Soundtrack Release Group naming convention

Kia ora, I’ve been making some video game music (vgm) release group (RG) series, and tidying/filling out info for the contents as I go. One thing that often comes up is that a RG looks like this:

RG: biohazard4 O.S.T.
Release 1: biohazard4 Soundtrack Book
Release 2: biohazard4 O.S.T.
Release 3: biohazard4 Original Soundtrack

The series shows how this turns into a mess, with a big mixture of appended subtitles like: (Original Soundtrack), Original Soundtrack, O.S.T. etc. See example:

To standardise this, I would like to go through and remove the subtitle completely from the RG (unless it really helps identify the RG or is part of the main title - ‘Special Soundtrack’ or ‘Selection Track’ would most likely stay in the RG title). Then we end up with:

RG: biohazard4
Release 1: biohazard4 Soundtrack Book
Release 2: biohazard4 O.S.T.
Release 3: biohazard4 Original Soundtrack

And the MB UI lets us see that the RG is a soundtrack anyway.

How do people feel about this? If there is a consensus on this I will be changing a lot of vgm RG’s as I go (and the odd film soundtrack RG), so definitely something I am keen to have discussed before diving in.


the ps2 the best release makes it even more complicated, as the packaging includes 1 audio cd and 1 ps2 game dvd

the ps2 game dvd includes more of the soundtrack (mb work) than the audio cd

i just opened an edit on the work linking it to the vgmdb product page, and i think this brings up a good question about video game soundtracks

if you ask me, with video games, the release of the game itself is the first release of the soundtrack. it may not have track numbers, but the files are there.

with that, we could just add all the games as releases within the RG, starting with the gamecube release on mini-dvd (vgmdb game link), and including all the different game releases and soundtrack releases and bundle releases up through the vinyl box set (vgmdb link)

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I am not against that, I have done so in the past (and v. recently), when soundtrack release data just isn’t enough (or misleading re. dates etc).

I don’t know if I would expect wide agreement on how to handle that htough. I’m personally hoping for now I can just get some agreement on removing the subtitles from the RG.

tldr + example: would people care if every RG for this artist had ‘Original Soundtrack’ and similar removed?

If the releases inside are in majority having the same subtitle, it’s better to keep it.
It should be same as the release in hands.
It helps not to confuse with image albums, arranged albums, etc.

I think, in the past, Soundtrack Style said to remove OST subtitles from release titles, but it’s no longer the case.

And to consider the game as the first OST album, I don’t really agree.

If the game contains a playable audio medium, it should be included in MB, but if one has to rip audio from the game, I don’t think we can consider that as an OST release.

In above example, I made all the mistakes.
I should add OST subtitles (I think I must have added the release when Soundtrack Style still said to omit them).
I should move the game out of there, because its audio CD is not the game OST, it does not belong to this release group.

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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