To merge or not to merge: difference is 40 seconds of silence

Recording #1: length 2:05
Recording #2: length 2:42

Besides the length, recordings are identical. The same CDs contains recordings of other parts of the same work, they have identical or very close lengths.

I own a CD with the second recording (length 2:42). After 2:05 it’s only silence.

Should the recordings be kept apart or merged with an appropriate annotation?


BIS has done that a lot, ending works with some 1/2 minute of silence typically not accounted for in printed duration. I guess it is artistic intent to leave room for closure at the end of a vinyl/CD, rather than prompt ejection, something easily overlooked f.i. when certain tracks are moved into another order for compilation release.

I own not the release but its RG sibling (different EAN). Sure enough: last track, duration printed 2:05 is actually 2:42 (EAC, VLC).

Edit: This is the one I have, just added:


Quoting the guideline:

Recordings of different durations can be merged, as long as there is no evidence to suggest that differences in mixing or editing have caused the change in lengths.

Variations in the length of silence at either end of tracks is not a reason to keep recordings separate, since no changes have been made to the audio itself. Similarly, different volume fades at either end of multiple tracks are not reasons to maintain separate recordings - they are considered mastering differences unless they cause the structure of the song to change. The same is true for variations in playback speed between recordings.

So, merge away! :slight_smile:


When it’s strictly silence, it can be merged.
Perhaps an annotation in the recording and/or releases with added silence would explicit why a recording has such apparently wrong track lengths.

But 40 seconds of silence? It’s long. Is it digital silence or do we hear an audience mumbling or leaving the concert room or any other non music sound?
In which case I wouldn’t merge.

Or maybe it’s real silence, made to avoid hearing the CD pickup mechanism stopping too soon after hearing the music.
If music ends very quietly, we don’t want to spoil it with some blunt CD player machine stopping sounds.

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It’s a digital silence. In all cases when the length is 2:42, the track is the very last on the CD, so an explanation given by Griomo (digital silence on the last track to not spoil hearing experience by sudden mechanical noise of a CD player) is very plausible.

I have merged the recordings and added an annotation about different lengths.

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Here is another merge for a track with 36 seconds of silence.

I’ve been meaning to ask about this myself. Is there a limit to how much silence there can be at the end if we’re considering something as the same recording? I’ve got some recordings which potentially need merging, with silence ranging from 25 seconds to 3 minutes(!), all followed by bonus/hidden tracks.

Are the bonus tracks identical?

Guideline says “at either end” of tracks, but I would suggest that this is a case where as long as the actual *recordings" at either end are the same mixes then a different length of silence should not stop them being merged.

In a pure sense these could be seen as a medley of three connected recordings A+B+C. It is just that the recorded silence of “B” has an earlier fade in some of your examples.

To clarify, the bonus/hidden tracks are separate recordings. The recordings in question are just song + silence.