Question before merging old FreeDB releases

I’ve been cleaning up one of my favorite artists, and I came across 3 releases with the same track listing and catalog number (FMD 5218) and, in the case of two of them, no barcode and no cover art. I would merge them, if it weren’t for the fact they’ve all got different release dates.

the release group in question:

the early edits to the two later releases don’t have any edit notes attached (see here and here), and they were added by a FreeDB import bot, so I feel fairly confident in merging into the FMD 5218 release that has a barcode.

I have also checked on Discogs, and they’ve really only got releases listed as 1996, including FMD 5218 (although, that might not be correct if Wikipedia is to be believed)

thank you for your time~


If the only data is just a basic freedb import, then a clean up seems logical. If all I see is a bit of scrappy NGS data and a lone edit without notes, then I merge it and use external references to make the cleanest release possible. One good release is better than two bad ones.

Looking at the dates in the examples, you can ignore the 1999-01-01 date as nothing will be release on a Bank Holiday. That looks like a 1999 guess date. I’d just go back to history you have and use the dates you know you can cross check.

Also the Discogs edit could just be a lazy “copy to draft” and it is not clear which of those releases should really show 1996.

As as fan you know more about the music than that old freedb import.

That “digital media” version you added can’t have a date of 1997 as Spotify didn’t exist. It seems Spotify supply bogus dates like that a lot for older music. (And the fact it was on an old file-sharing network in the 1990s doesn’t really count as “digital media”)

I like clean-ups like that as it gives me an excuse to dig into histories elsewhere.


As time goes on I spend less time worrying about merging stuff like this.

If it’s a mystery to you, even after a little dig, then it’s a mystery to other users of the DB = bad data.

Doing a merge on uncertain data gives people the opportunity to comment and clarify, or add the data with more context again later.

If there’s some data of value attached (e.g. unique DiscID’s) then it’s worth doing more of a follow up, but if it’s just some sketchy dates then you’re doing everyone a favour by just putting through the edits when you come across them :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Yes you can merge them 3 same FMD 5218.
They share the same unique disc ID
You can fix the release date by removing the merging release dates and editing the target release date.

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Not sure if you can use that as a reason to merge as any discIDs added pre-NGS are just added to everything. If you look it is attached to all five of the CD releases listed. :smiley:

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Yes but I mean there is no conflicting data.
I don’t see any reasons not to merge in history (no conflicting edit notes mentioning distinct editions, and no conflicting technical data, yet).

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