When to link songs to the same recording and when dont you?

should these two recordings of the same song be linked in here?

if not is it due to the instruments or time or both

Listening to this it is clearly a completely different recording, with different instrumentations. The first requirement to be the same recording would be that they are based on the same recorded material, which those two are clearly not.


when you say “same recorded material” what doues that mean can you clarify?

In the simplest version, if as a musician you go to the studio today and record a song, then the next day you go there again and record it again, and both of the two recordings end up getting released they would be separate recordings.

There might be changes later on that might or might not to cause it to be eparate recordings in a MB sense. E.g. most of the time instruments are recorded separately in the studio and later mixed. So it is not just about the actual recording, but about being the same mix as well. Then the final mix used for the release might get mastered differently for e.g. Vinly and CD release to get the best sound out of the medium. Also silence at beginning or end might be cut differently. Such mastering differences usually do not qualify as separate recordings. But there might be more significant changes that make it a separate recording, like e.g. remixes or more significant remastering that actually change the audio in a significant way.

I think in the very end it often comes down whether we as listeners consider it different enough to keep them separate. But your example is one of the easy cases.


thanks for that i was thinking they where different recordings but i just was thinking i should check and see if im on the right path. what if it was a song where the only difference was how long the silence was at the end of the track and if the last instrument that was played went for a second or 2 longer in the fade out that would be the same recording right?

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Yes, that would be considered the same. It’s a different story if one recording fades out after half the duration of the other one, for example :smiley:


@outsidecontext has already covered most of this, but for reference here is documentation on when to merge (or not merge) recordings:


i have another question it relation to this topic what if 2 songs that have the same time and should be the same recording have a few different AcoustIDs can you still merge them or is it best to leave them separate and what if one song has no AcoustIDs and one douse and they are a few seconds different in time but sound the same the only difference in time is silence?

If you are not sure, don’t merge.

AcoustIDs are not perfect, sometimes are missing, and sometimes incorrectly associated. It is better to try and dig into the artist details a bit and work out if they have re-recorded this.

Where you can be fairly certain of a merge is when you have a Compilation album as that has usually lifted tracks from an original album somewhere. Matching lengths are important with a merge. Having matching AcoustIDs makes it easier to do the merge.

And don’t be worried if you have extra AcoustIDs as long as the AcoustIDs of the source are all in the target then all will be fine.


it is a Compilation album and all the songs on youtube that are the same song all sound the same other then silence at the end thats sometimes is longer by seconds tho the completion album is a cd and the other is a record thou i can not see any place that sells the record in cd form let alone any mention of a cd vershon.

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That sounds to me like it will be a compilation using the original recordings. If the audio is the same length, and silences are the only length difference, then that helps confirm you have the same track.

I have certainly seen that with some of the artists I helped you with a while back. A lot of repackaging happens in the industry.

The handy part of YouTube playback is you have that timer on screen so can note the exact time of the end of the song itself when silence has been added.

I do sometimes go to the extreme of loading up two audio players at the same time and hitting play in sync… but then I am a little extreme :crazy_face: :joy:


yer a lot of repacking douse happen if someone could just have a quick scan thru of my more recent edits and let me know how im going that would be grate https://musicbrainz.org/user/st3v3p/edits/open
had the wog (cold) these last two days so it is posable i made a mistake somewhere

Different AcoustIDs can be tricky, so yes, as advised by @IvanDobsky if in doubt leave it separate.

But one nice feature of AcoustID fingerprints is that you can visualize and visually compare them. E.g. look at the comparison of two fingerprints for different Acoust IDs

The left shows a fingerprint for https://acoustid.org/track/a9d1330a-1217-4a65-97bc-6f4321b93b33, the one right beside it for https://acoustid.org/track/9a96d433-af6f-48ed-ace9-826d55df386f . On the very right is the result of comparison. If you click to “Move up” button until the offset shows -9 you will see they match very closely, the comparison column will be nearly completely black.

Which means there is some difference at the beginning, but the actual recording is basically identical. Together with a listening test this can give you a high certainty that the recordings are actually considered the same.

You might also notice that one AcoustID can have multiple fingerprints. If you compare them you will notice they are very similar, with maybe a slight offset needed. That’s exactly how AcoustID works and why there is the AcoustID server. The server checks submitted fingerprints and clusters them by similarity. Sufficient similar fingerprints are assigned the same AcoustID. Beside the fingerprint itself it also takes total recording length into account (very similar fingerprint, but large difference in recording duration also gives separate AcoustID).


I’ve dived in with a few little notes for you on some of the edits.


thanks outside context and ivan ill look in to them.

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@outsidecontext if the AcoustIDs dont become near black is that a good resone to say the recordings should not be merged?

@IvanDobsky iv fixed up the things you pointed out i think other then the 2 above as i need someone to tell me if that is corect thanks and sorry for the confusion around you edit

Acoustids that don’t match are one factor that weight against merging, yes. However, acoustids do occasionally get attached to the wrong recording. Looking at the user-submitted metadata for https://acoustid.org/track/408f4763-afcf-4829-8f1a-b434c9beeb29 , there are two references to an “Orthodox Praises” album; that seems to match this archive.org entry, which is clearly a different recording of the song (work) by a female singer. In this case, I think the other evidence outweighs the mismatched acoustids. (Personally, I would probably go so far as to unlink that acoustid from the Scott Wesley Brown recording.)


fixed i put in the edite note who YouTube recons the artist for that song is tho i did say take it with a grain of salt this is what YouTube said

Artist Wedding Tracks
Licensed to YouTube by WMG; Warner Chappell, BMI - Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutor - UMPG, PEDL, LatinAutorPerf, and 4 music rights societies