Proof of editing sources

I saw this post Documenting sources on recording relationships - #5 by jesus2099 and it is relating to the issue I came here to post.

I recently did some edits and stated my source is the metadata from my digital copy. This might mean something to me, however, it really means nothing to anyone else. I mean, I can say whatever I want, including my 2 hour CD I submitted a TOC for (sarcasm in case it is not clear). To the point, it seems it would be a great idea to have a location where the editor can upload something to support such claims. Some examples:

  • “cd in hand” could be accompanied by a picture of the CD in a hand.
  • As in my edit, where I use metadata, I could include a screenshot of that metadata.

I also understand that I could create a file and give it any metadata I want, etc… but at least it is another layer aside from just what someone states on their word alone. I would also see this useful, using my own example so as to not accuse anyone of anything, but I might use a digital copy that I had at the time of the edit, but deleted it since. I often to this with MP3 releases I have. If I get a chance to get a better digital copy, such as an original FLAC or M4A, I am happy to purge the MP3 copy for the better quality copy. In this case, I cannot even prove my own edit anymore.

Has any further discussion or consideration been given to this topic?


i’ve been thinking about this as well. i’ve been adding quite a few releases and standalone recordings where the sources just do not exist anymore. or, much more commonly, are ‘paywalled’ (patreon, etc). i get the feeling people are tired of my edit notes saying “just trust me” haha. id love to have the option to prove that i’m not making stuff up


MusicBrainz assumes users act in good faith rather than engaging in vandalism and lies.


That is and was not my meaning at all. I would hope that a user would not lie, but I am sure it has happened that a release that was not real or true was added.

There is also the innocent error. Someone might take pictures and add the artwork without realizing that the CD is the case was not that exact cataglog number. There might be a typo. I might have loaded a wrong file(s) in Picard, got an AcoustID from a wrong file, etc.

I can easily think of many cases where I want to further justify my own edit, but the best option I have is just to describe it. What happens in a csae where I say toda that this track time is 5:12, and in 2 years time I come back and say that is wrong, it is really 4:45. I might think, where did that time come from? My edit says per the digital file itself… ok… what file exactly?

My intent is not to accuse people of creating false edits, but to provide documentation of the edit and where the data came from… just like programmers do in code. Good programmers add good documentation so it can be determined at a later date what the code is for, where it came from, etc. It is not there to have the person prove their work is correct, it is there so help in the future.


What I mean is, editors can leave edit notes that other editors are not equipped to verify for themselves. This could be due to region blocking, financial cost, or something else. If you have reason to question or seek clarification, you can of course post on that edit.

I can’t find it, but there was a somewhat related topic where somebody was trying to require booklet/scans for all releases, and the general sentiment was no.

A discID is a classic example of this. Far too many discIDs appear without edit notes, but could do with a photo of the actual CD, matrix and the rear cover to show it really is this edition and not one that is from a totally different year.

This is a dream, but unlikely. Most people don’t have that camera to hand to take those photos of proof. If they did have the time to upload the photo, then they should have time for the edit note.

MB is massively on trust. Bad editors start to stand out. If I see no edit notes on an image, I will not trust it and try and replace it. Ditto a discID.


Yeah, that is a bit overkill to me too. I think a reference is more than adequate. I think there could be better use of the data quality field for this… say for example a CD entered with no TOC or scans is 1, a CD with TOC is a 2, a CD with TOC and scans is a 3, etc. I believe if you have the CD, all effort should be made to add the TOC, but not required. That is a difference of the quality of the editor.

100% agree on that, the TOC should have a confirmation of some sort to show it is from the proper CD and also not a copy. Hard to require though, but again maybe addressed in the data quality.

What you call a 3, I call a 2… :grin: Some people think it is a 3 if it has a single cover image from a random source… :roll_eyes: “Data Quality” is an underused and randomly used feature.

I would love editors to get into the habit of adding matrix details to discIDs. Something to tell if they really are looking at that CD, and not just quickly uploading to the first release to get that year in their tags.

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I was not meaning to use the existing scale of the levels, just speaking more in general. The top level should be complete… TOC, artwork, references, etc.

Ok, the matrix. I have not been uploading those. I will start doing that.

i definitely don’t think pictures/scans should be required as proof, but i’d like to be able to attach proof if i want to. there have been a lot of times i’ve merged recordings partly because of the way they look in audacity, and it would be cool if i could show a screenshot. stuff like that

i’d love this too… if only i could see those little numbers :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

This is kinda what I was joking at. What is “complete”? I want to see all the Works added, the separate instruments, the mixers, producers, engineers, copyright, manufacturing plant… Full image sets and OCD overload… We’d need a 1 to 11 scale.

