Out of curiosity—why no separate recordings for remasters?

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So, I’ve seen in the documentation that the official policy is that a remastered recording is NOT a separate Recording from the original, in MusicBrainz. Why is that, though? If people want a way to distinguish which remastering is found on which releases (in cases where a remastering creates a clear, audible difference), why shouldn’t MusicBrainz have a way of tagging that? Marking releases as remasters of each other only helps so much—often, songs appear on compilations or soundtracks, and it would be useful to be able to indicate whether the copy found on such a compilation is the remastered recording or the original. Documenting stuff like that is one of the things I love about how thorough MusicBrainz’s relationships can be, and this just seems like a weird deviation from that, that I never understood.


It’s often hard to figure out exactly what remaster we have, so that would lead to a lot of unmerged recordings by necessity. How do you determine properly whether a given compilation has the original or a remaster? In most cases, it won’t say. Additionally, the main benefit of sharing recordings (only having to enter relationships once and have them shared everywhere) is generally seen as more useful than the benefits of distinguishing remasters.


I know what you mean about wanting recording relationships to carry over, but that’s a problem that still exists with edits & instrumental versions and so on—it might be good to have some system in place where when a recording is linked as based on another, they carry over automatically until the ones that are no longer relevant are discarded?

That’s a fair point about not knowing which recording to use, although maybe there could be a generic ‘unknown’ recording for every Work, or for every Work & Artist combination…

Actually come to think of it, that kind of ties in to something I’ve been thinking would be handy on MusicBrainz in general—a ‘confidence’ rating for every piece of information that gets entered. Like if you’ve researched something carefully, you can tag your edit as ‘high confidence’, but if it’s something where the liner notes give a name, and there’s two violinists by that name and you can’t determine which, you could tag it as ‘low confidence’ so that at least it’s still entered as a starting point, but people will know not to assume that it’s a researched piece of information… I know it sounds nicer in theory to just not include low-confidence information, but in the case of something like a recording, something HAS to be provided—and so the compromise that’s been settled on is to make the information incapable of being higher-quality, so no-one has to specify that theirs is lower? Whether as a confidence rating, or just a generic entry that isn’t linked to other entries until the person linking is certain, it might be a way to approach things like this…

Anyway, I know there’s bigger fish to fry, but I thought it was interesting to consider :slight_smile: This seems like an unfortunate compromise made because of a lack of a way to specify information occasionally not being known, which deprives it from ever being stated even when it is known.

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