Soundtrack Release Group naming convention

What would you do if they’re all different?

The name of the first release doesn’t always seem to be best (see ‘soundtrack book’ example in op), it can just as easily be something wacky and unhelpful as later ones.

This is a massive can of worms that I don’t know if we will find ever consensus on. Interesting to talk about though…

A game does have audio in it. It is a release of music, with a date, art, publisher etc, that someone has written and someone has performed. It’s the same with a film release.

However I’m not necessarily saying everything should be added to the database. It would probably need a new type of release status/some UI updates to handle it smoothly. Maybe a new entity.

VGMDB (video game music database) recently-ish added the capability to add composers etc to ‘game’ entities that don’t have a soundtrack release. It’s a huge improvement to their dataset. If someone composed music for a game/film, why should they not get credit for it on their musicbrainz artist page just because the studio didn’t put out a soundtrack? And most people who are interested in game rips aren’t interested in the date of the rip, they want to tag with the game release date. I’m not saying that’s in line with MB policy, I just want to acknowledge that there is a group of people not being served by the current state of the data.

Again, not saying we should immediately add every game and movie, but it’s interesting to think about.

edit: wonder what @CyberSkull thinks

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An example would help.

Sorry it was not linked so I did not see it, yet:

Soundtrack book, why not. If it’s not enough explicit, we can always explain in release group annotation that it is a soundtrack album (although there is already the RG type that says that), and not an (image) album.

But here anyway, the soundtrack book release group (36 tracks) may not have been reused for the other two releases (apparently, extracts).

It seems they should not share the same release group.
I don’t remember if we include full length and extract of operas in same release groups, for instance.

But, well, if we choose to include full length and extracts in same RG, there is no real difficulty choosing the RG title, it’s the full length release title.

Most games don’t contain sound test menus nor audio CD tracks.
Games that contain Audio CD session (some Saturn and PSX games, for instance), I agree they can be considered releases.

Games that contain a SOUND TEST menu, well, erh, ach, it’s already a little bit far-fetched to consider them releases.

But the other games, really… I don’t think we can consider them as music releases, as you cannot buy it to play its music without playing the game throughout, each time you want to hear the final boss tune.

This is still not a release, it could be a recording series, or a bootleg release, if there is one

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Hmm, that’s unexpected! Since the other releases contain the same tracks, just less of them, I wouldn’t find it useful personally to have it split up.

Heaps of other vgm releases come to mind where I would find it annoying to browse if all the different promos etc were split out. This one for instance is perfect grouped together imo, from my user perspective.

Maybe this is a better example, if I could get your opinion jesus:
Silent Hill 2 RG
Does it bother you that that RG is not named after one of the 2001 releases in the group? I prefer it this way, without subtitle, as the subtitles for official releases are all different (I probably changed the RG a while back, I can’t remember!). If it bothers you then I would maybe avoid doing it in future.

Just for fun arguments sake :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:, as I don’t think the DB is ready to handle masses of game or movie media:

How is that relevant to MusicBrainz’ mission if a release contains a menu or CD tracks?

MusicBrainz aims to be:
1. The ultimate source of music information

It doesn’t say, for instance, “the ultimate source for CD tracks”. Or the ultimate source for music that can be tagged. We can add events, that’s even less tangible (in terms of future playback) than listening to music while playing a game.

I mean you may have a soundtrack parent work of works, or/and a series of recordings.

But if there is no release of the soundtrack in one of the forms that is possible to be directly listened to, it’s not an official MB release.

Or you mean a medium-less, recording-less release, like this?

And its companion bootleg release.

With unofficial releases (bootleg or pseudo-releases), maybe, yes…

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And about best title for release group, if releases have several titles, then the original title of the full opus, would be better (collection book, here).
Also official title is more important than promo/bootlegs/etc.

But when the alternate titles are also representative, we can use Title A / Title B or even Title A (also known as Title B), etc.

I don’t agree with dropping parts of the title that aren’t shared between releases. And like jesus2099 said, I don’t agree that these releases belong in the same release group:

One release has 62 tracks, another has 14 tracks, another has 2. These are clearly not “variations of the same release”, and it is clearly not a case of bonus tracks, and so they shouldn’t be grouped together anyway.

We recently rejected this style of merging dissimilar release groups in Release groups.. for video games - #7 by Mobes as well.

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But ‘soundtrack book’ isn’t an accurate description of what’s in the group - it’s not a group of soundtrack books? This seems wrong to me, it’s edition specific information (leaving aside that you would split them into seperate RG’s, it’s just a useful example)

Regardless, I think I have my answer, I’ll be very careful about what I do with the RG names going forward.