Matrixes are useful in many ways. Even if they only appear with a disk ID edit it lets us better tie them together. I’ve got a bit too deep into documenting them and now add Matrix, Mastering SID, Mould SID and DiscID as a set in the annotation. This can be handy for tying some CDs down.

I think a verbose editor is good for showing how trustable they are. Bad editors do get chased down. I think we are fine without lots of extra evidence.


Yeah - me too. Would love this. Just the ability to add an image to an edit note would be useful in many ways. And would be a simple solution to @thwaller’s quest.

Attaching a proof image would be great for those of us who enjoy going those few extra steps into the checking. A snap shot of Audacity, or original digital tags in a file would be useful for someone looking at the data in the years to come.

See other threads about cheap USB microscopes and how much fun they are. :microscope: And the sanity warnings of the mental damage of getting too deep into the meanings of SIDs. :crazy_face:


That gets interesting… my initial thought after reading it was… wait, that is different.

The data quality has multiple levels. A release data quality for example might be separate from the recording data quality. Instruments for example are not really a part of a release (at least to me), but are a part of the recording. But I hear what you are saying. To what level do we see as appropriate, too little and overkill…

Yep, that is exactly what I mean. Other options are AtomicParsley, MediaInfo, etc. I personally prefer those as they are CLI vs GUI, so I can actually see what is there, especially with AtomicParsley. The GUI solutions are very limited as they only show what they are programmed to show, and only is that input is as expected, so errors either will not show at all or cause total failure. That might sound like senseless statement, but I have run into this myself many times where certain meta and atoms are never seen, because the GUI was not programmed to see them. A lot of this is due however to the standards being a bit lax, allowing users to intentionally violate the specs. That is a different discussion though, just something that I consider when I view metadata, especially the mp4 atoms.

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If I see the details in the booklet, then it is part of the release. Or it is to me. It would be the same with tag data in digital files. I Feast on Data!! :nerd_face: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The early version of me as MB editor just barely uploaded a CD. Now I scan everything and then squeeze the details from the booklet. Locate the factory my CD was pressed at. Copyrights, Composers, who played trumpet? What I thought was “complete” a few years ago is now missing so much detail. (See references to looking up SID codes to find out manufacturing details…)

We all have different ideas of a “completed” release.

I use MediaInfo, didn’t know what the AtomicParsley was until you mentioned it. Which is kinda the point of the above comment. The longer we spend editing MB, the more data we start to mine, the more details we eek out of our releases. When I started adding to MB I didn’t know what a SID was and thought a Matrix was something in Maths.

MB is great in the way it allows the “just the basics” editor to still add useful data. Even if they are in a rush and only just slap in a quick Discogs import without fixing the capitals or setting the language, it is still new data that someone else then refines. We should not make it hard for them to add their data as that is how the DB expands so fast.

The editing fields we have now allow us to paste all kinds of extra text - so nothing stopping Mediainfo or Parsley data being added. All it would mean is someone would write us a script to make sifting through this data easier.

If you started added extra notes, others would follow. This happened with Matrix and SID data. A small group started doing this, and it is now clearly spreading. This community sees good ideas and follows.

So who is going to add a ticket requesting Images in Edit Notes? OR request a “too much detail” tag that works like a Spoiler tag that keeps big chunks of data hidden unless you click on it.

I completely agree on not asking for too much data. I only mentioned the meta data in that detail as that information is actually part of the release. Not to open this box, but others on digital releases are adding things like labels and barcodes that most times are not present anywhere in the release and requires research and manual API calls to the vendors to find, which to me, makes it useless. I look deeply for metadata since it tells me more about the release that I have that I can actually use, as if it is not present in the metadata, I cannot identify the release with it.

I see it like this… just as you would consider each word in the booklet part of the release, I consider each part of the metadata part of the release. There was an edit not too many days ago where an editor stated (and supported by some others) that for releases like a cassette, if the track time is not on the release, it should have no time. In that edit it was a vinyl, so I voted against since the vinyl actually does show the separation of tracks.

