Release dates from Amazon

Could release dates from Amazon be automatically added to the Musicbrainz?

For example this release:

Has an Amazon link. The Amazon page that link goes to shows a release date of February 3, 1987. This info is missing from the MB release.

There are a lot of missing release dates in MB. If all the MB releases with Amazon links could automatically inherit the respective Amazon release information then that would go a long way towards mending the MB gaps.

That’s not really a good idea. Amazon doesn’t always have accurate release dates, especially for older releases. A lot of older releases on there have erroneous release dates, such as the boilerplate 1990-10-25 (which is so overused that you get a warning message if you try to enter it as a release date in MB).
For newer stuff, they’re usually fairly accurate, but I wouldn’t use them as my only source. It’s always a good idea to cross-reference release dates with more definitive sources, e.g. label websites or artists’ social media feeds.


With regards to the release Manhattan, I did a search on the label website and came up with “no results found” and George Gershwin died before he had a chance to create a Twitter account. What about auto-importing pre-social media releases that don’t have the boilerplate 1990-10-25 date?

Dates might still be wrong, even if not using that specific date. E.g., for digital releases (or even CD releases), they might have their original CD (or vinyl) release dates in the Amazon system. At the end of the day, mass-scale automated data imports from other sources have been tried in the past and never proven to be of sufficient data quality—in some cases leaving bad data in the database to this day that editors are still finding and having to clean up.

There are other topics on the forum discussing automated mass-imports of data from other sources and why they’re generally frowned upon in the community.


Specifically for that Release, you may get an accurate date from a link on the following page

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The way you’ve positioned “newer stuff” has the effect of making it appear that you see Amazon dates after 1990-10-25 as “usually fairly accurate”.
Could you edit your comment to give a start date from which you do consider Amazon dates as" usually fairly accurate"?

By “newer stuff” I mean releases that were issued since Amazon’s been active, but I typically mean those issued within the last 20 years or so.

This sounds totally fine on paper, and with that example*, but there’s a good reason why hardened MB veterans are gripping their keyboards in terror at the thought of auto-setting dates from Amazon. And that’s because Amazon’s dates so often suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

…can someone come round with a crowbar? i’m really struggling to get my fingers off this keyboard…

*or not? no '87 CD’s listed on Discogs…


That’s the vinyl date. Not the CD date.

This was my thought process leading up to this query:

  1. I sort albums in my media player by year.
  2. I noticed a lot of empty years because they all sort to the top
  3. I started fixing these with Picard
  4. I noticed that many of these fixes were already Picard edits… that were missing years
  5. Why is MB missing all these years?
  6. Okay I’ll put in the years
  7. My fingers are getting sore typing in all these missing dates.
  8. Couldn’t this be automated and save me from sore fingers?

Also what’s the best way to update the years? If I put the date in MB, then it takes a while before the green button updates the new data to Picard. If I put the date in Picard, how do I bounce that new data over to MB? Do I have to enter the same data in both places? Isn’t there a more efficient way to update missing release dates in my library? Is there a “find and update all missing release dates” Picard plugin? I just want my albums to sort correctly!

“That’s the vinyl date. Not the CD date.”

I saw CD version(s?) linking from that page.
Here is the list of all the Releases that Disogs has

Checking whether your Release (ASIN B0000025GH) is the same 2010 Release as Discogs release (Barcode (Scanned): 886976114527) using an online ASIN to EAN converter gives a negative result. Your Release shows as having a barcode of 074643602020.

Searching Google for that barcode shows another Discogs Release with that barcode.
And with back cover album art showing the CBS (not Sony) logo.
But still no date.

Googling the barcode finds a variety of dates - ranging from the unhelpful 1990-10-25, though alternatives such as 2001-10-30 and from “Paru le 20 juin 2005”.

For my own use I might assume that the similarities in covers between the Sony 2010 and the CBS release mean they’re likely to be released at similar times and so I’d guess on 2005.
But this could easily be wrong.
And then I would have inaccurate Release date.
Which would, I think be worse then having no Release date.

Release dates for many Releases may be held by Gracenote/Sony etc but there seems to be no big publicly available, accurate database of them.
If we can find one then that would be very good.

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Automating tends to lead to bad data… even if it’s just 10% (I think Amazon is way more) you end up second guessing all the dates (because the database is no longer reliable), and double checking everything becomes even more work than just entering a date.

Somewhere like Discogs is much more reliable - but even then I don’t think MB would ever do a wholesale date import.

I don’t think there is a good way to do it in both (someone correct me if I’m wrong!). I would say edit in MB and then a wait a bit and re-tag your files with Picard. Once you’ve hit ‘save’ once it’s easy to update them the next time you drag them in. It lacks that immediate ‘job done’ endorphin hit though, I will admit.

Many <3 for adding dates btw!


There is no plugin for picard and it would not make sense to have one there as picard does not keep track of what it tags.
Answering this might be better suited with something like as another music tagger and collection organizer.
Once you have imported all the metadata into beets you should be able to run a query to find music with a tag and hopefully music that does not have that tag.

One thing to note about release dates in musicbrainz: They can just have the year.
If you cannot find the exact release date but can at least track down the year or the month and year it will be an improvement. Be sure to leave an edit note for the next person to fill in the gap as someone in the future might be able to better research than you can.