One of those releases was a compilation of music from two games, a very different situation. But anyway, I haven’t asked anything about merging RG’s.

My question is specifically about whether I should be careful about removing ETI from a RG name, like this::

RG: Movie (soundtrack music box ultra: gold edition)
Release 1: Movie (soundtrack music box ultra: gold edition)
Release 2: Movie (original soundtrack)
Release 3: Movie
Release 4: Movie (original soundtrack)
Release 5: Movie (O.S.T)
Release 6: Movie (the soundtrack to the movie)

But I’ll tread lightly on that going forward, feedback noted.

Well, the premise is that all the releases in the release group actually belong together. Do they? The name “soundtrack music box ultra: gold edition” might fall under What should not be grouped together. (For example, Hybrid Theory (20th Anniversary Edition) stands alone from Hybrid Theory.)

Supposing that the “box ultra: gold edition” does actually belong with the others, I would likely go with the normal edition’s title as the release group’s title (example) rather than dropping select words such that the title no longer matches any release.

Unfortunately, even “common sense” things like “what is part of a title” do not have consensus, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone strongly disagrees with something I’ve said in this specific post.

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that is a good question, it seems to be answered with a “yes” here

but i’m sure there are counterexamples

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This is going a little bit off topic from the OP, but ‘what should not be grouped together’ is very clear here, imo. There are two examples given when versions should not be grouped - when something is released in volumes, and when multiple releases are combined together. Your Linkin Park example includes other previously released albums.

I don’t know of any precedence to split out the release groups for different editions of the same music based on a different number of tracks. Just recently it was agreed on the forums (can’t find the thread anymore?) that the edition of an entirely new CD of new recordings to a release does not make a separate album, see: Music to Be Murdered By
These VG releases are much easier and clearer than that example - the same music, same or similar release titles, just more or less of the tracks. Same release group.

I would definitely vote no on splitting it out into different RG’s because some releases are much longer or shorter. I don’t know how that would help someone browsing the DB or tagging their files anyway?

If I owned the 2 track CD, I would not think I have this release group.
This is why we could say it’s not the same release group.

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But you would maybe say you have a promo version of the release?
Name of release in question: “biohazard 4 e-CAPCOM ORIGINAL Preview Sound Clips”

Even if the 2 track release was split out as a promo-status single (e.g. made very hard for someone browsing to find?), the two releases that I used as examples, with markedly different subtitles, would stay imo. I’m not convinced the guidelines, precedence, or practicality says otherwise.

just added an RG for a game that doesn’t have any separate soundtrack releases. i’d love to hear any thoughts on how to handle cases like this (or this case specifically)

I try to stay as close to the cover text as I can as my rule of thumb for the releases. For the release groups I’ve sometimes dropped the subtitle as long as it is clear what the work it is for is. Often time’s I’ll just push the original release to the release group. I think as long as the work in question is clear it isn’t important to include the subtitles all the time.

Promos like this are tricky. I can see a good case for including it in the main soundtrack release group and spinning it off in it’s own release group.

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i like the full cover text + part of the same RG route

figured i’d look into RGs with a variety of releases under them, found this (seems like possibly a useful example)

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plugging this one, hoping for some advice on how to best tidy up (some tidying/merging is in progress)

i guess my first questions surround my goal of having a release with the original release date and correct artist credits, as the original digital releases were credited to “Gaijin Games”

any thoughts?

Do you mean the original digital release of the music itself?

I think that’s pretty straightforward - you can update ‘Gaijin Games’ to the correct artist across all of them (which shouldn’t really meet any resistance). If you want to maintain the Gaijin Games credit, then put in the correct/specific artist, but leave ‘Gaijin Games’ in the ‘credited as’ field.

If you want the original release date of the game stored somewhere that’s trickier, and I just don’t think you’ll find consensus tbh. I wonder if it would be worth opening a new discussion re. that (if you’re really keen on it), and potentially suggesting a new relationship, fields or pseudo release type etc to handle a game or film release date + details etc.

i do mean the original release date of the music (it’s the same as the game according to amazon)

went ahead and updated the artist credits on (decided against “credited as”)

i think the number of releases in the group threw me for a loop a bit, multiple releases of the same recordings with different names/tags (especially Recording “Whetfahrt Cheesefunk” by Matthew Harwood - MusicBrainz vs Recording “Superfunk” by Gaijin Games - MusicBrainz - same track, just had a different title when released in the humble indie bundle)

as for a new discussion, i guess it’s just a question of what to do when digital storefronts/streaming platforms list music with game studios as the artist

I think it’s pretty standard to credit the actual artist, if known, as you’ve done. I think the older releases can be updated as well. If anyone disagrees, please pipe up :slight_smile: