’), then they would go on a new release.

It can be good to add a release or two by hand (how-to guide), to get to grips with how everything works.
But long term the best method is to import that tracklists + times, be it using importers, the track parser, or MusicBrainz Picard. All information still needs to be double checked by a human, of course, but it can reduce user error, as well as freeing your time up for more fun/valuable editing.
If you have confirmed rips, and didn’t like the Discogs importer, then I would try the MusicBrainz Picard method ‘add cluster as release’ method (how-to guide)

Hope that’s helpful!


Thanks so much @aerozol

I am holding off on edits as you recommended but went ahead and added one of the missing releases: [ The Emotion Collection: A Place In Time. I read all of the supporting material you provided but that still left me with a few questions:

  1. I copied in the exact titles as they appear on the book. In this case there are a few capitalization and punctuation differences which brought up a checkbox to copy that info to the recording I matched. That didn’t seem like the right choice so I left them unchecked. For example “Don’t Give Up On Us” vs “Don’t Give Up on Us”.
  2. None of the current recordings of “Lilac Wine” match the original recording the liner notes point to. It exists at Discogs so do I add that release then edit this one to point to the proper recording?
  3. A few of the tracks are missing details available in the liner notes. Should I edit those recordings to add composer and other info so that it flows to this release?

Thanks again for the n00b support!

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  1. The Guess Case button on the tracklist page is your friend. MusicBrainz has its own capitalisation guidelines here.
  2. Never a problem to make a new recording. Better than linking to the wrong one if you are not sure.
  3. Fill in as much data as you feel comfy doing. There is never a rush. And the more you work on this stuff the more it makes sense.

“Composer” data means you’ll need go to the Relationships tab an make a “Work” to link to. (A “Work” is like the written sheet music, and a “Recording” is what is performed and put onto tape)

Also a quick look at the artwork - what you call “liner” is I assume a booklet? A “liner” is the sleeve you slide vinyl into. Artwork types defined here.


Thanks for the additional info @IvanDobsky

I’ve got another one for you :stuck_out_tongue: I have a release that includes “Dancing Machine” credited to “Jackson 5”. When entering the Tracklist my only option is “The Jacksons” yet when I match it to a recording it says “The Jackson 5”. :crazy_face:

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To add to @IvanDobsky’s answer - that back cover scan can be set to multiple types, in this case ‘back’ + ‘spine’ would be correct.

MusicBrainz allows recordings and tracks to credit artists differently, using ‘credited as’ fields. In tracklist editor, next to ‘The Jacksons’, you can click edit to get:

In the ‘Artist as credited’ field, you can change the artist credit (in this case, ‘Jackson 5’). We correct typos or obvious mistakes, otherwise we put in their name ‘as credited’ on the release itself.

For the recording tile (as it the recording can be linked to multiple tracks/releases with variou credits) we use “the most common title from official tracks” (styleguide)


Thanks again @aerozol I’m taking advantage of that.

On a related note, maybe I missed it in the naming document, but I have an issue where a track is named wrong on the back and booklet, in this case “Duelling Banjos” with two "l"s. I’d prefer my library not have this mistake when I search for duplicates, but I’d like to know the preferred way to handle this. I ask because I already have to deal with multiple spellings of the same artist after using Picard on my library that requires fixing in the ID3 (the MusicBrainz tags are correct, but other apps don’t use those and will only use the artist tag and I want all artist names spelled one way).

Also I have to ask about the policy of copying over Discogs data when you don’t own the media. A number of the items on these compilations line up perfectly in terms of copyright and track length to singles or albums that are not on MusicBrainz so I’m leaving those as (add a new recording) but I’d like to port over that matching data if it’s allowed.

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I think that Style / Principle / Error correction and artist intent - MusicBrainz is the relevant part of the guidelines for this. Quoting the beginning of it:

As a general rule, MusicBrainz editors should correct spelling and punctuation and, to a lesser extent, grammar errors in artists’ names, as well as the titles of works, recordings, tracks and releases. However, this rule does not apply if it can be shown that an artist intentionally used unorthodox spelling, punctuation or grammar.


to add to what @derat said above, I typically try and mention any typo correction, especially for physical releases, in the annotation. there’s two places you can edit it, either in the release’s “edit” tab, or there’s a link on the sidebar of the release. the latter is how you can add an annotation to any other entity, such as artists and labels too~


From what I can see at discogs, the prefix "The Emotion Collection: " is written on the cassettes, too, and it would be consistent with other Time Life series, so I agree.


Thanks for all the advice. I plan on going back and making some notes and adjustments. The toughest thing is living with Time-Life’s ALL CAPS credits, only the booklets revealed they use Capital Case on all tracks and artists. But that one misspelling I definitely want to correct.

I have added three entries missing from another series with weird title decisions, Sounds of the 70s, where contributors just chose to include the century in the years despite none of the artwork or inner materials using dates this way, or Discogs, so here it’s Sounds of the 70s: 1970 instead of Sounds of the 70s: 70. I figure I’ll do the entries I’m adding as the artwork indicates when I hit those but it’s definitely another situation where more than a dozen Releases should be edited but I don’t know if that’s the way the MusicBrainz community prefers to do things with older data.

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Making it consistent one way or the other is great. It’s usuall that people have been adding their in-hand releases without reference to the series, and it becomes messy. If you’re taking an interest in the whole lot, that’s really useful.

Basically, you should feel empowered to make edits, but first I would:

  • Look through the edit history for both the series and some of the releases to check if someone has already has this discussion, or if there’s an editor who’s already done some tidying that you might want to tag here (or comment on one of their old edit notes, which they will be notified about)
  • Don’t enter 100’s of edits at once, start out small, and let people reply/vote. Then if there’s any disagreement or discussion you (and others) don’t have to review heaps of edits.

Most likely the other editors will be grateful for the effort, and then you can go for it :+1:

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“duelling” and “dueling” are both correct spellings (see dictionary entry here), so the spelling shouldn’t be changed from the way that it’s written on the back and booklet.


At this point I have added a number of releases to this collection and made an edit to Promises to prefix it as The Emotion Collection: Promises and to its Release Group as well. I plan to continue adding other releases but will wait for the edit to go through or not before editing the 17 other Releases and the Series. Please let me know if there are any problems with my edits or the procedure.