Setting recording titles automatically (MBS-4252)

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007fea3ba5f578>

Here’s another thing to potentially consider, if the following ticket goes through, then none of this recording level stuff seems to matter, which would be simpler:

Which I think I would vote for, if I could remember my login details…

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That ticket is from 2012 and makes little sense. It is very easy to use the current GUI to make Recordings with the same name and artists as the tracks. I guess that was talking about an older GUI.

I think the ticket is more about never having to worry about managing recording names separately from track names, since recording names have rules around what they should be which relate directly to existing track names (i.e. recording names should be whatever most commonly appears on releases, and artist credits should be taken from the earliest release, if I recall correctly…), which could be programmed into the system, doing away with a bunch of tracking and editing.


I still don’t get it. How do you enter the first one? Isn’t the current GUI good for that? You type a track list, enter artist names in the track names, and this is auto-copied to the new recordings.

And the second time you want to use the same recording, you select it and again don’t need to change the recording artist name.

Yeah, the trouble doesn’t arise with the first one, it’s mostly for recordings which appear on many releases. Essentially, people need to understand when they should or shouldn’t check the ‘also change recording name/artist’ box when re-using recordings. They have to be aware of the rules or style guidelines I mentioned earlier to know when to click those or not. Someone also has to update the recording name whenever one variation becomes more common than another. If recording names were automatically set to whatever the most common track name is, then there wouldn’t even be a need for those check boxes, or anyone to learn the specific rules around recording names and artists.

It would be a convenience along the same lines as the recording times, which we don’t need to manually curate, because they’re automatically determined by averaging related track times.

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Never trust automation. A quick example that comes to mind are miss-credits on Jimi Hendrix bootlegs crediting Jimi for Jimi Hendrix and the Experience tracks. We have to enter Track Artists as credited, but can at least make sure it is correct manually at Recording level.

People soon learn not to hit that tick box. Its one of the Rites of Passage of noobies. :smiley: Maybe it just needs a Noobie Warning when they have less than 100 edits and tick the box. Warning - you are about to get the wrath of a dozen editors come down on you for making a mistake… are you sure you meant to tick that box?

[edited so this OT conversation can be lifted to a new thread]

This ticket still applies.
It is similar to how now we don’t need to set recording durations any more.

We should focus on track titles only, then the recording title is not needed, we saved time and edit history. Recording title would be displayed (not set) dynamically.

It could be the same for release groups and events.


So how would you handle my example? A dozen bootlegs naming a “Jimi Hendrix and the Experience” track as Jimi Hendrix? I’ve also seen places where a “feat” isn’t always credited correctly. Much better to allow us to independently edit the recording for cases like that.

Another example I saw only last week was Ian Dury’s first album was recorded in his own name, but then re-issued as “Ian Dury and the Blockheads”. The correct original credit is “recorded by Ian Dury”, but all the reissues will use the band name. Your proposed automation would break unique situations like that.

The ticket is about title not about artist credit.
But good idea also to make recording artist credit dynamic as well.
Original official releases would of course have priority over VA compilations, bootlegs, etc.

And you should not worry too much about recording title and artist credits, as they would not be set, they would only be dynamic display and informative.

Here is a good example Recording: titled What a Waste! by Ian Dury on the original single. Then appears on band reissues albums as What a Waste, and greatest hits gets credited to Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Automation based on “most use” would block both correct title and artist.

The current, flexible database does a great job here.


It could use the official original release, not necessarily the most common.

But I think you should not worry about it, it’s just a display.
It could just list all artists without AC, join phrases, etc.
It’s just informative on the recording level.

Where it has to be faithful is on the track level already.

This is becoming OT and should be split, but: artist credits being auto-set from tracks almost certainly won’t happen because it would completely mess up the entirety of our classical music data :slight_smile:


That artist list could also show performers from recording-artist relationships too:

But let’s stop this off topic, yes.
It’s not that important.

How would an automated tool work that out? A human would need to flag the original single and or albums causing more work that making the few rare corrections. The first release in the database is not always the real original.

Thank you. :+1:

Humans are always better to trust than automation. I think this area works brilliant the way it currently is.

It’s how these elements already work:

  • Recording length (which favours Disc ID based length over manually set)
  • Release group release year
  • Release front cover (which takes the first Front cover of the list)

Usually, if someone is concerned about these to be wrong (they are correct based on known data), they just edit or add track times, Disc ID, an original release, some cover art, etc.

