This is how you go down a rabbit hole

I decided to write down how I get from point a to point z when editing, for my own amusement and maybe others’. Nobody needs to read all this if you don’t want to. I’m sure some of you will relate, though!

Starting point: Have two releases, Agua Clara Vols IV and V, that I would like more info on than is currently in the database. I actually have physical copies of these but they’re off site and I’m impatient, so I start googling to see if I can find artwork to source details from.

Well, naturally I come across Vols II & III in my searches. And MusicBrainz currently has Vols II, IV and V. Ok, since I’m here anyway I’ll do it all. I’m a completist. And I found some really good photos on ebay.

One photo on ebay has information on composers. Sweet! Start adding works.

One of the tracks (actually, the title track of Vol II) is called End of Millenium. I’m checking to see if there’s an existing work before I add a new one, and in the process I discover there are at least two works called “Phantasy Star IV: End of Millenium”. Now I split off into a new tab to investigate if there’s something that needs to be merged.

I have a brain fart and do a search for a recording instead of a work. I quickly realize that The End of the Millenium is the subtitle of Phantasy Star IV, so maybe that’s not so significant. But in the meantime I’ve come across other stuff that looks like it could use some kind of clean up, and I end up with about 10 tabs open so I can look closer.

The first thing I have is two tracks called Man or Beast (End of the Millenium mix), with similar track times. I enter a merge, since they’re not just the same title but the same specific mix.

The second case might need a capitalization fix, but there’s clearly some intentionally non-standard stuff going on with the capitalization in this track list, when I get that far. So I go to look at the cover art (another tab). Turns out this is exactly from the cover art, and when I get into the editing history @Cyberskull had cleaned it all up in 2016, so I decide to leave it alone.

My third case is two tracks from this release group that look like they’re really the same and should be merged. I’m wondering if all the tracks need to be merged. Conclusion: yes. Time for Mass Merge Recordings! This is an easy one, since they’re almost identical track lists.

Next up is another job for Mass Merge Recordings. Oh, and the release groups need to be merged, too. And this release needs a feat. artist fix.

Now I’m trying to add “The Prophet” as a feat artist, but there are six of them in the database. Fortunately, one of them is credited on another track on Disc 1, so I feel pretty safe reusing that artist here (I’m validated by the recording, which it turns out already has the correct credit). The rest of them fall into place with “guess feat. artists.”

I’m also curious why this is just Disc 2. Guess it was entered when discs were still being entered separately (yep, 2004 according to the editing history). Disc 1 doesn’t seem to be in the database anymore, if it ever was. The amazon link attached shows both discs. I use the “existing medium” option to grab one from the other 2-cd releases, check it against amazon, and insert it.

I’m almost done here. The only thing left is that when I was merging the recordings in the first place, there were a few discrepancies in title or artist that were big enough I left them separate until I could resolve them. All the track times match, so is something mislabeled or what?

On the stray release group, we have “Throat (DJ Isaac Mix)”, and on the other releases we have “Madman (remix)”, both crediting The Mindcrimers. It turns out that our stray release and one of the other release both point to the same Discogs release (actually, the releases probably need to be merged, too, but one step at a time). Well, discogs says “Throat (DJ Isaac Mix)”. In fact, that’s what’s on ALL the discogs releases and cover art. That’s probably convincing enough to change it, at least on the releases linked to discogs, but I really want to know where this “Madman (remix)” came from before I go all in. OH, and when I checked disc 1 against that amazon.de link, it said Madman (Remix)! Curiouser and curiouser.

Now I’m googling. I find out that Mindcrimers have an EP called Madman, which contains both Throat and Madman, and a remix of each (the DJ Isaac Remix of Throat). A website that looks like it might belong to the artist, or an involved artist, mentioned Throat being on this album. Someone has postedMadman (remix) to youtube, with the correct track citation and everything. Somebody else has posted Throat (DJ Isaac Mix) and it sounds exactly the same. I had honestly wondered if they were different names for the same thing, but with the two tracks separately on the EP I wasn’t sure. Youtube also turned out to have the originals of Madman and Throat, which are definitely not the same. Nor is the remix of Madman, from the EP. My final conclusion is that probably Madman (Remix) is a mislabeling by somebody, somewhere, that’s been duplicated in other places (like Musixmatch). I’m going to merge the recordings, but not change the track name on the amazon.de release.

Moving on. The track “A New Day” is credited to Da Bulldozer Project in one case and Dennis M in another. Da Bulldozer Project seems to be strictly a Discogs thing, though. Dennis M is consistently credited in the album art (he is a member of Da Bulldozer Projects). Ditto the last discrepancy, it’s one artist (well, two) who are part of another group and seems to be credited differently on discogs, because… reasons.

There’s more I could do with this release, but I want to get back to the original reason I was here. I’ve been at this for a couple of hours now! It turns out the thing that sent me spinning off this direction in the first place, Phantasy Star IV, was actually the overall soundtrack title vs a track with the same name within the soundtrack. shrug And I’m back to one tab again (well, not counting the other tab still hanging around with the Agua Clara cover photo).

The rest of the works go pretty smoothly. I end up batch adding new works for all but one. I have to add a couple of composers, but many are already in the database (had to dig a little deeper on Antonio Perez - may actually revisit that one). And with that I call it a night. Will have to resume this particular endeavor another time. Whew.

15 Likes

Incredible :laughing:

I’m sure most of us fall into the exact same traps - adding a various artists release in particular can turn into a crazy time for me!

These days I often just chuck tags onto something I come across (eg ‘_tidy’, or more specific if necessary), then I can actually finish something! And maybe finally have dinner!

5 Likes

Love it!! Totally recognise that. It is so much fun getting lost down those rabbit holes. I have learnt so much more about obscure artists that barely feature in my collection. Listened to so many more tracks. And gone out and bought new music due to some fix I did to a weird track I saw in an edit.

MB is not just about cataloguing music - it is about discovering those little fascinating details that gives the body to the music…

/returns to editing obscure 1981 Bob Calvert demo cassette

6 Likes

OMG :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
That sounds familiar (and may explain why after ten years of trying to add my large, but not huge, vinyl/CD collection to the DB, I’m still at only about 20% – with another maybe 40% at various stages of “I’ll have to go back to it” when I find the time) :wink:

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Yeah, I’ve totally acquired new things solely because I wanted to add them to the database. Especially lesser known and local artists, I like making sure they’re represented. And a few times I’ve talked myself out of buying some obscure thing because the only way to answer a burning question would be to actually look at the release. I have sometimes requested things from the library for this purpose, but you can’t count on library holdings having all the original notes and things, sadly.

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Forever, yea!
I myself borrow things from the library on a regular basis for this reason. But my library is dumb and removes and cuts to pieces much of the booklets and notes, places huge stickers on the front an so on :c

Still, I can’t get enough. For example recently, to answer a 9 year old question, I borrowed all of my library’s “Brilliant” related releases. that was 20 CD’s in all, Naturally I had to add and update everything to MusicBrainz :​D

Now I am finally done with that, I can focus on what I was doing before that… which was adding impractically shaped cd’s :x

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