Performer credits and release groups, revisited

Coming from the discussion here: How do i credit an artist

I think one of the biggest weaknesses with the database is still the fact that performer relationships can’t be easily shared among releases in a release group if they don’t have recording-level specificity.

There’s a ticket here that’s been open since 2011:

My comments from the related ticket that I created in 2016:

Many release-level relationships will be the same among all releases in a release group, yet you can only apply them to one release at a time, and I don’t see any way to copy them or apply them to the whole release group at once.

For instance, I’m looking at a list of about 20 performers in the orchestra for this release group, with no track-level breakdown: https://beta.musicbrainz.org/release-group/a86012db-9ba2-3670-8685-8a747ba27fd0

As it stands, I should apply all performers to each release, but honestly I’m only going to do one of them. Of course, that leads to the problem I encounter on the tagging side: one release in a group might have very good credits available, but the only way for the user to know which is to look at each one.

Some current thoughts I have on this:

What scenarios are there in which release-level performer credits on one version of a release would NOT be applicable to the other versions of a release?

Is there a solution on the tagging side? Would it be possible for Picard to have an option to pull in performer credits from all releases in a release group? Or a way for Picard to identify releases with the most detailed release credits?

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When I see a ticket dated 2011 and one update in 2016… there seems to me no need to add any notes to it. Already it is out of date as no doubt the interface has already changed since way back then.

That whole ticket system seems a huge black hole of throwing in way too many requests to a small dev team.

I see a similar issue when I am looking at a long list of 25 Releases in a Release Group. And I spot that typos have been corrected at Release Group level. Yet there is no simple way of copying those corrections back up to the 25 separate releases.

Even when one opens a Release to do edits there is no way of copying the Recording names back up to the Release. There are the handy ticks that let all edits from that Release to be copied into the Recordings… but that would be useful in two directions.

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The rules of a Release Group surely say that in 99% of cases then all the Release should share the same core recordings. Yes, we have deluxe editions and re-releases that add recordings, but those original recordings will still have the same guy playing guitar.

If a band re-records an album then it can’t go into that original Release Group as it is a new album. A new release.

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And we’d rather omit some data than be blatantly wrong in that 1% situation. (Which, again, is why you shouldn’t guess who played what on what Recording, but rather just credit on the Release level. It’s better to be vague but correct, than specific and wrong.)

Say Band A hires Friend And Studio Musician B to play on a track on their Release. Release blows up and they decide to make a Deluxe Release to appease their fans, but in the meantime, B is no longer happy with the contract they made for the original Release, so part of the Deluxe Release is either dropping the track B played on, remixing the track to remove B’s participation, or re‐recording it without B. No performance credits are credited per‐track in the liner notes and the group is still small enough that there’s no press coverage about this, and neither A nor B are posting about it either, so you’d only know by diligently comparing liner notes of the two releases. Never the less, the list of performers are different across the two releases (not even considering any performers that might only be on the Deluxe Release edition).

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You misunderstood what I meant. My fault due to lack of details.

I was not talking about blind copying of whole blocks of credits. It would be selective. I was thinking about how there are often multiple region releases at the same time. On different formats like CD and digital media. Deluxe editions adding extras. Then re-releases add to this.

It is then quite easy to have a couple of dozen Releases in a Release Group. And at the core they will be the exact same musical album with the same musicians and engineers. It is that kind of data we are talking about copying. When the recordings are exactly identical.

I think your example of an argument is a rare one. The scenario you describe would be after my above description. That changed track would make that track noticeably different. And the true fans would pick up on it. It would also show out as different enough and would be left out of block copying of data.

My example was not an example about copying details from one Release to another Release, but about storing those details on the Release Group instead of on individual Releases. If the detail is wrong for any single Release in a Release Group, it should not be stored on the Release Group level.

I’m all for making it easier to copy data between individual Releases.

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Yeah - that is why I said my description was not clear. I was talking about copying between common Releases within a Release Group. It was in the other thread I had already put a stop to my thoughts about adding credits to the RG. Since then the discussion has been about Releases and common data.

Maybe the discussion from your side, but @psychoadept was still entertaining the notion of performer relationships on the Release Group level:

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Yeah, I was thinking more of ways to make individual release credits accessible across multiple releases. I get that there are the cases where performer credits might vary, however rare.

One thing that just crossed my mind is what if on the recording level there was a section to show credits on the releases the recording is attached to, similar to the way releases show some release group info. I realize if a recording is used many times it could get hella messy, so maybe it would need to be a separate tab, with appropriate warnings about not to infer too much from release level credits. But that would at least provide a certain level of transparency at the recording level, especially if you could see that credits differed between release A and release B in same release group. If in one place the credit was for a specific instrument and another it was for “performer”, you could update the performer credit and so on.

There is https://tickets.metabrainz.org/browse/MBS-2970 but it could also be expanded to editing release -> submit changes to all releases (in some cases the recording is different from the track, e.g. for classical music). However there needs to be a way for it to not be abused as the “change title/artist credits on recording” checkmark which I see being misused very often.

Misused or confused… I remember when I first started editing here I hit all kinds of buttons like that in error. Some older users forget how complex this place is for noobs and there almost needs to be a “training mode” of a simpler interface to start.

The kind of stuff being discussed here should only really be opened up to people after 1000 edits or so.
(Or when an AE kicks the switch) At a stage when the user understands enough to not make a mistake with these advanced features.

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