My music collection includes various demoscene or demoscene-adjacent songs that I originally downloaded from artists’ websites or from online archives like files.scene.org or modarchive.org. Many of these seem like standalone recordings to me: the docs specifically call out Internet-only releases (although many of these songs were created before the mainstream adoption of the web, and were instead distributed via BBSes).
I finally got around to tagging these songs with Picard and adding standalone recordings for the ones that weren’t already present in MusicBrainz. While doing this, I noticed that some of the songs had already been entered as part of compilation release groups like Release group “A 90s Tracker Collection” by Various Artists - MusicBrainz or Release group “Nest HQ Presents the Best of Keygen Music [Cracked by T34m FanxFic]” by Various Artists - MusicBrainz. As an example recording, see Recording “Rainy Summerdays” by Radix - MusicBrainz (I added the “download for free” relationship).
When I tag these songs, Picard unsurprisingly matches them to the releases that include them. This seems somewhat undesirable to me, though – now my files are tagged as being from oddly-named albums that I’d never heard of. I don’t know if the artists even gave permission for their music to be included in all cases.
My preference would be that these files end up still looking like standalone recordings (i.e. with a “[non-album tracks]”
TALB frame and no “MusicBrainz Album Id”, “MusicBrainz Release Group Id”, etc.
TXXX frames in the ID3v2 tag). I’m not sure what the best way to achieve this is, though (besides manually editing the tags in Picard before writing them).
Should I add an additional single release for each of these songs? That seems like overkill and possibly not in line with MB’s guidelines, but it would have the advantage of letting me also enter the earlier date (sometimes just a year) when the artist originally created or uploaded the song, which is often documented in metadata that was written by the artist.
(Side question: why isn’t it possible to set dates on recording or work entities? I haven’t found anything related to this in the UI or in the database schema. This thread and this one are related. The example standalone recording that the Picard documentation links to is itself a live recording, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to store its performance date in MB.)
TL;DR it seems unfortunate that a standalone recording suddenly becomes non-standalone if it’s included in a bootleg or compilation album that was released decades after the recording was created.