To Merge or Not To Merge


I just added a new release of The Continuing Story of Radar Love by Golden Earring. There was an existing release but the catalogue number was MCAMD-6355 and the catalogue number on my CD Back & Spine image is CMCAMD 6355 (with an extra “C” at the start and no hyphen).

As I was scanning and uploading all the images to my new release, I noticed that the Cover image showed the catalogue number from the existing release (MCAMD-6355) rather than the catalogue number shown on the back and spine of the package. This now has me wondering if the two releases are actually the same and should be merged.

Normally I would compare things like bar codes and back & spine images, but the original release only has the cover image uploaded, and for some reason I can’t get a proper scan of the bar code on the back image of my release (and the barcode numbers are not shown). My phone wouldn’t give any result, and two different on-line barcode scanners gave significantly different results (neither of which is recognized as a valid code by MusicBrainz).

I’m looking for opinions as to whether to merge the releases, with some reasoning as to why or why not. Thanks.


If the other release does not have enough information on it via edit notes, scans, or sources/external links for you to be able to tell for sure, then there’s no harm in merging it - if you can’t identify it properly then nobody else can either, which doesn’t make for valuable database info.
If a user disagrees and knows more, making the merge edit is a good way of starting the discussion, and you can always cancel.

If you really want to double check, I would leave a note here, or try contact the original editor:

As you can tell, I definitely lean towards the ‘merge’ side when editing, a confusing database is a annoying database :neutral_face:

edit: to preserve information/prevent future confusion you can put in the label twice if you want - once for each cat no.


The pre-existing release has a barcode that doesn’t match yours (076732635520), therefore I wouldn’t merge.
The extra “C” added to the front of the Cat# indicates your version is a Columbia House record club edition. I’d probably add something like “club edition” to the disambig. comment.


Oh yes, I didn’t see that.
Original editor also later links to the club edition Discogs page:


Does this mean that you were able to scan the barcode from my back image? Excellent, thanks! If that’s the case, I will need to change the Discogs link because it is currently pointing to barcode 77749752915302.

I figured it was probably something like that, and I expect to run into that a lot as I go through my collection. I bought quite a few CDs through a club membership back in the 80’s. Good suggestion regarding the disambig comment. Will do.


Sorry Bob that was poorly worded on my part, I meant that the other release (not yours) has a barcode of 076732635520.
As regards discogs, I normally only link a discogs release to a MBz release if they’re identical, otherwise I just link the discogs master release to the MBz release group, and leave it at that.


Thanks for clearing that up. I’ll cancel the edits changing the barcode and discogs links.