Style/Unknown and untitled/Special purpose track title

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Status: This is an official style guideline.

There are three main types of tracks that are titled in a specific manner in MusicBrainz: untitled tracks, which are known to have no title, unknown tracks for which the title (or lack of it) is not known, and data tracks, which are not real audio tracks.

Contents

Untitled tracks

For untitled tracks, enter [untitled] as the name. These tracks are clearly shown to lack a title on the release (album sleeve and liner notes) they appear on.

  • The recording and work used for the track will normally be also [untitled], but if the track is given an official name in another release, the recording and work should be updated.
  • If the track is widely known under an unofficial name, you can use that name between square brackets (conforming to the Capitalization Standard) as track name instead.
  • For tracks that do not contain songs and that are not named by the artist, you can enter a descriptive name between brackets in all lowercase, or [untitled]. If the track contains only silence, use [silence].

Unknown tracks

For music tracks for which the name (or the lack of it) is unknown, enter [unknown] as the name.

  • A hidden track, or a bonus track that appears as just "Bonus Track", is not [untitled]; it is [unknown]. None of the two are clearly shown as lacking a title on the release -nor, in the case of hidden tracks, shown on the release at all.
  • If the artist gives the track a name somewhere else (for example, in his website) that name should be used instead of [unknown]. If the title of a track added as [unknown] is given at a later point, the [unknown] title should be updated. If the track is confirmed to have no title, it should be changed to [untitled].

Data tracks

If an audio CD contains a data track at the end which is not visible in an audio CD player, it should not be included in the main part of the tracklist.

If the data track contains audio or video tracks, those tracks should be entered in the data tracks section of the tracklist (enabled by selecting the "This disc contains data tracks at the end" option in the release editor).

If an audio CD contains a data track which is visible in an audio CD player (typically as the first track), use [data track] as the track name. If the data track is on a Various Artists release, use [data] as the artist for the track.

Examples and specific indications

[untitled]

  • A clear example of the use of [Unofficial Name] is Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, that has no titles on the cover, but images.
  • In some genres, like techno music, it is relatively common for releases to have a title, but no title for the individual tracks, as Christian Wünsch's Proved Negligence. These tracks should be considered untitled tracks, and can be entered as [untitled] or, following the unofficial name guideline, as [Release Name, Part X] (always in square brackets).
  • As indicated above, the descriptive name option can be used, in lowercase, for live bootleg releases where there are tracks containing crowd noise, a guitar solo, etc. Corresponding names would be [crowd noise] and [guitar solo], e.g. track 3.
  • Some releases separate bonus tracks from the listed tracks by one or more tracks that contain only silence. A version of Nine Inch Nails' Broken uses the full 99 tracks available to the CD format; tracks 1 to 6 are music, tracks 7 to 97 are silence tracks, and tracks 98 and 99 are 'hidden' tracks. As indicated, these should be named [silence].

[unknown]

  • As mentioned above, [unknown] applies to "hidden" songs, e.g. track 11 on Cords' No Guru No Method No Beeper. When they appear on a track that also has a listed song, this rule has to be used in combination with Multiple Title Style, e.g. track 13 on Bush's Razorblade Suitcase.
  • The titles on a white label vinyl release are always [unknown], not [untitled]. As indicated, if any of the tracks is released in an official way and gets a name, it should also be named in the white label release.
  • If a live bootleg includes a new, previously unreleased track that is not introduced with its name, it should be entered as [unknown] (and be changed to the official name when / if it is given one).

[data track]

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