MusicBrainz and Disc IDs

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Hi everyone.

I hope you are all well. I will disclose first that I am a member of the MusicBrainz community but do not have any fiduciary/financial interest in that company; I'm a contributor in the same way I contribute to Wikipedia and A&M Corner.

I am currently going through the Carpenters' releases on MusicBrainz, and oy vey it is a mess. I have various CDs that are AM+ Series linked to the 2009 Japanese SHM releases, Remastered Classics CDs linked to heaven knows...

If you are interested in an open-source discographical resource (think Discogs and Gracenote in one, but open service), I highly encourage you to check it out. The most helpful feature, in my opinion, is MusicBrainz Picard. It is a metadata tagger (which is how I found MusicBrainz in the first place). Long story short, if your iTunes Library is disorganized, or you have a bunch of CD rips with no artist, album, or year, MusicBrainz Picard (available for Windows and Mac) can tag all of your music with granular detail (i.e. composer, release date, catalog number, barcode, etc.).

On MusicBrainz Picard, I use the "Lookup CD" feature to associate the CD TOC (Disc ID) with the proper release. This means that, in theory, if I stick a Remastered Classics CD, the result that pops up should be the Remastered Classics version (with the year being ca. 1998). However, there remains a lot of work to be done... if anyone is interested in adding granular detail, please feel free to check it out and help me! I don't have all versions of Carpenters CDs, so I definitely can't do it by myself!

MusicBrainz works with CD rippers like XLD (for Mac) and VLC (for Mac and Windows). It's much better than FreeDB, in my experience. MusicBrainz data tend to be highly standardized (each artist has a unique identifier, each release has a unique identifier, even each recording is supposed to have a unique identifier, etc.), and album/track names are capitalized with title case. (FreeDB sometimes gives me wacky title outputs.)

Best,
Cuyler
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Roon Player pulls in data from MusicBrainz and I have to agree, some of the data is a mess. So, thanks for helping clean up a small part of it! 👍

I find I have to edit my own music database in Roon a lot of the time, and it's hard to tell if it's the MusicBrainz data or Roon doing something with it that is at fault. Examples:
  • For the Hammond B3 organ player Dr. Lonnie Smith (who went by Lonnie Smith decades ago), I had to correct the data insisting that he is the same person as Lonnie Liston Smith, also a jazz keyboardist.
  • I often get incorrect composer information on a track. Latest one: Cal Tjader's tune "Black Orchid," which he recorded on several of his own albums. Data on one of those albums insisted Stevie Wonder was a co-composer. He had a tune named "Black Orchid" from The Secret Life of Plants.
  • Many other instances of songs with the same name having all the composers lumped together.
  • Misspellings or alternate versions of names in credits, especially musicians. An annoyance on Saturday was seeing the names of tunes by The Cramps. Poison Ivy would sometimes be listed as Kristy Wallace (her real name) or Ivy Rorschach (an old version of her stage name, which actually was Poison Ivy Rorschach). Same with Lux Interior, who in a few credits is shown as Erick Purkhiser (his real name, which he never used professionally). Jazz trombonist known by everyone as Dick Nash? I'll see his name listed multiple times in a single credit as anything from Richard Nash to Richard Taylor "Dick" Nash.
I haven't determined if it's the data coming from MusicBrainz, or how Roon is displaying it. So it's hard to tell where the fault lies, and I correct it on my end so it's suitable.

I also agree with how much of a mess the freedb was--I didn't even think they were still around. Just the sloppy spelling, punctuation and grammar made it seem like it was populated by trained chimpanzees rather than users. I'd often find song and album titles in lowercase. Lots of incorrect spelling. Even completely incorrect names of tracks. I noticed this well over a decade ago and quit using it. I can't imagine it being any better if it's still around.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
An annoyance on Saturday was seeing the names of tunes by The Cramps. Poison Ivy would sometimes be listed as Kristy Wallace (her real name) or Ivy Rorschach (an old version of her stage name, which actually was Poison Ivy Rorschach). Same with Lux Interior, who in a few credits is shown as Erick Purkhiser (his real name, which he never used professionally). Jazz trombonist known by everyone as Dick Nash? I'll see his name listed multiple times in a single credit as anything from Richard Nash to Richard Taylor "Dick" Nash.
Oy. At first, my gut reaction was that MusicBrainz had a policy that only legal names would be used, but it turns out the opposite is true.

Per this official guideline page:
The artist is the official name of an artist, whether it is a person, band, or character. In most cases, it is the name as found on releases.
So, per your comment, Kristy Wallace, Erick Purkhiser, and Richard Taylor Nash should be an alias (legal name) and not the artist name.

I'll take a look, do some research, and maybe try to clean that up when I have some free time. :)
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Phew... this morning, I did my best to clean up the Carpenters' studio album entries. There were "Remastered Classics" barcodes (82839) matched with AM+ Series releases (catalog no. CD ####). Many of my edits are awaiting peer review, but I've added disambiguation text for three main series on all the studio albums: AM+, Karen in My Memories, and Remastered Classics. Ticket to Ride was special and got a "Rebound Records Reissue" disambiguation. :)
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
At first, my gut reaction was that MusicBrainz had a policy that only legal names would be used, but it turns out the opposite is true.
That's good to know! Otherwise, we'd only have listings for Reginald Dwight and Declan McManus. 😁
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
That's good to know! Otherwise, we'd only have listings for Reginald Dwight and Declan McManus. 😁
Two great musicians, I might add! Declan McManus collaborated with James Paul McCartney on an album. It was a great collaboration. :laugh:
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Keep that up and I'm going to start spinning my Dino Crocetti albums. 😁
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Oy. There are so many duplicate recordings :sad:

Hopefully the community can help with consolidating the Carpenters' recordings appropriately (i.e. 1985 remixes together, 1991 remixes together, etc.).
 
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