Several releases for one barcode - how auto-select the right release MBID?


I would like to get all recordings infos related to a release from a CD upc barcode.
I thought that for 1 upc barcode you can only have one 1 release MBID but it is not always true.

As example : Duran Duran - Greatest CD
-> return 5 releases in the list.
Only a few fields are differents like “disambiguation”, “country” or “date”.

So, how can I choose the right release MBID to do the request to get all related recordings ?

That’s ultimately for you to decide and what data you’d expect. If the barcode is really all you have, there is not one “right” recording, they are all right.

If you look at the releases you see that this is all basically the same album, but released at different times or different countries. Here the human readable search results:

Some ideas for criteria you could apply in those cases:

  • Use the oldest release
  • Use the release with the most complete data (depending on your needs and your definition of complete)
  • Prefer releases of certain countries
  • Filter certain release types, e.g. don’t include pseudo-releases (not in this example, but they could be cases of this)

Thanks for your advices.

My goal is to extract automatically all basic infos from a CD : CD Title, Artist name and all track names.
From a CD, I can extract the UPC barcode, the TOC, tracks ISRC and CDTEXT datas.

But the problem is that all of theses data are not always available.

In order, the best cases are

  • CDTEXT datas : I have all datas I need but there are too few CD’s that contain it.
  • UPC : I think that this is the best solution to get all needed infos about the release (if we can choose the right one in the list !!)
  • ISRC : I can search all needed datas about recordings but I will have to search the related release. Other else, all ISRC are not always available so it’s not the best solution.
  • DISC ID : This is not a reliable solution. My own experience show that we often have to manually choose the right set of datas. (several choices in the list with sometimes the same discid for differents “barcode”)

Yes, that’s how these things are. You seem to have the idea that you have to pick one single piece of information, and this will give you a single hit. That won’t work out.

If you have the CD infos, that’s excellent. Why not combine multiple criteria? The first thing I would do is to use the disc ID to locate releases. The disc ID really is your best option to identify a physical release and match it to multiple data. It is also always available. Then filter the results by the barcode. In most cases this should already filter out mismatches and give you only valid results. If your disc ID query yields no results, just use the barcode. Likewise if filtering by barcode leaves no results, pick one of the disc ID results.

You might still get multiple results, e.g. the disc ID at is associated with 3 releases, filtering by your barcode still gives 2 results. Obvious candidates to filter out are those with release status other than “official”.

That’s something you have to decide upon. You will need to apply some criteria to choose one release to use. I already gave you plenty of ideas how to tackle this above :wink: The way you choose depends on your use case.

Maybe try by answering the following questions for the search results at Search - MusicBrainz

  1. What is it you will need the data for?
  2. What data do you need for this?
  3. Which one of those releases do you consider “the right one”?
  4. Why? What exactly does make it “the right one”?
  5. What is it that makes the other ones not “the right one”?

Answering those questions should help you to formulate some filter criteria.