My point is that with physical releases, all of the data that can be found is used, and if it is not there, it should not be (depending on the editor). I see digital in the same. These data fields that are not on the release cannot be used to identify it. I can only use the metadata in full detail. Like that "hidden tag being like the matrix. No one really looks at it unless you are looking for it, but it has great value. Using iTunes for example, the complete output can also distinguish between different offerings of what would otherwise appear to be the same release. I see it sort of like scanning the entire booklet of a CD.

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I would say both. I would want all that original metadata from the track, but I would also research more details. On a CD track I’ll take the details from the CD and book, but also research more online about that release.

With metadata on a digital file I’d keep a backup of the original as purchased before I let Picard update those tags. I never wipe old metadata from a file, only add to it. And often I won’t let Picard replace track titles.

I can see how data that someone retrieves from elsewhere is valid as it is part of the release and how a shop catalogues it. But the data in the actual FLAC file is more important as it is what I actually purchased.

For example - if I found messages in the comments on a FLAC I would add these to the annotation.

The “cassette tracks have no length” argument is madness. Does that person not listen to the music? The actual music has a length when you listen to it. The cassette box is just one source of the data about the release. MB mixes all sources into one. A MB Release is a combination of all the best data we have on an album.

I have watched videos of concerts to nail down exactly who played which instrument on a track so I could properly label the recordings on that release. Multiple sources should always be valid - but quote the sources.


First, I agree with the concept of cassette has no lengths, I can provide links to those edits if you like. Otherwise, it is the most recent edit no vote I have given in a long while if you look. I can at least understand the idea, the cassette has no actual track markets. However, the editor tried to make the same argument for a vinyl, which is false. Another topic though, just an interesting one.

I like your thoughts on the issue. The only thing I really do not do is let Picard edit the metadata. I mean no disrespect in that, but to me original modifying metadata is like taking a market and writing all over your CD booklet. Once you change it, it is tainted. File names, not picky at all.

I believe research data is also good, but just not howw it is used here, again, another topic. When a release is based on a barcode, label, catalog number, etc… and none of that is even in the metadata, it does not help me identify what is in my hand. Not saying it is not bad to have, but it is secondary data at best to me, for digital.

My intent here I guess does include this discussion. I was wanting to have some sort of trail as to where data is coming from aside from the “because I said so”. I mean not, again, to say I mistrust people, because the statement is I mistrust everyone, including myself. I can make errors just like everyone else. My edits should have the same proof with them in the case I make an error. At least the next editors to edit or use that data can see where it came from and resolve any discrepancies.

I am sure there are many editors here who things I am a problem editor, “arguing” everything. I know it seems like that, but I have an opinion and I will stand by iy until proven wrong. If I did not do that, it is not really my opinion if I do not believe in it. But what I Am looking for is for the paper to be on the table, so if there are such debates, the facts are debated, not what I say is there vs what you say is there. We can both look at the facts and apply document able logic on how to interpret it. Thus you can see my edits as of late, I am making some again, have mostly been artwork and physical releases.

EDIT: I wanted to add that years ago I did some such edits, placing performers on a recording that were not on the release label. I know they are there, and they are. But the label does not state it. The proof I have is not cover art, so there is really no place for it. Sure, I can type text, but I can type anything I want, it does not make it “true”, it makes it what I said.

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Haha - I know that feeling. But stuff 'em. We have opinions because we also love the data and the accuracy. :joy: Here for the music knowledge. I gave up on the trying to be popular long ago as too many people just want to misunderstand and hold a personal dislike to you. Their loss. :person_shrugging:

I totally get your thoughts of “don’t touch my files”, but I add the MBIDs to them as I use my digital files in a KODI media server. I add the Artist Performer and Recording details into the tags as one day I dream that KODI will allow me to do a search and say “make me a playlist of Snowy White performances”. So I feed the MB database from multiple sources. I cross reference and “show my workings” even if some people get upset that I add too many details.

Also not wanting to go OT, but I am little interested in shops that sell and which markets they sell into. I want to know about the music and the performers. Really not interested in the Spotify guesswork. I really don’t need Amazon ASINs in my files. But hey - different people like different things… some like shops, I like music

But back on thread, and having an “extra information” side of an edit note would be really useful. Something that allowed big long waffly “proof of research details” to be added. Images or big long references of data would be really good. (It would also help if that same note can be attached to multiple edits) I think about that editor who will read our data in ten years time and want to be sure that we really did know what we were talking about. Sometimes I can spend hours on researching some little point. I want other people to understand and validate that research.