It’s not an automatically set field, it’s a dynamic display, always up to date, according to known data.


Happy to see this topic comic back as I really love the concept and it makes sense considering the current guidelines and that a majority of those data come from edits made on Release level and not on Recordings one.

Then as spotted the ticket would need some further clarifications and testing to guarantee it do not create more rework than the saved time. In other words machines make errors on complex cases and humans on repetitive ones so partial automation with a “Red button” could be discussed :slight_smile:

Happy to help on it if needed.

Some points for instance:

  • Taking in priority Official releases upper compilations: Rely on Secondary Types?
  • How should be handled the “Red button” process for standalone recordings and special cases ex: Allow manual edits?, Allow editor to tick one release to force the name? (or the contrary: allowing to tick releases to ignore),…
  • How to avoid unseen consequences at release date? ex: Could it be applied only to new recordings creations? ex: Replacing the current tickbox “Update the recording title to…” by a “Rely on automatic mode” one which will be ticked by default only when creating a new recording?. Then editors to tick it manually for already existing recordings. Or maybe even better by showing it only on Recording page (cf. comments regarding the required knowledge to apply changes on Recording level)

Then would also be interesting on other fields:

  • Release Groups
  • Fingerprints/ISRC: Keeping those information on track level will simplify the merge process and remove issues created from wrong merges (Fingerprints not disabled, Not able to spot wrong inputs since cannot see from which release comes a fingerprint,…). ex: When unmerging a recording the fingerprint/ISRC will automatically appear on the new one and removed from initial one.
  • Artist: Tricky one but solutions could be found. ex: As we set which script to rely on at release level we could set a field for which guideline should be applied: “Standard as on cover” or “Classical” then the algo could ignore those releases flagged as classical.

Was going to not post this, but now it is written I’ll hit post. Don’t trust computers to get things right.

Not great when you know an early 7" was released, but don’t have a time for it. Impossible to guess it as it may be a different edit to the album track on the CD. (Yes, I have bought 12" vinyl just to check lengths - but that can’t always be done :crazy_face:)

This is a classic one that causes troubles on older releases. Extra work needs to be done to import new releases, or manually make something up to chase the numbers. A manual edit marked as estimated or “manual entry” would be a cleaner way to solve many older releases.

This is more exaggerated with Recording dates. Release dates are very skewed on recordings when an edit gets onto something like a Greatest Hits or a VA collection. If it is of different length to the original it can never get a correct release date. A manual edit field would solve that.

Example: a 7" Xmas release in the database without a time. We don’t know if the VA track is coming from the single, or if they are different edits from the album that came out the next year. So the VA stays hanging never able to get a true release date linked.

An excellent example as this allows the user to override it with a better quality image. Or point to the common release image and not an early promo. This automation is usually good, but allows for an override when good art is not available for the first release.

Maybe we edit different types of data. Sometimes stuff I am editing does not have a clear way to locate an earliest single without guessing a date. Guesses are not allowed. So a dateless release cannot be selected as first.

To me your suggested automation has too much of a belief that data is perfect and all Artists have perfect and complete catalogues. This is not the case. And certainly not with some of the odd stuff I listen to. Or bootlegs I collect. I spend many hours adding extra releases, filling in gaps, but sometimes it would help if we could just tell MB it is wrong due to the history printed in a book.

I enjoy puzzles like this, but I can’t see an suggestion beyond “first is right”. I’ll be back when I find other examples like the Ian Dury ones. I know I have had some where the first official single release had errors and was withdrawn. This is human created data and there are always cases that won’t fit :slight_smile:

For now you are asking for a system that will require people to cheat by adding fake or pseudo releases to fill a “first” slot instead of the superior version we have now that allows a human to over-ride the few examples that fail to fit.

I probably spend a majority of my time on the Relationship Editor on a release page. This is editing Recordings, not the Release.

Red buttons. The good thing about those is they allow accuracy and a human override. See choice of covers. That is a “pick the best option” method.

But recordings need ability to manually edit the title as bootlegs of concerts will have various (ETI) about the gig location which guidelines make us remove from the Recording title.

Back to GUI confusion… those tickboxes need pop-ups warnings for noobies. An “are you sure?”

On a new release with new recordings it is automated. That second release with LP, CD, DIgital version we often are selecting the Recordings on the track page anyway.

I link this point. Often I am finding big heaps of finger prints attached that are clearly wrong, but one or two stand out with huge lists of attached sources. A better link of “it originally came from here” would be neat, but not sure how technically possible.

Not sure where this one is going. Or is that aiming at “Ian Dury & The Blockheads” vs “Ian Dury and The Blockheads” type swaps?

I believe too much automation and complexity leads to more confusions. Automation to some level, but there is a point where a human really does know best.

Personally I find the current data base does many automated things very well. Though comedy errors show faults - like search always picking “money, money, money” instead of “money” when trying to Link Works for “Money”. A computer algorithm is only an attempt at fixing how stupid an computer is. They are good at repetition, but dumb at the finer details.

(Sorry - I have a boring day and too much time to think… :rofl: :crazy_face:)

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I think we must strive to reduce the time required to edit stuff on MB for same results.
MB is so time consuming.
The less edits/checks/fixes are necessary, the best.

When you cannot know if it’s the same recording, you use a new recording (with no length if you don’t know the length for this edition).

It’s great to favour the add of the original release.
It’s not hard to do.

On the contrary if it was possible to input release group year manually.
Errors would not be auto-corrected, it would be a great pity, errors would remain or you would be always forced to check dates to make sure they are not wrong.

I didn’t know this existed (recording date) it must be a display recently added.
Again, if it was a redundant manually input field instead of the dynamic display it is now, it would be awful: Adds editing time and redundancy, adds check time each time you come across (or ignore it).

It’s just the release date of the oldest known release.

No, I meant Release front cover, not Release Group front cover. :slight_smile:


Agree, but don’t cause more work by locking in errors caused by automation.

I know that. The point was the auto-guess is going to fail and use duff data. And the VA collections released ten years later cannot now link a release date of any form.

We both know how to do edits quick. Use imports. Type fast. But this is massively time consuming and sometimes a date would be good to fill in a skeleton of a release group. For example if half of an artist’s discography is missing and you only have a list of titles and release dates.

For reference, I have added many singles for many lesser know artists to just “fill the gaps”. Even when I don’t own the works myself. Not many people are this mad :crazy_face: and dedicated to the data.

Because of the random incompleteness of MB I will always look on Wikipedia for a discography and never trust MB to be complete or accurate on date.

What we have now causes errors and incorrect release dates. Kinda funny when you look at some artists and see the orders of some of the singles. An (e) for estimate or something flagged in the GUI would be useful. Reset every time a new release is added (just like editing artwork, etc)

It has been there all the three and a half years I have been editing for. Maybe it is more interesting to me due to much of my time spent with concerts and bootlegs. Look at a Recording page and you see various dates. One date of release, one for recording (studio\concert). The latter is manually filed in.

Trouble is the track release date is auto-generated from the main Release and leads to errors on VA collections. Impossible to fix.

Here is an example of how VAs can fail to connect to originals - Thubthumbing by Chumbawamba Chumbawamba - Recordings - MusicBrainz

Single is 3:33, album is 4:39, but the versions on many VAs are 3:23 and 3:58. So how do we get a Release date associated to those VAs? And that page also shows another common hiccup - the DJ Mix albums are never going to be able to find a release date for the Tracks.

(I have spent many hours cleaning that page up… :crazy_face: So yeah, I notice the South African releases do just squeeze a date into those common Va collections. But that is more by luck than anything else.)

This date issue is going to become “a thing” as Picard is starting to make these values available and people want to know when Elvis released the track on their Hits CD. In my own collection I have been going through a number of my own VA CDs attempting to merge recordings back to the original releases, but often it is not possible due to doubt of which mix was in use. I can see some people being less careful and just merging those big heaps of VA edits into the single.

Again, perfect in the current database as this is automation than a human can tweak. Only if it is marked as Front, and shuffled to first place will it appear. It is possible to have multiple fronts (boxsets, stickers, etc) so a human choice can be made.

I know we are wondering around a bit from original ticket, but it is the “automation without human correction” that I think is a bad idea. Automation good in 99% of cases, but I often am in that 1%. Currently a recording automatically gets that first track title unless someone changes it. That is good automation as it then allows the complex Classical crowd to have perfect continuity to a recording. And us Bootleg fans to have track titles (with ETI) and pure recording names cleaned up to compliance with a nice disambig